Contact usAbout usAffiliates
Deal of the Week (Oct 27, 2006) Click here for Archives

West   North   East   South
pass     1      4♠     5
all pass

You bid 5 after East's 4♠ puts pressure on you. Partner comes to your rescue and produces a fine hand, and the final contract is excellent. The ♣K is led, East drops the 9 on your Ace. Plan the play.

If East has the A and a singleton club, West cannot get in to cash his club trick. Drawing trumps seems to be the best way to begin; the last thing you want is a heart ruff to defeat a contract. On the second and third round of trumps, what do you discard from dummy?

You can discard one spade, but discarding a second spade is fatal. You will see the reason shortly (if you don't already). So, you discard a club (a heart is fine too) on the third round of trump (East, who followed to two rounds, discards a spade on this trick). What now?

Say you play hearts. If East wins the Ace, your hearts are good and your club loser will be discarded on a good heart. However, an astute East would duck two rounds of hearts, killing the heart suit, and the contract has to fail.

Let us back up a little. Watch what happens if you play the ♠K. If East wins the trick with the ♠A, and plays a second spade, you will ruff, and play hearts. Now if East ducks two rounds of hearts, the heart suit is still dead. However, as Geza Ottlik and Hugh Kelsey would put it, you should change your tack and play a club. West can win the trick, but will have only clubs left, and you will end up discarding a heart loser on a club, while you were planning to discard your club loser on a heart all along!

Do you now see why it was important to play a spade before playing two rounds of hearts? If you play a spade after playing two rounds of hearts, East will win the spade, cash the A, and exit with a spade, leaving you with an inescapable club loser. It is okay to play one round of hearts before playing a spade, though. Also, you needed to remove West's exit cards in spades, and while East may have 8 spades for the 4♠ bid, there is a good chance that East may have only 7. This was also the reason it was important not to discard two spades on the trumps - if East wins the ♠A and makes the strong return of a low heart, you need to ruff dummy's remaining spade yourself, to ensure that West is out of spades, before two rounds of hearts are played.

 54 Deal  AQJ9876
 64  A93
 1098  52
 KQ7653  9

You can download the PPL file and experiment more by using Bridge Baron.

The double dummy solver confirms that discarding two spades from dummy on the diamonds, and playing two rounds of hearts without playing spades, will lead to defeat.

Bridge Baron's line of play
Bridge Baron won the club lead, drew trumps discarding a spade and a club from dummy. Baron now drew another trump, discarding a heart from dummy (a play that did not cost, but was not necessary either). Now Baron played a heart to dummy, ducked by East. Baron correctly played a spade now, to East's Ace. When East played a low heart, Baron rose to the occasion by ruffing a spade, and playing a club to West.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 5. It turns out that 4♠ is only down two, and since nobody was vulnerable on this deal, bidding (and making) 5 was a good decision after all.

We encourage you to share your thoughts on this deal in the discussion board. It is very rare to encounter great deals like this one; next week we will be discussing this deal more. Here is a head start for you. Your task is to help your partner make 4. The ♣9 is led, partner captures the Queen with the Ace. He now plays one round of trump, but is not sure how to continue after that. How should partner play if
a) East wins the first trump and plays a diamond.
b) East wins the second trump and plays a diamond.

Bridge Baron deal No : N3464-22663-59767-33540-99910-68396

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.)