Eva Green, a French actress and model, said, “It’s true that I’m drawn to unusual stories. Normal roles don’t really attract me.”

There is a chance for an unusual play in today’s deal. What happens in four hearts after West leads the diamond ace?

The auction was straightforward. When North raised one heart to two hearts, showing 12-14 support points (high-card plus short-suit points), South jumped to game, expecting to have an easy time.

West starts with his three top diamonds. What should East do on the third?

East should assume that his partner’s third diamond honor is cashing. If West had started with A-K-Q-J-x-x of diamonds, surely he would have intervened over one heart. Then East should realize that if West leads another diamond at trick four, it will promote the heart king as the setting trick. But how can he transmit that message to partner?

When you need partner to find an unusual play, make an unusual play yourself. What is the weirdest discard you could make at trick three?

Right — the club queen.

If partner thinks that is a singleton and leads a club, expecting you to ruff, you are justified in wailing like a banshee.

Finally, note that if West plays anything other than a diamond at trick four, declarer should work out the trump position because West passed as dealer. With those five shiny diamonds and the heart king, West would have opened the bidding.

— Phillip Alder,

NEA Bridge

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