WEST opened with a weak 2H and South’s 4NT was Roman Key-card Blackwood with spades agreed as trumps. North’s 5C response showed three aces or two aces and the trump king. South then bid the slam in no-trumps rather than spades, to avoid an opening lead through the king of hearts. How would you play 6NT when West leads the jack of diamonds? Declarer won the diamond lead with the king and cashed four rounds of clubs, West showing out on the third round and discarding two hearts. When declarer continued with the queen and ace of diamonds, East showed out on the third round, throwing a heart. What now? Declarer needed to bring in the spade suit. He would normally play for the drop with this combined holding but on the present deal he had a complete count of the hand. West had shown up with four diamonds and two clubs. Since his opening bid had shown a six-card heart suit, he was marked with 1-6-4-2 shape. With East holding four spades to his partner’s one, the odds were 4-to-1 that East held the jack of spades. Declarer could not cash the spade ace on the first round because this would block the suit. He therefore took a first-round finesse of the ten. When this succeeded, the way was clear to cash all the spades and make the slam.

What will you rebid on this West hand?

You are not strong enough to rebid 2H. This would be a ‘reverse bid’, carrying the bidding beyond two of the suit that you have opened. You need around 17 points or more to make such a strong rebid. The choice is between 2S, raising on three-card support, and 2D. Easily best is the raise in spades. If you rebid 2D and partner passes, you may end in a 5-1 fit when you have a 5-3 fit in spades.

Awards: 2S — 10, 2D — 5, 2H — 2.

David Bird — Knight Features