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Deal of the Week (Nov 09, 2007) Click here for Archives

West   North   East   South
pass     21      2♠      3
3♠        42     pass    4
all pass

1 - Jacoby Transfer to hearts
2 - cue-bid

This deal came up in an online bridge game between two expert teams. As nobody was vulnerable, East and West took the opportunity to chime in and bid spades. Against the eventual contract of 4, West leads the ♠2. East wins the ♠A, cashes the ♠Q, and switches to the Q. Plan the play to score ten tricks.

You have lost two spade tricks, and have two potential club losers.East has shown up with the ace and queen of spades, and the queen and jack of diamonds. West should therefore have the ♣K along with the ♠K to warrant his 3♠ bid. Which means that playing a club to the queen will lead to failure.

You could play West to hold a doubleton club along with the king, but that is not very likely as East has length in spades, and in turn is a candidate to hold short clubs. There is a line of play that will guarantee the contract whenever East does not possess both the jack and ten of clubs. The order in which you execute the plays is flexible, but say you win the A and ruff a diamond with an intermediate trump. You draw two rounds of diamonds, cash the K and ruff your last diamond in dummy. Now play the ♣9 off of dummy, planning to run it if East doesn't cover it. West can win this trick with the ♣J or ♣10, but has to play away from the ♣K or concede a ruff-and-discard. If East covers the ♣9, you play the queen from hand and stick in the ♣8 on the expected club return.

 K42 Deal  AQJ763
 52  6
  108742   QJ9
 KJ6  1074

In the online match, at the table where the above auction took place, the expert player in the South seat did not find the winning play, and instead played a club to the queen to quietly go down. At the other table, North-South reached 4 after an uncontested auction. The South player nevertheless took the recommended line of play, even without any opposition bidding to guide him, to land the contract!

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver confirms that eliminating the diamonds and running the ♣9 from dummy is the only successful line of play.

Bridge Baron's Line of Play
Bridge Baron impresses on this deal, by following the recommended line of play and eventually endplaying West by running the ♣9 from dummy.
Par Contract Analysis:
It turns out that East-West had a profitable sacrifice in 4♠, as 4♠X costs only -300 and hence is the par contract on this deal.

Bridge Baron deal No : N1748-96805-35630-03779-81294-64523

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