THE deal comes from the Generali world individual championship. How do you assess Mouiel’s chances in 3H? He seems to have two spade losers, one loser in each of the minors and two trump losers. That would be two down. In fact it is a difficult contract to defeat. Watch as the play is described and see if you can spot how the defenders might have beaten the contract. Zia led the king of spades and continued with the spade jack. At Trick 3 he switched to a diamond. East won with the queen and returned a spade, ruffed in the dummy. Declarer cashed dummy’s ace of diamonds and ruffed a diamond. He continued with the ace of trumps and the two top clubs. He could then ruff dummy’s last diamond with the six, West following suit. South’s remaining cards were a club loser and K-J of trumps. When he existed with the club, Zia had to ruff and lead into the trump tenace. How can the defenders prevail? Zia must play a third spade, instead of switching to a diamond. When East takes his diamond trick he plays a fourth spade, allowing West to score the trump nine. He is then assured of a second trump trick from his Q-10-5.

Twice recently, I have seen players rebid the major suit (worried about 1C doubled being passed out). On this deal, in an international match, West ended in 2C doubled for minus 800. In another match it was minus 500 when there was no game available to the other side. If 1C doubled is passed by North, your partner can initiate a rescue. Do not jump out of the window before you have been pushed!

Awards: Pass -10, 1S - 3, 1NT -2.

David Bird — Knight Features