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When 10 Equals 13

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

(1) Fourth suit forcing.

(2) Roman Key Card Blackwood for hearts.

(3) One or four key cards.

(4) Asking for kings.

(5) What he thought his side could make.

(6) Declarer thought North was showing two outside kings.

This deal was played in the Crockford’s Cup final in England in the spring of 2004. The hero of the play, if not the bidding, was Patrick Jourdain of Wales. It was reported by Michelle Brunner of Manchester, England.

Jourdain had only 10 top tricks, and the total rose to 11 when West started with a low club. East correctly withheld his ♣K, but Jourdain still had a lot of work to do. He cashed the top hearts from his hand, then the A and the ♣A before going to dummy to run hearts. This was the position:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ A Q J 9
10
8
♣ —
West
♠ 10 8
6
♣ 8 7 6
East
♠ K 7
J 10 5
♣ K
South
♠ —
K Q 9 7
♣ J 10

On the play of the 10, East was done. A spade discard would make all of dummy’s spades good, while if East let go of a diamond, All four of declarer’s diamonds would be good. Finally, an exasperated East pitched the ♣K in the vain hope that partner held something in that suit. Now it was easy for Jourdain to discard one low diamond on the 10 and another on the ♠A to bring home the dubious grand slam.

Note that it was important for declarer not to cash the ♠A prematurely or the South had is squeezed before East. Whether South pitched a club or a diamond on the ♠A, declarer would then have made only one extra trick in that suit – not two, as actually transpired – and East could simply give up his guard in whatever suit South had pitched.

It was a rare three-suit squeeze where two tricks are gained from one discard.

The full deal:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ A Q J 9 6 4
Q J 10 6 3
8 3
♣ —
West
♠ 10 8 5
9 7 5
6 4
♣ 8 7 6 5 3
East
♠ K 7 3 2
8 4
J 10 5 2
♣ K 9 2
South
♠ —
A K 2
A K Q 9 7
♣ A Q J 10 4