Andrew’s TIP: TWO OUTSIDE ACES AND A TOP HONOUR IN THE SUIT THAT PARTNER HAS PREEMPTED EQUALS NINE TRICKS. CONSIDER BIDDING THREE NOTRUMPS. Source:  Our fourth featured deal of last summer’s match between the Parliamentarians and the British Ladies is a missed opportunity in the bidding for the North-South pairs. But it gave East-West – the defence – a chance to shine.

West started with Heart SuitK and continued with Heart Suit Q. What should he play at trick three? Assuming his partner has a singletonSpade Suit(but not Spade SuitA), West can deduce his partner must have Diamond SuitQ to open the bidding, and fiveclub suits to choose 1club suit(opening the higher ranking of equal length suits). This means that the defence have aDiamond Suittrick to set up, but not a club suit trick (declarer holding a singleton). West for both teams switched unerringly to Diamond Suit2. Unless he does so, declarer can establish a fourth round Heart Suitwinner in dummy to discard his Diamond Suit loser. Declarer played Diamond Suit9 from dummy on Diamond Suit2, but East rose with Diamond SuitQ and promptly cashed Heart SuitA to defeat the contract. The missed opportunity was for North-South to bid to the easy 3 NT contract. The result of the deal – 4Spade Suit minus 1 – was the same in both rooms, and the Ladies retained a slender lead. Next week we conclude our report.

ANDREW’S TIP: Two outside aces and a top honour in the suit that partner has preempted equals nine tricks. Consider bidding Three Notrumps.