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BillJacobs (44K)

Test Your Slam Play


from Bill Jacobs

bill.jacobs55@gmail.com

7 6 2
A 10 9 2
Q J
K 8 3 2
N
WE
S
A K 5 4
K Q J 8 7 6 4
A 4
WestNorthEastSouth
   1 
Pass3 Pass6 
PassPassPass 

West leads the SJ to your slam.

There are a number of ways you might make this contract. Your task is to find a line of play that gives you four distinct chances.


Solution

South Deals
Both Vul
7 6 2
A 10 9 2
Q J
K 8 3 2
J 10 9 8
5 3
K 10 7 6
A J 4
N
WE
S
Q 3
9 8 5 3 2
Q 10 9 7 6 5
A K 5 4
K Q J 8 7 6 4
A 4
WestNorthEastSouth
   1 
Pass3 Pass6 
PassPassPass 

Here are your four chances:

1. The diamond finesse works (you just lose a spade, ruffing your fourth spade): I'm sure you noticed that one.
2. Spades divide 3-3 (you set up the suit and discard a diamond on your long spade).
3. When you lead a low club from dummy, East clatters up with the ace, fearful that you might otherwise win a singleton queen.
4. Someone has the club ace short (at most three cards in the suit).

To combine all four chances, win the spade at trick 1, cross to HA and play a low club (chance 3).

Assuming this doesn't work, ruff the club high, cross to dummy's H10 to ruff another club high. Then to dummy's H9 to ruff a third club. Perhaps the club ace has fallen by now (chance 4 - see hand diagram). If it has, play on spades, ruff your last spade, and throw a diamond on the CK.

If not, play SK and another spade, hoping for a 3-3 break (chance 2).

Finally, if none of those plays works, then ruff your long spade and take the diamond finesse.

The moral: It helps to have multiple arrows in your quiver.


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