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Deal of the Week (Feb 08, 2008) Click here for Archives

West   North   East   South
pass     1♠       pass   1NT
all pass

You are East on this week's defensive problem, with both sides vulnerable, defending 1NT after North's frisky decision to respond to an opening bid with just five points. The scoring is matchpoints, so the goal is to try and take as many tricks as possible. There are many successful defenses, we will show you an interesting variation that occurred at the table.

Your partner leads the ♣5, which goes to your jack and declarer's queen. declarer leads a diamond to the jack, partner plays the 4 showing an odd number of cards in the suit, you elect to duck this trick in an attempt to kill dummy. Declarer plays a diamond to the queen, as you duck again. The K is now played, you elect to take this trick and return a club (a spade return may be correct on some deals, but a club return is likely to be the winner in the long run, and in any case it will make partner happy). Partner wins the ♣10 and proceeds to cash three more clubs. Plan your discards.

Your first discard should be the ♠2, to tell partner that you don't have the ♠K, therefore asking him not to lead the suit. Your next two discards should be a heart and a spade. It is important that you do not discard two hearts. Declarer discards a heart and a diamond. Partner now plays a diamond to your ace, and here is the position with declarer yet to discard:

 A4 Deal  Q109
 97  6
 10  A
 -  -
If declarer discards a spade, you will lead a spade to partner's ace, and then once partner leads a spade back you will be able to score both your queen and ten of spades as well for a total of three spade tricks and a three trick set. In the more likely case where declarer discards a heart, you will play a heart, making declarer play spades from his hand (this was the reason why you had to keep a heart) for two down. You have just executed a defensive strip squeeze!
 A4 Deal  Q10962
 973  A62
 1054  A98
 AK1052  J3

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver concurs that you need to discard at least two spades when partner cashes clubs, in order to execute the defensive strip squeeze and defeat the contract two tricks. The double dummy analysis also points out that if a low club is not led, the contract can be set three tricks; there are other interesting variations in the play, you can explore them for yourself using the double dummy solver in Bridge Baron 18.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 3NT by East-West!

Bridge Baron deal No : N4360-50841-44927-04056-67080-54898

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