This week I have chosen Board 3 from Tuesday's duplicate pairs event.

 

This was the hand:

 

                                   SA53

                                   HK

                                   DAQ432

                                   CAQ42

 

T872                                                                      KJ4

AQ83                                                                     J972

65                                                                           K98

763                                                                        985

 

                                   Q96

                                   T654

                                   JT7

                                   KJT

 

South was the dealer and E/W werevulnerable. So how would you bid this?

After two passes surely North will open 1D. Only a lunatic would open 2NT on this hand with apologies to all the other lunatics in the club. South will mutter 1Heart then it's back to North with a clear choice between 3and 3NT. 3C is forcing but South can really do no better than give preference to 3D . Now what should North do? Whether North rebid 3C or a straight 3NT (mypreference) in 5 cases out of 6 the final contract was 3NT which made 6,7,8,9or 11 tricks! The other North took a pessimistic view and passed 3D.

 

On really  top notch defence the contract can be held to seven tricks with the defence taking four hearts, a spade and a diamond but the timing has to be spot on. Lead two of hearts to the Ace, heart back to the Jack and a third heart through dummy's ten to West's Q8 tenace. Then a spade after which East cannot be denied his two kings for two off. Many Wests will have cashed the heart queen after which dummy's ten becomes a stop and declarer can creep home with 4 diamonds, four clubs, a heart and a spade.

 

If anyone can tell me how you make 11tricks  in 3NT on this hand I would be delighted to hear from them.