The Dallas Morning News
ACES ON BRIDGE
Continuing our theme of providing declarer with a losing option, East’s play again forces declarer’s decision here, albeit indirectly.
North’s two-spade rebid is natural, forcing for one round. South now jumps to game because two no-trump would denote a minimum reverse. West leads the club queen, after which East can count the whole hand. Declarer must have all the missing high cards, with five diamonds and four hearts. He may therefore be able to come to nine tricks in the form of a club, three hearts and five diamonds — but only by finessing against the diamond jack.
This is the crux of the hand. Declarer can discover the diamond split only after he has cashed two top cards. So East must take out dummy’s only entry before diamonds have been touched. He wins the club ace and can cash two high spades if he wants. (In theory, South might be void in spades.) He next shifts to a heart. Unless gifted with second sight, declarer will play diamonds from the top and, lacking a reentry to dummy for the diamond finesse, must eventually go down, no matter what he does.
If East were to make the normal-looking move of returning a club at trick two, declarer would grab the king and cash the diamond ace-king, revealing the break. It would then be straight- forward to enter dummy with a heart and take the marked finesse against East’s diamond jack for the contract.
Might South divine the reason for the heart shift? Maybe, but it is worth a try.
Answer: Make a takeout double. You may not get another convenient chance to show your values if you pass and the next hand responds light. You would prefer to have more shape, or at least one four-card major, but you are only at the one-level. You would at least consider not doubling a one-heart opening with this hand, facing a passed hand.