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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

This hand was played in a tournament in London and reported by Andrew Robson. Imagine you are sitting West with this powerful hand:

What do you bid now? Surely you double 6D—the opponents must be out of their minds to bid a slam when you are holding all these high cards, including the ace of trumps, both the ace and king of clubs and the king in declarer’s second bid suit. At the table West doubled then led the ace of trumps to have a look at dummy. At the second trick he switched to the ace of clubs, which declarer, Kumiko Ishii, ruffed in hand. This was the full deal:

Declarer led a heart and finessed, playing the jack from board. Then she cashed the ace of hearts, throwing a spade from hand, and ruffed a heart, bringing down the king. Now she led a low trump over to the nine on board. The 2-2 split in trumps allowed her to cash the remaining three hearts on board, discarding all her losing spades. She then claimed the doubled slam, winning six diamonds, five hearts and the ace of spades. Who would believe that the West hand, with all those good cards, could only take the ace of trumps! Of course, if West had only led a second trump after the ace, removing the critical nine of diamonds as an entry to board before the hearts had been set up, then things would have been very different...
I would like to hear from readers about their favourite hands—please do contact me at [email protected] Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes all players. We have members from seventeen different countries already. For information on the Club go to the web site

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Bridge in Paradise