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Deal of the Week (Sep 22, 2006) Click here for Archives

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

Playing in a pair event with neither side vulnerable, East opens 1. Your 3♣ preempt is questionable as your clubs are mediocre and your hand contains soft values. When East reopens with a double, and West passes for penalties, the situation doesn't look too promising. West leads the 2. East cashes the King and Ace of hearts, cashes the ♠A, and exits with a low spade, you win the trick with dummy's Queen. You now lead a club off dummy, East hops up with the Ace, and plays yet another spade, you win perforce with the King as West follows.

Since the scoring is matchpoints, if you take 7 tricks, -300 will be a bottom score, unless the opponents can make 4 and a few people reach it, but even then it will still score badly. If you take 8 tricks, -100 is bound to be a good score, as the opponents have at least a heart partial their way. Can you think of a way to take 8 tricks?

West surely has the remaining clubs for her pass of partner's reopening double. It looks as if you have to lose two more trumps, as West holds Q10x over your KJ9.

The hand is not over. You may be able to endplay West in trumps. But first, some preparatory work has to be done. You will have to remove West's exit cards. So you cross to the A and ruff a heart. You play a diamond to the King, and ruff another diamond, West following to the trick (if West started with a doubleton diamond, the trump endplay will fail). Now, you and West have only trumps left. You exit with the ♣J (the 9 will do the job too), and you score the last two tricks as West has to play into your trump tenace.

 J64 Deal  A1097
 Q42  AK1075
 J105  962
 Q1076  A

East would have done well not to cash the ♠A, which would have ensured a two trick set. Dummy's diamonds looked ominious, and East was worried that your spade losers might disappear on the diamonds. If East did not cash the ♠A, you can play the three top diamonds, and can discard your spade loser on the third round of diamonds, as diamonds divide 3-3. However, you will not be able to reduce your trump holding by ruffing diamonds, as West will be able to overruff, and you will therefore have to lose an extra trump trick.

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver agreed that if East did not cash the ♠A, declarer would not be able to endplay West in trumps, and can only take 7 tricks.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 2 by East-West. The reason East-West cannot make 9 tricks is that the West hand does not have enough entries to play spades twice. If North-South lead spades at any time, East-West can make 3.

Bridge Baron deal No : 09655378240138551766997245132

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