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Bridge: Make a Grand Slam by Establishing a Long Suit

Establishing a suit in bridge may seem like a ton of work, but the rewards can be great. You may even accomplish a grand slam (taking all 13 tricks) by establishing a side suit. The risks when bidding for all 13 tricks are high but can sure pay off if you make your contract.

Fasten your seat belt and take a look at the cards in this image. Nothing is quite like bidding a grand slam (contracting for all 13 tricks) and then taking all 13 tricks. Your contract for this hand is 7♥ (hearts is the trump suit). West leads the ♠Q.

image0.jpg

Count your losers and look for extra winners:

  • Hearts: No losers, a solid suit

  • Spades: No losers (the ♠AK take care of your two baby spades)

  • Diamonds: No losers and a five-card suit (hint, hint, hint)

  • Clubs: One eventual loser

You have one loser in clubs, the fly in the ointment. You must try to get rid of that club on one of the dummy’s diamonds, but first you have to set up those diamonds:

  1. Win the opening lead with the dummy’s ♠K.

  2. Lead a low diamond, the ♦2, from the dummy to the ♦A in your hand.

    You’re following the general principle of unblocking the logjam by playing the high card from the short side. Both opponents play a low diamond at trick two, so they have four diamonds left.

  3. Lead a diamond, the ♦7, from your hand to the ♦K in the dummy.

    Again, both opponents play low so they have two diamonds left.

  4. Play a third diamond from the dummy, the ♦3.

    East follows with the ♦J.

  5. Trump with the ♥8.

    West discards a worthless spade because he can’t overtrump the ♥8. The two diamonds in the dummy still aren’t winners because East has the ♦Q.

  6. Enter the dummy by leading the ♥9 to the ♥Q.

  7. Trump the ♦4 from the dummy in your hand.

    You just flushed out the last obstacle to your happiness: East’s ♦Q. Don’t look now, but the ♦5 in the dummy is an established trick. But wait, you can’t use it until you draw trumps!

  8. Play the ♥AK, drawing the opponents’ remaining trumps.

  9. Enter the dummy by leading your remaining spade, the ♠7, to the dummy’s ♠A.

  10. Finally, joyously, triumphantly, play your ♦5, discarding your losing club.

You’ve just bid and made a grand slam by winning all 13 tricks! But you needed the dummy’s ♦5 to do it.

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