Playing at a matchpoint Swiss pairs event yesterday, I played this hand as north.enter image description here

Our auction went 1♤-2♢-2♡-3NT-4♡. I had difficulty choosing what to bid over 3NT. South could have bid the fourth suit to look for a major fit so I knew I would likely be playing in a seven card fit. What action would you take and why?

I also found the play interesting. East lead ♡10, Q - K - A. I then made a plan for the play: ♤ AK, ♤ ruff, ♧AK, ♧ruff high, ◇A,◇ruff low and then get a trick from ♡8x (since the lead makes it look like the Jack is onside). Roughly I need 4-3 spades, 4-2 diamonds, 4-3 or 2=5 clubs. Is there a better line of play?

  • 1
    You could pass 3NT. Your line of play looks pretty reasonable. – Aryabhata Apr 12 '18 at 1:49
  • With your previous bids, you can go for 4NT (BlackWood ask for A) and then play 5NT. – iBug Apr 20 '18 at 3:39
  • 2
    @iBug Without a suit agreed I would suggest 4NT is a quantative invite to 6NT. If 4NT was asking for aces, I can't sign off in 5NT as this is would ask for kings. – Bysshed Apr 22 '18 at 23:32
  • @Bysshed: In some blackwood variations, if the auction goes 4NT - 5C/5D/5H - 5S, the 5S bid is a transfer to 5NT. (which you would then pass) – Hurkyl Jun 1 '18 at 8:53

You could attack Diamonds before touching clubs, while the A♧ is still an entry to south. This sets up a long diamond, but it works only if the opp with short diamonds is also short in trump. On the actual lie, the long diamonds will be trumped.

You don't mention it, but on your line a diamond must have been discarded on the second club trick so that the second diamond can be trumped.

You also don't mention but in the 4-card ending when you hold ♤Tx ♡8x in the north hand, (after the Diamond ruff) you must lead a spade so that the opponets will have to lead trump into your 8x. This works on the actual lie.

I don't see a celarly better line of play.

On bidding, I agree with the comment that you could stop in 3NT. But on the actual lie, i don't see a play for 9 tricks, with neither black suit breaking favorably.

And I don't see a good reason to try for slam over 3NT. It certainly doesn't work on the actual lie, but with no running suit and no more than 28 HCP between the hands, it is hard to see how slam is plausible. Also the 3NT bid seems to deny any slam inters.

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