Dealer North, None Vul.
You play teams.
What would you open with this hand?
Your hand counts as a two-suiter, but if you open 1♦ you will have trouble with your rebid if partner responds for example 1♠ – 16 HCP Are not enough to execute a reverse to show your Hearts and Two Diamonds does not do your hand justice either (the Diamonds are not good enough but you do have 16…) You have honors in both your black doubletons, so open 1NT – your hand fits perfectly in the point-range. West passes and North raises you to 3NT.
West leads the 5 of Clubs and this is the dummy:
How many immediate winners can you count?
Three Hearts, two Diamonds and the two black aces make a total of seven tricks. You’ll establish the two missing tricks in Diamonds.
What problems do you need to solve?
There are two. The first: which Club should you play from dummy at trick one?
The 5 of Clubs is fourth-best, thus promising at least one honor. But you never know – if it is the Jack and if you play small, East can go up with the King and switch to a Spade.
Under these conditions, what do you do?
Best not to take any chances, even if the risk seems minimal. Call for the Ace of Clubs to protect against a Spade switch. If a defender gets in with a Diamond, you can’t lose more than two Clubs anyway: