East cashed two spades followed by the ace of clubs and the contract was down one, N-S -200.
A nine card suit is indeed a rarity but South's resolve to venture five diamonds may have yielded an equitable matchpoint result. East could bring home ten tricks at spades when South begins with a top diamond. The real question is how would the play unfold. The diamond lead is ruffed in dummy but East might continue with with a heart finesse, unaware of the inherent danger. West ruffs to play another diamond ruffed and overruffed. East delivers a second heart ruff and a third diamond will be trumped and overtrumped. The truth is that East would never be permitted to play four spades because this is a deal where both sides might make a game. The results on this deal varied from five spades undoubled down quite a few, six diamonds doubled and five spades doubled down several tricks. South was confronted with an issue after the major suit opening. Should he offer a simple overcall or leap to the minor suit game? He elected to proceed slowly since he held an opening bid but partner was a passed hand rendering any slam an unlikely proposition.
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