Icontinue a series on good timing by declarer. You’re declarer at today’s six hearts. When North raised your one-heart response to three hearts, suggesting a semibalanced or unbalanced hand with four-card support, you judged that your hand was worth a cue bid of four diamonds to try for slam. That, it seems, was all the encouragement North needed.
West leads the jack of spades to dummy’s ace. Count your tricks. You have four trumps in your hand plus the ace of diamonds. To take 12 tricks, you need dummy’s clubs to provide four more tricks, and you also need two spade ruffs in dummy.
Precise timing is essential. You must hope for a 3-2 club break, and you must also maintain a link with dummy after you have taken your spade ruffs and drawn trumps.
At Trick Two, lead a low club from dummy. If East wins and leads a diamond, you take the ace, ruff a spade, lead a trump to your hand and ruff a spade. Then you can draw trumps and run the clubs.
You hold: A A 10 8 6 J 10 3 AK532 You open one club. Your partner bids one spade. What do you say?
ANSWER: No good answer exists. A bid of 1NT or a rebid of two clubs would be an underbid. A few experts would have tried to avoid the problem by opening 1NT. If you have enough strength in your style for two hearts, choose that call. But most players would want more to “reverse,” especially since partner’s response did not improve the hand.