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Deal of the Week (Apr 04, 2008) Click here for Archives

Contract: 7NT

No, this is not a misprint! Partner has once again shown that he has no dearth of imagination, and has left you to declare 7NT. The bidding is too gory to mention it in print. Your task on hand, yet again, is to try and make the contract, however impossible it may seem. West opens the ♠2, you have no option but to stick in the jack, which wins. How do you continue?

For Starters, you will need East to hold the doubleton ♣K, and you need diamonds to be 3-3 (or the J to be doubleton. You start out by playing a club to the jack, and cash the ♣A, confirming that you indeed have five club tricks. You should now finish running clubs, before playing the A, Q, and diamond to the king, felling the jack.

In spite of the spade finesse, favorable holdings in diamonds and clubs, you have only 12 tricks (2 spades, 1 heart, 4 diamonds and 5 clubs). You can play for West to hold the doubleton ♠K, but after all the luck you have been bestowed with so far, playing for a miracle will be asking for too much. If West has the K along with the ♠K that he is known to hold, you can succeed with the help of a criss-cross squeeze. You should cash the 10, discarding a heart. Here is the position:

 K9 Deal  64
 K8  J10
 -  -
 -  -
West will be forced to bare one of his kings. If West discards a spade, you will cash the ♠A dropping the king, play a heart to the ace and cash the ♠Q for your thirteenth trick. If West discards a heart, you will play a heart to the ace to drop West's bare king, play a spade to the ace and cash the Q for your thirteenth trick.

 K972 Deal  643
 K875  J10962
 632  J98
 95  K10

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver confirms that the criss-cross squeeze is the only line that leads to success.

Bridge Baron's Line of Play
Bridge Baron gets partial credit on this deal. Bridge Baron did well to play all minor suit winners. In the end position, Bridge Baron got it right when West bared the ♠K, but went wrong when West chose to bare the K.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 7NT by South. Played by North, a heart lead scuttles 7NT. Which means that partner, in spite of his flamboyance, did well not to be a hand hog!

Bridge Baron deal No : N2987-89979-37589-25861-41685-31909

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