Friday, March 9, 2012

Can you make slam?

I played bridge at the local club last night. My partner is a very good player who took her eye off the ball on this one. The contract is 6. West had overcalled 1 and rebid 3!

West led the 7. How would you play?

At the table, South thought for a long time and played the A and the contract could no longer be made. It's not hard to place all the high-card points with West. Suppose you play the 10 at trick one.

You can now draw trumps and exit a low heart. West wins and can't lead a black suit, so continues with the Q. You ruff in dummy and now have 11 tricks in the form of six diamonds, three clubs, one spade and a ruff in dummy.

Watch what happens, however, when you run your trumps. With three cards to play, this is the position:

When you cash the J, West is squeezed between the black suits.

Would you have found the squeeze?


  1. Can I make a slam? Hell, Mojo! I have trouble making breakfast. And the recipe you provided gave me a headache.

    Good luck in the coming bridge tournament. Great harem you put together.

  2. Nope, I didn't envision the end-position until it was too late. I would have taken the finesse, but in my mind, I ruffed out the queen club (discarding a heart from my hand) before giving up the heart. The idea is that I can ruff-and-sluff if he leads a heart, so he has to lead a spade.

    But that is no good of course. If I discard a heart, I still have three spades left and have to lose a spade even if west leads away from the king ... Or if he leads a heart, the ruff-sluff only gets rid of one spade. There is still one spade loser.

    So, to make the long story short ... no, I would not have made slam.

    Nice hand.

  3. Next year I'm going to learn bridge just so I can understand the other half of your posts

  4. You'll love it grr. You'll have the bidding down in no time: 15-2, 15-4, and A PAIR IS SIX.

    Actually, it is the game that more than share the top spot card games. It is the only other game that could get me to pull an all-nighter. But, that was college and these days I am as lost as you.

    1. Win the club T, pitch 2 hearts on the AK of clubs. Ruff a heart. Diamond to dummy and ruff the last club. Another diamond to the dummy and exit small spade.

      You've won 3C, C ruff, 2D, H ruff.

      End position: S: A95
      D: QT8
      S:KT8 S:J63
      S: Q742
      D: AK

      This works, doesn't it? Whatever card East plays, you cover and West must cover. Now he's end-played.
      Not as good as the squeeze since that's almost 100%. This way requires West to have two of the outstanding spade honors.

  5. Reader Xwing pointed out another line that works, too. Thanks to all who left comments.