Step by Step

As declarer, you often need to decide on the location of an honor that will determine the success or failure of a contract. When faced with this type of situation, you should rely more on logical reasoning than on intuition.

Dealer North, N/S Vul. Sitting South, you have just received a magnificent hand:

However, you notice that you are not the only one who has something to say, since your partner opens 1♦ in first seat and East overalls 1♥.

How do you evaluate your hand in this context? A priori, your void in partner’s suit is not really an added value. However, everything else – your autonomous seven card suit in Spades, your double stopper in Hearts and your first-round control in Clubs – is splendid.

Which strategy should you adopt? The one that consists of not rushing things in order to leave a maximum of space to your partner and to allow him to describe his hand. This is what you do by saying 1♠ and you then successively learn that North has a balanced hand of 12-14HCP and neither a Heart stopper nor a Club control, which leads you to bid 6♠.

(*) Cue-bid, asks for further description.

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