Mark Horton

Play or defend?

This deal from the Keohane North American Swiss Teams features two of the leading teams. After taking a look at the bidding try to decide if you would like to be the declarer or the defenders:

Dealer: West

Vul: N/S

K J 8 4 3
A K 6
A J 5
A 5
West East
10 7 Q 9 6 5
J 3 8 7 5
8 7 2 Q 10 9 3
Q 10 9 8 7 2 K 6
A 2
Q 10 9 4 2
K 6 4
J 4 3
West North East South
Bramley Kowalski Wold Tuszynski
3 Dble Pass 4
Pass 4NT* Pass 5*
Pass 5* Pass 5NT*
Pass 6* Dble 6
All Pass

West led the ten of clubs and when declarer put up the ace East dropped the king.

Now, declarer cashed the king of hearts, crossed to the queen of hearts and then played three rounds of spades ruffing in his hand with the ten of hearts. Declarer drew the last trump and played a spade. With East apparently marked with a singleton club declarer discarded a club on this trick, expecting East to be endplayed.

Not quite, as East now produced a second club to defeat the slam.

If East had retained the king of clubs, then declarer, aided by the double of 5 would have ruffed the last spade then exited with a club to endplay East.

Declarer missed an opportunity. At trick 7 he should exit with the jack of clubs! West has to win and now declarer can ruff a club in dummy and also establish a spade trick while there is still an entry to dummy (the ace of diamonds) to enable him to enjoy it.

For the record, 6 can be defeated, but only if West finds the remarkable lead of a diamond!

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