Bridge mysteries may baffle a detective
A.A. Milne, in The Red House Mystery, wrote, “Like all really nice people, you have a weakness for detective stories, and feel that there are not enough of them. So, after all that you have done for me, the least that I can do for you is to write you one.”
Some bridge deals are like mystery stories — what is the winning play or defense? Others just have a baffling aspect. For example, in today’s deal, look only at the South hand. After three passes, South opens one club, West overcalls one heart, North passes, and East raises to two hearts. What should South do now?
Once you have decided, look at the North hand. Do you agree with the pass over one heart?
This deal was played at 16 Bridge Base Online tables. Over two hearts, an unbelievable 11 Souths rebid three clubs, which ended the auction.
Why would you bid only three clubs with such a powerful hand? Yes, it is possible that no game is makable, but you won’t know that until after you see the dummy, and they pay a big bonus for bringing home a vulnerable game. It should be clear to rebid five clubs or three no-trump, both of which are easy to make. With a lot of winners, go for game.
Finally, let’s look at North’s problem. With seven points, he wants to bid, but nothing fits the bill. If he cannot bring himself to pass, he should make a negative double despite the lack of a fourth spade — and slide the club seven into his spades! Here, he would survive this experiment unless partner decided to gamble on six clubs, which cannot make.