A Grand Squeeze by Mark Horton

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Near the end of the evening I pick up a reasonable hand…

Mark Horton
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Source: Misplay These hands with Me by Mark HortonMisplay These Hands with Me

My partner at the club enjoys the optimism of youth, but brings little else to the table. The game has been going as you might expect. Near the end of the evening I pick up a reasonable hand:

Dealer East, North-South Vulnerable

Q 8 A K Q 9 8 2 K 7 4 Q 8

I open One Heart and partner responds One Spade. I could rebid One Notrump, but I prefer to emphasize my suit and choose Three Hearts. After a period of reflection, partner emerges with a jump to Five Notrump, the Grand Slam Force. With all three top honors, I can’t do less than jump to Seven Hearts. This has been our dramatic auction:

West North East South
    Pass 1
Pass 1 Pass 3
Pass 5NT Pass 7
The End      
       

West leads the jack of spades, and partner, remarking that he needed a grand slam to get ahead on the evening, reveals his hand:

A K 6 3
7 4
A 8 6 5
A 9 2
 
Q 8
A K Q 9 8 2
K 7 4
Q 8

Even if the trumps break, I am still going to be a trick short, but for the moment all I can do is win the opening lead in hand and play hearts. Everyone follows to the ace and king. On the queen of hearts, West discards the four of spades.

I have spotted a way to develop the extra trick I need and I contin-ue with dummy’s ace and king of spades, discarding a diamond from my hand. West follows to both spades, but East discards the three and four of clubs. Now I play a diamond to the king, a diamond to the ace and ruff a diamond. If the suit divides 3-3, I will have a parking place for my losing club.

Alas, West discards on the third round of diamonds and when there is no miracle in clubs, I am one down. This was the full deal:

  A K 6 3
7 4
A 8 6 5
A 9 2
 
J 10 9 7 5 4
5 3
9 3
10 6 5
  2
J 10 6
Q J 10 2
K J 7 4 3
  Q 8
A K Q 9 8 2
K 7 4
Q 8
 
     

In fact, my plan was by no means a bad one, but it could have been improved on. This was the situation after I crossed to hand with the king of diamonds:

  6
7 4
A 8 6
A 9
 
J 10

9
10 6 5
 

Q J 2
K J 7
 
9 8 2
7
Q 8
 
     

Now it costs nothing to play off two more trumps before trying the diamonds. I can happily discard a club and a spade from dummy, but East is in trouble. He can safely part with one club but on the next round he must surrender a trick in one of the minors.

 

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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