TANGIER, Morocco has long been a haven for invited bridge players under the wonderful hospitality of Tessa Wheeler. Her husband Stuart was not proud of the auction on this week's deal from last year's trip. But, doubtless to the frustration of his opponents, he managed to wrap up his inelegant slam contract.
Dealer North Both vulnerable 4 Q 4 VA 5
♦ A K J 9 2 +AQJ 9
4J 8 7
• Q J 9 • 10 6 4 4K 5 3 3
4K 6 5 ♦ K 108 • 8 5 46 4 2 3 3 2 2 N W E 4A V7 109 6 4
• Q 7
South West North 2NT East pass 3+ pass pass pass 6+ pass
South's 3+ was Stayman, asking partner for four card major suits. Stuart must have been a trifle surprised at his partner's 6+ response — of course North had forgotten the convention and had leapt excitedly to slam with such good + 'support'.
West led VQ and declarer won VA. He crossed to 4Q and led +10, passing it suc- cessfully. He played a 44 to dummy's 4J and cashed +A, felling West's 4K and drawing the remaining trumps. He then cashed his four winning ♦s and led his last trump. With three cards remaining both opponents had been forced to keep two 4s. If West had come down to a singleton, declarer would have led 4Q to pin his 4J; if East had bared 4K, then declarer could have made both 4A and 40 separately.
Realising that both opponents held only one V remaining, Stuart simply exited with his losing V. West won 1PJ (East hav- ing jettisoned ♦K earlier in case his part- ner held 4J and 410) and switched to a low 4. Declarer played low from dummy, beat East's 4K with 4A and took the last trick with 4Q.