A Classic 4 Heart Contract With 4-3 Fit

Spending a lot of time with different (not too serious) health problems, I had to keep pause writing bridge articles. Now I am back, and I played some interesting hands, that are worth to analize. One of the most interestings was a 4 contract, which I played with Mr. Tamas Kolosi on the 41. International Budapest Festival, our largest international tournament.

I opened 1, RHO, a top player from Czeh Republic overcalled 1♠, South's 2♠ bid, in an irregular partnership is obligatory. We were agreed to show invitational or better hands with diamond fit and no heart interest. LHO doubled, showing at least Queen doubleton in spades. My pass at South was also obligatory, showing some spade control. Kolosi redoubled, promising game forcing hand at North.

This development of mine, (VS how to act when our 4th suit forcing bid (or parallel convention) is doubled") worked very well here, we could stay low, and I had the oportunity to bid 3, although Kolosi already denied 4 cards in heart.

Although my heart suit is not really strong enough to play in 4-3 fit, I think, my cards at South are really not good enough to bid NT inmediately. If partner needs my spade control, he still can bid 3♠ to force me bidding  3NT later. On the other hand, it seems so, that we cannot have 9 tricks in 3NT, if we have only 1 spade control.

I hoped, that we can win 5 in case we get there later. Kolosi was glad to bid 4, having KQ10 in this suit and a stabil opening hand.

The declarer play gave me the possibility to use an old, but well working solution, the loser on loser method.

Opening lead was the Queen of spades, I ducked it, but West continued low spade to King and Ace in trick 2.

Now it is the time to make a good plan for the declarer play. I seem to lose the King of diamonds, because West overcalled 1♠, and East already had the King of spades.

But when should we lose it?

Ducking the opening lead cut the opponents from each other. So we can play a heart to dummy's Jack, and we can play the Queen of diamond at trick 3 inmediately.

Although west will win it most probably, he can't get a ruff in diamonds, in case we ducked the opening lead.

So he will surely continue with the Jack of spades, trying to tap our heart length.

Now, we should discard a club to the Jack of spades in trick 4, instead of ruffing in the hand. That is a loser anyway, because we have mirror hand with the dummy so there is nothing to do with it. On the other hand, we can ruff the 4th spade later on the dummy, collecting all the tricks later if we are lucky enough.

It was a world class play, when West continued the 4th round of spades, causing a problem for me.

I already don't have any losers anymore, so he cannot give an extra trick for me. On the other hand, if I ruff in my hand, then 4-2 distribution at the opps will reach an extra defensive trick. If I rudd the 4th spade in the dummy, I have to waste a heart honor, so maybe they get a trick if East has the nine of hearts!

Anyway, I had to ruff in the dummy from the KQ10, I collected the King and Queen of hearts, and when West gave the Jack in the 2nd round of trumps, my hand was high and I could reach my hand with the Ace of clubs.

This solution brought 82 percent score for us, despite of the great defense.

The complete distribution was: