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Two possible slams for both sides - one each could fail, one will make!!
|Hand played on||23/05/2013|
|Submitted by||Alaric Cundy|
DescriptionThis hand is surely a strong contender for the most bizarre deal ever to arise at the club!!! To summarise:
6♥ only fails if the Defenders cash the top spade and then secure a club ruff - but at the table North started with the ♦A, and now the contract is plain sailing. Had North paid careful attention to the bidding, and believed West's 5♦ cue bid, then he might have tried a spade instead and helped to steer partner to the winning continuation.North could have made life more difficult for East / West had he been able to deploy a two-suited gadget, such as Michaels, i.e., a bid of 2♥ over the 1♥ opening to show a two-suited hand with spades and a minor. It now becomes much more difficult for East to pinpoint all the key features that his hand includes, and it might help North / South achieve a better outcome, courtesy of a sharper defence against 6♥, if East / West still reach that contract, or after some more aggressive 'barrage bidding', into a making contract of their own.
It is interesting to note that 6♣ by East / West is unbeatable on any defence - and indeed will make all 13 tricks if the Defenders fail to cash the ♠A at trick 1 - but the hand was not played in Clubs at any table!!!At other tables, two pairs were doubled in 6♥, but the Defenders then failed to find the winning line.
Many North / South pairs were allowed to play the hand in spades; none bid 6♠, but four made 12 tricks, sometimes doubled. Assuming that North is Declarer, East has to find a diamond lead against the spade contract for a ruff, and if West is being courageous, he could under-lead the ♥A to enable a second ruff, and hence hold the contract to 10 tricks! If South Declares, then West has to start by under-leading the ♥A to partner's King, for a diamond return and a ruff, so now 11 tricks will be made. The best contract for North / South is actually 6♦, which cannot be beaten on any Defence!!! Indeed, once again, 13 tricks are available if East / West attempt to cash the wrong Ace at trick 1!!!! Declarer just needs to avoid any spade losers by felling the singleton King under the Ace. In practice, no North / South pairs played in Diamonds!!!
A comment from former club member, Mike Graham:Strange hand, indeed.
One thing it does illustrate is that with a big double-fit you should aim to play the hand. South's pass of 6♥ is amazing, with North bidding spades and diamonds. You may go for a penalty but you don't concede a large score when the opposition slam makes.