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South deals  S K 8 7 
 H 8 4 3 
 D 3 2 
 C A K Q T 3 
 S Q J T 6 5 4 2 
 H
 D
 C J 6 5 4 
both vul  S A 9 
 H T 9 7 6 2 
 D 9 7 5 
 C 8 7 2 
 S
 H A Q J 5 
 D A K Q J T 6 4 
 C

West
André


3S
North
Elizabeth


3NT
East
Jon DS


all pass
South
Jian

1D
Result: plus 3, NS +690

West
Adam


3S
pass

North
David


dbl¹
6D

East
Hugo


pass
all pass

South
Lucy

1D
5D
¹ penalties
Result: making, NS +1370

The 2006 Cuppers final
A Tricky Slam

Lucy Mushens picked up a much-needed 12 IMPs for Trinity I on this board in the second half. The two Norths coped with the 3S overcall in different ways—Elizabeth bid a pragmatic 3NT, while David had a penalty double available and hoped to pick up 500 in case the game wasn't making. Both Souths should prefer to play in diamonds, and Lucy's 5D bid, emphasising the trump quality, spurred David on to bid the reasonable slam.

Adam led the SQ, and the best hope is to draw trumps and try three rounds of clubs. If the CJ drops, there are 12 tricks, and if not the heart finesse could be taken against East, who is a strong favourite to hold the HK.

In order to do that, Lucy needed to avoid a club switch, so she covered the queen. East is very unlikely to lead a club into dummy's holding, so forcing him to win the first trick is a great idea.

Hugo won the SA, and switched to a heart. This is still not ideal from Lucy's point of view, and the naïve play now is to rely on the heart finesse. However, there is still a way to combine chances, since winning the HA and running trumps gives a squeeze position. Whichever defender holds the HK must keep it, so if he also has the CJ he is unable to retain four clubs. This also picks up against the CJ being in the short hand—and of course a singleton HK offside. Lucy duly rose with the ace, and 12 tricks were in the bag.