Goren bridge: Bad luck, but not bad enough

December 07, 2023 01:44 pm | Updated 01:44 pm IST

Sometimes a bad break or two can make things easy for declarer. North-South reached this excellent slam. There were 11 top tricks and a 3-3 split of the missing clubs would give an overtrick. A doubleton or singleton jack of clubs would also give an overtrick. Any 4-2 club split or 3-2 diamond split would let declarer give the opponents a trick in that minor and claim the rest. This looked like an easy one.

South won the opening heart lead with his ace and cashed the ace and queen of clubs. Bad luck there, so South cashed the ace and king of diamonds. Ugh! Despite this horrible turn of events, it was East who had the length in both minors. East could be easily end-played. All that declarer had to do was cash his side suit winners and East would have to come down to three cards. East would not be able to defend this slam.

South started by cashing the queen of spades followed by the ace and king of spades, discarding a club from dummy. South then led a heart to dummy’s king and cashed the queen of hearts. All South had to do was watch for East’s club discards. Should East shed two clubs, the jack would then be singleton. East discarded only one club, so South exited dummy with a diamond. East won with the queen but had to lead a club into dummy’s king-10. Well played!

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