ITíS time for a Golden Oldie, again. Todayís deal was played by the old master, Harrison Gray. He was a squadron leader in the RAF during the war and a noted breeder of rare moths. His other claim was that he captained Great Britain to success in the European Championships of 1948, 1949 and 1950. Those were the days! On this deal his opening pre-empt of Three Hearts was passed out and West led the king of spades. How would you have played the deal? You have a certain loser in trumps and five more potential losers in the minors, one of which can be thrown on the spade ace. The best technical chance is to win with the spade ace, throwing a club, and to lead a diamond towards the queen. If East holds both the ace and king, or if he mistakenly plays the ace when he does not hold the king too, you may escape for only two diamond losers. Gray tried something different. He ducked the opening lead, throwing a diamond (rather than a club) from his hand! Concluding that declarer had top diamond losers, West was quick to switch to ace and another diamond. With only two diamond losers now, Gray subsequently threw a club on the spade ace. Cunningly played by the old master!

What would you say now on the West cards?


A rebid of 2NT would suggest around 18 points but come nowhere close to showing your shape. Nor is it a good idea to rebid 3C, which would risk missing a spade fit. The choice is therefore between IS and 2S. A 2S rebid would be game-forcing, which is an overbid when you have a singleton in partnerís suit. Awards: IS-10, 2S-7, 2NT-4, 3C-3.

David Bird ó Knight Features