Bridge Deal of the Week (August 03 2016)

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The Auction:

West North East South
Pass 3♣ Pass 3NT

all pass

Your partner has answered your opening bid of 1♣ with a weak inverted minor raise and you, feeling as frisky as ever, go for 3NT of course. West leads the 8 and you must decide whether or not to play the A from the dummy, as diamonds are your only weakness...


You can take two tricks with spades, two tricks with hearts and after getting rid of the ♣A, five more tricks with clubs. The problem is, if you lose your only control in diamonds, the opponents might defeat the contract after getting the lead with the ♣A and cashing in four or more tricks with diamonds.

So it is a hard decision – how to play the first trick! The rule of eleven indicates that East has the Q, besides, if West had an unbroken sequence in diamonds – the KQJx, he would have led the top card. So, if you duck, East might win the trick and lead diamonds back to West.

Its obvious you must play the A from the dummy`s hand, hoping to either catch the Q or to block the opponents further attempts to play diamonds.


102 Deal QJ653
Q93  108762
KJ983 Q2
A98 3

As your analyses told you that East must have the Q, the only way to make the contract is to block the diamonds, taking the first trick with the A and leaving East holding the Q. Thus even if East or West leads the diamonds again after taking the trick with the ♣A, the opponents would get only one diamond trick as there wouldn`t be another entry to the hand of West, who holds the longer suit of diamonds.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this game is 4 X by East-West.

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