Analyze the auction
Henry Cotton, who won the British Open three times, said, “Golfers have analyzed the game in order to find ‘the secret.’ There is no secret.”
In contrast, bridge players rely on their analysis of a deal to give them “the secret” for the right bid or play. At the 2016 Yeh Online World Bridge Cup, this deal featured the best bid, in my analysis.
Look at the North hand. In second seat, partner opens one club, and righty overcalls four spades. What would you do?
Once you have decided, read on. Whether you pass or make a value-showing double, partner rebids five clubs. What would you do then?
The deal occurred in the match between Lavazza (who played in Turin, Italy) and Bridge Base Online (who competed in Seattle). When BBO was North-South, North doubled four spades. Then, when South removed to five clubs, North passed.
Sitting North-South for Lavazza were Sylvie Willard from France and Giorgio Duboin from Italy. Willard passed over four spades. But when partner rebid five clubs, Willard anticipated South’s having a spade void and long, strong clubs. If so, they rated to have only one heart loser. Backing her analysis of the deal, Willard raised to six clubs — a hole in one!
West led the spade ace. Duboin ruffed and gave up a heart. East won and shifted to a trump, but declarer won with his seven and crossruffed hearts and clubs to take two diamonds, seven clubs and three heart ruffs on the board.
Minus 420 and plus 920 gave Lavazza 11 international match points en route to the title.