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Deal of the Week (Jun 27, 2008) Click here for Archives

The Auction:
West  North  East  South
1♠      pass    3♠*   dbl
4♠     4NT    pass    5♣
5♠      pass    pass   6♣
pass    pass    dbl     all pass

* - preemptive

This deal came up in the US team trials held recently. The same deals were played at multiple tables; Steve Weinstein held the South hand in one of the matches. He declared 6♣ after the lively auction shown here. The K was led, East playing the 10, South's ace winning the trick. Can you think of a road that will lead to 12 tricks?

This was the line of play adopted by Steve Weinstein: he won the opening lead with the A, ruffed a spade, crossed over to the ♣A, ruffed another spade, cashed the ace and queen of diamonds, ruffed his last spade in dummy, and cashed the K to pitch a heart loser. The hand was pretty much over, all Weinstein had do now was to draw trumps and claim, losing just one heart.

The key to this deal was to not draw a second trump. Most players would be apprehensive about the scenario where West holds a singleton diamond and more than one trump. However, in that scenario, the contract can never be made! Therefore, the recommended line of play, apart from catering to the worst case scenario where trumps are 3-1 and diamonds are 5-1, succeeds under normal situations as well.

 KJ10532 Deal  AQ98
 KQJ54  10
 2  J9643
 7  J65

The real story took place at another table, where Eric Rodwell opened 1♠ as West and Roy Welland overcalled 2 on the North hand! A 2 overcall! Jeff Meckstroth bid 2NT as East, showing a mixed raise in spades. Chris Willenken bid 3♣ in the South chair, Rodwell bid 4, a fit jump, and now Welland kept bidding with his 3-count and came up with 5♣. At this point, Willenken was surely about to bid 6♣, but Meckstroth doubled this, a stripe-tail-ape double, in an attempt to dissuade Willenken from bidding slam. Meckstroth's attempt succeeded, for the same exact line of play was adopted to make 12 tricks, but in 5♣ rather than 6♣.

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver points out that drawing a second round of trumps is fatal.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is indeed 6♣ by North-South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N4955-60405-82021-81617-05357-55096

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