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