North-South vulnerable. South deals.


x8 7 6


vA Q 9 8 7 4 2

wA 7


xQ 5 3 2 x4

uJ 9 6 uQ 10 7 5 2

vJ 6 3 v10

wK Q J w10 9 6 5 3 2


xA K J 10 9

uA 8 4 3

vK 5

w8 4

The bidding:


1x Pass 2v Pass

2u Pass 2x Pass

3v Pass 4w Pass

6x Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of w

In some circles, not to take a finesse is considered a capital offense. In the more refined atmosphere of expert bridge, it is de rigueur to try your utmost to avoid a finesse. Six diamonds is, barring a terrible trump break, a laydown slam. Six spades is not bad and, enticed by 100 honors, that is where South came to rest. North’s two-diamond response was a game force in North-South’s methods and, following minor-suit cue-bids, South gave up on further investigation and leaped to slam.

West led the king of clubs, taken in dummy with the ace. Declarer cashed the king of hearts, led a trump to the king and discarded a club on the ace of hearts. Then, to assure control in case trumps were 4-1, declarer led the jack of spades from hand.

West did as well as possible by allowing the knave to hold, but declarer simply ruffed a club in dummy, crossed to hand with the king of diamonds and cashed the ace of trumps before reverting to diamonds. When West had to follow to three rounds of the suit, declarer was able to discard the closed hand’s remaining hearts before West could ruff, and so hold his losses to one trump trick.

The bidding left a lot to be desired, but though declarer’s line of play might not be the only way to land the slam, it was certainly the most elegant!

2013 Tribune Media Services

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