Bridge Hand Of The Week

In the stratosphere

Feb 13, 2017
Dlr: West Vul: E-W
21 0
A K 8 6 4 A K 7 A K 6 4 2

9 7 3 2 10 8 7 6 4 8 5 7 5
West1Pass Pass
NorthDbl 26
EastPass Pass All Pass

As South, holding zero high-card points, you did not envision being declarer in slam, but here you are. What is your plan for getting to 12 tricks after West leads the A?


Declarer ruffed the opening lead in dummy and could see that the clubs would have to be established. He would probably have to ruff a diamond in hand as well, so after cashing the A at trick two, he cashed the A and K, then advanced the 2. East concluded that if South had started with an unlikely 4=4=3=2 shape, ruffing in would allow declarer to discard a diamond and later ruff his diamond loser. With that in mind, East discarded a heart.

Declarer ruffed the club in hand, crossed back to dummy with the K and led another club. Again, East discarded a heart. Declarer ruffed, played a diamond to dummys ace and ruffed the seven of diamonds with his last trump, the nine. Next, he ruffed a heart in dummy. East overruffed and exited with a diamond. Declarer ruffed this low then drew Easts last trump with dummys king. The established 6 was the last card left in dummy. Declarer made four trumps, three ruffs, the minor-suit ace-kings and a long club for a total of 12 tricks.

Not that it matters, but Norths reasoning for jumping to slam was as follows: South was likely to have five hearts on the bidding. He was also likely to have four spades. Otherwise, he might just have passed 2 and hoped for the best. So that left South with four minor-suit cards and I had them covered. The full deal:

21 15 4 0
A K 8 6 4 A K 7 A K 6 4 2
J A K Q 9 2 Q J 2 Q 10 9 3
Q 10 5 J 5 3 10 9 6 4 3 J 8

9 7 3 2 10 8 7 6 4 8 5 7 5