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Deal of the Week (Sep 19, 2008) Click here for Archives

West   North   East   South
pass     2♣       pass   2NT
pass    3NT     all pass

West leads the 4, which you duck to East's Q. East returns the 10, which West ducks to dummy's K. Plan the play at matchpoints, where the goal is to take as many tricks as possible (diamonds divide favorably).

You have two spade tricks, one heart trick, five diamond tricks, and two club tricks for a total of 10 tricks. Setting up an extra trick in clubs by conceding a trick in the suit is not going to work, as the defense will cash two heart tricks when they obtain the lead. Your best bet is to run five diamond tricks - as the cards lie, West comes under presesure. Here is the position as the fifth diamond is led:

 Q106 Deal  9873
 A  8
 -  -
 QJ8  74
West is squeezed in three suits - whichever suit he discards will concede a trick. Furthermore, his discard sets up a repeating squeeze, enabling you to get another trick. Say he discards a spade - you must be careful to retain the 9 from dummy, and discard another club. You then cash the ace and king of spades, dropping West's ♠Q, return to hand with the ♣K, and cash the ♠J, squeezing West in hearts and clubs. It is to be noted that
 Q106 Deal  98732
 AJ64  Q108
 62  J95
 QJ83  74

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver confirms that discarding the 9 from dummy will enable East to protect hearts, and therefore enabling West to discard the A, and restrict you to 11 tricks (you can still squeeze West once in spades and clubs). Also, if West had taken his A at trick two, he can again restrict you to 11 tricks.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 5NT by North-South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N2371-46754-95378-60263-42223-19493

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