Main   Article 7K34 by Richard Pavlicek  

Grand Adventure

I was South and my son Rich was North on this deal, which was a cause celebre at the Summer Nationals in Chicago. We reached the sound grand slam in spades, but its fate lay in the hands of the opening leader.

7 S South

None Vul
S Q 9 5 3
D 4 3
C A K J 10 9 3 2
S J 10 2
H A 10 6 5
D J 8 6 5 2
C 4
TableS 6
H K 9 8 7 4 3
D K 9
C Q 7 6 5
Lead: S 10S A K 8 7 4
H Q J 2
D A Q 10 7
C 8



2 C
2 S
4 H
5 S
7 S

All Pass
1 S
2 D
3 D
4 NT
5 NT

The first four bids were routine (2 S was forcing to game), then I cue-bid my ace of diamonds. Rich’s jump to 4 H was a splinter bid showing a singleton or void. I next used key-card Blackwood — in my modification the 5 S response indicates one key card plus a void (obviously in hearts). I next bid 5 NT promising all the necessary key cards, and Rich bid the grand based on the potential of his long club suit.

OK, what would you lead? A non-thinking player would always lead an ace against a grand slam. It’s the setting trick, right? A thoughtful player would realize the H A wasn’t cashing (we told them in the bidding) and consider something else. Whew! West led a trump. It was routine then to draw trumps and set up the clubs with the show-up ruffing finesse. Making seven.

A beginner of course would beat this contract. With a heart lead (ruffed in dummy) there is no way to succeed. Try it! In fact, it is difficult to win even 12 tricks when dummy is tapped at trick one. TopMain

© 1998 Richard Pavlicek