Sunday, March 28, 2004


SOUTH’S bidding was somewhat inconsistent. If he wanted to play in Four Spades when his partner held nothing, he should have chosen a stronger opening bid than IS. Against that, he was worried that a 3S rebid would not do justice to his hand and that North might pass when holding one good card, such as the ace of diamonds. How would you have played the spade game when West opens the defence with the ace and king of hearts? Declarer ruffed the second round and played two top trumps. He then exited with a third round of trumps to East’s queen, setting the defender a tricky problem. At the table, East solved declarer’s problems by exiting with a diamond. Declarer could put up the king, then cross to the king of clubs to lead towards the diamond queen. Had East exited with a club instead (better, since he can see eight clubs between his hand and the dummy and only six diamonds), the contract would have failed. Another line was available to South. Suppose he crosses to the club king at Trick 3 and plays a diamond to the king. If it wins, he can lead the ten of trumps from hand, setting up dummy’s jack for a second lead towards his diamond holding.

What opening bid would you choose on the West cards?



Although you hold 20 points, the hand is unsuitable for any sort of two-bid. In any case, with 4-4-4-1 shape you will need something like a six-count opposite to give you a fair play for game. With such a hand partner will respond to a one-bid. The best opening bid is 1H. You will locate any heart fit immediately and give partner the opportunity to respond easily in spades. (If you play a five-card major system, you would have to open ID instead.)

Awards: 1H-10, 1D-7, 1S-5, 2NT-4.

— Knight Features