The bidding: A double of 4 by North is penalty and four no-trump is a three-suited takeout with three or preferably four hearts. South shows clubs and North corrects to five diamonds asking partner to choose between diamonds and hearts. South chooses hearts. North then cuebids spades as a slam try showing first round control in spades, likely a void. South then bids seven hearts which will make, even if North has the ace of spades and not a void.
The contract: Seven hearts by South
The opening lead: The seven of diamonds
West has a similar dilemma to the one he faced in last week’s column. However, a club lead is out of the question because he could be leading into declarer’s club strength. North south are in slam so this is likely.
With two trumps, he leads the seven of diamonds hoping that East has either the ace of diamonds or ace of trump.
The play: Declarer ruffs the opening lead, draws trump and claims.
The result: Seven hearts by South making for +2210.
Note: West has 6 losers in spades so at favourable vulnerability, he bid to be down three according to the Rule of 123.
-East and West have a save or sacrifice in spades. If they make a bid of seven spades, they will be doubled down four for -800 instead of -2210. If there is a diamond lead, it will be down five for -1100 which is still a very good board because it is a smaller amount than a vulnerable small slam.
-All the bridge columns may be viewed at http://watsongallery.ca by following the bridge links.