Fine line between plus and minus
Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “What strikes me is that there’s a very fine line between success and failure. Just one ingredient can make the difference.”
Sometimes, that ingredient is being in the right place at the right time, not pure talent.
In today’s deal, what do you think of the auction, and what should West have led against five diamonds?
North, especially given the favorable vulnerability, might have made a three-heart weak jump overcall, but that would not have worked well here. South, fearing a bad misfit, would probably have passed throughout. When North passed, East added 3 points for his singleton and made a game-invitational limit raise. Now South might have bid four no-trump to show his minor two-suiter, but with longer and stronger diamonds, he chose to intervene with four diamonds. In a way West did well to bid four spades, because it would have made, but it persuaded South to persevere with five clubs. West doubled that and, on less firm ground, North’s correction to five diamonds.
There is a reliable rule: When the opponents are sacrificing, lead a trump. Here, as long as West then wins the first and second rounds of clubs to continue leading trumps, the defenders will take three club tricks for down one.
At the table, West started with a spade. Now declarer played on clubs, eventually benefiting from the 3-3 break, losing only two clubs and scoring plus 550.