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The deal below came up in a round-robin among four teams. The successful declarer was V. Krishnan, former Chairman of Bhadravathi Paper Mills. An economics honours graduate from Loyola College, Chennai, he joined the IAS and was Secretary with the Central Government. He is a very keen enthusiast of the game and his charming presence inspires and motivates all. He may be a carefree bidder but more than makes up by his expert handling of the cards. Watch Krishnan at his sublime best:
Contract: 6H by south. West leads the H9, east following suit. Plan the play.
Bidding explanation: With north announcing 8+ points and three-card support for hearts, south wasted no time in bidding the slam.
Play: Declarer won and removed the outstanding trump, west discarding a spade. He next cashed the club ace and exited in a club. East won with the queen and shifted to the spade jack to the queen, king, and the ace. Declarer ruffed a club next, east following with the king. He then led out his trumps to arrive at the following ending:
When the second last trump was played, both west and east discarded a spade, declarer carefully unblocking dummy's D10! When the last trump hit the table, west discarded a diamond, dummy the spade, and east the spade ten. Declarer led a diamond to the king, collecting the queen from west. Declarer called for the D4 from dummy and when east followed with the eight, confidently finessed the nine, and entered plus 980 on his side. A classic guard-squeeze! The EW hands were:
Discussion: If west discards a spade on the last trump, dummy gives up the club, and east is squeezed in spades and diamonds. A classic simultaneous double-squeeze!
The play involved rectifying the count and isolating the menace, preparatory to the squeeze. However, you will agree that the key play was the brilliant unblocking discard of the D10 from dummy!