Ignore points when finesses work
Aldous Huxley, an English novelist who died in 1963, said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
In today’s deal, it is a fact that North-South had only 19 high-card points between them, but that didn’t stop South from taking 10 tricks in a spade partscore. What do you think of the auction? How did South win 10 tricks after West led the heart queen? East’s opening bid was no thing of beauty, especially opposite a passed partner, but he was bidding his best suit, and no one passes with 12 points these days. After South’s thin overcall, West made a textbook negative double, showing hearts. North had a near-maximum pass and would often have cue-bid two clubs to show a strong spade raise, but his hand was replete with losers, so he sensibly settled for two spades. When this came back to West, I think he should have doubled for takeout again, planning, if East bid three clubs (as he would have), to continue with three diamonds to show 4-5 in the red suits. This would probably have failed by one trick. Two spades almost played itself. South won the heart-queen lead with his king, drew trumps ending in the dummy with the aid of the winning finesse, and led the club jack, which conveniently pinned West’s 10. South lost only one heart, one diamond and one club.
Afterward, West said that next time he would lead his club. Then it could go: club to the ace, club two (his lowest card being a suit-preference signal for diamonds) ruffed, diamond to the ace, club ruff.