THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder

Tom Bodett, an author, voice actor and radio host, said, “In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”
In bridge, you are given tests that you might pass by remembering previous lessons; but if you fail a test, hopefully you will remember the lesson for next time.
This deal occurred during one of my playing lessons.
East opened two diamonds, a textbook weak two. South overcalled three clubs, thinking that to pass with 13 points was wimpish. Then, though, when North advanced with three spades, that was forcing and painted South into a worse corner. (It is antipercentage to be able to land on a pinhead in these crowded auctions. Advancer must be allowed to investigate the right game without having to leap around.)
South had no good bid. Eventually, he gambled on three no-trump despite his inflexible, weak diamond stopper. North also took his time, but finally passed. (Note that four spades should go down, declarer losing two diamonds and two spades.)
The defense to three no-trump is also textbook. West leads the diamond jack (higher of a doubleton) and East ducks the trick, signaling encouragement with his eight. Then South has no chance. But note that if East takes the first trick, the contract can be made. The curious may work it out.
In no-trump, whether you are declarer or a defender, if you are trying to establish a suit in which the opponents have one winner, make them take that winner as quickly as possible.

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