A Very Unusual Hand 

When this freakish hand came up in a pairs game at the Las Vegas Regional, I passed as west. I had no idea how I would communicate my distribution to my partner, and also, because the playing strength of the hand depends on whether a partner has useful cards or not. If a partner is void in my suits or has no high cards, I can easily get too high and go for a large number. A hand with these suits rarely gets passed out so I was quite certain I would get another chance to bid, and so it happened. North had a good hand and chose to open with one diamond, preparing for a rebid of clubs over his partner's presumed major suit response. My partner overcalled in clubs, giving me hope that she had at least a few useful cards. Clubs was only one of my voids, but the fact that she bid suggested a hand with close to opening points.

The auction continued with south cue bidding his ace of clubs to tell his partner that he had some good cards somewhere and to imply control of clubs, and so I had to start bidding at the level of three. My call of three spades, after having passed as dealer, suggests length in the suit, and north continued by showing his club suit. Now the bidding was passed to south, who tried to clarify his good diamond support by going to game in diamonds, so I was now forced to bid at the level of five to show my second suit of hearts. North carried on to six diamonds, which will go down on the loss of a heart and a club, but when the bid came back around to me, I chose to bid six hearts, having no defense with my two weak suits. North doubled this bid with gusto, holding the king-jack of hearts and the ace-king of diamonds. My partner obviously preferred spades to hearts, so when she bid six spades, the south player also doubled with some confidence, holding the aces of trumps and of clubs. I was contracted to a slam, missing three aces, including the ace of trumps—not usually a formula for success at bridge—but as you can see from the diagram, six spades is on ice (a bridge term for a making contract). I trumped the diamond ace lead, played a heart to the ace in my partner's hand, trumped a club to my hand, trumped a heart in dummy, trumped another diamond to hand. When the king of hearts fell on the third round of hearts trumped in dummy, I had only to lead a spade to lose to the ace, my one loser on the hand.

Six spades doubled, making six, scored 1,660 and was good for a tie for top. This hand was played 26 times, and only two of us made this score.

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