Hand of the Week
After an auction that began in a natural way, North asked for key cards with 4NT and confirmed that all were present with 5NT. Your 6♦ admitted to the ♦K, and North left it to you to bid the grand slam.
West leads the ♣K, and East signals that he began with an odd number. You win the ♣A and cash the ♥ K and ♥Q. Alas, West follows to the first trump but throws a club on the second. How do you plan to take another nine tricks?
Obviously, you must play diamonds next. There will be no problems if the suit is 2-2 or the ♦Q drops on the first round of the suit. Also, as the defense will prevail if East has void in diamonds, the aim must be to cope with East having a low singleton diamond originally.
Suppose the full deal is:
You play a diamond to the ace, ruff a club low in dummy and lead a second round of diamonds. It will do East no good to ruff in the second seat for he will be ruffing a loser and the rest of the tricks will be yours. So he will discard a club and the ♦K wins the trick.
Now you must abandon diamonds because if you concede a diamond to West’s queen, he will play a club and you will have to ruff with dummy’s jack and East will make a trick with the ♥ 10 9. Something similar would happen if you had discarded your remaining club on a spade winner too.
Instead, you must now ruff your last club with dummy’s jack of trumps and cash the three spade winners, throwing diamonds from hand. A fourth round of spades now sees you make two tricks with your remaining ♥A 8. Your only loser will be the diamond you play at trick 13.