Goren on Bridge
Freak deals are often fun to watch, although they may not be much fun to play. This freak is from a European Team Championship last year that attracted many of the top players from Europe. East-West were able to buy the contract at a high number of hearts at a few tables.
Declarer could hold his losses to three tricks provided he didn’t lose a trick to the 10 of clubs. You may think that North-South might arrange a club ruff for a fourth defensive trick but note the appalling lack of trumps for North-South against a heart contract.
More often, North-South ended up in either seven diamonds or six spades. The play in seven diamonds needed declarer to bring home the spades for no losers. This would be impossible on this layout without a little help. That help was forthcoming when West led the ace of hearts, giving a ruff-sluff at trick one.
South was able to ruff in dummy and discard a spade from his hand. There was a club ruff available to North-South in a diamond contract and the grand slam sailed home. Some players did find the winning queen of spades lead to defeat the contract.
The real curiosity was in the defense to six spades. The only way for the defense to succeed was for East to lead his singleton queen of diamonds to give West a ruff with his singleton queen of spades! Not one you see every day.