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The focus of this week’s deal opened very light, but played the resulting contract strongly to score a sizeable swing for his team. Test yourself: even seeing all four hands, it is a challenge.

Dealer East
N/S Game

At the table, there were several additional rounds of bidding as North searched for a grand slam, but 6C became the contract. West led J♦, and declarer saw a probable trump loser and at least one spade loser. His best chance is to attempt to score all his low trumps individually.

Having won the lead in hand, he played to A♥ and ruffed a heart in hand. A low club to K♣ allowed a second heart ruff, and a club to A♣ accessed the third ruff. With Q♣ not falling, the plan now requires reasonably balanced distribution. South cashed A♦ and K♠ and went over to dummy with A♠ to play K♦, throwing a spade from hand. When this held, this is trick 11. For his 12th trick, he led dummy’s fourth diamond. If West holds the master trump, declarer must hope that he also holds a fourth diamond. If — as here — East holds the master trump, declarer can score J♣ “en passant”, ruffing when East fails to ruff, or discarding his spade loser when, as he did, East ruffs in. Either way, South’s J♣ scores his 12th trick.

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