3rd May 2017

A deal from a Manchester Bridge Club Duplicate on 19th April.
Dealer W EW Vul.

S A872
H AK10532
C -

S K10643
H -
D 10874
C Q932


1H Pass
1S Pass
4C Pass
4S Pass
5C Pass
5H Pass
6D Pass
6S Pass

Justin Hackett opened one heart on the North hand and was pleasantly surprised to hear his partner, Martin Taylor, respond one spade.  Justin now wanted to bid five clubs, exclusion key card Blackwood, but unsure that partner would interpret this correctly, settled for an unambiguous splinter in support of spades.  Martin was, unsurprisingly, not interested in slam at this point, having a very minimum response.  Justin, now hoping that Martin's spades were better than jack to four, bid five clubs to show the void and Martin cue bid his void heart.  Justin now made a grand slam try with six diamonds and Martin signed off in small slam.

West led a diamond.  What is the best line for the contract?


Win the diamond ace and ruff a heart low.  Then play the king and ace of spades.  If trumps are 2-2 and hearts no worse than 5-2 then you can ruff enough hearts to set them up.  If trumps are 3-1 and hearts are 4-3, then again you can cross ruff and set up the hearts for diamond discards, to lose only one trump trick.  This line gives you an approximate 68% chance of success.