Bridge Deal of the Week (May 30 2018)

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The Auction:

West North East South
    Pass 1♣
Pass 1 Dbl 2
Pass 2NT Pass 3NT
DBL Pass Pass Pass

East passed. South started with 1. West passed. North responded 1. East doubled (8-11 HCP, 4+ spades, 4+ hearts). South, with 17 HCP, felt bold enough and jumped to 2 (17-21 HCP, 5+ clubs, 4+ hearts). West passed. North bid 2NT (promises 6+ HCP and a stopper in spades). South declared 3NT. West doubled.

East led the Q. How can North win 9 tricks?

Vul: North/South

Contract: 3NT DBL by North


North can count on 5 quick tricks – the AK, A and AK. Both hands combined the declarer has a 9-card suit of clubs. If clubs split 2-2, then the declarer can count on four more tricks in spades and the outcome will be rosy. But if not, then North needs to find a way to win nine tricks.

The declarer won the first trick with dummy´s A (trick 1), and led the A (trick 2). East showed out discarding the 3. So clubs were split 4-0. North led the 9 from dummy, West played a small club, so the nine won this trick (trick 3). East discarded the 6.

The declarer won another trick with the K (trick 4), East discarded a spade. North led another club from dummy. West won that trick with the Q (trick 5). The declarer discarded a spade from hand and East pitched the 9.

West led a spade to North`s King (trick 6). Dummy`s hand held two more clubs and the A provided an entry point. But that would only add up to eight tricks. East had discarded the 9, so theK might be onside and finessing will provide the ninth trick.  

North led the 8, East played the 10, the declarer played the Queen from dummy, which held (trick 7). Now North cashed in two tricks with clubs (tricks 8, 9), discarding hearts while East and West discarded three diamonds and a spade.

The declarer took the ninth trick with the A (trick 10) and exited with a heart. East won with the K (trick 11) and led the K to West`s A (trick 12), who won the last trick with the 8 (trick 13).

  ♣ J43  
♠ 873 Deal ♠ QJ962
J6 K1094
A1074 KJ32
♣ Q1062 -



3NT seems like skating on a thin ice, but isn`t really. The declarer managed to promote the clubs into winners despite West holding four clubs and the heart finesse provided the last trick.

What if the opponents had started with diamonds instead of East leading a spade? Or what if North had offered the first trick in clubs to West? In both cases the defense would have won three tricks in diamonds, but as diamonds were split 4-4-4-1, North`s last diamond would have held as a stopper.

And in a sense it would have been a safer way to nine tricks as North could have discarded all the hearts (the A excluded) from dummy`s hand and collected the rest of tricks with the Q (or last diamond), K, A and five tricks with clubs. So heart finesse would not have been needed.

If East and West would have played 4, North/South could have won two tricks with the AK, two more with the AQ and with any luck South could have ruffed a diamond.


Par Contract Analysis

The par contract is 4 Dbl -2 by East/West.

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