Bridge

The Oldie - - CONTENTS - An­drew Rob­son

(1) Splin­ter bid, show­ing a sin­gle­ton (void) heart and a big club support. (Al­most) ev­ery tour­na­ment player’s favourite con­ven­tion. (2) Loves the heart short­age op­po­site. 4NT is Ro­man Key Card Black­wood (an­other much loved tool of the slam-bid­ding trade – rightly so). (3) Two of ‘five aces’ (in­clud­ing ♣ K), plus ♣ Q. (4) No ob­vi­ous loser. Whether there’ll be 13 win­ners is an­other mat­ter…

Win ♠ Q with ♠ A and (op­tion­ally) cross to ♣ K. Do not play a se­cond trump, in­stead en­deav­our to score all your re­main­ing seven trumps sep­a­rately. Seven club tricks and six out­side top tricks make 13. Cash three rounds of di­a­monds, dis­card­ing your los­ing spade, then ruff a spade. Cash ♥ A, ruff a se­cond heart, ruff a third spade and ruff a third heart. At trick 11, you hold ♣Q, ♦7 and ♠ 8 in dummy; you have ♣ A8 and ♥ 9 in hand. Lead dummy’s fourth spade and breathe a sigh of re­lief when East can only dis­card. This en­ables you to score your eight of clubs and you can now claim the last two tricks on a high cross­ruff. Lucky – but there was no other way af­ter West led ♠ Q. At an­other ta­ble (at the US Na­tion­als in Chicago) East had bid hearts and West led ♥ Q. De­clarer could now suc­ceed via a dif­fer­ent route (not pos­si­ble af­ter ♠ Q lead, re­mov­ing a cru­cial re-en­try to hand). He won ♥ A, ruffed ♥ 4, cashed ♣ KQ, re­turned to ♠ A, ruffed ♥ 5, crossed to ♦ K and ran ♣ A86. East was squeezed in the red suits on the last club – grand slam made. AN­DREW ROB­SON

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