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Deal of the Week (Jun 30, 2006) Click here for Archives

The Auction:
South West North  East
pass    1     dbl     1
2♠      3♣    pass    pass
3♠      all pass

You are South on this deal, none vulnerable. After a lively auction, you are declarer in 3♠. West leads the ♣K, and plays a club to East's Ace. East shifts to the 10. How do you plan to take 9 tricks?

You should play the A. From the bidding, you know that East has 4 hearts, and West has 2. East would have switched to a heart honor holding both the King and Queen. You should therefore hope that West has at least one honor. Ducking the heart serves no purpose. West follows with a low heart when you play the Ace. You cash the Ace-King of spades, West following with the Jack, and then discarding a diamond. Left with a spade loser, your only chance is to eliminate the minor suits, and throw West in with a heart. Accordingly, you ruff dummy's last club, play a diamond to the A, a diamond to the K, and ruff a diamond in dummy. You now exit with a heart. West is forced to play a minor card, giving you a ruff and discard.
 J Deal  Q92
 K5  Q1098
 QJ985  643
 KQ1086  A92

It would not have helped for West to unblock the K under the Ace, as declarer can simply lead up to the J.

Bridge Baron's double dummy analysis acknowledged that declarer could succeed by endplaying West in hearts after eliminating the minors. Bridge Baron also pointed out that the contract could have been defeated; East could have overtaken the ♣K with the Ace, and switched to a heart. If declarer wins the Ace and concedes a club, the defence can cash the K, breaking the endplay.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract is 3 doubled by East-West. North-South can take 1 spade, 1 heart, 2 diamonds, and can engineer a club ruff by playing clubs at every opportunity.

Bridge Baron deal No : 20092066281397856822727649484

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