Ted's Bridge World Dante's Infernal

The Hand of the Tournament

This was the most exciting deal of the Sacramento Spring Sectional.  It was Board #10 from the second session of the Saturday Open Pairs:


Opening Lead: K

After north's imaginative (but not unusual for him) try for the spade slam, the competent east-west pair did well to find their three-trick sacrifice in 7.  In that contract, after an opening-lead diamond ruff and a trump return, declarer would not be able to avoid the loss of two more tricks.

But our north player had other ideas.  As he clearly was bidding 6 as a possible make, the auction became a forcing-pass situation.  South's pass of 7 therefore indicated first-round control of the heart suit.  Upon hearing that, north opted to push it to the limit.

There wasn't much to the play, although more than one winning line was available.  After ruffing the opening diamond lead in dummy, declarer could have drawn trumps and finessed clubs for four tricks in that suit as the cards lay.  That ploy would have failed on the actual distribution, however, if the club ten had not dropped doubleton.

Our south found the best line — he simply crossruffed all the red cards immediately.  Then, after drawing east's two trumps, a finesse in clubs saw him home with no concern for the location of any card other than the club king.

Needless to say, no other pair bid a grand slam in spades.

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