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One of the best bridge hands I have ever seen

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This week’s hand is in the column mainly because of the superb play by declarer, but the bidding to get to the Grand Slam was a work of art in terms of system and communication, and is well worth looking at. The hand was reported by the excellent Tim Bourke who resides in Canberra, the capital of Australia. See Figures 1 and 2.

1. 20-21 points

2. Transfer to spades

3. Promises the ace of hearts – a 4 Spade bid would deny it

4. Roman Key Card Blackwood asking for Aces and the trump King

5. 0 or 3 key cards

6. Grand-slam try; asks for specific kings

7. King of clubs

8. Asks for king of diamonds

9. I have it!

Figure 1

Unbelievably accurate bidding and it must have taken this pair countless hours of practice to refine and learn their system – just look at that redouble which caters beautifully for just this situation.

Figure 2
Figure 3

When dummy went down declarer was pleased, as it looks like the contract is cold if trumps are 3-2. West duly led a heart. Declarer took the first trick with the ace of hearts then cashed the Ace and King of spades. The bad news was that trumps were four-one and at this point a lot of declarers would shrug their shoulders, moan about their bad luck and concede down one. Not this declarer, however, who saw that if the opposing cards lay favourably the contract actually had a chance. The 4-1 break was bad news, but the good news was that East’s singleton was the ten.

Declarer’s first requirement to make the contract was that he could cash all of his diamonds without West ruffing. Also, he had to reduce dummy’s trumps twice by ruffing hearts (to have a chance of performing a coup on West’s trumps). So, he played a diamond to his Ace and ruffed a heart low in dummy. Declarer then cashed the Queen and King of diamonds and then led the Jack of diamonds, hoping that West would follow suit. When he did, declarer discarded a club from dummy, then led the Jack of hearts.

This was now the position (see Figure 3).

West saw that ruffing was futile and thus discarded a club and declarer ruffed with a low trump in dummy. Next, declarer cashed the ace and king of clubs (West was by now marked with an original 4=2=4=3 shape), reducing everyone to two cards. Declarer was now in his hand and led one of his clubs to capture West’s jack-eight of trumps with dummy’s queen-nine.

All in all one of the best bridge hands I have seen – wonderful bidding followed up by some brilliant declarer play – I’m not sure how it gets any better!

BRIDGE CLUB RESULTS

Monday, July 26

North/South

1. Elizabeth McKee – Stephanie Kyme

2. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray

3. Judy Bussell – Magda Farag

East/West

1. Aida Bostelmann – Julia Beach

2. Jane Clipper – Michael Tait

3. Martha Ferguson – Charles Hall

Tuesday, July 27

1. Jo-Ann Dawson – Jean Schilling

2. Jane Gregory – Richard Keane

3. Vivian Pereira – Wilena White

Wednesday, July 28

1. Elizabeth McKee – Molly Taussig

2. Lynanne Bolton – Peter Donnellan

3/4 Wendy Gray – Richard Gray

3/4 Linda Abend – George Correia

Friday, July 30

1. Jo-Ann Dawson – Mike Dawson

2. Molly Taussig – John Burville

3. Marge Way – George Correia

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Published July 31, 2021 at 4:00 am (Updated July 30, 2021 at 6:26 pm)

One of the best bridge hands I have ever seen

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