X-Clubs 37

This deal comes from an on-line Swiss Pairs event at the Wellington Bridge Club. There’s nothing as satisfying as bidding and making a slam on the very first board, and even more satisfying when you learn later that not one other pair bid and made the slam.

Board 1 from Monday 14/11/22
Dealer North Nil Vul


East opened 1C, which is not what everybody would choose these days. But East’s hand is good enough to later bid and rebid spades to whatever level required. West bid 1D and East a quiet 1S. However when West now leapt to game, East could not contain himself and bid a well judged slam. Surely West should have enough values given the leap to 4S, even though the diamond void was a bit of a negative. Against that, East’s heart king was protected from a heart lead. But South did not lead a heart, trying to put declarer to an immediate guess with a diamond lead. Unfortunately for South, no guessing was required and declarer, not believing that South would underlead the king, put in the ten, with the same result: both hearts were discarded on the diamonds. There was little to the play after that. and declarer settled for no overtricks.

Would declarer have made had South led a heart? I suggest the answer is yes, though it might have been a bit hair raising. North wins the ace and returns a heart. Declarer wins and sets about establishing the clubs: low club ruffed in dummy, diamond ruff in hand and another low club ruffed in dummy. Now, king of spades and another to draw trumps. South drops the queen when the king is led. If declarer believes in the ‘theory of restricted choice’, declarer finesses the ten, but I believe a 3-1 break is more likely than a 2-2 anyway, and I say ‘believe’ because statistics is not my strong point. Would YOU have made 6S on a heart lead, or made SEVEN on a diamond lead? Replay by clicking here