BRIDGE The bid provides a vivid road map
Earl Nightingale, who was nicknamed the Dean of Personal Development, said, “All you need is the plan, the road map and the courage to press on to your destination.”
A bridge declarer knows his destination and should always have a plan, but in some deals his road map is clearer than on others. This deal was misplayed by a computer program; I think a human would have done better if West produced the same revealing overcall.
West made a Michaels Cue-bid, showing at least 5-5 in the majors. It was tempting, but debatable opposite a passed partner, because if East-West did not win the auction, the opponent was being given a great road map. North’s two-spade cuebid showed a maximum pass with five or six clubs. (A two-heart cue-bid would have been at least game-invitational with diamond support.) South made a strangelooking takeout double over three hearts and ended in five diamonds.
If West had led anything but a spade, the defenders would have come out on top, but he chose the spade 10.
South needs a lot of luck and should assume that West has 5-5-1-2 distribution. Declarer takes East’s spade king with the ace, cashes the diamond ace (great news!), then turns to the clubs. South pitches the heart eight on the third high club, ruffs a club and leads the spade jack (or eight). West wins and, say, leads another spade. Declarer ruffs with dummy’s diamond king, then discards his last spade on the high club eight. East ruffs, but that is the second and last defensive trick.