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Deal of the Week (May 18, 2007) Click here for Archives
The Auction:
West   North   East   South
           1♣1     3      3
pass     4       pass   4NT2
pass     5♣3    pass    6
all pass

1 - Precision Club showing 16+ points, artificial
2 - RKC Blackwood
3 - 0 or 3 Keycards

This deal came up in the Lebhar IMP Pairs event at the St. Louis NABC. The West player is Zia Mahmood, and East is George Jacobs. We invite you to take the South seat on this deal. Your partnership is playing the Precision system, and partner opens a strong club. Jacobs puts pressure by preempting with 3, after which you reach 6 after the auction shown.

Zia leads the ♣3 (playing third-fifth leads) to his partner's Queen and your Ace. This is the only lead to cause problems - you have three potential losers (one club, one heart and one spade). You can discard a club loser on the K, but the entry situation in diamonds is another obstacle. What are your thoughts?

There are two lines of play that offer good chances.

Line 1: Play a heart to the Queen. If the heart finesse wins and East follows, you are home. If the heart finesse wins but East shows out, you can make the contract if the spade finesse works too. You can exit with your club, forcing West to give you an entry to your hand. This deal is featured in the May 2007 issue of the ACBL Bridge Bulletin, where Boye Brogeland, who won the event, adopted this line.

Line 2: Run the ♠Q immediately. If it wins, play a heart to the Ace. If the King falls, you are home. If the King does not fall, you will unblock the A, cash ♠A and ruff a spade back to hand. Now you can discard dummy's club loser on the K and claim your slam, conceding a trump trick.

 K1054 Deal  7
 K2  4
  105   Q987632
 K8753  Q1096

On this deal, both lines of play succeed. Line 1 scores over Line 2 when the spade finesse is offside, the heart finesse is onside and trumps are 2-1. Line 2 fares better when the spade finesse works and the K is offside, and West has at least 3 spades. It is difficult to assess which line is better; both lines are practical, and offer excellent chances of success.

A double dummy analysis is not quite appropriate for this deal, as the correct line of play is obvious when looking at all four hands.

Bridge Baron's Line of Play:
Bridge Baron adopted Line 1 - After winning the club lead in hand, Baron played a heart to the Queen. In the layout where East showed out, Baron unblocked the A and exited a club, enplaying West into conceding a hand entry.

Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract is 7. It goes without saying that the grand slam has less than 25% chance of success, and is a terrible contract.

Bridge Baron deal No : N4475-79293-80855-44893-41334-83049

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