<< Trump Madness Bad Fit Deals An Awful Suit >>

Blockage

E-W Vul
9 6 4
9 3
10 7 2
A K 10 9 3
8 5
A Q 5 4
Q J 6 3
Q 7 6
 
A Q J
K J 7
A 8 4
8 5 4 2
K 10 7 3 2
10 8 6 2
K 9 5
J
East/West can make 3 NT from either side, because there is no way for the defense to untangle the club suit. North's lack of entries is the flaw. Declarer can lose a trick in diamonds, a trick in spades, and two top clubs, but has nine trick after. If the club ten and jack were switched, 3 NT would go down.
So perhaps, at favorable vulnerability, North/South should sacrifice in 4 ? The defense starts with two spades. Declarer wins the second, but has no time to set up a heart ruff. Declarer gets only one pitch on the clubs, due to the blockage, so must still lose five tricks in the red suits as well as two spades, for down four, -800.
If North/South play the contract in clubs, however, the blockage is no problem. The defense attacks hearts, forcing a ruff, and North leads a diamond. East wins, but can't continue hearts, so he exits a diamond, won with the king. The J is led, ducked all around, leading to this position:
9 6 4
10
A K 10
8 5
A
Q J
Q 7
 
A Q J
8
8 5 4
K 10 7 3 2
10
5
A diamond is led, and West wins. If West leads a red suit winner, declare ruffs, and East pitches a spade. Declarer then runs two rounds of clubs, and then leads a spade. Eventually, North/South score five clubs, and the diamond and spade kings.
This lack of entries is one of the most common reason that a six-card fit is better for a sacrifice.
<< Trump Madness
Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1999-2014.
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