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Deals 73 - 76: Bidding and Play
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Declarer (N *)
- K 6 5
- K Q 6 3
- Q 9
- K Q 10 5
East
- 7 2
- A 10 7 4
- 7 5 4 2
- 9 6 3
West
- A J 10 8 3
- 8 5 2
- A 6
- J 7 4
Dummy (S)
- Q 9 4
- J 9
- K J 10 8 3
- A 8 2
Deal 73 - Dealer is North - None Vulnerable
Bidding: 1C (N) - 1D (S) - 1S (W) - 1NT (N) - 2NT (S) - 3NT (N)
Opening Lead: 7 of Spades (E) = top of a doubleton of Partner's suit
Declarer (N) counts 3 sure winners: A K Q of Clubs, but 4 more winners can come from the Diamond suit if he can force out their respective Aces in time. Tricks in Hearts, Spades and even Clubs (if they break 3-3) are also possible.

Declarer Play
Overcall   -   Leading Partner's suit   -   Double finesse by the Defence
East leads Partner's suit, the 7 of Spades, Dummy plays low (!), West plays the 10 (lower of touching Honours), and Declarer wins with the Spade King (there is no point in holding up a trick here).
At trick 2, Declarer leads the Queen of Diamonds and West wins the trick with his Ace. West must now try to get his Partner back on lead for another finesse of the Spades. Looking at Dummy his best bet is Hearts. He therefore leads a small Heart and East wins with the Ace.
At trick 4 East now leads his second Spade, Dummy plays low again and West wins with his Jack. West then leads the Spade Ace, which captures Dummy's Queen, followed by two more Spade tricks.
Declarer regains the lead at trick 8 and makes all remaining tricks, but has lost 6 tricks in the process (4 Spades plus the Aces of Diamonds and Hearts), 2 down. A victim of good defence.
Any other opening lead would have given Declarer the contract on a platter. Also if West plays the Spade Ace at trick one, the Declarer will win his contract without any problem.

Score = 2 x 50 trick pts = 100 pts total for EW


(Down - Up)
North
- A 3
- J 9 8 2
- J 10 9 2
- J 10 8
Declarer (E *)
- Q J 10 7 6
- A 4
- K 7 3
- Q 3 2
Dummy (W)
- K 8 4
- Q 7
- 8 6 4
- A K 9 7 4
South
- 9 5 2
- K 10 6 5 3
- A Q 5
- 6 5
Deal 74 - Dealer is East - NS Vulnerable
Bidding: 1S (E) - 3S (W) - 4S (E)
Opening Lead: 6 of Clubs (S) = top of a doubleton
Declarer (E) counts 5 possible losers: trump Ace, a Heart and three Diamonds. He can probably discard two losers in his hand on Dummy's Clubs, but can he do that in time?

Declarer Play
Leading up to Dummy's weakness   -   Direct finesse by the Defence
Declarer wins the opening lead in his hand with the Queen of Clubs, then leads a small trump to Dummy's King, which is captured by North's Spade Ace.
Looking at Dummy, North can see no point in following through with the Clubs, but a Diamond lead (up to Dummy's weakness) looks promising. He therefore (at trick 3) leads his Diamond Jack, which wins as Declarer and South both play low. At trick 4 North leads his Diamond 10, Declarer (his only chance now) plays his King which is captured by South's Ace. South then leads his Diamond Queen for a third Diamond trick.
Declarer regains the lead at trick 6, draws all enemy trumps, then runs Dummy's Clubs, discarding a losing Heart in his hand. Total tricks made : 9, down one, through good defence.
If North, after winning the trump Ace, returns a Club, or any other suit but Diamonds, Declarer will make his contract. Also North must lead his Diamond Jack straight away for the direct finesse. Leading a small Diamond instead, will bring South on lead with the Diamond Queen, and Declarer's contract is saved !
Score = 1 x 50 trick pts = 50 pts total for NS


