All the textbooks suggest that it is a poor idea to open with a Weak Two when you have a four-card major in reserve. Playing in the recent Macallan International Pairs, Zia Mahmood had no such inhibitions when he opened Two Hearts with the East hand.

He fell on his feet, however, when his partner (Andrew Robson) was able to volunteer Two Spades. North doubled, Zia jumped to Four Spades, and South bid Five Diamonds. West, after doubling, led !7 to the ace, jack and five. The trump finesse failed and now West looked for ways of putting his partner in, so that he could collect heart ruffs. He passed his first test when he underled his 4A. Zia won with the king and obliged with a heart return.

That was one down and, as you can see, the defenders still had a club trick to come. So, after another spade lead, the final penalty was 300 points. But, instead of a second spade, West had had the chance for a neat application of "Morton's Fork".

Suppose, instead of the second spade, West switches to 28. You can see the point: if declarer plays low from dummy, East wins with the queen and gives his partner another heart ruff. If, instead, to avoid the second ruff, declarer goes up with dummy's ace, he will eventually lose two club tricks instead of just one. That would have been 500 points - better than the 420 that would have been the probable result from Four Spades.