There is more than one way to view a grand slam — and an alternative angle might make all the difference . . .

Dealer: East
N/S Game


South’s opening bid is troublesome: 2NT with a singleton is wrong; a Strong Two should show a 6-card suit. Playing natural systems, 1S is best. 4NT was Roman Key-Card Blackwood; North’s 5H response showed A♦ and K♥; his 6C response indicated K♣.

Against a grand slam, providing you do not hold a singleton or a likely natural trick, the text-book lead is a trump. Here, unless the spade suit divides 3-3, it seems as if declarer is committed to a finesse (probably in clubs). Can you see a superior line? 

It is often worth a look at how the hand might play the other way up — with your hand as dummy, and dummy as declarer: a dummy reversal. Here, that idea provides an excellent line. Declarer wins 3♥ lead in hand, cashes A♦, and ruffs 10♦ in hand. Crossing to K♥, Q♦ is ruffed in hand also.

South returns to dummy with K♣ to draw the last trump — on which, having none in hand, he can throw 7♣. Now, ♠AKQ are laid down and 6♠ ruffed with the final trump. Lastly, declarer comes to hand with A♣, and 7♠ is his 13th trick.

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