East-West vulnerable. South deals.


xA J 8 7 2

uA Q J

vJ 9

wA J 10


xQ 9 x6 4 3

uK 10 9 2 u7 6 5 4 3

vQ 8 5 4 3 2 v10 7 6

w3 wK 9


xK 10 5


vA K

wQ 8 7 6 5 4 2

The bidding:


1w Pass 1x Pass

2w Pass 2u Pass

2x Pass 3w Pass

3v Pass 6w Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Four of v

Some contracts are almost unbreakable. However, that does not mean that, as declarer, you should not look for the best line.

Note that the club slam was reached without a single jump until the final bid. Three clubs was unconditionally forcing. When you have bid two suits, then remove from a major-suit partial to partner’s minor suit, you are not looking for a better partscore — you are probing for bigger things. It needed no more than a diamond cue-bid from South for North to contract for 12 tricks in clubs.

West led a diamond to declarer’s king. The ace of diamonds was cashed and a club to the ten lost to the king — had his majesty been singleton, East would have been endplayed; as it was, the defender had a safe exit with a trump, taken with the ace. Rather than guess which major-suit finesse to take, declarer first cashed the ace and king of spades — had the queen not appeared declarer would have taken the heart finesse to discard a spade on the ace of hearts, but when her majesty dropped the slam was in the bag.

Neatly as declarer played, this line was second-best. Correct is to win the king of diamonds, then cash the ace of diamonds and cross to the ace of hearts to ruff a heart. A club to ace provides the entry for another heart ruff and now a trump is led. Whichever defender wins must either give declarer a ruff-sluff for a spade discard from hand, or eliminate declarer’s spade guess by breaking that suit. This line requires only a 2-1 trump split to guarantee the contract.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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