Game all; dealer South


4K 6 5 4

!K 9 6

#A K 6

2A K 8

West East

4Q 7 3 410 9

!Q 10 5 2 !J 4 3

#Q J 8 7 3 2 #10 9 5 4

2none 27 6 5 4


4A J 8 2

!A 8 7


2Q J 10 9 3 2

My first experience of commentating on Bridgerama came in 1968, covering a friendly match between Britain and the Venezuelan team, on their way to the Deauville Olympiad . Britain won, narrowly, despite their indifferent slam bidding, but I was left to explain to the audience what had gone wrong on this deal.

This was the auction in the Open Room:

South West North East

(Reese) (Flint)

12 1# 2# pass

24 pass 4NT 6#!

pass pass 64 pass

74 all pass

Not very convincing, and, when the spade finesse failed, so did the grand slam. I have given the hands to several pairs to bid and, equipped with Roman Key Card Blackwood, as are most pairs these days, they established the spade fit but appreciated that 4Q was missing. Stopping in Six Spades, at least they collected a plus score.

The Venezuelan South, by contrast, opened One Spade. His partnership were playing some form of strong club with canape overtones and his subsequent club bid showed greater length in his second suit. As a result, they ended in the far superior grand slam of Seven Clubs.

This contract depended purely and simply on a 3-2 spade break, for, after a diamond lead, two spades were discarded from the South hand. Now, after drawing trumps, the ace and king of spades were followed by a spade ruff, establishing 46 for the 13th trick.