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Deal of the Week (Jan 11, 2008) Click here for Archives
You reach 4♠ after an uncontested auction. West leads the ♣5 (playing fourth best leads), East plays the king and returns a trump, you win the ace. At this juncture, there are several reasonable plays that lead to success. The declarer at the table chose to play a diamond to the ten (standard count), queen and king. East returned a diamond to dummy's nine. When a second spade was played from dummy, East discarded a diamond. How do you plan the play against best defense?

When you lead a second spade from dummy, East discards a diamond. A precise sequence of plays is required to make the contract from this juncture; after winning this trick with the ♠K, you should ruff a club in dummy, and cash the J for a club discard. If West ruffs this trick and returns the club, you simply take the heart finesse and play West for Kx in hearts.

Suppose West declines to ruff and discards a club instead, what should your next move be? The intuitive play is to cash the A and discard a heart. On further thought, it becomes evident that this play will result in the failure of the contract; West will continue to defend strongly by refusing to ruff once again. Now, you will be stuck in dummy, and will be unable to take a heart finesse. The correct play is to ruff the A! Whether West ruffs again or discards, an entry to hand is established, to take the heart finesse.

 J763 Deal  5
 K7  1098
 106  K8732
 J9752  AK108

After the play proceeds according to the problem statement, Bridge Baron's double dummy analysis concurs that the recommended solution is the only route to success.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 4♠ by North-South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N4648-16107-07432-69583-21705-01729

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