My partner and I bid to 6♥ on this deal:
♥ J 10 4
♦ K J 10 7 4 2
♣ A K 9 8
♠ K 9 8 5 ♠ Q J 10 6 3
♥ Q 3 ♥ 8 7 6
♦ Q 6 5 3 ♦ 9 8
♣ 7 5 2 ♣ Q J 6
♠ A 7 4 2
♥ A K 9 5 2
♣ 10 4 3
West led the ♠9 and I ruffed with the ♥4. I saw two lines of play.
1. I could run the ♥J. If that wins, I can come to my hand with the ♦A, ruff another spade, ruff a diamond back to my hand and draw the trumps. I can make it if trumps split. Even if they don't, I can make it if diamonds come home.
2. I could play on a cross ruff. Lead a diamond to the ♦A, ruff a spade, discard a club loser on the ♦K, cash the ♣A K and guess how to get back to my hand to ruff my last spade loser.
I took line #1. Even if the heart finesse lost, I had plenty of chances to set up the diamonds (or take a ruffing finesse for the queen), and so this looked safer.
My line didn't work and I was down one. After the deal was over, I was annoyed to see that the other line would have worked.
I walk one mile at both my morning and afternoon breaks with two co-workers (Jim and Richard). Besides the exercise, this is a time for socializing. The subject of bridge invariably comes up. "You hold . . ." is heard often, and we can't wait to tell each other about a hand or ask the other two what would you bid with.
I told them about this hand, and Richard came up with a third line of play which, I have to admit, did not occur to me.
3. Ruff the spade and lead a diamond to the ♦A and make the counter-intuitive play of a low heart toward dummy's ♥J 10 !! You don't care who wins it. Win the return. Suppose it is a spade, don't ruff it, but win your ace. Then play a heart to the ♥10, ruff a diamond and draw trump. You have two entries left to set up diamonds. This line works when hearts split 3--2 and when diamonds are no worse than 4--2. If they win the heart queen and return a club (instead of a spade) win in dummy, ruff a diamond, lead a heart to the board, ruff a diamond high and pretty much claim.
Richard's line certainly wins the most style points. It probably is the highest percentage as well -- I haven't figured out the math. Maybe that's something for our next walk!
One pair bid and made 7♥ and 10 pairs bid and made 6♥. You can find out how they made the grand slam and view all the results here.