Bridge - The Scotsman 17/02/2012

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Friday’s puzzle...

THIS auction from the Trials for the European Championships in Dublin would not win an award for style. South opened his long suit, and North responded in his. Now South had a problem common to natural methods: a jump rebid in his suit would not be forcing, so to investigate the best contract he looked for another forcing bid. 2D seemed a safer false reverse than 2H, but not this time. When North raised diamonds South tried to get back to clubs, but it took him several rounds of bidding to persuade North that he really did not want to play in diamonds.

6C does not look much of a contract, but it cannot be beaten. West led a heart, which did declarer no harm. He ruffed his third heart in dummy and returned to the king of diamonds to lead clubs from the top. West won the king and played a diamond, but declarer took the ace, discarded his third diamond on the ace of spades and returned to hand with a spade ruff to finish drawing trump.

A trump lead looks better, but it is not enough to beat the slam. Dummy’s seven scores, allowing declarer to take a ruffing finesse in spades. If East plays the king he ruffs and plays trump. West switches to a diamond when he wins the king, but too late. Declarer takes the king of diamonds in hand to finish drawing trump, eventually crossing to the ace of diamonds to play spades. A successful heart finesse sees him home.