The bidding: These are the same hands as the column two weeks ago. The only difference is that South is the dealer not North. South opens One Diamond.
In Two-Over-One, if a nonpassed hand bids Two Clubs over One Diamond, it shows a game forcing hand. As we have seen in previous columns, an opening hand opposite an opening hand will make Three No Trump or Four of a suit.
Therefore, North cannot bid Two Clubs and must bid One or Two No Trump. Because South opened One Diamond and not One No Trump, he is either 12-14 or 18 plus or unbalanced. Therefore North bids One No Trump. South is two-suited and rebids his other minor, Two Clubs.
North cuebids his Spade Ace showing Club support, first round control and a stopper for a possible No Trump contract. South is encouraged by a lack of Spade losers and bids Four Clubs. North accepts the invite to game because of the nine-card Club fit, the Club suit quality and a doubleton.
During the bidding, one never tells the same story twice. North’s story changes because of the South’s Club rebids.
The Play: There are two things one should know about a Five-Club contract. First of all, one never makes a sacrifice over it because the opponents may be forced to a makeable Six Clubs, and they may be in a bad spot because Three No Trump often makes more points than Five of a minor, but not in this case.
Secondly, one often leads trump against a Five of a minor contract because they ignored Three No Trump for a ruffing capability.
West leads a small trump. East wins the Ace and switches to a Heart, the dead suit in dummy and in his hand. Declarer wins the Ace and draws the last trump.
Declarer cashes the top two Diamonds and ruffs a diamond.
Two Hearts go on the good remaining Diamonds, and then declarer cross-ruffs the hand making Six for +420. Two weeks ago, the same hands played Four Clubs making six for +170. The big difference was that the person not accepting the invite was not aware of the nine-card trump fit.