EAST’s 4 NT was an example of the Unusual Notrump, showing two long minor suits. South decided to try his luck in 5H and East doubled. Take the East cards now and test your defence. West, your partner, leads the seven of clubs. You win with the queen of clubs and declarer follows with the jack. How will you continue the defence? You have no way of reading the club position. You partner could have led the seven from 9-7-2, 7-2 or singleton 7. What you do know, though, is that declarer cannot possibly get rid of any diamond losers that he has. Consequently there is no need whatsoever to switch to diamonds at this stage. You persist with the ace of clubs and both the closed hands follow suit. What next? Again there is no need at all to play a diamond. If declarer has one or more diamond losers, he cannot dispose of them. You have nothing to lose by playing a third club and in fact this promotes a trump trick for your partner, putting the doubled contract one down. If you play a diamond at Trick 2 or Trick 3, declarer makes the contract by drawing two rounds of trumps and playing on spades. The spade suit breaks 5-1 but he can ruff the third round in dummy.

What will you say now?


On the face of it, South’s 2D is a cue bid showing reasonable strength and asking partner to continue bidding naturally. Very strange in view of the fact that both North and East have showed good values too. Your best move is to pass and see what develops. A double of 2D should show good diamonds. A rebid of 2C would show a weak distributional opening.

AWARDS: Pass — 10, Dble — 6, 2C — 5.

David Bird — Knight Features