Bridge Deal of the Week (April 27 2016)

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The Auction:

West North East South
Pass 1 1NT! 2
Pass 4NT Pass 5
Pass 6 Pass 7
All pass      

! Sandwich 1NT

You have reached a contract of 7 and as you were the one who had the wits to go one step further and bid a grand slam, you quietly congratulate yourself. The opening lead by East is the ♠4. How do you continue with the task of taking all the rest of the tricks?


The first trick offers no resistance as you win it with the ♠K. You can count 10 winners: AKQJ9, ♠AQJ, and ♣AK.

At least the outlook is not totally black; the only thing needed is to choose the direction where to channel your efforts and acquire two more tricks.

The best course of course is to try to promote your clubs to winners as you have six of them. The only obstacle might be the distribution, but unless clubs are divided 6-0, your small clubs will ultimately become winners and provide the missing two tricks.

You lead the ♣2 and take the next trick with the dummy’s ♣K. Next you play the K just to be on the safe side as this seems to be a hand with unusual distributions – you have a void in diamonds and your partner has a singleton – so you have no idea how the other suits might be split.

Now the cross ruffing fun can begin. You lead the dummy’s 3 and ruff it, then lead the ♣3 and ruff. Time for diamonds again, you lead the dummy’s 5 and ruff. As you lead the ♣6 and East covers it with the ♣J, you must decide which opponent has the missing ♣Q.

East has bid a sandwich 1NT indicating at least four clubs and four spades, so probably he has the ♣Q and the clubs are divided 4-2, which is the most common split. Consequently you must ruff this clubs trick with a high trump card as West might have the missing 10, so you play the J from dummy and West discards the 8.

Now there is time to pull the trumps as you have only AQ left and the opponents have two hearts. You take the next two tricks with the A and the Q and as East discards the ♣Q you can claim.

10 Deal 876432
1083 7
AKJ8742 96
54 QJ97













It is obvious that you cannot start by pulling the trumps, as you need your trump to ruff the losers in diamonds and you need dummy’s trump to ruff your losers in clubs. By cross ruffing you can win four tricks and promote your clubs to be winners, thus winning two more tricks.

If you start by drawing the trumps you will go down by one.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 7 by South.

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