North’s 4NT was Roman Key-card Blackwood with spades agreed, the response showing one ace or the king of trumps. North’s 5NT asked for kings and confirmed possession of all five key-cards. South now jumped to 7D, suggesting this grand slam as an alternative spot. North corrected to 7S and the king of clubs was led. How would you have played the contract? Declarer won the club lead, noting that East had played the seven to show two clubs. All depended on playing the diamonds correctly and declarer set out to obtain a count on the hand. He drew two rounds of trumps with the ace and king, then played a heart to the ace and ruffed a heart with the jack. A trump to the queen drew the last trump and West showed out when the king of hearts was played. West held three spades, two hearts and seven clubs. So, only one diamond! Declarer cashed the ace of diamonds and ran the diamond 10 through East, not in the least surprised when West showed out. You can often improve your chances by seeking a count on the hand. It is well worth the extra effort.

What would you say now on the West cards?



Even though partner is unlikely to have wasted values in clubs, it is too ambitious to visualize a slam. 3NT might be better than 4S but it is impossible to discover this with any certainty. You could try 3C, showing a strong hand and asking for further description. I like best a direct rebid of 4S. A rebid of 3S would not be forcing and might result in a missed game.
Awards: 4S - 10, 3C - 7, 3NT - 6, 3S - 4.

— Knight Features