Page 0007

West North East South

1NT Pass1 2t2 4´3

Pass 6´ All Pass

1 A point short of a penalty double.

2 Transfer to hearts.

3 Punchy. ™Q-6 doesn't look great.

West knows that few, if any other, North-Souths

will bid to slam with him holding a weak notrump.

He must therefore defeat the slam. If he

leads the ™A, declarer will make his contract.

Declarer will win any trick-two play, draw trumps,

lead to dummy's tJ and throw two diamonds on

the ™K (having unblocked the queen) and the

®A. Twelve tricks.

However, West should break Ross's Rule. Judging

that leading the ace of hearts is likely to give declarer

two heart tricks and his slam, West leads a superpassive

trump.

Declarer can still succeed though - can you see

how? He draws a second trump finishing in hand,

then leads the ™6 towards dummy to put West in a

fork. Rise with the ace and the play is as though he'd

led the ace at trick one - twelve tricks via the

marked diamond finesse. So West plays low and the

king scores.

Declarer now cashes the ®A and has a choice of

discards. In fact he can succeed whether he throws a

diamond or the ™Q. Say he throws a diamond. He

now runs all his trumps to reduce to a four-card

ending where he, West and dummy all have a heart

and three diamonds. He leads a diamond to the

jack, then exits with a heart. West wins with the ace

but must lead from his tK.

Alternatively, say declarer throws the ™Q on the

®A. He runs his trumps and as he leads his

penultimate trump, West must reduce to four

diamonds and either a club or a heart. Dummy

must reduce to four diamonds and a card of the

same suit West has retained. South leads a diamond

to the jack, ruffs that heart/club, to reduce West to

three diamonds, then ducks a diamond. West wins

cheaply, but must lead from king-ten, dummy

having ace-small and declarer queen-small.

Declarer runs the lead to the queen and again chalks

up his slam.

Do you think declarer would have made the slam

if West keeps hold of his ™A? No - nor do I - he'd

have to read the position absolutely perfectly.

Still, most of the time, remember Hugh Ross -

he'll stand you in good stead. r

7

June 2015 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

Index

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