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Deal of the Week (Nov 03, 2006) Click here for Archives

The Auction:
West   North   East   South
            1       pass    1
1♠      dbl*     pass    3
3♠      4      all pass

* Support Double - promises exactly 3 hearts.

This deal was featured last week, discussing play to 5. This week's challenge is to make 4 from the other side of the table, after a similar auction.

Partner invites you to play the cards for him, hoping to learn a trick or two from you. The opening lead is the ♣9, you capture RHOs' Queen with the Ace. You advance the K. Plan the play when

a) LHO wins the A immediately, and switches to a diamond.
b) LHO ducks the K, wins the second round of trump and switches to a diamond.

Part a : West wins the first round of trump and plays a diamond

The solution to this part is very similar to last week's solution. LHO has defended extremely well, and dummy's diamond suit is in danger. If you draw trumps, there is no entry to enjoy the diamonds, and if you start playing out diamonds, LHO will ruff, cash the ♠A, and exit with a trump. Since your lowest heart spot is the 8, which is higher than dummy's trumps, you still cannot get to dummy, and will have to lose a club to East, giving the defense 4 tricks.

The correct move, as in last week's deal, is to play the ♠K. West has no good answer after winning the Ace. If West plays back a trump, you will win in hand, ruff a spade in dummy (which has the effect of removing RHO's spade exit), cash a diamond honor to discard your remaining spade, ruff a diamond high, draw the last trump, and play a club to the 8. If East ducks, you will enjoy dummy's diamonds after all. If East wins, he will be forced to play a club, making your hand high.

In with the ♠A, it would not do LHO any good to force dummy with a spade. You will discard your other spade on a high diamond, draw trumps, and play a club to the 8. By the way, without the ♣8, the contract cannot be legitimately be made on this defense.

Part b : West wins the second round of trump and plays a diamond

Playing the ♠K after discarding a spade on a high diamond will not work against this defense. West will play a trump back, and you will be stuck with a spade loser in hand.

The solution to this part is very simple. Start running your diamonds. LHO can ruff anytime, but since he started with a singleton club, he will be forced to play a spade, allowing you to ruff in dummy and enjoy those lovely diamonds.

 AQJ9876 Deal  54
 A93  64
 52  1098
 9  KQ7653

In part b, when LHO ducks the first heart, you can also succeed by playing diamonds immediately, and play along the lines suggested in part a. We leave it to you to experiment with this variation.

Bridge Baron 17's double dummy solver confirmed that our analysis was correct. The double dummy solver also pointed some esoteric variations to the suggested lines that you might want to experiment with.
Par Contract Analysis:
As we saw last week, the par contract is 5 by North-South. 4 is not the par contract because 4♠ is a good sacrifice for East-West, which would net you +300 ,as neither side is vulnerable on this deal.

Bridge Baron deal No : N1707-72801-35667-98354-40700-71024

You can download this deal in PPL format, and view it with Bridge Baron here :
Deal Of The Week
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