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Deal of the Week (May 12, 2006) Click here for Archives

The Auction:
South  West  North   East
1NT    pass    3NT   all pass

You are West on this hand, and have an easy lead of K after a standard auction. Declarer ducks two hearts, and wins the third round with the Ace, all following throughout. Declarer now plays a spade to his Ace, and plays a low club. Your play. (The 1NT opening's range is 15-17)

This is one of those hands where the solution is easy when presented as a problem, while it may not be so straightforward at the bridge table (or playing with Bridge Baron). You lead the K, declarer winning the third round with the Ace, all following throughout. Declarer now plays a spade to his Ace, and plays a low club. If declarer has the ♣Q, then he has 5 club tricks, 1 heart trick, and can easily win 3 more tricks in spades and diamonds, given that partner has a maximum of 5 points in these suits. Partner must therefore have the ♣Q to beat the contract. The heart lead has removed a vital entry to dummy. If delcarer has a doubleton club, you can kill the club suit by playing the ♣K. Declarer has no counter to this play; whether he ducks or wins the trick, he can score no more than 1 club trick. On this deal, declarer can manage only 5 more tricks, for a two trick set. Playing the ♣K has a lot to gain, and at worst can result in giving up an overtrick.
 93 Deal  J852
 KQJ10  632
 Q832  J104
 K32  Q64

On this layout, if you don't play the ♣K, partner can kill the suit by not winning with the Queen, and ducking the trick. This is a much more difficult play to make, and if partner isn't awake and wins the Queen, declarer can finesse your ♣K and score his contract. Playing the ♣K can win in other situations too. If declarer has three small clubs and partner has Qx, declarer may place you with KQx in clubs and duck your King to maintain communication. Later, he may finesse again (still under the impression that you have the Queen) and lose to partner's Queen!

Bridge Baron's double dummy analysis confirms that to defeat the contract, either you must rise with the ♣K, or if you don't do so partner must not win the trick with the ♣Q. Declarer is helpless against perfect defense.
Par Contract Analysis:
According to Bridge Baron's par contract analysis, North-South cannot make game in any strain, the best they can do is 10 tricks in clubs, 9 tricks in hearts or spades, and 8 tricks in notrumps.

Bridge Baron deal No : 10846712438281477418395171252

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