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BillJacobs (44K)

Test Your Slam Play


from Bill Jacobs

bill.jacobs55@gmail.com

A 5
7 6
A 8 2
K Q 9 6 4 3
N
WE
S
8 6 3 2
A K 8 5 4 3
7
A 10
WestNorthEastSouth
  Pass1 
3 4 4 4 
Pass4 NTPass5 
Pass6 PassPass
Pass   

West leads SQ, SA, S7, S2. Plan the play.


Solution

East Deals
N-S Vul
A 5
7 6
A 8 2
K Q 9 6 4 3
Q J 9 4
10 2
Q J 10 9 5 4
2
N
WE
S
K 10 7
Q J 9
K 6 3
J 8 7 5
8 6 3 2
A K 8 5 4 3
7
A 10

What an unfortunate opening lead. If West had just led his suit, there would have been plenty of time to draw some trumps and set up the clubs for discards. Now it looks hopeless: how can you play sufficient clubs to discard all your losing spades before the opponents take their trump trick?

If an opponent has 3 hearts and 3 clubs, you can cash HAK and then play 4 rounds of clubs discarding two spades, but that 4th round will be trumped and you will still have a losing spade. What you need is for someone (East on the bidding) to have 3 hearts and 4 clubs. Now you can play 5 rounds of clubs discarding all your losing spades as East ruffs in.

If East must have 4 clubs, then it will likely include the jack: this points the way to a newspaper play. At trick 2, play a club to the 10! If this wins, cash two top hearts, CA, over to the DA and play winning clubs. You can discard all your losing spades in time.

An alternative line is to hope that the SQ lead was a singleton, and that West has the three trumps, for example, 1363 distribution. But that doesn't sit well with East's first round pass at favourable vulnerability. I like the newspaper play.

The moral: When in doubt, go for the spectacular. At least it will give you a story, one way or the other.



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