David Bird

3NT would have proved unbeatable, as the cards lie, but North cannot be blamed for preferring to raise to 4S. Take the West cards and see how you fare in defence. You lead a trump, partner winning with the ace and returning the jack of clubs to the dummyís ace. After drawing a second round of trumps with the king, declarer leads a low heart from his hand. What will you do? You have a good picture of the whole deal. Your partnerís jack of clubs denied the queen, so you can place declarer with five trump tricks, three club tricks and the diamond ace. A heart trick will bring his total to ten, so you must act quickly to set up a fourth trick for the defence. Rise with the heart ace and switch to a diamond. Declarer will have little option but to try the finesse. When it fails, your partner will cash a heart for one down. If instead you play low on the first heart, your partner will have to win the trick. He cannot attack diamonds successfully from his side of the table and the game will be made.


If you bid 3S you might easily go down. You have only seven tricks in your own hand and no reason to expect partner to add two more than South has opened 2NT. You could pass and take a penalty against 2NT, but why not be more ambitious? The best call is a penalty double! Itís true that North might be able to escape into some long suit at the three-level, but a double still rates to work out best. Awards: Double - 10, Pass - 7, 3S - 4.

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