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Deal of the Week (Jul 27, 2007) Click here for Archives
The Auction:
West   North   East   South
3♠        dbl*     pass   4
pass      6       dbl     all pass

* - Negative Double, promising four hearts

The setting is a game of rubber bridge, where East is an experienced player while West's calibre is mediocre. Your partner knows the game but has his wild moments, as is evident from his 6 bid.

"My lead?" queries West, and automatically leads the ♠A when he receives an affirmative reply. Plan the play.

East's final double is presumably a Lightner Double, indicating that he is void in a suit and requesting West to lead the suit. From your perspective, clubs has to be the suit East is void in. Fortunately for you, West seemed to pay no special attention to the double, and his opening lead has given you a reprieve. Furthermore, West is likely to have seven spades for his repeated spade bids.

You can count four heart tricks, two diamond tricks after knocking out the A, three top club tricks and one spade ruff at trick one, totalling ten tricks. The right move at trick two is to play a heart to hand, and ruff another spade, in order to increase your trick count to eleven. The next move is to draw trumps. When West shows out on the second round of trumps, it becomes necessary to play four rounds of trumps, discarding a club and a diamond from dummy (West discards three spades). The position now is:

 KQ Deal  -
 -  -
  6   A1097432
 J1076  -
You now play the K from hand. If East wins the ace and plays back a diamond, you win with the jack, and cash the queen as well. When you do so, West will be squeezed on the trick, and has to part with a club or the ♠K.

Suppose West puts up a stronger defense and ducks the K. You will continue by playing the ♣9, planning to run it if it is not covered. If West covers this with the ten, you will win the ace and advance the Q. If East wins the trick, the count will once again be rectified for the simple squeeze and West will be squeezed on the diamond return. So assume East ducks again. West cannot part with a club, so he has to part with the ♠Q. You will enter hand with the ♣K, and throw West in with the ♠J, making him lead away from the J7 of clubs, while you hold the Q4 of clubs in dummy, and the 82 in your hand.

 AKQ10985 Deal  43
 7  8654
  6   A1097432
 J1076  -

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver contributed largely to the analysis presented in the solution. The double dummy analysis also pointed out that an opening diamond lead defeats the contract by two tricks. This is because East will win the A and return a diamond. If declarer does not ruff, West will ruff this trick, and return a club for East to ruff. If declarer does ruff, his hand gets short trumped and loses control of the hand, the best he can do after that is to strip-squeeze West to manage ten tricks.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 5♣X by North-South.

Bridge Baron deal No : N1655-82922-03218-04484-38063-19375

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