Gladstone, the 19th-century British Prime Minister, was asked to define the difference between a misfortune and a calamity.

“If (his rival) Disraeli fell into the Thames,” he responded, “that, I suppose, would be a misfortune. If someone fished him out, it would be a calamity.”

In today’s deal, North’s 2NT response was a conventional forcing spade raise, and South’s bid of three hearts showed a singleton heart. (The idea was to help North judge how well the partnership hands meshed; if North had held the wasted K-Q of hearts, he would have been discouraged; but his ace was a useful card.) When North cue-bid his ace of hearts and king of diamonds, South went to seven spades.

West led the king of hearts, and South took dummy’s ace and saw no worries. He could draw trumps, run the diamonds to pitch a club from dummy and ruff his low club. He cashed the ace of trumps — and there ensued a calamity when West discarded. South could no longer ruff a club in dummy, and his chances plunged to almost nil. Down he went.

When you see no worries, it means you should take a second look. At the second trick, South loses nothing by ruffing a heart. He then leads a trump to dummy’s ace. When West discards, South ruffs a heart, takes the K-J of trumps, goes to the king of diamonds and draws the missing trump with the queen. He wins the last five tricks with the A-Q-J of diamonds and A-K of clubs.

Unless South has the care and foresight to ruff a heart at Trick Two, he loses the grand slam.

South dealer

E-W vulnerable

NORTH

S A Q 9 4

H A 6 5

D K 9 3

C 9 3 2

WEST

S None

H K Q J 9 2

D 7 6 2

C Q 10 7 6 4

EAST

S 10 8 7 2

H 10 8 7 4

D 10 5 4

C J 8

SOUTH

S K J 6 5 3

H 3

D A Q J 8

C A K 5

South West North East
1 S Pass 2 NT Pass
3 H Pass 4 H Pass
5 D Pass 6 D Pass
7 S All Pass
Opening lead — H K

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Source:: The Mercury News

      

Bridge: Nov. 20, 2022

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