Corrie ten Boom, who wrote a book describing her family’s success in hiding Dutch Jews during World War II, said, “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”

Sometimes understanding the engineer of a bidding convention takes some clear thinking. We are looking at New Minor Forcing. After one of a minor – one of a major – one no-trump, two of the unbid minor by the responder is artificial, promises at least game-invitational values, and asks opener for more information.

In this deal, when South bids two hearts, he indicates a four-card suit and denies three spades. Then, when responder continues with three clubs, it is natural and game-forcing. (With a weak hand and club support, North would have jumped to three clubs over one notrump see yesterday’s column.) North should realize that if South has only two spades, he must have four or five clubs.

South’s three-spade bid shows a doubleton high honor. Then North uses Blackwood before signing off in seven clubs.

Note that in spades or no-trump, there are only 12 winners: five spades, two hearts, one diamond and four clubs. But in clubs, a fifth club trick is available.

South takes the first trick with dummy’s diamond ace and draws two rounds of trumps, uncovering the 4-1 break. Then he plays three rounds of hearts, ruffing the last in the dummy, draws trumps, and claims 13 tricks, the same 12 as in spades or no-trump plus the heart ruff.

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