THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
THE JUMP MOVES TO INTERMEDIATE
Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist who died in 1984, said, “It is easy to ignore responsibility when one is only an intermediate link in a chain of action.”
The player who will become the dummy is a tad like that, but in particular must not ignore his responsibilities in the bidding.
Today’s deal, though, features another word in that sentence. Look at the South hand. West’s opening bid of one heart is followed by two passes. What should South do?
In the second seat, immediately over a one-level opening bid, a single jump overcall in a suit is weak, indicating a respectable six-card suit and some 5-10 high-card points. In the balancing seat, though, the jump overcall becomes intermediate. It shows a decent six-card suit and some 14-16 high-card points — one winner more than a minimum opening bid.
Here, over South’s two-spade bid, presumably West would rebid three hearts, and North would compete with three spades. Then let’s assume that South shrugs his shoulders and bids four spades.
West leads the heart king. East overtakes with his ace and returns the heart two. West wins, cashes the club ace, and continues with another club. How should declarer continue?
This deal is easy for someone who remembers the chain of action and inaction during the bidding. East passed over one heart, but has produced the heart ace. He cannot also have the spade king; otherwise, he would have responded.
So South should play a spade to his ace, being relieved when the king comes tumbling down. Declarer draws the last trump and claims.