Are agreements etched on paper?
Solon, an Athenian statesman, lawmaker and poet who died circa 558 B.C., said, “Men keep agreements when it is to the advantage of neither to break them.”
Bridge partners keep agreements to try to improve their results. However, situations will arise that have not been discussed. Then one tries to find a logical explanation.
In today’s deal, look at the South hand. After West deals and opens three clubs, North cue-bids four clubs, and East passes, what should South do? What does North’s overcall show?
Many players would immediately answer that four clubs is a Michaels Cue-Bid promising at least 5-5 in the majors. But how would North describe a majordiamond two-suiter?
A common expert practice is via a jump to four diamonds (Leaping Michaels), but when this deal was played, North-South did not have that agreement. South, though, clearly thought his partner could have diamonds, because he advanced with four diamonds, which was passed out. But why bid four diamonds, rather than four hearts? Surely you wish to play in partner’s major, when there is the possibility of gaining a game bonus.
Interestingly, the defense against four of either red suit is similar. Against four hearts, West leads the club ace and shifts to the diamond nine. The defenders take one club, two diamonds and a diamond ruff. Against four diamonds, West switches to his heart at trick two, then receives a heart ruff.
Finally, even though it does not work here, East might well bid five clubs over four clubs. It could make, or be a good save, or inconvenience South.