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Deal of the Week (Sep 08, 2006) Click here for Archives

The Auction:
West   North   East   South
            1       pass    2♣
pass     2♠      pass    2NT
pass    4NT     pass    6NT
all pass

Partner leads the 7, covered by dummy's 9, your 10, and won by declarer's King. A heart is played back to dummy's ace, and a club is played off the board. Here is your first crucial decision: do you win the Ace, or play low? You correctly play low (more on this later), and declarer's King wins the trick. Declarer plays the Queen, King and Ace of diamonds, discarding a club on the third round of diamonds. A heart is played from the dummy now; what do you discard? Declarer will win the trick with the Queen, and proceed to cash the J. What do you discard now?

You should assume that declarer has the ♠Q, but not the Jack. If you discard a spade, then declarer will get 4 spade tricks, so that is out of the question. So it seems obvious to discard a small club and the ♣Q when declarer cashes two hearts. If you think about this a little more, you will realize that declarer will then concede a club trick to you, and his clubs will become good, and the ♠Q is the entry to his clubs. In other words, you would be subjected to a squeeze without the count. The way to prevent this is to discard the Ace and Queen of clubs on the two hearts! When declarer tries to concede a club, partner will be able to win the trick with the Jack, and cash a diamond or two to set the contract. And how do you know that partner has the ♣J? If declarer has the ♣J, he would surely have tried a club to the Jack (or run the ♣10). Holding the Jack, playing a club to the King is definitely strange, committing himself to an improbable squeeze.

 J82 Deal  10754
 763  105
 J10642  983
 J8  AQ93

Did you see why it was vital to duck your ♣A at trick 3? If you take the trick, you rectify the count, and help declarer to squeeze you in the clubs and spades. Since you foiled declarer's simple squeeze, declarer's only option was to play for a squeeze without the count, which is a one-loser squeeze, where declarer gives up a trick after the squeeze has taken place. Also note that 6 is laydown whenever the ♣A is onside. 6NT required you to have four clubs to the Ace, Queen and Jack, or four clubs to the Ace-Queen and misdefend the hand.

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver asserted that ducking the first club as well as unblocking the Ace and Queen of clubs were necessary to defeat 6NT.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 6 by North-South. South's greedy 6NT would have succeeded against most defenders. Did you discard the Ace and Queen of clubs, and teach South a lesson?

Bridge Baron deal No : 16888009796350751818799333928

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Deal Of The Week
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