From tough bidding to easier play
Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” If you would like to make a tough prediction, cover the auction and decide how it should go. After South opens one heart, and West makes a takeout double, North has two choices: He can respond one spade, planning to try to bid as if West has not entered the auction; or he can redouble to show 10 points or more with fewer than four hearts. Here, North preferred to redouble. After this call, the simplest rule is that either the opening side buys the contract or the intervening pair plays in something doubled for penalty. Next, East, who is known to have a very weak hand, is allowed to bid if he has a definite preference among the three unbid suits; hence his two-club advance. Now South rebid two diamonds, which indicated a minimum or subminimum hand in terms of highcard points. (With a good hand, he would have passed now and bid later.)
At this point, North might have mentioned his spade suit, but he preferred to cue-bid three clubs, asking South to bid three no-trump with a club stopper. Then, when South described his 5-5 hand, North made one more try before settling into five diamonds.
The play was straightforward. South ruffed the second club, played a diamond to dummy’s king, returned a diamond to his ace (West was marked with at least three diamonds from his takeout double, and just maybe hearts would break 1-5), and turned to hearts. West took one trick in each minor.