Contact usAbout usAffiliates
Deal of the Week (Mar 30, 2006) Click here for Archives
You reach 7D after an uncontested auction. The opening lead is a trump. What is your line of play? ( trumps split 3-1 )

Solution: This hand was played in a 1979 regional pair event, and an expert player was the declarer. He decided to work on spades. He won the trump lead in hand with the King, and ruffed a spade in dummy. He now ruffed a club in hand, and ruffed another spade in dummy with the Ace of Diamonds. The position now was

He played the Jack of Diamonds to the Queen, East discarding a club, and drew the last outstanding trump with the 10, dummy and East pitching clubs. He now played the Ace of Spades, but West showed out. Declarer now played the Ace and King of Hearts, and would have been home if hearts broke 3-2. On this deal, East had 4 hearts, and declarer could not make his contract anymore. Down 1.

It seems that declarer got unlucky with East having 5 spades to the Queen, and hearts splitting 4-1. However, playing spades first was a mistake. A better line of play is to draw three rounds of trumps immediately and play the Ace of Hearts. If hearts are no worse than 4-1, the contract is secure. Declarer can ruff a heart in hand, and the heart suit is established. Two of dummy's clubs can be discarded on the Ace and King of Spades and dummy's last club can eventually be ruffed in hand. If hearts split 5-0, then hearts can no longer be established; now, a spade ruffing finesse offers the best chance.

 82 Deal  Q9653
 J1094  6
 6  732
 1097632  A854

When this hand was played in another table in the pair event, the contract was again 7D, and the lead was again a trump. A funny thing occured now. West looked at the 20 High Card Points in dummy with awe and exclaimed "Oh, 7NT seems to be cold!" Declarer took the inference that West made this comment because he did not hold the Ace of Clubs; he duly took the ruffing finesse in clubs and made his contract!

Bridge Baron confirms that ruffing a heart after drawing trumps will result in all 13 tricks. Looking at all four hands, the double dummy analysis also confirms that a ruffing finesse in clubs will lead to 13 tricks. This line will fail if West has the Ace of clubs. The club suit should not distract you from the right line of play, i.e. establishing hearts after drawing trumps.

Par Contract Analysis:
According to Bridge Baron's par contract analysis, diamonds is the only strain that would yield 13 tricks. Due to the bad break in hearts, 12 tricks is the maximum with hearts as trumps.

Bridge Baron deal No : 20837939984851044140041540633

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.)