Bridge Deal of the Week (June 01 2016)

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The Auction:

West North East South
2NT 3 Pass ???

You open the auction with 1♠, West makes a 2NT overcall – must be the unusual 2NT – showing two lower unbid suits. Much to your surprise North bids 3.

What should you bid after this cuebid by North?


2NT by West means a weak hand with at least 5 diamonds and 5 clubs. 3 by North means of course “unusual over unusual” convention, which is used when your side has opened the bidding and the opponent makes an overcall which shows a two-suited hand – the unusual notrump overcall or the Michaels cuebid.

When the opponent’s two-suited overcall specifies the suits, then after that a cuebid of the opponents’ higher ranking suit is a game forcing raise with a likely 5-card side suit in the other unbidden suit.

So the 3 bid by North is in fact forcing to game and you must declare a contract of 4♠.

West leads the K, you win the trick with the A. This is an interesting hand, offering possibilities to finesse and ruff. Therefore you lead the 2 to give the lead back to the opponents; West wins the second trick with the Q and leads the 3. Your finesse is successful; the Q takes this trick.

Time to check the trumps, although you have no intention pulling the trumps as you need them to ruff – you lead the ♠10 from dummy’s hand, East plays the ♠5, you throw in the ♠8 and West plays the ♠6. Hmm, no trace of the ♠A.

Now you can start ruffing. You lead the ♣A from dummy and after that the ♣2. East covers it with the ♣K and you ruff. Then you lead the 8 and as West discards the 5 in this trick you ruff, while East plays the 10. As West does not play a trump in this trick although he has no hearts, it might be concluded that the spades are split 4:1 and West had only one.

Next you lead the A from dummy and after that the 9, ruffing again.

By this time you hold two spades – East probably has the remaining three and you have two hearts while East has the remaining one, so it is safe to ruff one more time. You lead the 6, West discards the K, you play the last trump from dummy as East plays the J.

You lead the ♣8 from dummy, East plays the ♠2, which you cover with the ♠Q. The last two tricks belong to East.

If the opponents had been clever enough to lead trump after gaining the lead early in the game thus robbing you of the possibility to ruff – after all you had only eight card suit of spades – then you should have had to play according to the plan which enables you to promote your small hearts into winners.

6 Deal A542
KQ J1074
K8532 J107
Q7643 K9













The auction was maybe not the best example of your cooperation with your partner, but the final contract of 4♠ was a reasonable one. If by misunderstanding you had responded 3NT to your partner’s cuebid and your partner would have passed, then you would have found out that 3NT would have been extremely hard, if not impossible to make.

Being in 3NT contract you can count on 8 tricks. West would probably have lead diamonds; you have 4 tricks in spades plus your three aces. Can you guess how to make it?

There is no foolproof way as your side suits are not long enough. The only hope is to watch keenly what the opponents discard in your successive spades tricks and not to discard that suit from dummy, hoping to promote a small card from one of the side suits into a winner for the additional trick.

Par Contract Analysis

The par deal on this hand is 3♠ by North/South.

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