Contact usAbout usAffiliates
Deal of the Week (Jun 09, 2006) Click here for Archives

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

* shortness in diamonds, 3-suited hand 11-15 points
** Asking opener to describe his hand
*** 4-3-1-5 distribution

You are South on this deal, nobody vulnerable, playing IMPs against expert opponents. You are playing Precision this week and your partner opens a precision 2 bid, showing 11-15 points, a singleton or void in diamonds and a three-suited hand. You bid 2NT, asking partner to describe his hand. When partner shows a 4-3-1-5 hand, you bid an aggressive 4♠ as you have no wasted values in diamonds, and useful cards in the other suits.

West leads the A, East signaling with the Queen, which shows the Jack. West continues with a low diamond, which you ruff in dummy. You lead a heart off the table, East rises with the Ace and plays a third diamond, forcing you to ruff again in dummy. How do you continue?

As we saw in last week's deal, a trump lead is usually correct when an opponent shows a three-suited hand such as precision 2. Why did West not lead a trump. The answer is that he has a precarious trump holding. Especially since West has a strong diamond holding, he would have been inclined to lead a trump holding xxx, xx, Axx, or even Jxx or Jx. His disinclination to lead trumps suggests he has a trump holding such as AJ or AJx. If West holds AJ9, there is no way to play trumps for one loser. Holding AJx, he would be particularly reluctant to lead the suit. He led diamonds himself, trying to tap dummy to weaken your trump holding. It is reasonable to assume that West has AJx in spades. Now given this assumption, how to play spades for one loser? You should return to hand with the Q and run the ♠10. This play finesses against West's Jack, while trapping East's 9. This play is sound because West is an expert, and you can give him credit for his reasoning and work out the situation. You cannot take this inference with confidence playing against a weaker opponent (who did not read last week's deal!).

 AJ3 Deal  92
 984  A10632
 AK1075  QJ64
 102  J9

Give yourself full credit if you played a low spade towards dummy, with the intention of Playing West for AJ doubleton spade. While that play in not successful on this deal, AJ doubleton spade with West is certainly a plausible holding.

Bridge Baron's double dummy analysis confirms that playing the ♠10, pinning East's 9 is required to make the contract. This deal is particularly difficult as it is not clear what West's spade holding is, even after making the inference that West has a precarious spade holding.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract is 4♠ by North-South for a score ot +420. Since nobody is vulnerable, it does not do East-West any good to sacrifice. In fact, a 5 or 5 sacrifice will be -500 for East-West.

Bridge Baron deal No : 31600499429794281730685081612

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.)