(Down - Up)
Dummy (N)
- K 8 6 4
- A K J
- Q 7 3
- 8 6 5
East
- A 5
- 7 6 4
- K 9 8 4
- J 7 4 2
West
- 10 2
- 10 8 5 3
- J 10 2
- A 10 9 3
Declarer (S *)
- Q J 9 7 3
- Q 9 2
- A 6 5
- K Q
Deal 75 - Dealer is South - EW Vulnerable
Bidding: 1S (S) - 3S (N) - 4S (S)
Opening Lead: Jack of Diamonds (W) = top of touching Honours
Declarer (S) counts 4 possible losers : Aces of Spades and Clubs, plus two Diamond tricks. This is one of these horror hands where Declarer can not get rid of his losers. His only chance (50%) of making the contract is if West holds the King of Diamonds, so that Dummy's Queen can make a trick. Otherwise he must just hope the Defence will make an error.

Declarer Play
Direct finesse by the Defence   -   Safety play   -   Leading up to Dummy's weakness
On the opening lead Dummy plays low, East encourages with the 8 and Declarer wins with the Diamond Ace. At trick 2 Declarer leads the Queen of Spades (safety play* to guard against a 4-0 trump split) which is won by East with the Ace.
East must now be patient and not lead his winning Diamond King ! Instead he must try and bring his Partner on lead by leading a small Club (up to Dummy's weakness). West wins with the Club Ace and at trick 4 leads his Diamond 10 for another finesse against Dummy's Queen. Dummy plays the Queen and East captures it with his King. East then (trick 5) leads his Diamond 9 for a second Diamond trick.
Declarer wins the remaining tricks, but is 1 down against unfaltering Defence.
* If the trumps break 4-0 Declarer can finesse the trump 10 either way, as he holds K 8 in Dummy and J 9 in his hand.

Score = 1 x 50 trick pts = 50 pts total for EW


(Down - Up)
North - 8 4 2
- A Q 9 3
- J 10 9 8
- J 5
Dummy (E)
- K Q J 7 3
- 6 5 2
- 6 3
- A 8 4
Declarer (W *)
- 10 6
- K 7 4
- A K Q 4
- K Q 7 3
South
- A 9 5
- J 10 8
- 7 5 2
- 10 9 6 2
Deal 76 - Dealer is West - All Vulnerable
Bidding: 1NT (W) - 3S (E) - 3NT (W)
Opening Lead: Jack of Diamonds (N) = top of an solid sequence
(Do not lead away from the Heart A Q tenace !)
Declarer (W) counts 6 sure winners: A K Q in both minor suits. Additional tricks can be established in the Spade suit.

Declarer Play
Concealing Honours from the Defence   -   Deducting the length of Declarer's suit   -   Direct finesse by the Defence
On the opening lead South plays his 2 (discouraging signal) and Declarer wins with his Diamond Ace (concealing to the Opponents the other Honours he holds in his hand).
At trick 2 Declarer leads his 10 of Spades, North and Dummy both play low.
South can deduce from the bidding that Declarer only holds a doubleton Spade (with 3 Spades he would have raised East's Spade bid). It is however pointless to hold up this Spade Ace, as the Club Ace will provide a sure entry to Dummy's established Spade winners. South therefore wins trick 2 with the Spade Ace.
South must now decide whether his Partner's opening lead was from a solid sequence (J 10 9 x ?) or an interior sequence (K J 10 x ?). In view of Declarer's strength (16+ pts) the former is the most likely scenario.
Therefore at trick 3 South leads his Jack of Hearts (up to Dummy's weakness), the most likely chance to defeat the contract. Declarer plays low and North plays the 3 (he must keep his valuable 9). Next South leads the Heart 10, Declarer plays his King, which is captured by North's Ace. North then wins two more Heart tricks with his Queen and 9. Declarer regains the lead after that (at trick 7) and wins all the remaining tricks (8 in total) but is one short of his contract.
Score = 1 x 100 pts = 100 pts total for NS

Copyright 2006 Michael Furstner.
ref: http://www.jazclass.aust.com/bridge/br21/br21da.htm