The bidding: North had the same shape in the minors as the last column, but the diamonds here are weak enough to ignore completely. If partner bids one spade, his rebid will be two clubs. This is a little fib because the clubs are not six in length, but it is better than bidding one notrump with a singleton.
East has a two-suited hand, but spades are too poor to introduce them into a competitive auction. East should not make a direct cuebid of two clubs. He has the correct shape (five-five in spades and another suit) but not the correct strength for Michaels or Top and Other cuebids. Partner will, however, expect a better spade suit. East is not a full opener and therefore has only one bid. He bids one diamond because he wants a diamond lead and all of his points are in diamonds. Some will want to introduce spades into this auction but East does not want a spade lead.
Problem Situation: Having minimum opening points with five clubs and four diamonds is a problem hand that was resolved last week by opening a diamond. This week, the opener bids one club with the intention of repeating clubs because the diamonds are so poor.
It is always better to lie about length especially in a minor than it is to lie about strength. Opening one club and rebidding two diamonds is a reverse and shows 17 or more points.
North has the minimum raise of 12-15 so he bids two hearts in response to partner’s one heart. With 16 or 17, he would have bid three hearts inviting to game. With 18 plus, he would have made a forcing call which may be artificial.
South is in the 6-9 range so he only can introduce one suit and cannot go past the two-level.
The Lead: West leads partner’s suit, the ten of diamonds.
The play: East cashes three diamonds and then plays the six of diamonds which asks for a club return. The lowest diamond he has asks for the lower ranking suit to be played back to him in case there is another ruff. West ruffs and cashes the ace of clubs and gives East a club ruff. East and West get six tricks, setting the contract by one for +50.
Notes: All columns may be viewed at http://watsongallery.ca.