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Deal of the Week (Mar 30, 2012) Click here for Archives
Problem: The Auction:
West North East South
Pass 1 Pass 2
Pass 3♣ Pass 4

You got to 4 after your partner bids 3♣ – fourth suit forcing to game – and discover that your partner has a singleton heart. West leads the ♣A and then the 4. How are you going to make it?


If you look at the hand you can count five sure tricks with hearts, three with spades and then you have the A. Finding the tenth trick is tricky, you must promote your ♣Q or the 10 to become a winner.

While playing this hand you must also bear in mind transportation as your only entries to dummy are the K and the A. You take the second trick with the A and lead a small spade, take two tricks with the ♠K and ♠Q and use the K to get back to dummy.

Next crossroad is the choice whether to lead the ♠A and discard the ♣10 or to lead a small spade and ruff taking the lead back to your hand to start pulling the trumps.

Tempting as the thought is to discard your singleton club you might need it to take down the ♣K or the ♣ J.

So you lead the ♠9 from dummy, ruff and start pulling the trumps playing AQJ one after another. From dummy you discard two diamonds and a small club.

East discards the ♣4 in the last trump trick.

Now you must choose what to lead, clubs or diamonds.

West led the 4 after winning the first trick with the ♣A indicating length in diamonds and as East played the J in this trick. Therefore it can be concluded that the probable distribution of the remaining diamonds is such that West has Kxx and East the Q.

If you lead a small diamond, East wins the trick with the ruutu Q and has to lead clubs enabling you to take two of the last four tricks.

J742 Deal 1085
10853 972
K854 QJ
A KJ542

The technique of giving the lead to the opponents on a strategic moment is called endplay and most commonly the defender loses one or more tricks by being forced to lead. In this case your ♣Q became a winner by a free finesse and you also gained an entry to dummy.

It was equally important to decide with what suit to give the lead – if you would have led the ♣10, East would have taken three of the last four tricks with the ♣J, ♣K and the Q making you go down by one.

The situation would have become really interesting if West had played the K after you led the 4 thus gaining the lead. You would have had to actually discard the ♠A from dummy to avoid being endplayed yourself – if you discard one of the clubs from dummy and West leads the ♠J next then the lead would have been in dummy with you having the ♣Q and ♣9 offering the opponents a free finesse.

If you discard the ♠A then West can win one more trick with the ♠J and is then forced to lead diamonds giving you a free finesse.


Par Contract Analysis:

The par contract on this deal is 4by North.

Bridge Baron deal No : N3192-64187-69032-94141-96999-12097

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