Bridge Deal of the Week (August 08 2018)Click here for Archives / Discussion Boards
South opened with 1♣ after East passed. West overcalled 2♠ (weak, at least 6 spades). North doubled (negative double, at least four hearts). East passed. South responded 2NT, West passed. North bid 3♦, East 3♠. South, who might have gone for 3NT, decided to declare 4♥, after East supported West`s long spades. East doubled.
West led the ♠Q. How can South win ten tricks?
Contract: 4♥ by South
South can theoretically count ten tricks – five with hearts plus the ♠A, ♦A and three clubs, but the declarer misses the ♥AQ and there is little doubt that East holds them over dummy`s King`s head.
The best plan seems to try to restrict the losers to two trumps and a diamond. If East has four or five hearts, this will not be an easy task.
The declarer won the first trick with the ♠A(trick 1) and led the ♣K next. West played the ♣J (trick 2). West`s ♣J might have been a singleton, so South led next the ♦Q to West´s King to dummy`s Ace (trick 3). This time East played the ♦J. Dummy`s diamonds were winners now.
But if West had a singleton ♣J and East a singleton ♦J, then West held the last four diamonds and East four clubs. And if West started with six spades, West had also a singleton heart and East held four hearts.
Armed with that knowledge South led the ♥K from dummy. East won the trick with the ♥A (trick 4) and led the ♣6. South played a small club from hand, West discarded a diamond and dummy`s ♣7 won the trick (trick 5). South took the next trick with dummy`s ♣A (trick 6) and led the ♦10.
East ruffed (trick 7) and led a club to South`s ♣ Q, the declarer discarded a diamond from dummy (trick 8). South led a spade next and ruffed (trick 9) and led a heart from dummy`s hand. East won the trick with the ♥Q (trick 10) and led the ♥10 to declarer`s J (trick 11). South led a spade and ruffed and won the last trick with dummy`s ♦9 (tricks 12, 13).
South, who held a flat hand of 4-3-3-3 faced rather extreme distribution as both clubs and diamonds were split 5-1 and hearts 4-1. But this knowledge also paradoxically helped the declarer; South was saved by the schoolbell and forearmed with the exact knowledge of the layout of cards.
After South forced East to ruff a diamond and thus shortened East`s trumps, all the declarer had to do was to lead a heart from dummy through East`s ♥Q10 to his own J9.
Although South won the contract of 4♥, West could have equally successfully played 4♠.
Par Contract Analysis
The par contract on this deal is 4♥ by South.
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