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Bridge 8/18

There are days when luck is home

    We all have good days and bad days. But often there seems to be no rationale for them — as in this deal. Look at the South hand. Only your side is vulnerable. After two passes, your right-hand opponent opens one no-trump, 15-17 points. What would you do?
    It often pays to bid against a one-no-trump opening when you have good distribution. Points are less important than playing tricks. You get in, try to find a fit, and get out again. Here, though, the vulnerability is unfavorable, your partner is a passed hand, and your opponents might not even be bidding game.
    True, if you use the Dont convention, you would overcall two clubs, showing clubs and another suit. (I do not like this convention, because it emphasizes minors over majors, but it works well on this deal.) Otherwise, passing is sane.
    However, I was playing online at Bridge Base when my partner suddenly told me that I had to be declarer because she needed to take an urgent five-minute break. In our methods, I was left with no alternative: I jumped (insanely) to three clubs.
    Was I lucky! Everyone passed, and I had no trouble holding my losers to one spade and three clubs. Our 110 was the only plus score for North-South. At 13 tables, one no-trump was passed out, either making exactly, or going plus one or plus two. One North balanced with two diamonds, showing the majors, but South, thinking it was natural, raised to three diamonds, down one. Another North balanced with two hearts, showing the majors. South corrected to two spades, was doubled by West, and went down two.

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