Westís 2NT was the Unusual Notrump, showing both minors. Northís 3H showed a normal raise to 2H. With a sound raise to 3H he would instead have bid 3D, a cue-bid in one of Westís suits. Take the East cards now and test your defence. Partner leads the ace of spades, which is likely to be a singleton. He continues with the ace of clubs. You are playing the method: Ďan ace lead asks for an attitude signal, a king lead asks for a count signalí. Partnerís ace of clubs therefore denies the king of clubs. Would you encourage clubs or not? The original East took a simple view. He had no high card in clubs and therefore played the two of clubs, a discouraging signal. West was still desperate to reach his partnerís hand for a spade ruff. He therefore switched to a low diamond, hoping that East held the ace of the suit. Not the best! Declarer won with the diamond queen and played ace and another trump, making the contract. It should have been obvious to East that if he discouraged clubs partner would switch, perhaps disastrously, to diamonds. Had he asked for a club continuation, the defenders would have scored a diamond trick, putting 4H one down. Who was this foolish East? I donít want to embarrass the poor fellow by naming him. He writes the bridge column in New Zealandís Listener magazine.

What will you say now?

David Bird ó Knight Features