THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
IF YOU OVERBID, YOU MUST OVERPLAY
Have you ever made a wild overbid on a deal because it felt like the right thing to do at the time? Of course you have; we all have. But then you probably found yourself in a hopeless contract, went down and apologized to your partner. Sometimes, though, you might have been able to call on the assistance of your opponents.
In today’s deal, South is in four spades. West leads the club jack. That wins the first trick and South ruffs the second club. How should declarer continue?
When North rebid one no-trump to show a balanced 12-14 points, South might have settled for a two-spade signoff, but one can understand a game-invitational three-spade rebid. Here, North would probably have passed because he does not have a very suitable hand for a spade contract.
Four spades appears to be one level too high. South seems destined to lose two spades, one heart and one club. But he has a Machiavellian chance. He should cross to the dummy in a red suit and call for the spade jack.
Many Easts, looking at the queen and 10, would not be able to resist the temptation to cover with the queen. Then, though, after South wins with his ace, there will be a stunned silence when West is forced to play his king.
Declarer drives out the spade 10 and claims his contract.
Although the opponents are supposedly trying to defeat your contract, remember that many of them will misdefend if you give them half a chance.