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Deal of the Week (May 23, 2008) Click here for Archives

You reach a contract of 6 as South. The opening lead is a trump. Prospects are not very bright, as you are likely to lose two diamond tricks. How do you give yourself the best chances?

If either opponent has KQ doubleton in the diamond suit, you are home. This is a remote occurrence, and should therefore be used as a last resort. One of dummy's diamonds can be discarded on the third round of spades, and you have just one diamond loser to take care of. There are endplay possibilities that you should consider.

Your general plan should be to eliminate the side suits, and throw an opponent in diamonds, eliciting a ruff-and-discard. The obvious line of play is to draw trumps in two rounds, eliminate the club suit by playing the ♣A and ruffing a club, cash three rounds of spade discarding a diamond from dummy, and play A and a diamond - on this deal, West would win the second round of diamonds, and will be forced to concede a ruff-and-discard.

There is a minor hitch in the above line of play. Having seen you eliminate the side suits, West will divine your intention of executing the endplay, and will unblock the K on the ace, to stymie the endplay. You should therefore cash the A before eliminating the suits. The best sequence of plays is to win the opening trump lead in dummy, "cross over" to hand with the A, and then go about your business of drawing the second trump and eliminating the side suits. In theory, West can still defeat the contract, but you make it almost impossible for him to find the right play.

 J1054 Deal  9732
 43  2
 K6  Q109
 Q10543  KJ982

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver confirms that if West unblocks the K under the ace, the contract will be set.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 5 by North-South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N0605-75909-89813-37049-73511-70509

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