Obscure Preacaution por Jose Le Dentu

Jaïs, Albarran, Le Dentu,Peeters. 1949
Jaïs, Albarran, Le Dentu,Peeters. 1949

31st European Bridge Championships 1974, Herzlia

The following deal from the France-Austria match is a good exercise:

Dealer: North Vul: E/O

West East
K 5
7 6
A J 10 3
A K Q 7 4
A J 10 9 2
A 9 5
K Q 9 4
Buchmeier InDerMaur
2 3
4NT 5
5NT 6
7 The End

South leads: 8

What trump should the declarer play to make seven diamonds?

The only danger lies in a 5-0 trump break. If North is void, as happens to be the case, there is still a chance.

Declarer must be able to cash three club tricks, for heart discards, the heart ace, two top spades, a heart ruff and wind up with a high cross ruff.

Therefore, it is essential for South to have at least three clubs and at least a doubleton in both major suits. Declarer must take his heart ruff with the diamond four, so the three must be played from dummy at the first trick, preserving the ace-jack-ten.

If East makes the slight error of winning the first trick with the diamond ten, he could be defeated if South has no more than a doubleton spade. South can ruff spades at every opportunity, and eventually the dummy cannot overruff.

As it happened, South had only a doubleton club, and the grand slam was unmakeable on any line. (His hand was: 8 7  K 10 4 2 8 7 6 5 2 8 2.)

In the other room, the French pair Leenhardt-Vial rested conservatively in six diamonds, just making.