North-South vulnerable. South deals.


xQ 7 4

uJ 10 8 7

vA K J 7

w10 4


x10 8 5 x9 3 2

u2 uA 6 5 3

vQ 5 4 3 2 v10 9 6

wK 8 5 2 w7 6 3


xA K J 6

uK Q 9 4


wA Q J 9

The bidding:


1w Pass 1v Pass

1u Pass 3u Pass

6u Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Three of v

We are used to looking at a hand from declarer’s point of view. Sometimes it is easier if we turn things around, as if dummy were playing the contract.

South has a very good hand, but could do no more than open one club. When North made an invitational jump raise of South’s second suit, going right to slam was an accurate assessment of the hand’s potential.

West led a diamond, and the fact that so much of North’s holding was wasted apparently meant that the slam depended on the club finesse. If trumps were 3-2, declarer could draw trumps and either take the club finesse through East or else cash four spades, discarding a club from dummy, then take the ruffing finesse against West.

Declarer did not like the idea of having to guess the location of the king of clubs and also had to worry about the possibility of a 4-1 trump split. The high trumps in dummy suggested another line — a dummy reversal.

The key to this tactic is to cash as many winners as necessary before starting to ruff the key suit. Declarer won the opening lead with the king of diamonds and immediately cashed the ace, discarding a club from hand. Then came a diamond ruffed with the queen of hearts, a low trump to the seven, ducked by East, and another diamond ruffed with the king. The nine of trumps was overtaken with the ten and, when East held off again, a third trump was led, declarer parting with another club.

East won and shifted to a club, but declarer was in control. The trick was won in the closed hand with the ace, dummy was entered with the queen of spades and the last trump was drawn, declarer discarding the queen of clubs from hand. Declarer’s master spades took the last three tricks.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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