Bridge Deal of the Week (April 13 2016)

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The Auction:

West North East South
  1 Dbl 1NT
All pass      

With eight high card points promising one or two honour tricks and a weak five-card suit of clubs, you know that 1NT is a sensible call. West leads the ♣4; East wins the trick with the ♣K and leads the ♣8.


Between you and your partner you (might) have six tricks in hearts and diamonds, but to be successful you need to finesse the K or the Q or both – and then you still need to find a way to win the seventh trick.

The question in hand and immediate danger however, is how to play the clubs. West obviously led from a long suit and if East had the ♣K, West might have the ♣A and the ♣Q, so you face the prospect of losing lots of tricks in clubs, regardless what card you will play.

Still, if the distribution is such, that you and West have the remaining clubs and he has the ♣AQ, then by playing a lower card than East, there is a chance that the lead remains in East`s hand, where hopefully there are no more clubs.

You play the ♣7 and and West plays the ♣3. Now you face another important decision – what to discard from dummy? As you have based your plan how to win seven tricks on the hope of acquiring extra tricks with hearts or diamonds, your obvious choice is to get rid of the spades, so you discard the ♠4.

East leads the ♠9, you play the ♠3 and West wins the trick with the ♠J. Now West takes the next two tricks with the ♣A and the ♣Q, and after he leads clubs third time, your ♣J is the winner. From dummy, you discard spades all the time, and as there are no more spades left in the dummy for the last trick of clubs, you discard the 7.

Now you have a chance to put your plan in action – you play the 10 and as nobody plays a higher card, you win both the trick and knowledge that West probably has the K. So you play the 3 next, taking this trick with dummy`s J. To finish off with the K, you return to your hand by playing the 8 from the dummy, take the trick with the A and lead hearts. Again you finesse, playing the Q from the dummy and then take down the troublesome king of hearts at last with the A. Drums and fanfare, you can now take the seventh trick with the K.

AQJ Deal 962
K642 95
6 Q105432
AQ943 K8










If there’s something lots of players dread more than 3NT, then it must be 1 NT – quite unnecessarily, of course. 1 NT can be fun, as even if you and your partner are quite light in points, it might be worth a try.

With the hand you had, you needed just to determine with which suit to associate your hopes of winning an extra trick and which suit to discard. As your heart suit was longer than diamonds, and your heart suit was stronger than spades, you had a better chance of acquiring the extra trick with hearts. Although we are taught never to put all the eggs in one basket, in bridge you must sometimes decide and stick to the decision. If you had discarded evenly one or two cards from each suit, you had lost the opportunity to take four tricks in hearts.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 1NT by West.

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