Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The other day I gave Johnny Supremo a slam hand reported to have been bid and been made at all the tables.
I told Johnny that as South, he would be looking at Q84....J4......AKQJ954......J, while his partner held A1062....AK....10732.....A106. Not surprisingly, all these top class pairs reached 6D, despite West coming in at the start with a take-out double of South's 1D opening bid. So how should the hand be played after West kicks off with the king of clubs as his opening lead ? Here is Johnny's answer :
" Well, West surely to God for his bid must have most if not all of the outstanding points. One option is to take the trick in dummy with the Ace and ruff a club with jack of diamonds, cross to dummy's 10 of diamonds, and ruff the last club with the queen. If there's an outstanding diamond, I would clear that before eliminating hearts and coming back to hand with another diamond. All that is needed now is to find West with king/jack of spades and it's all over, by simply leading up to dummy's 10 of spades.
However, a simple throw in will also work. Take the club Ace, ruff dummy's club 6 , and draw 2 rounds of trumps. After that play the Ace/king of hearts to clear the suit, and then exit with dummy's 10 of clubs ( pitching a spade ) putting West on lead. He of course is totally fixed, unable to play a club or heart for fear of a ruff and a second spade discard. So his best bet is to play a spade and pray. No chance there with declarer happily making his twelfth trick with the spade queen. This is the near certain line I would take. "
So I asked the great man " Are there any other lines that could be taken ".
" Yes ", he said " If you like to play with real style, finesse and aplomb. A squeeze looks certainly well on, if West holds all these key black cards. All one needs to do is a duck on the king of clubs, in order to rectify the count. From this point on West is fixed again. He will certainly switch to a safe heart, enabling declarer to rattle off the next 9 tricks : club Ace, 2 top hearts, and 6 diamonds. West of course will now come down to KJ of spades and the King of clubs. Dummy will sitting on the A10 of spades and the club 10. So with Q8 of spades in hand and me to play my last diamond, West might just as well go out the room at shoot himself, for he has no reply. So tell me..... did anyone choose this line of play ? "
" Only one...I believe.....a Canadian-American by the name of Fred Gitelman..... ".
Johnny just smiled.............

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