“My partner and I argued about our auction in this deal,” a club player told me. “I was South, and when he jumped to four hearts, I used Blackwood and bid six.
“West led the king of spades, and dummy was a letdown. I took the ace, drew trumps, cashed the A-K of clubs and ruffed a club. The queen didn’t fall, so I lost two spades. Didn’t partner’s bidding promise more strength than he had?”
After West’s preempt, North must stretch to show heart support; he might bid three hearts to compete with only a bit of extra strength. The jump to four hearts showed extras but not 20 points. If North had that much strength plus a heart fit, he could cue-bid three spades.
Six hearts was cold. After South draws trumps, he takes the ace of diamonds, ruffs a diamond, cashes the A-K of clubs and ruffs a club. He then leads a trump to dummy and returns the jack of clubs, pitching a spade — a loser on a loser. East must concede a ruff-sluff. This week: loser on loser.
Question: You hold: ♠ 97 3 ♥A Q 9 6 ♦ A 7 ♣ A K J 2. The dealer, at your right, opens one diamond. You double, and your partner responds one spade. What do you say?
Answer: You have enough extra strength to bid again, but no bid is ideal. You can’t raise the spades (partner may have a ragged fourcard suit), and you have no long suit of your own. Bid 1NT, hoping he will show an- other suit, rebid a long spade suit or pass when 1NT is playable.