Watch your entries and their cards
Laurence Olivier, a four-time Oscar-winning English actor, said, “I take a simple view of life: Keep your eyes open and get on with it.”
Good bridge players keep their eyes open and get on with it. For example, look only at the South hand. West opens one diamond, North overcalls three spades and East passes. What should South do now?
North’s bid shows a respectable seven-card suit and some 6-10 high-card points. South’s choices are pass, three notrump, four clubs (assuming it is forcing), four spades and five clubs.
Pass is far too cautious. Three no-trump looks like a sensible shot to me. Four clubs does not serve much purpose, unless South would pass a four-spade rebid. Four spades could work, but partner will ask where your trumps have gone! And if five clubs makes, surely three no-trump will as well.
What should South do in three no-trump after West leads the diamond queen?
If the clubs are 2-2 or 3-1, three no-trump is easy. If West has all four clubs, South is in trouble. But if East holds them all, declarer is safe as long as he takes the first trick with his diamond ace. He cashes the club ace and sees the bad break. Then he plays a diamond to the king, takes a club finesse and runs for home.
Note that four spades can go down three, and five clubs is not much better.
(In August, Phillip is running the bridge on a Kalos golf-and-bridge cruise down the Danube from Nuremburg to Budapest with an optional three-day extension to Prague. Full details at kalosgolf.com.)