Bridge Hand Of The Week

Best chance

Jul 18, 2016
Dlr: South Vul: Both
18 12
A K J 7 4 3 Q 8 A 4 A 8 3

Q 10 8 6 5 A 4 2 Q J 8 K 7
West Pass Pass Pass
North 2NT (1) 4NT 6
East Pass Pass All Pass
South14(2)5

(1) Game-forcing spade raise

(2) Balanced minimum

West starts with the J against your slam. Do you see a way to 12 tricks?

Solution

Without much thought, declarer called for dummys Q. When East produced the K, declarer needed the diamond finesse to succeed. Alas, East started with both red kings and declarer fell short by a trick.

When declarer moaned about his bad luck, dummy was unsympathetic. There was little

chance West would have led the jack from the king-jack-ten of hearts after such a power-based auction, said North. Instead of playing the queen of hearts at trick one, you should have played low from dummy and won the trick with your aces. Then, after drawing trumps and eliminating the club suit, you would have exited with a heart.

As the cards lay, this would have allowed the contract to make because the extra chance that East had begun with a doubleton king of hearts was there. Upon winning with the king of hearts, East would have had to lead a diamond or to concede a ruff-and-discard, concluded North. Either way, you would have made twelve tricks.

The full deal:

18 1 9 12
A K J 7 4 3 Q 8 A 4 A 8 3
9 J 10 9 7 5 3 10 6 3 2 10 5
2 K 6 K 9 7 5 Q J 9 6 4 2

Q 10 8 6 5 A 4 2 Q J 8 K 7