Goren Bridge: The extra step

August 10, 2023 12:01 pm | Updated 12:01 pm IST

South in today’s deal was a young professional playing with an enthusiastic student from his local club. Ms. Enthusiasm used KeyCard Blackwood and learned that her side had all the aces and all the top trumps. She put her partner in seven spades with an adoring gleam in her eye. The young pro took one look at dummy and thought: “I’m gonna get fired if I don’t find the queen of clubs.”

South played low from dummy on the opening heart lead and ruffed East’s jack. He drew trumps in three rounds, learning that East started with a singleton spade. Was the pro ready to play on clubs yet? Not a chance! He cashed the two top diamonds in dummy, plus the ace of hearts, carefully discarding a club from hand, and ruffed dummy’s last heart. He ruffed his last diamond in dummy and breathed a sigh of relief. East had started with only two diamonds! His original distribution had to be 1-7-2-3.

South cashed the king of clubs, in case the queen fell, and then confidently led a club to his jack to bring home the grand slam! “Should I have bid it in no trump?” asked his admiring partner.

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