Crazy distribution, cautious rebids
Someone pointed out that a good training course will pre-empt many problems. But at the bridge table, a pre-empt may cause many problems — although sometimes it is partner, not an opponent, who suffers.
In this deal, what would you rebid with the South hand? You open one diamond (would you?), lefty overcalls two hearts, and it is passed back to you.
In the old days, South would have opened three no-trump to show a long, solid minor and a trick or two on the side. Then, though, sometimes the responder was unsure whether to pass or to bid. Here, probably North would have passed and hoped for the best, seeing no better future in four diamonds. Nowadays, though, the gambling three-no-trump opening promises a solid minor with no side ace, king or void.
This deal was played 10 times. Nine Souths cautiously rebid three diamonds, which ended the auction. (Obviously, North wondered if a club contract would prove to be more successful, but he had no safe way to find out.)
West took his high hearts, then led the heart two as a suitpreference signal for clubs. East ruffed and shifted to a club, which West ruffed. West led another heart, hoping his partner could ruff with the diamond jack to effect an uppercut, but declarer took the last nine tricks.
That three-diamond rebid was a tad too cautious. South ought to have taken a shot at three no-trump. Even if it ought to be defeated, maybe the defense would not have been perfect; and when it did make, there was the huge upside of a game bonus.