Jack Leeder’s Bad Bid and Good Squeeze
By Ray Adams
Jack Leeder bid himself into a corner just the other night at the local duplicate club, then had to play well to get out of it. This was the hand in question:
In the auction, 1NT was 15-17 HCP, 2♦ was a transfer to hearts, 3♦ showed a two-suited hand and was a slam try, and 5♦ showed zero or three aces, the king of diamonds being counted as one ace. Jack decided to bid 6NT instead of 6♥, figuring he would get a spade lead and then able to run his hearts and clubs. Readers can see he did this in spite of the massive heart fit.
West led the ten of clubs to dummy’s ace. Jack now saw he had made a bad bid and was short one trick. He started by running hearts. West followed to two, then sluffed a small spade and a small club. East threw two spades. Dummy’s last heart caused West no problem as another club was tossed, while East also threw a small club.
Declarer then ran his three top clubs. West followed to one and shed a diamond on the second, but was in serious trouble on the third. Finally this player discarded the queen of spades. Jack read the position perfectly and exited with a small spade. West won the ace and had to lead a diamond, choosing a sneaky ten. Jack held his breath and ran this to his jack. He was soon claiming this well-played slam for a top board.
“Well, partner,” North said after the hand was over. “Don’t you think 6♥ would have been much easier?”
“Of course,” Jack said, “but it wouldn’t have been half the fun.”