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Deal of the Week (Aug 24, 2007) Click here for Archives

West   North   East   South
pass    1NT1     2♠     3
pass    4         all pass

1 - forcing one round

You reach 4 after East overcalls in spades. West leads the ♠10, East overtakes this with the jack and cashes the ♠A. When he plays the ♠K, you ruff this with the K, West discards a club. You now cross over to dummy with a diamond, and play the 8, East plays the 10, your queen wins the trick. Plan the play.

The appearance of the 10 from East marks him with A10 doubleton (thankfully you are not playing against Zia, so you don't have to worry about East falsecarding the 10 with A10x). Do you see what would happen if you continue by playing another trump? East would win dummy's nine with his ace, and shoot a spade through. This will promote West's 7 into the setting trick (if you ruff low, West will overruff with the seven. If you ruff with the queen, West's trump will be the highest one out).

The solution is to play on side suits, trying to shorten your hand in trumps. First, let us try to figure out West's distribution. He has two spades and three hearts, and therefore eight cards in the minors. If West had three diamonds and five clubs, he would have discarded a diamond, so that if you played three rounds of diamonds he would ruff the third round. If he had five diamonds and three clubs, his club discard means you would not be able to play three rounds of clubs. Your only hope is to find West with four cards in each minor.

You should start out by playing ♣A, a club to the king, and ruff a club in hand. The next move then is to play the A and a diamond to the queen. East cannot profitably ruff the trick; if he ruffs and plays a spade, dummy's 8 protects against a trump promotion. So when East discards, you play the last diamond from dummy. When East once again discards as he cannot gain by ruffing, you ruff in hand. In the two-card position, you simply play a heart to the nine, conceding only the trump ace.

 104 Deal  AKJ832
 732  A10
  J854   32
 8742  J109

This deal was first presented as a defensive problem on June 15th earlier this year. Bridge Baron's double dummy analysis was instrumental in pointing out to us that the contract could actually be made. We realized that the winning line of play was not really double dummy, and could be found by appreciating the significance of East's 10.

Since Bridge Baron's double dummy solver was responsible in pointing out that 4 is makeable, there is not much more to add in this section.

Bridge Baron's Line of Play
Bridge Baron continues to impress, solving this week's deal in no time. After ruffing the ♠J at trick three, Bridge Baron crossed to the ♣K and played a heart from dummy. After noticing the 10 from East, Bridge Baron won the queen. Bridge Baron now cashed the aces of diamonds and clubs, crossed to dummy by playing a diamond to the queen, and ruffed a club (Baron showed off by ruffing the ♣Q). Baron played a diamond to the king, East discarded as ruffing with the A would not help. Baron ruffed the last diamond in hand, and played a trump to the nine, restricting defence only to the trump ace.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract in this deal is 4 by North-South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N3978-41330-57487-10649-28871-28249

You can download this deal in PPL format, and view it with Bridge Baron here :
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