Bridge Deal of the Week (March 21 2018)

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The Auction:

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

The ♣9 is led against your 3NT contract, East's Ace winning the trick. A heart is switched at trick 2, West wins the Ace and plays back a heart. What do you discard from dummy?


You have 3 top tricks in diamonds, 2 in clubs since the Ace is dislodged, 1 trick in hearts, and require 3 more tricks. If diamonds lie favorably, you have 2 more tricks there and need just 1 trick in spades. However, if East has four or more diamonds to the Jack, you need 3 spade tricks. If you carelessly discard a spade at trick 3, the contract can no longer be made. It is silly to discard a diamond; when diamonds are favorable, as a trick is wasted unnecessarily. The correct discard is a club, retaining your options in both diamonds and spades. After winning East's 10 with the King, you can test diamonds by cashing the King and Queen. When West discards, you can change tack and play on spades. Since West has the ♠A, you can develop 3 spade tricks and land the game.

 A82 Deal  973
 AJ854  1076
 3  J987
 9872  A43

Congratulations if you came up with the right solution. When this deal was played at a pair event, many declarers failed to make the contract when they discarded a spade from dummy rather than a club.

Par Contract Analysis

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

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