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Deal of the Week (Feb 01, 2008) Click here for Archives

West   North   East   South
pass     21      pass   4♣2
dbl       43     pass   4NT4
pass     54     pass   6

1 - Inverted Minor Raise
2 - Splinter Bid
3 - Cue-bid
4 - RKC Blackwood
5 - One key-card

You are South on this deal, and reach the excellent contract of 6. West leads a trump, the only lead to give you any problem; on any other lead, you could have ruffed three clubs in hand. You play low from dummy, and win East's 4 with the 6. You lead the ♣9 at trick two, West and dummy play low as East wins the trick with the ♣10. Another trump is returned, West discarding a club to this trick. What is your basic plan?


 QJ84 Deal  1093
 J73  Q1086
 3  754
 AJ764  K103

You have two spade tricks, two heart tricks and five diamond tricks on top, and can ruff two clubs in hand, bringing the total to 11 tricks. The twelfth trick will have to come from a squeeze. West's club discard, along with his double of 4♣ suggest that he has length in clubs. The entry position is not right for a simple squeeze against West, so that option is ruled out.

The best bet is to play for a double squeeze. If East has a four-card major, the conditions are right for the double squeeze. The caveat, however, is that you need to guess which is the major suit that East is guarding. If East has four cards in both suits, you are spared of the guess; if East has only one four-card suit, you have a 50% shot of guessing it right.

Say you guess correctly on this deal and play East to hold a four-card heart suit. In the end position, West will have to guard clubs, East will have to guard hearts, and neither opponent will be able to guard spades. Your play to trick three is crucial: you need to win East's trump return in dummy to get the timing right. You ruff a club in hand at trick four, play a heart to the king, and ruff another club with your last trump. You now play the A and ruff a heart in dummy, and run all your diamonds. Here is the position when the last diamond is led:

 QJ8 Deal  1093
 -  Q
 -  -
 A  -
East has to hold on to the Q, so he has to discard a spade. You discard the 9 from hand, which has served its purpose, and it is West's turn to feel the pinch. He has to hold on to the ♣A, and he discards a spade as well. You now play a spade to the ace, cash the ♠K, and win the last trick with the ♠5.

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver agrees that the double squeeze is the only line of play that leads to success.

Bridge Baron's line of play
Bridge Baron won the opening lead in hand, and crossed the first hurdle by passing the ♣9. When East won and played back a trump, Bridge Baron crossed the second hurdle by winning the trick in dummy (Bridge Baron actually made the flashy play of overtaking the K with the A). Bridge Baron then proceeded to ruff a club in hand, cross over to the K, and ruff another club in hand. At this stage, Bridge Baron made the unlucky choice of playing East to hold a four-card spade suit. Having made this assumption, Bridge Baron cashed the ace and king of spades, ruffed a spade, and ran all its trumps. Since West held the spade length on this deal, the contract had to fail.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract is 6 by North-South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N0790-58524-62932-30814-45867-19552

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