West’s 2H is a Michaels Cue Bid, promising at least 5-5 shape in spades and a minor. South shows his strength by bidding the enemy suit, and North bids Roman Key-card Blackwood, South’s response showing three aces and the trump king. How would you play 7H on a trump lead? You should win with the ace and draw a second round of trumps with the king. If trumps are 2-2, you will be able to throw a diamond from dummy on your fourth club and ruff a diamond for the thirteenth trick. When trumps prove to be 3-1 the best line is a squeeze on West. The squeeze-card will have to be in dummy, alongside the spade queen (which is the one-card threat). You will therefore have to take three spade ruffs in the South hand to shorten your trumps. Cross to dummy three times in clubs to ruff three spades. You then cash the club ace, throwing a diamond, and play a trump to the queen. On this trick West will have to throw his guard in spades or diamonds. The grand slam is then yours.

What would you say now on the West cards?


An overcall of INT would show the point-count and the good diamond stop, but if partner has a modest hand with a spade fit you might miss game. The problem with a double is that you might, again, miss a 5-3 spade fit. I like best a simple overcall of IS, intending to rebid 2H if the opportunity arises.
Awards: IS-10, INT/Double-7,2S (intermediate)-5

David Bird — Knight Features