Shangai hands (11) - Cruel split

The first board of round 11 was a club slam that looked rather easy to make.... with normal splits. Only snag, trumps were 5-0, i.e. one defender had one more trump than either declarer or dummy. Still, the defensive trumps were nine-high, hence the slam was eminently feasible. Not all declarers made it, though. There are several winning lines; let's see the one chosen by Bsrbara Hackett (nee Stawowy) of the German Ladies Team.

Brd 17   AKT8
East     82
None     K98
943             QJ7652
K65               Q97
73              QJT6
98763           ---  

 W   N   E   S
         P   1H
 P   1S  P   3C
 P   3D! P   3NT
 P   4C! P   4D!
 P   6C  P   P
Tajima led a diamond, won by dummy' s king while East signaled violently with the queen. Declarer cashed the ace-king of spades, discarding diamonds from her hand. Then a heart to the jack and West's king. A diamond came back to the ace. Only now declarer touched trumps, cashing the ace and receiving the bad news. But she was in control: ace of hearts, heart ruff, spade ruff low (this is the only risky move) and then a high crossruff to twelve tricks, while poor West has to under-ruff impotently four times!.

Nikos Sarantakos

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2007 Nikos Sarantakos