The deal comes from a club match in Australia. Southís 2S was a Tartan Two, showing 6-10 points and a two suiter including spades. Westís 3S overcall asked partner to bid 3NT if he held a spade stop. Northís double of this overcall was poorly judged. Why give the opponents a chance to find their diamond fit? He should have bid 4S straight away. Fortune was with him when he was allowed to bid 4S on the next round and this contract was doubled. (If East reads his partner for a solid minor suit, this can only be diamonds and he should have bid 5D instead of doubling 4S.) West led the ace of diamonds and the doubled spade game was easily made. Only a very accurate, and unlikely, defence can beat 4S. West must lead a low club to Eastís king and East must then switch to a diamond, ruffed in the dummy. When a trump is led from the table, East must duck. He can then win the second round of trumps and play a second round of diamonds. Whether declarer ruffs in the dummy or in his hand, he cannot survive.

What would you say now on the West cards?

It is a close decision to respond in spades or notrumps. The good hearts just tip the balance in favour of INT, which shows some values. If you choose to respond in spades you should bid 2S, showing 8-10 points, rather than IS which might be based on a yarborough.

Awards: INT-10,2S-9, 2NT-5, IS-4.

David Bird ó Knight Features