This deal was played by Gary Cohler in the 2010 Orlando Regional. Thanks go to David Berkowitz, for reporting.
A Q 5 3 2
A 3 2
K Q 5 2
|8 3 2
K J 6
K 10 5
A J 8 4
South dealt and opened 1. According to David, "the real auction is unprintable." So, I'll make one up. West preempts with 2. North bids 3, which South should raise to 4. Now what?
Is North worth another move? Maybe.
Let's say he bids 4 to show a control (in a slam auction, a control is either the ace, king, void or singleton). This bid means the opponents won't take the first two rounds in the suit.
South can now control-bid his A with a bid of 5 (he already denied extras when he raised 3 to 4). North can now suggest 6 as a place to play. This auction is full of presumptions, but let's live with it:
The opening lead is a high spade. What are your thoughts?
"A pretty auction," no doubt. This looks to be much better than 6, where there would be a diamond to lose. Here, you can throw the diamond loser on the hearts.
West continues spades and you ruff in dummy. Now what? Assuming neither clubs or hearts are 5-0, you are in great shape. You can draw trumps (even 4-1 is okay). That gives you 4 club tricks, 5 heart tricks, the A-K, and the trick you just ruffed. Or, to think in reverse (the way I prefer for suit contracts), you have lost one spade trick. One spade was already ruffed in dummy. Your last spade and your potential diamond loser will get discarded on dummy's hearts after you draw trump.
You lay down the K and everyone follows. Will you have another?
Sure. Lay down the Q and everyone follows again. Looks like smooth sailing.
Can I talk you into drawing the last trump?
I hope not. Let's look at the full deal:
The full (real) deal:
Drawing a 3rd round of trumps is fatal. With the 5-0 heart break, you will fall a trick short. At the table, Gary Cohler found the "on-the-house" play of testing hearts first. If everyone followed, he would draw the last trump and claim.
But, when they turned out to be 5-0, he had a slight extra chance. If the hand with 5 hearts had the remaining trump (as here), declarer could win the K and ruff his last spade in dummy. Then a heart to the jack to draw the last trump and claim (only one heart discard is now needed for the diamond loser).
This thoughtful play earner Gary +1370 and a large gain on the deal.
Yes, had West tried for the newspapers and underled his spades on opening lead, he would have had a spectacular triumph (assuming that East returns a heart, as he should).