Contact usAbout usAffiliates
Deal of the Week (Apr 11, 2008) Click here for Archives

The Auction:
West   North   East   South
pass     2♣      pass    2NT
pass     3♣      pass    4♣
pass     4NT    pass    5
pass     6NT    all pass

You receive the opening lead of 6, you win with the J as East contributes the 2. Plan the play at IMPs as well as Matchpoints.

At IMPs, where overtricks are totally unimportant, you would knock out the A and claim 12 tricks. At matchpoints, you should consider prospects for scoring all 13 tricks.

If diamonds are 3-3, or if the spade finesse works, you can take all the tricks. Diamonds dividing 3-3 is a 36% proposition. In the remaining 64% of situations, the spade finesse will work 50% of the time, i.e. when diamonds are not 3-3, the spade finesse offers and additional 32%.

There exist squeeze chances as well. If East holds the ♠K along with length in diamonds, he could be squeezed in three suits - spades, diamonds, and hearts (he needs to retain a heart in order to retain communication with his partner). In all, a 68% chance plus squeeze possibilities. So, are you settling for 12 tricks or are you going for all the marbles?

If the field is weak, you have assured yourself of an excellent score by reaching 6NT, and should therefore settle for 12 tricks. When you know that the field is not likely to reach a contract that you have reached, making the contract should be your first priority. In a stronger field, a better case is made for risking 13 tricks, but it is perfectly reasonable to settle for 12 tricks which will yield a 60-65% score on an average.

As a final note, the caliber of your opposition plays a part in your decision as well. Good players do not underlead an ace against 6NT. If both East and West are good, then chances are that East withheld his A than West underleading it. The next question then is, why did East not play his A? Because he wanted to set a trap for you! If he holds a hand such as

♠Kxxx Axxx J10xx ♣x
, he knows that you have only 1 spade, 1 heart (with the duck), 3 diamonds and 6 clubs on top, the situation is perfect to lure you into greed. Against expert players, therefore, a strong case is to be made for settling for 12 tricks.
 K875 Deal  1094
 A97653  842
 74  J1098
 7  1094

A double dummy analysis is not really appropriate here, as knowledge of all four hands renders the play trivial.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 7NT by North-South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N3088-53168-10635-04561-88534-09249

You can download this deal in PPL format, and view it with Bridge Baron here :
Deal Of The Week
(Please note : To avoid spammers and abusive language this board is moderated.)