Ross Taylor

What now buttercup?

Today you hold

 752     AK53   J1054   76

Your side is vul, they are not. Partner opens 1 heart in first chair. Your RHO says 1 spade. You say 2NT, which happens to show a four card raise.

LHO jumps all the way to 5 clubs, and your vulnerable partner (me) chimes in with 5 hearts. Your RHO now says 5 spades, and everyone all of a sudden ran out of breath, and that became the final contract. You lead the King of hearts, and this is what you see:



Your heart king wins the first trick, partner playing the queen, while declarer plays the 4. Now what should you do?

Another heart? Hmm, I doubt that will cash.

A diamond, tapping dummy? Hmm, do you think partner forgot to double 5S with the Aces of spades and diamonds?

A trump?  If declarer is void of clubs he will not be able to draw trumps and run the clubs. By playing a trump now, you will beat this contract a trick.

A club? Now you’re talking !!

If declarer has a stiff club, what can he do? He will be forced to abandon clubs before trumps are drawn, and he will go down.

Here was the full layout

Dealer: south

Vul: north-south

West   East
AKQ10943 J8
4 102
K963 void
2 AKQJ109853


Is it reasonable to exit a club, rather than a trump, at trick 2?  I think so – would partner really bid 5 hearts vulnerable if he held two small clubs?


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Sucks for East to play his cold 6C in 5S down 1!

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