Today’s South had no difficulty bidding this slam. His problems resulted from his play of the hand, which I believe would be the play of most duplicate players.
West’s normal lead of the Jack of diamonds was won by the declarer in his hand with the ace. South pulled trump and led the ace, king and queen of hearts. When West showed out and discarded on the queen, the declarer hoped to find the club king in the West hand with no such luck, and the Jack of clubs, held by East, set the contract.
We all need partners like the North player who suggested that, if his partner had given up a low heart at trick two, the contract would have been made. East would win with the Jack, and the declarer can win any return, pulling the trump. Declarer can claim, and would pitch the club loser on the good hearts.
I wonder if the South player blew the next several boards thinking about his play of this hand. How many average players would see this play?
Donna Swan is a resident of Longboat Key, an ardent bridge player and an American Contract Bridge League certified director who plays “for the fun of it.”