Bridge Deal of the Week (June 27 2018)

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The Auction:

West North East South
1 1♠ Pass 1NT
Pass 2NT Pass 3NT


South opened with 1♣, West overcalled 1, North responded 1♠. East passed. South bid 1NT, North 2NT and the rest is history – South declared 3NT.

West led the K. How can South win 9 tricks?

Vul: None

Contract: 3NT Dbl by South.


When dummy hit the table, the declarer saw that hearts were not the worst suit, as South held four hearts and the sequence of J109 would probably be enough to limit the lost tricks to three.

But in diamonds the declarer held three losers and dummy had a weak doubleton with only the K standing in the way of the possible catastrophe. West cashed in the K, then the AQ (tricks 1, 2 3). As the declarer waited what his fate would be, West led the fourth heart to South`s J (trick 4).

South could count on the ♣AKQJ and the ♠AKQ for seven tricks, but still needed to find one more. Spades seemed the only hope. But before that the declarer decided to cash in the four clubs, knowing that the opponents would be squeezed and had to choose, what to discard (tricks 5, 6, 7, 8).

West discarded a diamond and a spade, East two diamonds and a spade. So now the defense had only four more spades and the declarer had a reasonable hope that the ♠J will drop.

South led the ♠Q, both opponents followed suit (trick 9), then a small spade towards dummy´s Ace (trick 10), East showed out. South led the ♠K from dummy, West`s ♠ J dropped (trick 11), so the declarer won one more trick with dummy`s last spade (trick 12).

But the last trick belonged to East, who had theA (trick 13).

♠ J762 Deal ♠ 85
AKQ76 82
Q3 AJ10876
♣ 84 ♣ 932
  ♣ AKQ7  

The declarer was lucky that East didn`t show diamonds during the auction, and so West, who had a doubleton with the Q, didn´t find the diamond lead and decided to promote his last heart.

But the declarer could have also made an extra trick. If after gaining the lead South would have had the courage to discard both diamonds from dummy`s hand hoping that spades were split 3-3 or if 4-2, that the J was onside, all of dummy´s spades would have been winners.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 3♠ by North/South.

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