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

The Auction:
West   North   East   South
            pass    pass   1NT*
all pass

* 10-13

You are West in a pair event. After two passes South opens 1NT which ends the auction. You lead the ♣4, dummy plays low, partner plays the 9 and declarer wins the trick with the King. Declarer plays a heart to the Ace at trick 2, and runs the 10 at trick 3. He now plays a low diamond from dummy, partner plays the two, declarer inserts the 6, and your 7 wins the trick. What do you lead now?

It is almost certain that partner has the ♣Q. If declarer had that card, he would have tried to develop club tricks, instead of switching back and forth between suits. Therefore, it is logical to continue the club attack. Partner's ♣9 play at trick 1 denied the 8. Therefore, it is not enough to play a low club, as declarer will run this to his 8, and you can score only 3 club tricks. The correct card is the ♣10, pinning declarer's 8. Declarer plays small from dummy, and drops the 8 from hand. You continue with a club to partner's Queen, declarer pitching a spade. Most of the hand is over by now, but partner makes the thougtful play of the ♠K (a diamond lead would have worked too), and a few tricks later declarer claims 6 tricks for a 1 trick set.

The ♣10 play is a surrounding play. Surrounding plays are not very easy to find when you are in front of dummy, but the inferences in the club suit helped in making the right play. Click here to view another example of a surrounding play.

 Q54 Deal  K87
 843  K962
 KJ7  Q82
 A1054  Q97

At most tables, South will not open the bidding, and the hand is likely to get passed out. Setting the contract will land you a top board, while letting the contract make will get you a bottom.

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver confirmed that the ♣10 play puts the defense on track to set the contract. There are a few other lines of defense that defeat the contract, but they are not very intuitive.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 1NT by West. Of course, seing two hands it is nearly impossible to make 7 tricks. West needs to play East for K8 doubleton in clubs to make the contract (the same surrounding play works too!).

Bridge Baron deal No : N4962-12114-23275-95012-65747-63983

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