Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PUZZLES - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

When there is a com­pet­i­tive auc­tion, it is very dif­fi­cult to bid slams with any ac­cu­racy. The hand shown, from a re­cent club ses­sion, is such a hand. Look­ing at the hand, we see that EW would like to reach 7H, which is an ex­cel­lent con­tract and does not need the club fi­nesse. On the other hand, NS would like to sac­ri­fice in spades over both 6H and 7H with the lat­ter penalty of 1100 be­ing much cheaper than the vul­ner­a­ble slam. Still the hand seems to have caused con­sid­er­able prob­lems since two pairs played 4H, three played 5H and only one played 6H. Most Easts will open 1NT with their part­ners an­nounc­ing 15- 17. South prob­a­bly over­calls 2S show­ing spades and a mi­nor. West will bid 3H which is game forc­ing ( com­pet­i­tive heart bids will start with 2NT, Leben­sohl). North, with a weak hand, will make a LoTT- based raise to 3S since NS ap­pear to have a 9 card spade fit. East has a clear 4H bid and South, with a sixth trump, bids 4S. South feels very safe since the long club suit should be easy to de­velop.

West now has to show some in­sight. It is likely part­ner has no high cards in spades since the op­po­nents ob­vi­ously have 10+ be­tween them. Thus, in the other three suits, West knows that EW have a min­i­mum of 15 plus 13 points. This is a min­i­mum of 28 of the 30 points in those three suits so at most a queen is miss­ing and there are no spade losers. It should be clear to West to bid the small slam em­pha­sis­ing di­a­monds on the way. When West passes over 6S, it shows no first- round loser and East can revalue the QD and bid the grand slam. Now we re­turn to how to play 7H. The lead will be a spade ruffed in dummy. Since the trump and di­a­mond suits are com­pletely safe, the only ques­tion is where the los­ing club goes. The an­swer is that it is dis­carded on the long trump. Which long trump you say? Cross to the AH, ruff an­other spade and then draw trumps throw­ing the 3C on the last heart.

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