South correctly opened just 1H. Despite his fine playing strength, he could not insist on a game contract until some sort of fit was found. The opponents entered the auction and the level had been raised to 2S by his next turn. South then judged that 3D would not be a strong enough rebid on such a fine hand with four first-round controls. He jumped to 4D and was raised to game by his partner. How would you play this contract when West leads the king of spades, reducing your trump length immediately? At Trick 2 you cash the ace of hearts. You then ruff a heart, return to your hand with the ace of clubs and ruff another heart. West shows out on this trick, so you know that the hearts are breaking 4-2. If you are too ambitious and cross to your hand with another spade ruff, to ruff another heart, you will lose control and go down. Instead you must overtake the bare king of trumps with the ace and draw trumps in two more rounds. You can then concede a trick in hearts to set up two long cards in the suit. You make the game for the loss of just one club and one heart.

What bid will you make?

You are strong enough to rebid 3D but it is more accurate to rebid 2S, even though you know that partner cannot hold four spades (he would then have bid 1S instead of 1NT). Since there can be no 4-4 spade fit, the 2S rebid implies that you are strong enough to play in 3D. Of course you hope that partner will be able to bid 3NT.

Awards: 2S-10, 3D 6, 3NT 5, 2NT-3.

David Bird Knight Features