Bridge Deal of the Week (June 22 2016)

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The auction is too horrible to publish or even mention it, anyway you find yourself playing the contract of 3NT, because after your sensible call of 2NT, your partner declares 3NT.

West leads the ♠2 as the opening lead and as you have two stoppers in spades you have time to analyze your hand – how on earth to make it?


East takes the first trick with the ♠A and West takes the second trick with the ♠K.

Your hand is rather light with very few top tricks therefore you have to rely on finesses to promote your hearts and diamonds into winners. You have to decide if you want to lead from dummy (after regaining the lead with the ♠Q) or from your hand (if regaining the lead with the ♠J).

If you decide to handle hearts first, then you should regain the lead to dummy. If you opt for diamonds, you should regain the lead to your hand. As you miss only the Q, you decide that hearts offer better possibilities and when West leads spades for the third time you win the trick with the ♠Q.

You know that in the situation where you have Kxx and Ajxx and miss the Q, the classic way is to draw the K, lead again and finesse the J. However, playing this way the lead would land in your hand. You do not want that, because to get back to dummy (in case East has a long suit of hearts and the Q) you must lead diamonds and waste one of your valuable entry points to dummy too early in the game.

Therefore you lead the 9, which wins the trick. Having successfully located the Q – East must have it – you play the K next. Both East and West play small hearts. The opponents have only two hearts, so it is safe to lead the 4 and finesse J, noticing that West discards a small diamond and pull the A from your hand.

Time for diamonds now. As your hand holds only two diamonds, you decide to play it by the book – if the opponents have two high cards, you should finesse against both of them. You lead the 7, West plays the 2 and you play low too – the 5. East wins the trick with the J and leads back the ♣10, you play the ♣Q and win the trick. Obviously it is time to pull the ♣A as after leading the diamonds you won`t be back.

Next you lead the 9, West plays low and you finesse the 10. As West discarded one of the diamonds earlier, you can claim the last two tricks with the AQ.

K542 Deal A98
62 Q875
K642 J3
J87 K1093













The decision about regaining the lead in the beginning of the game is an important one as you do not have much room for maneuvering – you can move between the hand and dummy for only a limited number of times.

It is a tough hand, because any mistakes will be punished by opponents taking you down quite easily, especially if you lose the transportation between hand and dummy.

By playing hearts before diamonds, West was squeezed and had to discard one of his diamonds, helping you finesse the diamonds.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 4 by North/South.

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