A 7 6 5 3
Q 10 6 3
K 10 5
10 9 2
J 8 7 4
9 4 3 2
K J 8 5 4
A K 10 9 5
K J 8 4
Q 6 2
Q J 8 7
Today we see the importance of being alert in the bidding at all times, even with a hand on which you expect to do nothing but pass.
East’s heart opener, South’s double and Gee’s pass are all orthodox. I like North’s jump to 4S. He expects at least 4 spades from his partner and figures with nine hearts accounted for his losers in the suit will likely disappear on dummy’s trumps. The spade game is about even money — barring odd chances, North needs to pick up trump — and it makes easily on the layout.
Now 5D…5D…I can’t say too much for 5D. With four probable defensive tricks I might be inclined to defend 4S, but hey, that’s just me. 5D, however, is down only 3 on best play, for a small loss against the spade game.
South of course promptly doubles, and our hero, ever vigilant, and quickly perceiving that diamonds is the only contract in which his hand could possibly have any value, steps in and removes to 5H. The beauty of this bid is that it is wrong under every conceivable circumstance. If East is 5-5 you want to play 5D. If East is 6-5 you want to play 5D. If East is 6-4 you want to play 5D. (If East is 7-4 she’s not bidding 5D.)
The coda is brief and, for E/W, unpleasant. Declarer is forced twice in spades and winds up making three trumps and the two minor suit aces for down 6. 1400.
What prompted the 5H “correction”? It is not the place of the tyro to speculate presumptuously on the inner life of the master. East, to her credit, did not inquire, and neither shall I.