There are so many points at stake

Sherbrooke Record - - CLASSIFIED - By Phillip Alder

Caro­line Woz­ni­acki said, “Reach­ing my first grand slam fi­nal was amaz­ing, and I didn’t ex­pect it at just 19 years old.” But she prob­a­bly also thought that she would win her first grand slam ti­tle be­fore 27.

Re­cently, I have seen sev­eral in­ter­est­ing slam deals. Look only at the North hand. What would you do af­ter West opens three clubs?

When you have de­cided, look also at the South hand and de­cide how you would play in six hearts af­ter West leads the spade five.

Over three clubs, North has a night­mare de­ci­sion un­less he has some way of an­nounc­ing a big two-suiter that can in­clude di­a­monds. (Most pairs treat four clubs as show­ing both ma­jors.) If North makes a take­out dou­ble, South might pass that out and prob­a­bly col­lect 800 (one spade, one heart, two di­a­monds and three clubs af­ter the di­a­mond-ace lead). Al­ter­na­tively, South might ad­vance with three hearts. Then North would drive to six hearts. If North over­calls four no-trump, surely six hearts will be reached.

In six hearts, the lead must be a sin­gle­ton, but it also leaves South with two po­ten­tial ma­jor-suit losers. How to elim­i­nate one re­quires some guess­work. But it seems rea­son­able to as­sume that West has the club ace-queen for his vul­ner­a­ble pre-empt. Then the play goes: Win with the spade ace, cash the heart ace (no luck), play a di­a­mond to the queen and lead the club king to ruff out West’s ace. Af­ter trump­ing a di­a­mond in hand, South leads the club jack and ruffs away West’s queen. Back to hand with a se­cond di­a­mond ruff, dummy’s last spade dis­ap­pears on the club 10. East’s ruff is too late.

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