Contact usAbout usAffiliates
Deal of the Week (Jan 04, 2013) Click here for Archives

The Auction:

West North East South
1 ?

North has opened the auction with 1. We offer you to take the South seat and consider your response. You have only 4 HCP, so going by the rules – you should pass, and no matter that you only have a singleton heart.

On the other hand you have an unbalanced hand with a 5-card major and 4-card minor. Should you pass or respond?


North as the opener might have a maximum opening hand holding up to 19HCP. In that case it would be a real pity to play 1 instead of finding a better contract.

Also one important factor to consider is what the opener’s rebid after your response and your subsequent answer could be. North has several options: to repeat hearts, show support to your suit, switch to 1NT, show a minor or pass.

In answer you could pass or if a trump fit is found, go on. As you have five spades and fours clubs you can hope that your side can find a better fit than hearts seem to be.

You respond 1♠. North jump-shifts to 3 – so he had a strong opener. You deem it safest to retreat to 3♠. North declares 4♠.

West leads the ♣3, East wins the trick with the ♣K and leads the 2 (trick 1). You play a small diamond, West plays the 9, dummy’s A takes the trick (trick 2).

Next you lead the ♠A and then the ♠Q from dummy (tricks 3, 4), then lead the ♣Q. East takes the trick with the ♣A and leads clubs one more time (trick 5). Your ♣J has become a winner; from dummy’s hand you ditch a small heart (trick 6).

Time to pull trumps. You lead the ♠K and get lucky as both opponents have one spade, again you discard a heart from dummy (trick 7). You take the next trick with the ♣10, pitching hearts one more time (trick 8).

You lead the 2 and as West plays the 5, you finesse by playing the Q – successfully, as East plays a small heart (trick 9). Now you lead the A and ditch a diamond from your hand (trick 10).

The diamond lead from dummy’s hand gives one more trick to the opponents (trick 11). As you hold two spades the last two tricks belong to your side (tricks 12, 13).

 J73 Deal  952
 K85  J1064
 KJ9  Q52
 8543  AK7

On this occasion it was perfectly right to respond with a weaker than minimum responding hand as North-South found a good trump fit and even made a game.

(Although North-South could have lost one more trick. Besides the two tricks won by defense in clubs, two more tricks might have been lost in diamonds if East had led diamonds instead of clubs after regaining the lead with the ♣A.)

Give careful consideration though before responding with a weak hand. This time South had an interesting shape of hand which made it realistic to hope for a better fit.

1 would still have been a major struggle, as North-South had six hearts, while East had four and West three. With hearts as a trump North couldn’t` have taken five tricks in spades, also the transportation between hand and dummy would have been nearly impossible, thus the declarer couldn’t have cashed in club winners and would be forced to lead hearts and diamonds from his hand. So regardless how the declarer played the opponents would have taken two tricks in clubs, two in diamonds and two in hearts, so 1 would have barely made.


Par Contract Analysis:

The par contract on this deal is 3♠ by North/South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N3405-14971-39986-75004-36000-73981

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.)