Power and Skill

Dlr:
South
Vul:
Both
North
♠ A 6 5 4
A K J
A K 9 6
♣ 10 5
South
♠ K J 3
8 4
Q J 10 5
♣ A K Q 7
West North East South
1NT
Pass 6NT All Pass

Partner takes your opening bid of 1NT seriously, skipping the invitational bid by putting you in 6NT directly. West starts with the 10. Do you like your chances in this contract?

Solution

This deal came up in an all-expert game. As North- South had a minimum of 34 points, North did not think about trying to play the potential slam in a suit. Instead he relied on sheer power to make a slam in notrump when slam in a suit might have been scuppered by bad breaks.

West sensibly avoided a spade lead, which would have gifted declarer his twelfth trick. Instead, he led the 10. Declarer immediately placed the Q on his right. Declarer took the opening lead in dummy with the K then played the ♠A and another spade. East threw a low heart, but declarer still played the ♠J from hand, to be in a position where he had only one loser remaining.

West took the trick with his ♠Q and exited with a heart, taken by dummy‚Äôs ace. Declarer cashed the ♠K then ran the diamonds, ending in dummy. Everyone was reduced to four cards. As West had not discarded two spades and East had not parted with the Q, neither defender could hold four clubs. So, declarer cashed the three top clubs then advanced the ♣7, which was sure to win the trick. Declarer made two spades, two hearts, four diamonds and finally four clubs to make his contract. In effect, declarer played a simple squeeze in the same way that he would have played a double squeeze. The full deal:

Dlr:
South
Vul:
Both
North
♠ A 6 5 4
A K J
A K 9 6
♣ 10 5
West
♠ Q 10 9 8 7
10 9 6
4 2
♣ 6 4 3
East
♠ 2
Q 7 5 3 2
8 7 3
♣ J 9 8 2
South
♠ K J 3
8 4
Q J 10 5
♣ A K Q 7