Northís 4C was a splinter bid, showing a sound game-raise in hearts with at most one club. The openerís 4D was a cue bid, showing a diamond control and suggesting a slam in hearts. Northí 5C showed a void club, rather than a singleton, and his 5NT asked South to bid the grand if he held two of the three top trump honours. How would you play 7H when West leads the king of clubs? The original declarer ruffed the club lead, crossed to his hand with a trump and ruffed a second club. He then drew trumps and prepared to claim the contract with four trump tricks in hand, two ruffs, five spades and the minor-suit aces. When it played on spades, however, the 5-0 break came to light and the grand slam could no longer be made. What should he have done differently? To offset the lack of a fifth spade trick, declarer needed to take a third club ruff. It was easy enough. After taking the second club ruff, he should have returned to a trump and ruffed another club. He could then return to the ace of diamonds (safer than a spade), draw the last trump and claim the balance.


The first point to note is that the hand will play hopelessly in notrumps (unless partnerís hearts are ready to run). How many tricks can you expect, playing in hearts? If partner has a one loser heart suit, you will have nine easy tricks and the spade finesse for a tenth. You are (just) worth a raise to 4H.

AWARDS: 4H-10, Pass-6, 3S-4, 3NT-3.

David Bird ó Knight Features