South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S A K 9 7 3

H K J 8 6 2

D J 5



S Q J 10 8 4 2

H 10 5 3

D Q 7

C A 7


S 6

H Q 9 7 4

D 10 8 3

C 8 6 4 3 2


S 5


D A K 9 6 4 2

C K J 10 9 5

South West North East

1 D 1 S 2 H Pass

3 C Pass 3 S Pass

4 C Pass 5 D Pass

6 D All Pass

Opening lead -- S Q

It took only a little while for North-South to reach today's slam; and it took only a little wile to make it.

Six diamonds was a terrible contract, attributable to some questionable bidding by North. His cue bid of three spades was murky, and his later jump to five diamonds suggested better diamond support.

To make the slam legitimately, South needed a miracle lie of the trumps; but slams count just as much when they're made illegitimately. After South managed to hide his chagrin at seeing dummy, he took the ace of spades and immediately led the king, as if he had a fast loser to dispose of.

East rose to the bait and ruffed with the three of trumps, and it was all over. South overruffed with the four and banged out the A-K of trumps, dropping West's queen. South could then lose to the ace of clubs and claim the rest.

South's wily play shouldn't have worked, of course. When East ruffs the second high spade, he should ruff with the ten of trumps.


You hold: S A K 9 7 3 H K J 8 6 2 D J 5 C Q. The dealer, at your right, opens one diamond. What do you say?

ANSWER: Bid one spade, hoping to bid hearts next. To double with two five-card suits is ill-prepared; if the auction turns competitive, you may be unable to show both suits comfortably. For instance, if you double, the next player raises preemptively to three diamonds, and there are two passes, which major suit do you bid?