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BillJacobs (44K)

Test Your Slam Play


from Bill Jacobs

bill.jacobs55@gmail.com

Two problems for the price of one this month.

K Q 10 5
J 10 2
Q J 7
A Q 4
N
WE
S
A J 9
A Q 4
K 6 4 3 2
K J
K J 10 5
Q 2
Q J 7
A Q 4 3
N
WE
S
A Q 9
A 6 4
K 6 4 3 2
K J
WestNorthEastSouth
   1 
Pass1 Pass1 NT
Pass6 NTPassPass
Pass   
6 NT by South

In both cases, the lead is the C10.

You should have no difficulty in making these contracts if diamonds break 3-2, so start thinking about what to do if they are 4-1.


Solution

On both deals, you should start diamonds by leading a low card, just in case the next hand has the singleton ace. And on both deals, diamonds must be managed in such a way that the heart suit fallback can be retained.

Problem 1.

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

If the diamonds don't come in, the HK will need to be onside. If you win the club lead in hand and play a low diamond to the queen, what will you do if East wins DA and returns a heart? You haven't yet discovered the diamond break, so cannot know whether to finesse the heart.

Instead cross to dummy's SK and play a low diamond towards your king. You will discover the diamond layout in time to decide whether you need the heart finesse.

Problem 2.

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

Win the club in hand and play a diamond to the queen, the play that is ill-advised in Problem 1. If East wins DA and returns a heart, win HA and DJ. If the diamonds are 4-1, cash your black suit winners, hoping that the defender with the long diamonds also has HK, in which case he will be squeezed.

If the DQ wins, return to your other club winner and play a second low diamond from hand. In the above layout, West must let the DJ win, as East shows out. Now cash all your black suit winners, coming down to:

Q 2
7
K
A
N
WE
S
A 6
K

If West's extra card is a diamond, then drop his singleton HK. If the extra card is a heart, play a diamond, forcing him to lead away from HK.

These were difficult problems. Don't be downhearted if you got one or both of them wrong. Because there's always...

The moral: Keep reading. Do quizzes: you'll improve.



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