Bridge: Seemingly hopeless play

THERE was an odd result on this deal from a recent pairs event, writes Alan Hiron. Almost universally the contract was Six No-trumps and most declarers went down. At one table however, South landed 12 tricks by adopting a line of play that could not fail. With a combined 34 points, it was routine for North-South to end with Six No-trumps. The duplication of values in the heart suit meant that there were only 11 top winners. After the lead of the ten of hearts, the standard play was to win and duck a round of clubs.

Game all; dealer South


A K 6 2

Q J 5

J 7 3

8 5 4


Q 5 4 3

10 9 8 7

8 5 2

9 2


J 9 7

4 3 2

9 6 4

Q J 10 6


10 8

A K 6

A K Q 10

A K 7 3

There then would have been a 12th trick if the missing clubs divided 3 - 3. There was also the chance that, in the event of a bad club break, the defender with club length would also hold five or more spades. Then, when the red suit winners were cashed, he would be squeezed. After winning the heart lead on the table, our hero made the apparently hopeless play of a low spade to the seven, eight and queen which established three spade tricks, finally cashing the six of spades to drop West's five.