Declarer trumped the opening lead to follow with the top clubs and a ruff. A heart was led to the queen but West showed out on the continuation of the ace. South claimed twelve tricks conceding only a trump trick, N-S +680.
Thirteen tricks were available on this layout by playing East for the king and jack of hearts but this was hardly suggested without a peek at East's hand. With both opponents bidding, it appears to be an impossible task to reach a slam on this deal. The slam would not be a high percentage contract if clubs had divided 4-2 but was icy on this layout. South's sequence promised a strong hand with length in the unbid suits, hearts and clubs. North had performed well by mustering a heart raise holding nothing but the ace of spades and feeble three-card heart support. A more interesting question is whether he would have taken any action if West had passed two hearts. Is it not possible that he might pass two hearts? A spade sacrifice might have yielded a profit but South is unlikely to quit after partner had raised hearts. He will certainly venture five hearts if E-W sacrifice at four spades which, admittedly, is very unlikely.
Author: Dave Willis - visit his website at www.insidebridge.ca
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