Goren­bridge /

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - DIVERSIONS -

Both vul­ner­a­ble. South deals. SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST 1 ♦ Pass 1 ♥ Pass 4NT Pass 5 ♦ Pass 6 ♦ Pass Pass Pass NORTH ♠ A7 ♥ 97542 ♦ 7 ♣ K6543 EAST ♠ 9865 ♥ J 10 3 ♦ J53 ♣ J 10 9 SOUTH ♠ 432 ♥ AK ♦ A K Q 10 6 4 2 ♣ A

The bid­ding:

Open­ing lead: King of ♠

More con­tracts are blown at the first trick than at any other time dur­ing the play. South’s six di­a­monds was no ex­cep­tion.

South’s hand was worth a forc­ing two clubs open­ing bid. The prob­lem was that it would pos­si­bly cost a round of bid­ding be­cause of North’s likely twodi­a­mond re­sponse, and per­haps have the fi­nal con­tract played from the wrong side, so in­stead South elected one di­a­mond, since hold­ing only 20 high-card points, the auc­tion end­ing there was un­likely. When North could re­spond, South chose to launch into Black­wood de­spite the prob­lem of the spade hold­ing. Had North re­sponded five clubs, deny­ing an ace, South would have set­tled in five di­a­monds and hoped there were not three fast losers on the hand. When North showed an ace, how­ever, the small slam was too tempt­ing to ig­nore.

West led the king of spades. De­clarer rose with dummy’s ace, came to hand with the ace of clubs and ex­ited with a spade. West won and re­turned a trump, and at trick 13 de­clarer sur­ren­dered an­other spade — down one.

The slam should have been made, and with­out any bril­liant play. All it re­quired was for de­clarer to al­low the king of spades to win the first trick! If West con­tin­ued with a spade, de­clarer would win, come to hand with the ace of clubs, ruff the re­main­ing spade in dummy and the slam was cold as long as the knave of trumps was no more than twice guarded.

It would have been no bet­ter for West to shift to a di­a­mond at trick two. De­clarer would win, draw the re­main­ing trumps, cash the ace of clubs, re­turn to the ta­ble with the ace of spades and dis­card the spade loser on the king of clubs. Ei­ther way, 12 tricks were there for the tak­ing.


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