Slam Defense

Questions and talk about interesting deals and situations.
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Slam Defense

Post by rod »

This is Board 1 from yesterday's Coffs Harbour club game.

North deals, none vulnerable.

♠ K9853
♣ 1094

♠ A72
♣ AK7
♠ QJ10
♣ J32

♠ 64
♣ Q865

I don't recall the auction but it ended in 6 by West. I sat North and led the ♣10 which declarer ducked to the Ace.

Declarer then advanced the Q and my partner Pauly properly ducked to see what my signal would be.

Another heart was led to the King. What should I discard?

Looking at all the hands one might see that a diamond return will always doom the contract (more on that below). More realistically though, my problem is whether to encourage in spades and expose the location of my King, or to throw a discouraging (high) spade to lure declarer into the spade finesse. I chose the 3 because it would be very bad for partner to think I could have the ♣K. Accordingly Pauly returned a spade and declarer flew with the Ace.

After a few rounds of trumps and the club King the cards will come down to this:

♠ K
♣ 9

♠ 72
♣ 7
♠ Q
♣ J

♠ --
♣ Q8

On the penultimate trump it appears I should discard a club to protect spades and diamonds, but that is an illusion. If I do then declarer can throw dummy's club and on the last trump I will have to discard a diamond to keep spades guarded. Declarer can then throw dummy's spade and Pauly will be squeezed in diamonds and clubs.

Instead I should keep the ♣9 and discard diamonds early. The squeeze will then no longer work because declarer will not have a club threat in hand, and dummy's ♣J is not a threat because Pauly discards after dummy does.

Fortunately declarer did not play the line that puts us to the test!
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