By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bridge 3/22
If you overbid, Overplay too
Placeholder Image
    Yogi Berra said, "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    It still surprises me how point count is so reliable when two balanced hands face each other. Most of the time, if your side has 25 points, you will bid — and make — three no-trump. (When you have a good suit fit, point count is distinctly unreliable, especially if you both have short suits. You can, for example, construct a deal in which a grand slam is laydown with a combined total of only five high-card points.)
    Sometimes, though, partner will overbid, perhaps having had one drink too many at lunchtime. Then you had better hope to get lucky with the lie of the opposing cards. But success may also require some skill on your part.
    The given bidding sequence is sane, but let's assume North, with alcohol-induced optimism, raised to six no-trump. West leads the spade king. How would you try to bring home a dozen tricks?
    With the opponents threatening to take a lot of spade tricks, East had better hold the heart king. But you need four heart tricks, which on a bad day like today necessitates taking three heart finesses. This requires three dummy entries, which must come from the clubs.
    After winning with your spade ace, overtake the club eight with dummy's nine. You are on the board, so take a heart finesse. Next, lead your club 10 to dummy's jack, and take a second heart finesse. Then, overtake your club queen with dummy's king, take a third heart finesse, and claim.
    You observantly watched your entries.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter