Bridge Deal of the Week (October 10 2018)

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The Auction:

West North East South
    2 Pass
4 Pass Pass ˇ4♠
Pass Pass Pass  


East opened with a weak preemptive bid – 2, South passed and West jumped to 4. North and East passed. South found the courage to declare 4♠.

West led the A. How can South win 10 tricks?

What would be the highest contract North/South could have made?

Dealer: East

Vul: None

Contract: 4♠


After dummy hit the table, 4♠ did not seem hopeless, as South could count on five tricks with diamonds and at least two in clubs. The weakest spot is the 7-card trump suit and the obvious need to ruff hearts from the long trump suit in declarer´s hand. If the declarer is forced to ruff hearts too many times, South might end up with fewer trumps than one or both of the defenders have.

As West has led the A, South has to ruff (trick 1). South led a small spade to next, West played the ♠Q and won the trick (trick 2). West led the ♣4 next, so the declarer was able win the trick with the ♣J (trick 3). South led a small diamond next and East covered dummy`s ♦K with the Ace (trick 4).

East led a club too dummy`s ♣A (trick 5). The declarer led the ♠J from dummy, West`s ♠K won the trick (trick 6). West led clubs again; South discarded a heart from dummy and won the trick with the ♣K (trick 7). Now the declarer could safely draw the trumps as diamonds were good. South led the ♠A discarding the Q from dummy (trick 8). As both opponents followed suit, the defense had no trumps left and South could claimthe last five tricks: four with diamonds and one with the last spade (tricks 9, 10, 11, 12, 13).

  ♠ J8  
  ♣ A10  
♠ KQ4 Deal ♠ 932
 A8762 KJ1094
3 A
♣ Q764 ♣ 9852
  ♠ A10765  
  ♣ KJ3  

With the weak preempt and West`s swift raise to 4 level, East/West managed to effectively severe the communication between North/South. South managed to find a suitable game to play, but it is a pity North passed all the way through the auction and didn`t show diamonds – North/South could have successfully played 6.

North would be the declarer, East would have led a small spade to dummy`s Ace. It seems North has two losers now, the Ace of trumps and a trick in spades. To get rid of the ♠J in hand,  North has to lead the ♣J from dummy. West has to cover with the ♣Q and North can win the trick with the ♣A. Next the declarer can win a trick with the ♣10, lead a heart and ruff in dummy and the lead dummy`s ♣K discarding the last spade. Now defense can only win one trick with the A.

4♠ was an emergency solution, which could have gone down easily, if West had proceeded with hearts instead of switching to clubs after winning the lead with the ♠Q – by repeatedly leading hearts defense could have made South lose control, of the trump suit.



Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 6 Dbl by West -2.

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