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Deal of the Week (Aug 04, 2006) Click here for Archives

The Auction:
West   North   East   South
2♣*    2**   3     3NT
pass     4       pass   5
all pass

* - both majors
** - A good hand with both minors

Partner's 2 showed both minors and a game forcing hand. You suggested 3NT over East's 3. Partner felt that the best spot would be 5 of a minor, and the 4 bid asked you to pick a minor, and you duly chose 5. In retrospect, maybe 3NT was a better spot after all. Though it is true that a spade lead will scuttle 3NT, on this auction opponents will surely lead a heart, after which there are 9 top tricks.

Well, now that you are in 5, you will have to see how to go about making it. West leads the ♣9. Without any opposing bidding, the best play is to hope that West has at least one club honor, and finesse the ♣J and then the ♣10. However, West's ominous lead is certainly a singleton, and you intelligently go up with the Ace. What now?

There is some flexibility in the initial plays, but here is a sample start

Trick 1: ♣9 led, won by dummy's Ace
Trick 2: Diamond to the King, all following
Trick 3: Heart ruffed in dummy
Trick 4: Diamond to the Queen, drawing the last trump
Trick 5: Play ♠K.

West's play to this trick will influence your line of play. If west wins the Ace, and returns a heart. You should discard a club, and not a spade on this trick, winning East's King with the Ace. You will see the importance of this soon (if you haven't already seen it). You should cash the other spade honor, and ruff the Q in dummy (or cash the Q, and enter dummy with a trump). Now, play the ♠10 and discard a losing club. West is endplayed, and is forced to lead a major, which you will ruff in dummy, while discarding your remaining club loser in hand, giving you the rest of the tricks, and allowing you to claim.

Suppose West ducks the ♠K instead. You will play the A, discarding a spade, and ruff the Q in dummy. You will play a spade to the Queen now, enplaying west again in the majors. After ruffing West's major suit exit in dummy and discarding a club from hand, you will claim 11 tricks, losing a club.

 AJ532 Deal  864
 J8654  K10972
 J6  5
 9  KQ52

The double dummy analysis confirms that our analysis is correct, and 5 is cold on any defence.
Par Contract Analysis:
The Par contract on this deal is 5 by North-South, on the recommended line of play.

Bridge Baron deal No : 13075447503802135599878021488

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Deal Of The Week
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