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Declarer had to exercise a little extra care in the play in order to fulfil the contract. He had to cross a few hurdles, so to speak. See if you can find the play.
Contract: 6S by south. West leads the DK. Plan the play.
Bidding comment: North’s 4D was the splinter bid, suggesting a good main suit, four trumps, singleton or void in diamond, and a control in club. With three aces in hand, south applied 4NT, RKC. Through the 5H reply, he came to know that his partner had two key-cards without the queen of trumps. Since this marked the A-K in trumps in north’s hand, he duly bid the slam.
Analysis: If spades are 3-2, the play poses no threat. If they are 4-1, you need to be a bit careful.
Play: Declarer won the ace and played a spade to dummy’s ace, both the defenders following suit with small cards. Entering hand by CA, declarer tabled the ST. West covered it with the jack and dummy won with the king, east showing out.
Declarer made a key play now. Can you guess what it is?
Declarer exited in S8 from the table and there was no defence. West tried to force the dummy by playing a second diamond. Declarer ruffed with the S4, entered hand by the HA, drew the last trump, and claimed the balance. The complete hands were:
Discussion: There were some interesting points:
South was not unduly worried about the quality of trumps in his hand for he knew the response to RKC would clarify the trump situation. When north showed two key-cards, it had to be the SA-K. South felt that the slam would have an excellent chance and bid it confidently.
South led to the trump ace at trick two to provide for a singleton honour in east’s hand.
South led the ST from his hand at the second turn so as to provide for SQ-J-x-x with west.
He had to be careful to exit in S8 from the dummy so as to accept the force with the S4. If he unthinkingly plays a spade from dummy to the nine in his hand at trick five or even at trick three, west will win with the queen and a diamond continuation by him will promote a trump trick for the defence.
Play out the deal with a deck of cards. You will appreciate why it is necessary to play the way as the declarer did.