East-West vulnerable, South deals.


xA K 6 3

uA 6

vA Q 6 5

wQ 7 4


xVoid x10 9 8 2

uK Q J 10 7 4 2 u9 8 3

v7 2 vJ 10 9 8 4

wJ 10 9 3 w2


xQ J 7 5 4


vK 3

wA K 8 6 5

The bidding:


1x 3u 4NT Pass

5v Pass 5NT Pass

6u Pass 7x All pass

Opening lead: King of u

Many rubber bridge players are reluctant to bid grand slams, content to put the small slam bonus in their pocket. The best players know that it is very important, in the long run, to bid your grand slams. You are only dealt so many of them, and if you don’t bid yours, you will be losing ground to your opponents over time.

North bid this hand very aggressively. He could not be sure that there was no trump loser, but he was pretty certain that South’s two kings were in diamonds and clubs, so he took a shot at the big prize.

At the sight of dummy, South started calculating his chances based on possible trump splits combined with possible club splits. After some thought, he realized that he’d been on the wrong track, and he quickly changed horses. He won the opening heart lead with dummy’s ace and immediately ruffed a heart. He cashed the queen of spades and was not surprised to see West show out. South then cashed the king of diamonds, led a diamond to dummy’s ace, and ruffed a diamond. It was now a simple matter to draw East’s trumps and claim his contract with the queen of diamonds and the three top clubs.

The splits in spades and clubs were not relevant. All he needed was for East to hold at least two diamonds -- a virtual certainty on this auction.

2016 Tribune Content Agency

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