Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 06/27/2009
Level: All Levels

This freak deal is from the 2009 Las Vegas Regional.

Vul: None
Dir: East
?10 6 5 4 2
?A K 10
?8 7 6 4
?K 6 4 2
?J 3
?Q 2
?A Q J 5 3
?A K Q 9 8 7
?4 3
?K 10 9 2
  ?A Q J 10 9 8 7
?J 9 8 7 6 5

An interesting term in bridge is "par." It's not like par in golf. Here is the definition of PAR in bridge:

"The result on a deal on which both sides do as well as possible."

This assumes we can see all 52 cards.

So, on this deal, N-S can make 7?. They can draw trump and then take a ruffing finesse against West's ?K to take all 13 tricks.

But, E-W are also entitled to do their best. We have to see what happens if they sacrifice in 7?. It seems the defense can take only 2 diamonds and the ?A (North's hearts can be picked up). The score for 7? (doubled, of course) down 3 is 500. So, "PAR" on this deal is 500 points for N-S.

Here was the crazy auction that enabled our side to beat the par score when we played this deal in a knockout event:


   LC   DB
     1? 2?
2N*  Pass  3?  4?
Double 4NT**  Pass  5?
Double  Redouble  5? 6?
Double Pass Pass Pass
 *Alerted -- but we never asked
** -- What is your minor?
David did well to use Michaels with the South cards. When I saw him make all of those bids voluntarily, I suspected we were cold for at least    6?, maybe 7. I'm not much of a poker player, but we did end up buying the hand (see auction to left) in 6? doubled. I didn't want the opponents to sacrifice (and thus, achieve "par.")

With trumps 2-2 and the ruffing spade finesse working, David took all 13 tricks for a score of 1190. At the other table, South overcalled 1? directly with 4? and got doubled. He took 12 tricks for a score of 790, but our team won 9 IMPs.