A trump lead would have worked well but West was understandably impressed by his splendid sequence in hearts. How would you play the spade slam when the king of hearts is led? Declarer won the heart lead with the ace and ruffed a heart. Ace of clubs and a club ruff returned the lead to the South hand and declarer ruffed another heart loser with the ten. Since there is no way to dispose of the final heart loser, it may seem that declarer will now need a 3-2 trump break. Not necessarily! If declarer can score all three of his low trumps by ruffing, he may be able to score four side-suit winners and a total of eight trump tricks. Declarer ruffed another club and played three rounds of trumps, the 4-1 break coming to light. He then cashed the ace and king of diamonds successfully. At this stage he had eleven tricks stacked before him. His last two cards were the seven of trumps and a heart loser. East’s last two cards were the master jack of trumps and a club winner. However, when a minor-suit card was led from dummy there was nothing that East could do. If he ruffed with the jack, South’s seven of trumps would be promoted. If instead East discarded on the trick, declarer would ruff with the seven to bring his total to twelve.

How will you respond?


In the old days a response of 1H, over a double, was a ‘rescue bid’ aiming to protect the opener from the rare occasion when the fourth player passed the double for penalties. With 10 points or more you had to redouble instead. This was always a poor idea. Here it is a waste of time to redouble, when you have no intention of defending against 1S. Start to describe your hand instead with a forcing response of 1H.

Awards: 1H-10, Redouble-6.


David Bird — Knight Features