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 3 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 5 bid, emphasising the trump quality, spurred David on to bid the reasonable slam.
Adam led the Q, and the best hope is to draw trumps and try three rounds of clubs. If the J drops, there are 12 tricks, and if not the heart finesse could be taken against East, who is a strong favourite to hold the K.
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 A, 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 A and running trumps gives a squeeze position. Whichever defender holds the K must keep it, so if he also has the J he is unable to retain four clubs. This also picks up against the J being in the short hand—and of course a singleton K offside. Lucy duly rose with the ace, and 12 tricks were in the bag.