Missed Opportunity

In the finals at the 2017 World Championships, North-South had a chance to gain by bidding a good grand slam.

Dlr: North ♠ J 10 9 2
Vul: N-S K 9 8 4
A J 10 7 5
♣ —
♠ — ♠ 6 5 3
Q 7 6 J 10 5 2
K Q 9 8 6 4 3 2
♣ J 7 3 ♣ A 9 8 6 4
♠ A K Q 8 7 4
A 3
♣ K Q 10 5 2
North East South West
1(!) Pass 1♠ Pass
2♠ Pass 5 Pass
1 Pass 6♠ All Pass

Opening lead — ♣3
In the Open Teams, the bidding went the same unsuccessful way at both tables: South’s 5 conventionally asked how many non-diamond aces North held. When he had none, South signed off at 6♠. He won a diamond, two top hearts and 10 more tricks on a crossruff.
In the Women’s Teams, both North-Souths halted at 6♠, as did a U.S. pair in the Seniors event. Only Italy’s seniors got to seven.

Trump Lead

It was suggested that a trump lead would beat 7♠. (True, West didn’t have a trump; East asserted that a good partner would find one.) But with that lead, South could crossruff diamonds and clubs until dummy was left with K-9-8 of hearts and a diamond, and declarer had A-3 of hearts, the ♣K and a trump.
Then the lead of declarer’s last trump would effect a double squeeze. Dummy’s 9 would win the 13th trick.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠—   Q 7 6 K Q 9 8 6 4 3    ♣J 7 3.
Neither side vulnerable. You deal and open 3, and your partner bids 3. What do you say?

When you preempt, a new-suit response by your partner is forcing. Here, you should be eager to continue; your hand could hardly be better in support of a heart contract. Raise to 4 or, better, bid 3♠, which partner should treat as a cue bid with heart support.

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