Sunday, May 16, 2021

Goren On Bridge

Strain on the brain



North transferred to spades and then bid five no trump, asking South to pick the best slam. This is analogous to the more common rebid of three no trump, asking opener to pick the best game. South chose to bid the slam in spades, hoping that his ability to ruff a club might make it easier to take 12 tricks.

At first glance, 12 tricks looked like a cinch – four or five spades, one heart, four diamonds, and three clubs. Declarer won the opening club lead in his hand with the king and led a low spade to the king. “Book him, Danno.” It looked like the 5-0 split in trumps ended his chances. South racked his brain trying to come up with a lie of the cards that would allow him to recover. South saw some hope if West’s distribution was exactly 5-1-4-3.

Declarer led a club to his ace and crossed back to dummy with the king of diamonds. He threw one of his hearts on the queen of clubs and then cashed the ace of hearts. He led the jack of diamonds and overtook it with the queen in his hand before cashing the ace of diamonds to discard one of dummy’s hearts. South led his last diamond. When West had to follow suit, the miracle that declarer had been hoping for was there.

South ruffed the diamond with dummy’s two of trumps and led dummy’s last heart. East rose with his king but West was down to all trumps. He had to ruff and then lead away from his queen of spades. Six spades, bid and made! What’s the problem?

(Bob Jones welcomes readers’ responses sent in care of this newspaper or to Tribune Content Agency, LLC., 16650 Westgrove Dr., Suite 175, Addison, TX 75001. E-mail responses may be sent to (c) 2017 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

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