You can tell that today’s deal is vintage because South’s bidding is bizarre. No modern expert would double one heart as South. He would overcall two clubs or use a conventional gadget to show spades and a minor.

Sure enough, South never got to bid clubs. He had to try four spades at his second turn and wound up at five spades.

South was French expert Pierre Albarran. West led a heart, and Albarran ruffed. He saw that he could run the clubs to discard dummy’s diamonds, so he would be safe unless West got in and led a diamond through dummy. So at Trick Two, Albarran led the ten(!) of trumps.


West must have been suspicious, but he took the queen. But then West had to guess, and he led … a club. South won, drew trumps and ran the clubs, making five. Concealing his second suit had worked to his advantage.

The deal appeared in my predecessor Alfred Sheinwold’s “Sheinwold on Bridge” column in 1964, and dates from many years earlier. Pierre Albarran died in 1960.


You hold: S 6 H A Q J 10 7 2 D A Q J C J 8 4. Your partner opens one spade, you bid two hearts and he raises to three hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: Even if your partner has minimum opening values, you may have a slam. His hand might be AQ752,K65,K764,9, so you could cue-bid four diamonds to suggest slam. The downside is that you may encourage a club opening lead that may be damaging, so to bid four hearts and settle for game would be reasonable.

East dealer

Both sides vulnerable


S 8 7 4 2

H 9 4 3

D K 6 2

C K 7 6


S Q 9 3

H K 8 6 5

D 10 9 8 5 4

C 10


S 6

H A Q J 10 7 2


C J 8 4


S A K J 10 5

H None

D 7 3

C A Q 9 5 3 2

East South West North
1 H Dbl(!) 2 H Pass
4 H 4 S 5 H 5 S
All Pass
Opening lead — H 5

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