Games: Bridge

What could be interesting about a hand where there are 13 top winners in a no-trump contract? You will have to read on to find out.

My partner and I were given the hand first as a bidding problem. South opened One Club (strong) and as North I responded One No-trump. No, not a misprint, but showing at least five spades and at least eight points (well, nearly). Three Hearts by South showed a solid suit and I was now able to show the king and queen of diamonds but little else, after which partner plunged to Seven No-trumps.

I was told that the lead was the eight of clubs (remember, I was declarer as North) and, after scorning the finesse and testing spades unsuccessfully, I played hearts from the top. Easy!

In real life, it had been South who was declarer in Seven No-trumps and West had led 2J, giving declarer 12 top tricks. The spade break was unfortunate and, placing too much reliance on the possibility of a poor heart division, declarer elected to run !9. Oh dear!

Now, hold on a moment. If East holds five or more hearts as feared, then cashing four hearts, three spades and three diamonds produces a double squeeze. West has to keep 4J, East must retain his supposed heart guard, and suddenly the two of clubs may well become the 13th trick.

Game all; dealer South


4Q 9 8 7 5 3 2


#K Q 2

26 3

West East

4J 10 6 4 4none

!10 3 !7 6 5 2

#J 9 7 #10 8 5 4 3

2J 10 9 7 2K 8 5 4


4A K

!A K Q J 8 4

#A 6

2A Q 2