“Can you justify your bold bidding by making this slam?” asks Joyce Jones, of Traverse City, Mich. “When the dummy came down, I thought it would be easy to make the slam. But I managed to go down.”
If the trump is 2-2 and the clubs are no worse than 4-2, you will have a trump entry to dummy’s clubs and take 13 tricks. If the queen of hearts is a singleton, you have to be unlucky to fail. The biggest concern is if the queen of hearts is a tripleton. Ruff the spade lead with the nine of hearts and cash the ace of hearts, then, try the king and queen of clubs. If no one ruffs, lead the 10 of hearts. If the opponents duck the 10 of hearts, you can remove the remaining trump and rely on diamonds to be 3-2.
An alternative line is to lead the Jack of hearts at trick two without cashing any clubs. If that holds, you can cash clubs and lead the 10 of hearts, or you can draw all of the trump and duck a diamond. You will make six hearts on this line when diamonds are 3-2 or when clubs are 3-3 or when one opponent holds at least four clubs. Your opponent will be squeezed on the run of trump as long as your communication in clubs remains intact.
In answer to Jones’ question: Allowing your opponents to take both the queen of trump and the queen of diamonds remains a puzzle. I would think that your opponents would have sacrificed with a six-spade contract.
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.”