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Neither vulnerable, South deals


♠A 6

♥Q 7 4

♦A K Q 4

♣K 7 3 2


♠K Q 10 9 8 2 ♠3

♥8 ♥J 10 9 3

♦9 3 2 ♦J 10 7 5

♣Q 10 6 ♣J 9 8 4


♠J 7 5 4

♥A K 6 5 2

♦8 6

♣A 5

The bidding:


1♥ 2♠ 3♠ Pass

4♥ Pass 4♠ Pass

5♣ Pass 6♥ All pass

Game forcing heart raise

Opening lead: King of

South tried to show a minimum by not cue bidding his ace of clubs at the four level — just bidding four hearts instead. North should probably have respected that, but he carried on with a four-spade cue bid. North’s hand was unlimited, so this was a command for South to cue bid if he was able to. South now cue bid five clubs and North bid this poor slam. There were only 11 tricks, and that was assuming a 3-2 trump split. South found an elegant way to bring his total up to 12 tricks, despite the poor split in trumps.

South won the opening spade lead with dummy’s ace, led a heart to his king, and cashed the ace of hearts. He cashed the ace of clubs, led a club to the king and ruffed a club. A diamond to the ace let him ruff dummy’s last club. He now cashed dummy’s king and queen of diamonds before ruffing dummy’s last diamond.

In this two-card ending, East had the jack-10 of trumps and dummy had a low spade and the queen of trumps. One trick to each side, and the slam rolled home. Very well played! Perhaps North had taken his partner’s skill into consideration when he bid this aggressive slam.

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