3NT would have been hopeless and North-South bid well to reach 5D instead. North’s 3S showed a spade stopper (not necessarily a four-card suit) and told partner that he held no club guard. Since the singleton king was a dubious stopper in clubs, South leapt to the game in diamonds. Excellent bidding. Right, now take the East cards and see if you can beat the contract. Your partner, West, leads the queen of clubs and you win with the ace, the king failing from declarer. What next? South is almost certain to hold the 13 points that are missing outside the club suit. Even if he holds only six diamonds, you can count five diamond tricks, two spades with the finesse, and four heart tricks—a total of eleven. The only hope is to cut declarer off from the dummy, which can be done if declarer holds only two hearts. At Trick 2, you return a heart, won with the king. When the king of trumps is led, you win immediately (so that you still have a trump left) and return your remaining heart, won in the dummy. Deprived of four heart tricks, declarer leads the spade queen. You must refuse to cover and now the contract is doomed. You ruff the next top heart and the game in one down. Good bidding, good defence!

What action will you take over South’s 1H opening?


You are not strong enough to overall 1NT (which shows around 15-18 points). Nor is your shape suitable for a take-out double. The only sound action is to pass. Inexperienced players tend to think for a white before passing, which gives information away. Pass straight away!
AWARDS: Pass-10, Double-5, INT-3, 2D-1.

David Bird — Knight Features