West leads the three of hearts to dummyís jack and Eastís queen. He then follows with the two when East plays the heart ace. How will you tackle the contract when a third heart is led at Trick 3? If you ruff with the nine , you will go down, losing trump tricks to the ten and king. Declarer decided to ruff with the ace and hope to escape for just one trump loser thereafter. When he played a trump to the queen East showed out, discarding a heart. Declarer returned to his hand with the ace of clubs and led a second trump, covering Westís seven with dummy's eight. A club to the king brought the lead to his hand once more and a key moment had been reached. If he played another trump at this stage he would go down. West would rise with the king and strand declarer in the dummy. He would then be unable to take the diamond finesse. Aware of this problem, declarer led the queen of diamonds instead. West covered with the king, since his only chance of beating the contract at this stage was that East held the diamond jack. Declarer won with the ace of diamonds, returned to the diamond jack and led a third round of trumps towards the jack. He was then able to claim the contract. Northís 2H is a weak two, showing 6-10 points and six hearts. Partnerís double is for take-out.

What will you say on the West cards?

Partner should have upwards of 13 points for a double of a weak two-bid. Your hand offers excellent prospects of making 3NT. Give partner the king of clubs and you can already see seven likely tricks with only 3 points so far allocated in his hand. A response of 3C would go nowhere near expressing your values. Nor do you want to make any response that bypasses 3NT.

Awards: 3NT -10, 2NT -6, 4C -4, 3C -3.

David Bird ó Knight Features