THE deal comes from rubber bridge, played at TGR’s Club in London, where the stakes were 100 pounds a 100! Some of the bids are surprising. East might well have opened with a strong 2S, rather than 2C. South might perhaps have bid 5D instead of 6D, but it is unlikely that this would have bought the contract. West would surely have bid 5S, which cannot be beaten. West led a spade against the doubled small slam in diamonds and Howard Cohen ruffed in the South hand. Suppose you had been playing for such stupendous stakes. How would you have played the contract? Cohen drew the outstanding trumps with his ace, then advanced the nine of hearts! West gave this a look but did not like to expend his jack. This might well cost 300 pounds if partner held such as K-Q doubleton. He played low and declarer’s nine won the trick. Three more top hearts followed, allowing declarer to throw a club from dummy. The slam was then made for the loss of just one club.

What would you bid on the West cards?


Some players use a bid such as 3D (over a double) as a fit-jump. This shows a good heart fit and a diamond side suit. You are too weak in terms of points for such a bid. I would bid a simple 4H. If North bids 4S, you can bid 5C next time, on the way to 5H. This will suggest a good opening lead to partner, should the opponents proceed to 5S.

Awards: 4H-10, 3D-7, 3H-4, 4C (Splinter bid)-3.

David Bird — Knight Features