Both vulnerable. North deals.


xA Q

uK 8 2

vK Q 7 4 2

w9 5 3


xK 5 xJ 7

uQ J 10 6 uA 9 5 4 3

vJ 10 6 5 v9 8 3

wK 7 6 wJ 10 2


x10 9 8 6 4 3 2



wA Q 8 4

The bidding:


1v Pass 1x Pass

1NT Pass 4x Pass

5x Pass 6x Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Queen of u

If you have reached a contract where you need a specific lie of the cards to succeed, play as if that distribution exists.

The auction was fine up to the point where South bid four spades. That bid implied that all South was interested in was game — he had other bids if he was interested in greater things. Why North felt that possession of two high honors in partner’s suit merited another bid (without the ace of spades North would not have an opening bid!) we will never know. Certainly, we cannot fault South too much for proceeding to slam.

West led the queen of hearts, and declarer was horrified by the contract. To succeed, South would need a 2-2 trump split with the king onside, a 4-3 diamond split or a successful club finesse — about a 10 percent chance. In addition, careful technique was required.

Declarer played low from dummy to the first trick and ruffed the heart continuation. After cashing the ace of diamonds, declarer led a trump to the queen, which held. A diamond was ruffed in the closed hand, and there was light at the end of the tunnel when both defenders followed to South’s lead of a spade to the ace. The king and queen of diamonds were cashed for two club discards and, when that suit also behaved well, the long diamond took care of the queen of clubs. Just another routine slam bid and made!

2012 Tribune Media Services

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.