Ross Taylor

The play’s the thing

David Colbert and Mike Cafferata are playing teams in the Sarasota regional this week. Dave likes to send me hands and stories. This one caught my attention. First, because his hand was an absolute rock, and second, the full layout lends itself to a really cool line of play in 6 diamonds. Here is Dave’s hand report, verbatim.




“I had AK AKJ9 — AKQJTxx  not bad, eh?”

(Dave is Canadian, so of course, occasionally he will finish his sentences with “eh” – here it’s as commonplace as please and thank you.)

“I opened 2C and it went 2H showing 1 ace -3C-3D (stayman) -3H -4D (so he has great diamonds) and I jumped to 6 clubs. What else could I do?

I need specifically the heart queen but if Mike has it he must know to bid 7 clubs. He thought for a long while and passed. I was sure we had missed a grand from ‘the tank’ but look at what he had:

A very interesting problem

   QJx  x  ATxxxxxx  x    yes, 3-1-8-1 !

They led a spade and I won, ruffed a heart, pitched a heart on the ace and claimed. The hearts were QTxx behind me but the grand goes 2 down if they find a trump lead. This was the KO semi-final and the other table was in 6D which has no play.

6 clubs makes even on a trump lead if you guess to draw trumps and cash the high spades and exit a heart.”


(Folks – that would be a helluva play and hand to report – looking something like this…..)



Dealer: South

Vul: NS

West East
108xx 9xxx
Q10xx xxxx
Q9 KJx
xxx xx


As Dave pointed out; after declarer draws trumps and cashes his spade honours, Ace and out in hearts puts West on play. Any return will yield trick 12. A heart is into your mashed potatoes, and a diamond or a spade allows you access to the dummy for the two winners there (you only need one of them)


Dave Memphis MOJOFebruary 22nd, 2010 at 12:15 am

What I love about bridge is that you can find something wonderful each time you play. Cute hand.

Blair FedderFebruary 23rd, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Wow…my favorite hand of all time was a 3 spades, 1 heart, 8 diamonds, 1 club holding…it seems it is the most common of eight baggers, or at least the most storied….another fun hand, thanks

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