Bridge Hand Of The Week

High aspirations

Dec 26, 2016
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
17 12
K 6 5 K Q J 5 A K J 7 5 2

A J 4 3 A 10 7 4 3 Q J 6 9
West Pass Pass Pass
North 2NT (1) 4(3)7
East Pass Pass All Pass
South13(1)4NT (4)

(1) Game-forcing heart raise

(2) Singleton or void in clubs

(3) Exclusion Key Card Blackwood

(4) Two key cards outside diamonds.

Against your grand slam, West leads the 9. Can you see your way to 13 tricks?

Solution

Before playing to the first trick, declarer paused to consider a plan. He could count nine top tricks and saw that he could add at least two more in clubs as long as the suit broke reasonably favorably. Also, if trumps were no worse than 3-1, he could use two diamond ruffs as entries to set up the clubs. All of this made it imperative to win the first trick in dummy, so declarer called for dummys J. Once East followed with the 6, declarer put his plan into action.

At trick two, declarer cashed the A and ruffed a club low in his hand. After ruffing a diamond with dummys 5, declarer cashed the K and ruffed a club with the 10. Next he ruffed a diamond with dummys Q.

All that remained was to cross back to hand via a low spade to the ace to draw Wests last trump with the ace, discarding dummys remaining low spade. A spade to dummys king was followed by the K, leaving dummy with the two established clubs to cash. The full deal:

17 9 2 12
K 6 5 K Q J 5 A K J 7 5 2
Q 10 9 9 8 2 A K 9 5 3 10 3
8 7 2 6 10 8 7 4 2 Q 8 6 4

A J 4 3 A 10 7 4 3 Q J 6 9