North’s 2H shows a sound raise in spades (direct bids of 2S or 3S would have been pre-emptive). Since South would have overcalled without the ace of diamonds he feels entitled to rebid 3S. North raises to game and the two of hearts is led. How would you play the hand? The lead is an obvious singleton and you should rise with dummy’s ace of hearts. After drawing trumps in two rounds, you run the nine of hearts to East. West shows out on this trick and East wins with the queen. Suppose he switches to a diamond now. You win with the ace, cross to a trump and lead the jack of hearts. It makes no difference whether East covers. If he does, you will ruff and return to the ace of clubs to throw a club. If he chooses not to, you will throw a club immediately. In either case you will eventually ruff a diamond in dummy for your ninth trick. The technique in hearts is known as a ‘ruffing finesse’. Would a club lead have beaten the contract, do you think? You can still succeed, provided you duck the first round of clubs to break the defenders’ communications. You will then win the club continuation, draw trumps, and run the nine of hearts. Again an eventual ruffing finesse will allow you to discard a club closer.

What would you say now on the West cards?


Suppose you pass, happy with the contract of 1NT doubled, and North removes to 2S. You will have no good bid available on the next round. A better idea is to redouble. This tells your partner that your side holds a good majority of the points. He may then be able to double a retreat to 2S. A raise to 2NT would be pointless when you are already doubled in 1NT. Awards: Redouble-10, Pass-6, 2NT-3, 2H/2D-2.

David BirdKnight Features