Friday's bridge...

On this deal from the Pairs Semi-final at the Summer Congress many Wests opened a weak 2D. "Never pre-empt over a pre-empt" advises a prudent pass, but few Norths could resist bidding an eight-card suit. East tried 3S, and South completed the first round of bidding by introducing his own good suit.

Round two saw West support partner, but North and South still singing solo. A common result was 5H doubled for 500, but one intrepid East bid on to 5S. What should South lead? The king of hearts works well: if declarer plays trump South withholds the ace till the third round then plays a club to partner who makes two clubs and gives him a ruff for two down; if East plays a club a second heart shortens his trump and he runs out of control. The singleton diamond leaves partner with a club entry for a ruff. But South led the singleton in partner's suit. North won and shifted to a heart. If declarer appreciates the layout he now makes his game by simply drawing trump: when South takes his ace he has no good play. In practice declarer played two rounds of spades, then ruffed a club in dummy. South discarded his diamond and made a ruff after all.

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The award for worst bid goes to the North who made a takeout double of 2D. He eventually outbid partner's hearts at the six-level to insist on playing in clubs. The resulting -800 seems well-deserved.

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