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Deal of the Week (Jun 02, 2006) Click here for Archives

The Auction:
North  East  South  West
2*     pass    3♠     pass
4♠      all pass

* shortness in diamonds, 3-suited hand 11-15 points

This week's deal is an opening lead problem. Playing Precision, North opened 2, which showed 11-15 points, a singleton or void in diamonds and a 3-suited hand. South bid 3♠, inviting partner to bid 4. North accepted the invitation and bid game. What is your opening lead as West?

The 2 opening has given you a blueprint of North's hand; you also know that the opponents have reached a pushy game, and therefore are not relying on high card strength to land their game. If South has shortness in either clubs or hearts, a cross-ruff will develop. You can prevent all this by leading a trump. When declarer gives up a diamond, you will win and play a second trump. This limits declarer to 9 tricks by means of 1 heart, 2 clubs, and 6 trump tricks. Without a trump lead, declarer will win your opening lead and give up a diamond. A trump switch will be too late now; declarer will score 1 heart, 2 clubs and 7 trump tricks.
 532 Deal  64
 KJ92  Q104
 AQJ  K1042
 Q104  J983

In general, when an opponent opens a three-suited hand like the Precision 2 bid or a Mini-roman 2, a trump lead is correct on most occations. This is because, declarer will plan to try to take as many ruffs as possible, and might even be able to setup a crossruff.

According to Bridge Baron's double dummy analysis, a trump lead is necessary to defeat the contract. You can experiment with this deal by downloading the PPL file at the end of the page, and playing this deal with Bridge Baron. You might want to configure all the players to be human, to help you play around with the deal. You can do so by choosing the following menu options: Options -> Gameplay Settings... -> Player Types and set all players to be human. You can also use the double dummy search from the Actions menu to try out how different lines of play fare.
Par Contract Analysis:
3♠ by North or South is the par contract on this deal. However, reaching 4♠ was not a terrible action. A trump lead by an ace defender like yourself was required to defeat the contract.

If you felt that this week's deal was simple, we assure you that next week's deal, which is a declarer play problem based on this week's deal, will be more challenging.

Bridge Baron deal No : 13332185222364731344573307934

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