The proof comes from the au­tion

Cecil Whig - - & & - By Phillip Alder

Sir Fran­cis Ba­con, who served as both At­tor­ney Gen­eral and Lord Chan­cel­lor of Eng­land and died in 1626, said, “By far the best proof is ex­pe­ri­ence.” Es­pe­cially at the bridge ta­ble, ex­pe­ri­ence cer­tainly helps, and you hope to use it to find the best play or de­fense. In to­day’s deal, what do you think of the auc­tion? How should South play in three hearts? West cashes his three top di­a­monds, then leads the spade eight (top of noth­ing) to South’s ace.

Text­books tell you to open one di­a­mond with 4-4 in the mi­nors, but one can un­der­stand North’s pref­er­ence for one club. Then, af­ter South re­sponds one heart, North should raise to two hearts. To re­bid one no-trump with no pointed-suit stop­pers can­not be right. If three no-trump is the best con­tract, it surely should be played by South. Then, South might pass out two hearts, but a vul­ner­a­ble game bonus is a strong lure, so he in­vites game. (Yes, South might re­bid three di­a­monds, a help-suit game-try.) North is un­der­stand­ably not in­ter­ested. South has lost three tricks, so can af­ford only one trump loser. This re­quires finding an op­po­nent with ex­actly ace-dou­ble­ton -- but is it East or West? There are times when a pass is as in­for­ma­tive as a bid. Here, West passed as dealer, but has produced nine points in di­a­monds. He can­not have the heart ace. De­clarer should play a club to the dummy, lead a heart to his king, and play a low heart from both hands on the next round of the suit. When the ace comes flut­ter­ing down, the con­tract makes.

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