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Deal of the Week (May 04, 2007) Click here for Archives
This past week, Great Game Products experimented entering Bridge Baron in a local ACBL sanctioned club game. We loaded the Bridge Baron programs onto laptops - we called one of them Mr. Bridge Baron and the other Mrs. Bridge Baron. We entered them on two nights, one on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge Baron finished with a 52% game, and obtained .40 masterpoints, their first ever. Wednesday night was less successful, with a score of 43%. The results of the two games are not up yet, but should be available soon at Laurel Bridge Club's website.

The way it worked was two of the programmers from Great Game Products operated the laptops, and entered the cards, along with bids and plays made by the other three players. When Bridge Baron called for a bid, the operators would make relay that bid to the table using a bidding box. Similarly, when Baron made a play, the operators would play that card on the table.

This deal came up on Wednesday night's game. The challenge is to make 6♣ with the North-South cards after receiving the ♠10 lead to the queen and ace.

On any other lead, you could work around the heart suit(the double finesse play of finessing the queen followed by finessing the ten offers best percentages) to try and dispose off a loser. Without looking at all four hands, it is hard to say what the right line of play is. One obvious line is to ruff a diamond in dummy, and take the club and heart finesses. Another line of play is to play West to have Kxx in hearts, and cash the ace and king of clubs, then play a heart to the queen, cash the A and ruff a heart, and then enter dummy with the A to discard the losing spade on a good heart.

The opening lead makes it likely that East has the ♠K. The problem is much more interesting if you know that East has the K as well. The preliminaries of the winning line of play involve ruffing a diamond in dummy, and taking a successful club finesse. Then, cashing the fourth diamond trick and running all the clubs will catch East in a strip-squeeze. This is the position before the last trump is played off:

 9 Deal  K4
 J84  K5
  -   -
 -  -

When you play the last club, East has no good answer. If he discards a heart, you can play a heart to the ace, dropping East's king. A spade discard does not fare any better - you will throw him in with a spade, and make him lead into dummy's heart tenace.

Mrs. Bridge Baron was the declarer on this deal, and did not fare too well. Baron was only in 5♣ on this deal, but did receive the inconvenient spade lead. Mrs. Baron won the ♠A, cashed a high trump, played the diamond ace-king, and then played a heart to the queen. East won the K, and took the opportunity to cash the ♠Q, and played a third spade. Mrs. Baron ruffed this, ruffed a diamond on the board, and called for a trump. The percentage play is to take the finesse, but Mrs. Baron decided to go against the odds and played the King. In today's deal, the percentage play did work, so the contract had to go down.

 10983 Deal  KQ42
 J84  K53
 J542   1093
 109  Q76

The line of play to make 6♣ was first brought to our attention by the double dummy analysis.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 6♣ by North-South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N3958-49891-42032-09917-92662-33789

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