It never hurts to be lucky
J.K. Rowling, in her Harvard Commencement Address in 2008, said, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all. In which case, you’ve failed by default.”
In today’s deal, look first at the East hand. With both sides vulnerable, the dealer on your right opens one spade. Would you pass, make a takeout double or overcall one no-trump?
Then look at the North hand. With the opponents maintaining a respectful silence, you open one spade, and partner responds one forcing no-trump, showing 6-12 points. (He will have three spades only with 10-12 points.) What would you rebid?
This deal was played 16 times at Bridge Base Online. Surprisingly, no East, human or robot, entered the auction, which was a losing pass here because East-West were cold for five hearts. (If you do bid, I think one no-trump is better than double. I dislike takeout doubles with 4-33-3 shape.)
At numerous tables, North rebid two spades, and South continued with three diamonds, which ended the auction.
One North, who requested anonymity, did not like the quality of his spade suit, so rebid two clubs, which promised only three cards in the suit, but then his hand would normally have had 5=2=3=3 or 5=3=2=3 distribution. After South rebid two diamonds, North kept up his good work by passing — and getting the only North-South plus score!
The play was not testing. South lost one spade, one heart, one diamond and two clubs. The seventh diamond was protection against being tapped in hearts.