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North
A9872
94
K3
Q965
South
4
AKJ10753
A42
A2
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
3
X
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
4NT
P
5
P
5
P
5
P
6
P
P
P

As the result of an ambitious and ambiguous sequence, prompted by South, we arrive at 6.

Well, it is obviously not the worst slam we've declared so far. If there is no loser, 6 has a reasonable chance; however, East’s 3 overcall prevents us from being as optimistic as we were during the bidding.

The opening lead is 8. We win the first trick with A in hand and cash two top s, East discards a  on the second.

Now what? Is there still a chance to make this contract?

At first glance, it seems not.

But... wait a minute...

What if East has the singleton K?

Let’s exit with a , discarding a from dummy. West wins and returns Q. We put up A (6 by East) and ruff a : the crucial move!

Then, we put down A and amazingly see the drop of K from East. East's shape must be either 4-1-7-1 or 5-1-6-1. Now it is relatively less difficult to reach this four-card position.

West
J
J108
North
98
K
Q
East
K5
QJ
South
2
42
2
D

We simply go to Q, and East cannot find a discard without loss.

 

The whole deal:

West
QJ10
Q82
8
J108743
North
A9872
94
K3
Q965
East
K653
6
QJ109765
K
South
4
AKJ10753
A42
A2
D

FURTHER DISCUSSION

(1) The opening lead of a small may seem to beat 6 if West later plays J when in with Q. However, that is not right. In that case, after winning Q in dummy at trick 5, we cash K and ruff a . Now, West has to guard , East ; so, neither one can hold on to .

(2) If East had 5-1-6-1, i.e. something like [Qxxxx x QJT9xx K], West would be able to lead a second when in with Q. Then, we would come to hand with A, and the double squeeze would work as in (1) above.

(3) If s behaved nicely, we would get to 11 tricks right away. In this case, we could collect 12 tricks even when East had something like [xx Q QJT9xx KTxx]. Simply cash all the winners, keeping x and Ax as the last 3 cards in hand; and East would be subject to an endplay-squeeze.

 

NOTE: This deal was fabricated from a deal that came up in an IMP tournament at the Ankara Bridge Club in September 2017, and was told me by Ahmet Kahraman. In the original hand, North's s were AJxxx, which would have the potential of complicating the play and analysis.

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