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West North East South
Pass ?

This time we offer a double dummy problem. What contract could be played by East/West and what contract could be successfully played by South/North?

North starts the auction – pass.

Vulnerable: none

Contract: ?


A successful contract for East/West is obvious. If East opens with 1, South doubles for takeout and West responds correctly with 4 – a weak preemptive bid, which shows 5-card support – and North, who owns only 4 HCP passes, then E/W could play the contract of 4, maybe even 4 doubled by South.

Despite East/West having only 17HCP, East can easily make 4 due to distribution – West has a singleton spade and nice support in clubs, so South can win only three tricks with the ♠A and AK for the defense.

If South bids 1♠ after East`s 1 instead of doubling, then there`s the possibility that South will land in playing the contract of 4♠. At the first glance the declarer seems to have it – 6 tricks in spades, 2 with the AK, 2 with the KQ, two tricks lost with clubs and one to the A.

But if West starts with a diamond lead, East wins the trick with the A (trick 1), East cashes in the ♣A next (trick 2) and leads a small club to West`s ♣K (trick 3) and West leads a small diamond – East gets a chance to ruff and the contract is down -1.

North/South could also end up in playing 5. In this case, North is the declarer. As with the contract of 4♠, with a successful defense, the defenders will score 4 tricks. East starts with the ♣A (trick 1) and leads a small club to West`s King (trick 2). If West leads his singleton ♠J next, the declarer gains the lead and most probably leads a diamond. Thus East wins the trick with the A (trick 3) and if East leads a spade, West ruffs (trick 4).

But there is a contract, which could be played successfully by South.

 J Deal  102
 Q9765  J10843
 9873  A
KQ2  AJ1084

After East starts with the 1, South doubles for takeout. If West makes a mistake and responds with 3, instead of jumping to 4 – then South could declare 3NT and despite the fact that Eeast/West have a red sea of hearts, this contract could be made due to South`s double stopper in hearts.

If South plays 3NT, West leads a heart, so South gains the lead with the A (trick 1). South can take six tricks with spades and has two tricks in hearts and needs only one extra trick with diamonds to make the contract. South can try either course of action – either lead diamonds right away or cash in some spades first.

If South leads the Q right away, East wins the trick with the A (trick 2). But as East holds a long suit of hearts and the ♣A, East wil lead hearts hoping to establish the hearts and then for the chance to regain the lead with the ♣A. Now South can cash in the spades (tricks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) and take the last four tricks with diamonds, conceding only one trick. If South so chooses he can take some tricks with spades first (before conceding a trick with diamonds), but not all six – as the opponents have to discard lots of times, there will be serious danger that East/West discover their fit in clubs and after East gains the lead with the A, defense will revenge with clubs, taking down the contract by one.

This hand offers various possibilities, so in reality the outcome would depend much on bidding, especially on South`s initial bid and West´s response to East`s 1.


Par Contract Analysis:

The par contract on this deal is 5 Dbl N -2.

Bridge Baron deal No : N4148-88613-01944-13965-33763-24108

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