Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - SATURDAY MAY 14 - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

Af­ter a 2C open­ing, North- South quickly found their spade fit. South used RKC and, hav­ing all the key­cards, asked for side kings. North showed the KD and South should now have bid 6H ask­ing for the KH but de­cided to bid the grand slam any­way. North de­cided he didn’t have any ruff­ing val­ues and con­verted to 7NT. How would you play on the 3D lead?

If the spades come in, there are twelve tricks and three chances of a thir­teenth one: the heart fi­nesse, the clubs com­ing in and the heart- club squeeze. To try all these chances, de­clarer wins the AD and runs the spades throw­ing two clubs and a heart and then plays the king and ace of clubs and sees that the queen and jack are not com­ing down dou­ble­ton. Now cash the KQD and try to as­sess the end­ing. It is clear that West will throw di­a­monds and a club to guard the hearts and that East will throw one di­a­mond and three hearts. The key in­sight is that the early dis­cards are in suits they are not guard­ing.

It should be clear that West has tried to guard hearts and clubs and in the two card end­ing he sim­ply can­not keep three cards and the grand slam has come home on the squeeze as the last chance!

Not ev­ery­one would choose to con­vert 7S to 7NT since de­clarer may be able to ruff two clubs to set up the long club. This is a much bet­ter line ( 84 per cent com­pared to just over 50 per cent). So try play­ing 7S now. The prob­lem is that there is no third en­try to en­joy the last club ( if we changed the 4H into the 4D, it would all be easy). So de­clarer can only try for the 3- 3 club break and the heart fi­nesse but this is a good line since the clubs will split 3- 3 some 36 per cent of the time and the fi­nesse will work half the times they are not 3- 3, i. e. about 68 per cent in to­tal. Un­for­tu­nately, for this de­clarer, nei­ther chance works and they go down de­spite be­ing in a much su­pe­rior con­tract. Bridge can be such a cruel game at times!

Pairs, NS vul, Dealer East

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