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East-West game; dealer East


4 K Q 2

! A K Q J 6 3

# none

2 J 9 7 3

West East

4A J 10 9 8 6 4none

!9 ! 8 7 5 2

#K Q J 4 3 # 10 9 8 7 6 2

22 2 A Q 4


4 7 5 4 3

! 10 4

# A 5

2 K 10 8 6 5

If there were a competition for the most revolting (but successful) slam of the year, I think that this deal would be a legitimate contender. To our undying shame, partner and I were involved when it came up in the Senior Teams in the recent Generali European Championships.

After two passes, West opened Four Spades, clearly not a bid to everyone's taste, but it had the merit of leaving North with a problem, which she solved by doubling. The double was primarily for take-out but with the understanding that, if partner removed it, he had a fair suit.

As South, I might profitably have passed, but I judged to remove to Five Clubs and partner raised to Six, which was doubled enthusiastically by East.

Yes, the ace of spades would have been a remarkably effective lead, but West chose the king of diamonds and I was in business.

I ruffed on the table, ran the nine of clubs successfully, and led another trump on which West signalled meaningfully but futilely with the jack of spades.

Now it was all over.

The sequel illustrated one of the drawbacks of playing with screens, which are now in universal use at all major championships: I was unable to witness East's frustration at his inability to lead a spade and my partner could not enjoy West's fury at his partner's failure to do so.