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Deal of the Week (Sep 21, 2007) Click here for Archives

The Auction:

West   North   East   South
pass    pass     2      3
3      3♠        4      4♠
dbl     all pass

This deal came up in a pair event, and the auction given here occurred at the table. South dealt and opened 1♠ with both sides being vulnerable. West might have make a takeout double over 1♠, but his pass was fine considering that he had only three hearts and a scattered 12 count. However, his 3 call was quite timid, and did not do justice to his hand. The final contract was 4♠X by South.

West led a heart, East won the first two tricks with the king and ace of hearts, and switched to the ♣4 which declarer won with the ace. Declarer plays the ♠A and plays a second spade to your king, partner following with the ♠5 and ♠2. Assuming 4 is cold, you need to defeat 4♠ by three tricks to score +800 in order to get a good score. +500 would be a bottom score when compared to the pairs who score +620 in 4. How do you plan to extract maximum penalty?

Partner's high-low in spades should show three trumps, marking declarer with five spades. Declarer has followed to two hearts and one club. Declarer's 3 call promises at least four diamonds. If declarer has four diamonds, then partner has a singleton diamond. If declarer has five diamonds, then partner has a diamond void.

If partner started with a singleton diamond, he would have switched to a diamond at trick three, instead of a club. His failure to switch to diamonds marks him with a void. Your correct play therefore is a low diamond, giving partner his ruff. After that, you can sit back and take two more tricks with the ace and queen of diamonds.

 K6 Deal  542
 Q86  AKJ954
 AQ5  -
 J8762  Q1094

Note that A and a diamond is not good enough, as your queen will fall under declarer's king. The play of a low diamond has the effect of preserving your ace and queen as a major tenace. Thanks to L.Subramanian of Chennai for this deal.

The double dummy analysis confirms that scoring a diamond ruff is essential for a three trick penalty. Barring a clairvoyant (not to mention bizarre) opening lead of a low diamond, playing a diamond when you get in with the ♠K is a necessary play.

Bridge Baron's Line of Play
Bridge Baron did not get this week's deal right. Bridge Baron was not able to infer that partner would have led a singleton diamond at trick three if he had one, and rejected the play of a low diamond and managed to set the contract by two tricks only.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 4 by North-South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N2771-04363-00849-25240-99846-60892

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