Bridge Deal of the Week (October 19 2016)

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The Auction:

West North East South
  Pass Pass 2NT
Pass 3 Pass 3
Pass 4♣ Pass 4♠
Pass 6 all pass


You open the auction with 2 NT and after Jacoby transfer by North (3) and your puppet response (3) North asks for aces. Your Gerber ace-showing response indicates 2 aces and North declares 6.

West opens with the ♣J. Plan your play.


The opening lead is very advantageous to your side as you can immediately discard the ♠10 from the table thus eliminating one sure loser; ♣A wins the first trick.

You have and 8-card suit of hearts and a side suit of nine diamonds. The only dark cloud in the sky is the fact that you miss the trump king & you must be careful as there are not an awful lot of entry points to the dummy and back to hand.

You could finesse hearts, but to do that you should cross over to dummy’s hand using the A. If West has the king of hearts and wins the next trick then you are in a situation where you might lose another trick – if West also has the remaining two diamonds and leads diamonds, East can ruff.

So you lead the A, both opponents play small hearts. Next you lead the J – again both opponents play small hearts.

Now you lead the K (both opponents play small diamonds), then Q (East discards a small club). You were right, West had three diamonds and East only one. Now you lead diamonds for the third time and take this trick with dummy’s ace. You lead diamonds again; West ruffs and leads the ♠A.

You can claim as besides four trumps your two diamonds are winners.


AQ74 Deal 932
K53 108
1063 9
J105 Q986432


After the opening lead you realize that you have had a narrow escape as spades lead would have made you go down.

Of course it was rather reckless of North to ask for aces with a void as the rule of thumb tells us not to do so – with Gerber or Blackwood conventions you have no means to distinguish which aces your partner has. Easily it could be that your partner has the ace in the void suit presenting double guarantee, but no defense against the loss of trick in another suit.

(There is a convention to determine the void suit, it is called Exclusion Blackwood or Voidwood, but this convention is rarely used.)

If North had chosen his other long suit and declared 6, it would have been in fact a safer contract – then East would have had the opening lead. As East did not possess the ♠ A; this would have eliminated the risk of ♠A been led.


Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 6 by North/South

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