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Deal of the Week (Mar 30, 2007) Click here for Archives

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

You are West in this week's deal where neither side is vulnerable. The scoring is IMPs and the objective is to defeat the contract. The contract is 2♠, reached via the bidding sequence shown. You have a tough opening lead, and choose an aggressive Q. Partner discourages the lead by playing the two, declarer wins the Ace. Declarer now plays the ♠7, you play low as does declarer, partner wins a surprise trick with the ♠J. Partner quickly returns a heart, which declarer wins with the King. Declarer plays another spade now, you hop up with the Ace, as partner discards the K. What now?

Things look much better now, you are in a position to obtain a heart ruff if you put partner on lead. Partner's K discard should deny the Ace (he would have discarded the Ace from the AKQ), and should guarantee the Queen and Jack. Partner has 0 points in hearts, 1 point in spades, the KQJ of diamonds, and he opened the bidding, so he must have the A of clubs. So, you can play a club to partner's Ace, and get a heart ruff. However, it is not good enough to play a small club, the ♣J is the correct play.

Watch what happens if you play a low club. Declarer will play low, partner will win with the Ace and give you a heart ruff. You will play a diamond to partner's Jack and declarer's Ace, but declarer will cross to dummy with a spade, discard his diamond loser on the J and eventually lead up to the ♣Q.

If you lead the ♣J instead, declarer has to cover this with the Queen, parnter will win the Ace and give you a heart ruff. Now you will play a diamond to partner's Jack and declarer's Ace. Declarer can still discard his diamond loser on the J, but he will have to play clubs himself and has to lose two tricks.

 A43 Deal  J
 Q9  5432
  9543   KQJ62
 KJ74  A95

Even when partner has the ♣10, playing the ♣J clarifies the position to partner, and makes his life easier. This play can never cost, and has a lot to gain. Declarer made a fatal mistake at trick 2, placing you with the Ace and Jack of spades and running the ♠7. The right play is to play the ♠K, and plan to finesse you for the ♠J on the next round if required.

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver confirms that ♣J is the only good card to play after you won the ♠A.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 4X by East-West. Since neither side is vulnerable and North-South can make 3♠ in theory (if the Q is led, the contract can make in practice as well), 4X is the par on this deal.

Bridge Baron deal No : N0374-00907-71084-20314-48188-90690

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