From the unclear to the clear-cut
Kimon Nicolaides, a Greek American who during WWI served in the U.S. Army in France as a camouflage artist, said, “Learning to draw is really a matter of learning to see — to see correctly — and that means a good deal more than merely looking with the eye.”
Learning to bid in bridge is really a matter of learning to decide — to decide correctly — between your sensible choices.
Often the right bid will be clear-cut; but not always, of course. In today’s diagram, look at the North hand. He opened one diamond, partner responded one spade, he rebid two notrump, and partner continued with three spades. What should North have done now?
Three spades guaranteed at least a six-card suit and suggested that a slam was possible. (With only five spades, South would have rebid three clubs, New Minor Forcing, to ask North for three-card support. With only game in mind, South would have jumped straight to four spades.)
North had three choices: three no-trump (which would be a very unusual selection), four spades with a slam-unsuitable hand, or a control-bid with slam interest. Here, North should have bid four clubs. Yes, the three low hearts were worrying, but the rest of his hand was excellent.
South would have control-bid four hearts, and North could have launched (Roman Key Card) Blackwood before signing off in six spades.
Even after a heart lead, six spades is desirable. Declarer wins with his ace and immediately takes dummy’s three top diamonds to discard his heart losers. Then he draws trumps as quickly as possible.
Look for the Saturday Bridge and Chess and local Bridge results in the new Saturday Fun & Games section