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BRIDGE



Published: Thu, August 11, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. North deals.

NORTH

x -J 9 8 5 3

u -A K 9 4

v -Q 4 2

w -Q

WEST EAST

x -K Q 6 4 2 x -A 10 7

u -8 6 5 u -Void

v -K 8 5 3 v -J 10 9 7

w -7 w -10 9 6 5 4 2

SOUTH

x -Void

u -Q J 10 7 3 2

v -A 6

w -A K J 8 3

The bidding:

NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST

1x Pass 2u Pass

3u Pass 5NT Pass

7u Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of x

Looking at only the North-South hands, the grand slam in hearts looks laydown. But beware the shoals of distribution!

The bidding was interesting. When North raised hearts, South jumped to five no trump -- the grand slam force, asking partner to bid seven with two of the three top honors, and North was happy to oblige.

West led the king of spades, and declarer was delighted with his contract. If trumps were 2-1, declarer could draw trumps, discard two diamonds from dummy on high clubs, and ruff a diamond and, if necessary, a club and claim.

Declarer ruffed the opening lead in hand and led a heart to the king, and East's diamond discard was a near-mortal blow. Now declarer had to abandon thoughts of ruffing two losers on the table since trying to run clubs could not be attempted while there was a trump out. It seemed that the fate of the slam hinged on a 4-3 club split, but declarer found a near surefire line.

At trick three declarer ruffed a second spade high, crossed back to the nine of hearts and ruffed another spade, then entered dummy with the queen of clubs and ruffed a fourth spade. Declarer returned to dummy with a club ruff, drew the outstanding trump, discarding the six of diamonds from hand, then came back to hand with the ace of diamonds to make the rest with high clubs, a beautiful dummy reversal.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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