Ted Horning has written the daily syndicated column Canadian Bridge with Torstar Syndicate for over eighteen years-6600 columns and has been teaching bridge for more than thirty years. He has represented Canadian si different World Championship events.

“Between the idea and the reality

Between the motion and the act

Falls the shadow”. T. S. Eliot.

IMPs Dealer South. Both Vul

5
K J 7 5 2
A 3
K J 10 5 4
Q 8 7 6
A 10
J 8 7
A Q 7 2
West North East South
1
2 3 Pass 3NT
Pass 4 Pass 4
Pass 4NT1 Pass 5
Pass 6 End

1- Roman Key Card Blackwood

Opening lead:K

For readers who might wonder if North’s 4 bid was Gerber, let me suggest a simple definition of Gerber. Gerber applies only when the most recent bid in sequence was a notrump call and it must also be a jump in clubs. Thus, North’s 4 bid was simplicity itself a club raise. South 5response showed two key cards plus the Q.

West won the first lead with the K and shifted to the 4.

Plan the play.

This is not a good slam but it unlikely to be the first or the last bad slam that you have seen. But that is besides the point which is to bring in the contract.

South is going to have to pull some trumps, and establish hearts so two diamonds can be discarded on dummy’s hearts. Even after establishing hearts, South must still have a trump left to ruff dummy’s diamond loser.

If club are 3-1, South must establish hearts without a heart ruff (East holding Qx or Qxx). That will be require a finesse for the Q and that is about the only good aspect fo this hand. West seems to have good spades and a diamond honor. He is unlikely to have the Q as well, considering the preemptive jump overcall.

If clubs are 2-2, South gains the advantage in that he can still prevail if hearts are divided in a more likely fashion, 4-2, with East having the Q.

Win the A and play a club to the ace, followed by a club to the jack. If they divide 3-1, pull the last trump and play a heart toward the A-10, finessing. Curiously, if clubs divide 2-2, play a heart toward the A-10, finessing. In the latter situation, you will success even if hearts are 4-2 with East having the queen.

Do remember to thank North for his compliment.

The complete deal:

5
K J 7 5 2
A 3
K J 10 5 4
A K J 9 3 2
8 4
Q 10 4
9 8
10 4
Q 9 6 3
K 9 6 5 2
6 3
Q 8 7 6
A 10
J 8 7
A Q 7 2

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