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Bridge 9/6

The knowledge tells you what to do

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    Humorist Evan Esar said, "A signature always reveals a man's character — and sometimes even his name." Did he have doctors in mind?
    We have been looking at entering the auction after an opponent opens with a pre-empt. If you overcall a weak two with two no-trump, you show the values for a good strong no-trump, say 15-plus to 18 points, with at least one stopper in the opener's suit.
    It is similar if you overcall a weak three with three no-trump, except that the range is wider. With, say, 20 points, if your hand is unsuitable for a takeout double (perhaps you have only a doubleton in an unbid major), you will have to bid three no-trump and hope you do not miss a slam.
In this deal, after East opens three spades, South overcalls three no-trump for want of something better to do. West is tempted to bid four hearts, and if he did, the fate of the contract would depend upon North's opening lead. But with four diamond tricks and an uncertain future in hearts, it is reasonable to pass.
    Against three no-trump, West takes his diamond tricks, then shifts to the heart nine.
Seven spades are outstanding, so East must have them all. South can therefore see nine tricks: three spades, two hearts and four clubs. But he needs two dummy entries to take two spade finesses.
    After winning the heart shift, he cashes the king and queen of clubs. When they divide 3-2, he overtakes his club jack with dummy's ace and plays a spade to his 10. Then he leads his low club to dummy's nine, takes the second spade finesse, and claims.
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