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More fallout from Jack’s ‘small slam’

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Fig 1: a solution to the Spade slam

Last week I set out the hand below sent to me by Jack Rhind, who pointed out the remarkable score predictor which said that a small slam, 12 tricks, can be made in no trumps and in all four suits.

Clearly 6NT, 6 Clubs and 6 Diamonds are easy — you have 11 top tricks can develop another from hearts.

I then asked for solutions to 6 Hearts and 6 Spades and wasn’t exactly deluged with replies.

They are both tough, especially the Heart slam, and a couple of you gave it a good try by seeing the best route, but could not pin down the actual play.

John Burville sent in his response to the Spade slam.

Win the ace of Hearts on the difficult Heart lead, play a Spade (obviously trivial if West plays the 7S, so assume he plays the 10), win in North, and play the Diamond jack winning with the queen.

Lead another Spade and overtake West’s jack.

Now Diamond king to the ace, and play the Diamond 10 pitching a Heart.

Then ruff a Heart, back to a Club, and ruff another Heart. Then Club ace and Club to South and this is the end position. (Fig 1)

Now lead any card from dummy and West can’t stop you making your Spade 9.

The key here was using two Diamond entries to the dummy and not going for 4 Diamond winners.

Well done to John, who also came close with his solution to 6 Hearts, but was just a couple of details short.

In 6 Hearts you win Diamond (no lead defeats it) then take your five black tricks and two more Diamonds bring about this five-card ending with the lead in South. (Fig 2)

When South leads the diamond 10, West has two choices, ruff or discard.

If they discard then South can next lead a Heart and intrafinesse the 7 and after winning an honour East, who has only Hearts, has no response.

If they return the other honour, South can drop the Heart 9, and if they exit small North wins the 10 and then has a trump coup against East

Therefore West must ruff the Diamond (doesn’t matter with what) and South over ruffs and leads a Spade.

If East ruffs low, South overruffs and leads a Heart to North, and East is end played.

If East ruffs high, South can over ruff and lead a Heart to dummy.

If East wins he must return a Heart and South drops the 9. If East refuses to win, then a Spade allows South to make the Jack- 12 tricks.

Who would have thought that this innocent e-mail from Jack would consume the column for two weeks. But that is Bridge.

Before I close, a reminder that the game scheduled at the Club on Thursday will be a teams game — sign up at the Club as a team of four anytime before noon on Wednesday.

Fig 2: the ending of the 6 Hearts challenge
<p>Bridge results</p>

Results for week of June 10

Monday afternoon


1. M Simmons/P Siddle

2. J Patton/J Shaw

3. M Taussig/D Kempe


1. G Barker/J Beach

2. G Marshall/E Betteto

3. T Saunders/D Lusher

Tuesday student/youth game


1. Kirsty/Anna

2. Amanda/Heidi


1. Mike/Ashley


Tuesday evening junior game


1. B Baillie/N Contibas

2. M Moseley/M Stevens


1. J Law/D Law

2. F McManus/E Caulfield

Wednesday morning


1. G Barker/J Smith

2. G Correia/J Trott

3. S Rayner/M Farag


1. P Donnellan/L Bolton

2. T Saunders/M Taussig

3. M Silver/D Downs

Thursday student/youth game


1.Ahzjanai Smith/Michae Skinner

2/3 Max Santiago/Gareth Cooper

2/3 Shane Krueger/Brett Baumgartner


1. Andrew Tobin/Ethan Lacey

2. Katerina Rance/Salayah Stange

Thursday evening


1. D Sykes/E Betteto

2. J Glynn/L Ferrari

3. S Rayner/M Farag


1. E McKee/S Kyme

2. G Barker/J Smith

3. P Donnellan/L Bolton

Friday afternoon


1. P Donnellan/W Pollett

2. R Gray/W Gray

3. J Glynn/M Taussig