Games: Bridge

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It is a rare hand indeed where a slam is makeable in no fewer than four denominations (spades, hearts, diamonds and no-trumps) and - even more rarely - that the partnership ended in the one slam that they could not make ... or could they?

South opened Two Clubs and, reasonably enough, North gave a positive response of Three Clubs. South showed his spades, North rebid his clubs, and South next tried Four Diamonds. I suggest that Five Spades by North would have been his most accurate call but, rather wildly, North bid his clubs for a third time and threw in a little jump as well. Hoping for the best, South passed, and West led !4 against Six Clubs. Remember, South had bid clubs first!

Dummy proved a shock and a brief analysis showed that however the suit divided, there were two sure trump losers. Never one to give up lightly, declarer won the lead with !K and continued with 2J from dummy. Without really thinking, East automatically played low and, when declarer showed out, the East-West faces were a picture as they simultaneously realised the true position. West did his best by ducking, but now 2K from dummy (nothing else could possibly have helped) finished matters.

Now what on earth was East doing at trick two? There really could be little point in playing low, whatever South's club holding might be.

Love all; dealer South

North

4Q 2

!K 2

#J 7

2K J 10 9 7 6 4

West East

48 4 49 7 5 3

!10 5 4 !8 7 6 3

#9 6 3 2 #10 8 5

2A 8 5 3 2Q 2

South

4A K J 10 6

!A Q J 9

#A K Q 4

2none

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