This was a hand that occurred at the Rookie Master game on the fifth Thursday evening of October.
The bidding: South opens his two-suited hand, One Heart. North bids her four-card Spade suit and South rebids Two Clubs. North could bid Two Notrump showing 10 to 12 HCP’s and stoppers in the unbid suit. However, that would promise two Hearts, and she does not have any holdings to protect on the opening lead.
Because of the Heart misfit, North should proceed with caution. If North bids Two No Trump, South will rebid Three Hearts saying, “I know you have a doubleton so let’s play it here. In No Trump, the Heart suit is next to useless. At least in Three Hearts, South will likely get a couple of Diamond ruffs and the defenders will realize too late that they should draw trump.
When South rebids Two Clubs, he wants to hear North take a pick between his two suits and not run to No Trump because of a misfit. No Trump is difficult to play with a misfit, and Three No Trump will likely need at least 27 HCP’s to make with misfits.
North cannot rebid Two No Trump with a stiff Heart and can show her 11 HCP’s with a raise to Three Clubs. South passes.
The Play: West has a natural lead of the Diamond Queen.
Some players live and die by the expression: “See finesse, take finesse.” That is not always a correct strategy. Declarer will cash the top two Diamonds and ruff a Diamond. He will cash the top two Clubs and notice that the Nine in dummy becomes a top Club. He plays to the Spade Ace and ruffs the last Diamond, cashes the Spade King and loses a Heart.
Dummy will ruff the second round of Hearts and draw the last trump with the 9. Declarer will make ten tricks losing one Heart and two Spades.
Notes: A less desirable alternate line of play is to never draw trump and cross-ruff the hand losing a Heart and two or three Clubs.
A Spade opening lead will allow 11 tricks to be made.