Against 6 West led the K, which declarer (a good friend of mine) ruffed before falling into a meditation. The spade losers could not all be ruffed in dummy without losing control in the end, so dummy's clubs would have to be used for discards. There was no problem if hearts and clubs both split favorably, but what about a 4-1 trump break? If either opponent held H Jxxx, the defense could always score a heart trick and multiple spade tricks if the
The odds of a 4-1 break? About 25%, which is not peanuts to a vulnerable slam at rubber bridge. Declarer therefore led a heart to the king and continued with a LOW heart to the 10. If the hearts were 4-1, the opponents could win this, of course, but a spade continuation could be handled by dummy and there was a strong probability (over 80%) the clubs could then be run.
If instead the hearts were 3-2 and someone won the HJ, the contract was only in danger if the jack was doubleton and a club ruff was found by the defense, OR if the
A strange thing happened, though, when declarer led a heart to the 10. It held the trick! West had ducked, hoping his partner started life with
In practice West ruffed and declarer claimed his entertaining +1430.
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