Goren Bridge: Canadian slam?

February 22, 2024 01:19 pm | Updated 01:19 pm IST

Today’s deal reminds us of a tournament in Canada some years ago that attracted many American experts. The daily newsletter one day carried a blurb, from some Canadian experts, about a “Canadian Slam”. They defined it as 11 tricks with an American on lead. The Americans responded the next day with a suggested defense to a Canadian Slam – cash your two aces, then sit back and wait for your trump trick. All in good fun, of course.

South in today’s deal was Canadian Brad Bart, from British Columbia. The American on lead led a spade to Bart’s ace and Bart cashed the ace of hearts. The 1-1 split was bad news, as it meant that the East-West five-spade contract would have gone down. Bart needed a small miracle to make his contract and there was indeed a miracle in these cards. The best technical chance was to cash the ace of diamonds, ruff a spade in dummy, and lead the jack of diamonds, hoping West started with a doubleton 10. That would have allowed Bart to make his slam.

Instead, Bart crossed to dummy with a spade ruff without cashing the ace of diamonds first. He led a low diamond from dummy and East, quite reasonably, played his queen. Bart won with his ace, ruffed another spade in dummy, and now led the jack of diamonds. East played the king, Bart ruffed, and the fall of the 10 from West meant that Bart could discard both of his clubs on the nine and eight of diamonds in dummy. Making an overtrick!

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