A Silly Problem

Both vul, you hold as dealer:

 S:Kxx H:AKQ10x D:J7x C:K10

Partner passes out of turn. RHO doesn't accept the call, barring partner for one round. Over to you.

Everyone agreed that the right answer was, "3NT, no problem." This was the actual layout:

S: x
H: Jxxxxx
D: Qxxx
C: xx
S: AJxxx
H: x
D: xx
C: A9xxx
S: Q10xx
H: x
D: AKxx
C: QJxx
S: Kxx
H: AKQ10x
D: J7x
C: K10

On the normal spade lead, I went down two quietly, having missed our 11-card heart fit. Not so bad, since on a diamond lead, they can take all 13 tricks. The real good news is that if I were to open a normal 1H:, West has a Michaels cue-bid and there's no stopping them from getting to at least 4S:, and they can make 12 tricks in either black suit! Even if they sell out to 4H: undoubled, they can get at least 300. Amazing. Sometimes luck is on your side.

Jeff Goldsmith, jeff@tintin.jpl.nasa.gov, April 22, 1996