YOU don’t understand South’s 1H response and regard a ID response as automatic on those cards? I agree with you! The deal comes from the USA, though, where the custom is to respond in a major suit whenever possible. How would you play 6H when West leads the ten of spades? Declarer won with the spade ace and dew two rounds of trumps. If trumps had broken 3-2, all would have been easy. He could have drawn the last trump and played on diamonds, ruffing the fourth round if necessary. Unfortunately West showed out on the second round of trumps. What now? One line would be to draw all the trumps and hope that diamonds did not break 4-0. Declarer spotted an extra chance, however. Before drawing any more trumps, he cashed the king of diamonds. If both defenders had followed, he would have drawn the remaining trumps and run the diamonds. West showed out, in fact, but could not ruff! Declarer was able to cash two more top diamonds and ruff a diamond in dummy. He could then draw trumps and claim the contract. On the lie of the cards, you can also make 6D. You score six tricks in the side suits and six trump trick (ruffing two clubs and promoting your last trump with a further round of clubs).

What will you say now on these West cards?

Partner has shown nine cards in his suits and his most likely spade holding is a singleton, so you should not rebid 2S. Since partner holds five hearts, you do best to give ‘false preference’ to 2H. You can hardly pass 2C because partner might still hold 17 or 18 points. Nor is 2NT attractive with only 10 points and such a tenuous diamond stopper.

Awards: 2H - 10, 2S - 5, 2NT - 4, pass - 3.


David Bird — Knight Features