In a recent team game, I picked up the hefty South hand. While the point count meets my requirements for a 2 opening, the potentially awkward rebid (3 over 2 ) made this unappealing. Further, holding short spades the chance of being passed out in 1 was too small to worry about.
Norths jump raise was weak (inverted minors), and East was not to be shut out (I knew the spade suit would show up somewhere). I needed so little for slam, and Blackwood would be a waste of time, so I just took the plunge. Oops. Dummy had the wrong hand, with three apparently useless queens.
West led the 4 (third-best from an even number) to the jack, and East tried to cash the king. Despite the disappointing dummy, there was a chance that did not require a miracle. I needed the K to be in the same hand as the heart length (and hearts not 4-4); then that defender would be squeezed.
After ruffing the second spade high, I won the K, then led the J to the queen and ruffed the last spade. Next came the A, and my last diamond to dummy to finish the trumps. Bingo! I got lucky as East was forced to abandon his heart stopper, then my 7 won the last trick.
Actually, I was more than lucky; East was a benefactor in leading the K at trick two. This is sometimes known as the cash-and-carry defense: Try to cash it get carried away. If East instead shifts to either red suit, it would be impossible to ruff both spades and execute the squeeze. Try it.
© 2011 Richard Pavlicek