Right Technique Rewarded in Par Bridge Championship 

James Jacoby
James Jacoby

The North American Collegiate Bridge Championship is a par contest, responsibility for preparation of the deals rests with Jeff Rubens co-editor of The Bridge World magazine. In a Par Contest participants can be certain of one thing — each deal will possess an element that will reward correct technique.

In today’s deal, taken from the 1986 contest, South’s bidding showed 23 or 24 highcard points. North wisely bid 6NT, since the heart slam would fail in the trump suit. But even six no-trump was doomed if declarer made one careless play.

Dealer: South. East-West Vunerable

  Spade SuitA 8 7 6 5
Heart Suit6 5 4 3
Diamond Suit10 9
club suitA K
 
Spade SuitQ J 10 9 4 3
Heart SuitQ J 10 9
Diamond Suit8
club suit9 8
  Spade Suit
Heart Suit2
Diamond Suit7 6 5 4 3 2
club suit7 6 5 4 3 2
  Spade SuitK 2
Heart SuitA K 8 7
Diamond SuitA K Q J
club suitQ J 10

The Auction:

West North East South
2club suit
Pass 2Spade Suit Pass 2NT
Pass 6NT Pass Pass
Pass

Contract: 6NT

Opening Lead: Spade SuitQ

When the Spade SuitQ was led, declarer could see that winning 12 tricks depended upon the hearts dividing 3-2. Many contestants won the Spade SuitK and immediately played a low heart.

West won the trick and continued spades. And now, try as declarer might, there was no way to squeeze out the 12th trick because proper transportation was lacking.

The right technique is to win the Spade SuitK and bang down Heart SuitA-Heart SuitK. When declarer gets the bad news about hearts, he can cash club suitA and club suitK and then run his diamonds and the club suitQ.

As the last minor-suit winner is played, dummy has Spade Suit A 8 and Heart Suit8 3. West holds Spade Suit J 10 and Heart Suit Q 10.

But West mast discard ahead of dummy. If he throws a Spade, dummy’s Spade SuitA 8 will provide two winners. If he throws a heart, declarer will shed the low spade from dummy and glue up a heart, taking the rest of the tricks.