Lack of fit results in lack of ambition
Friedrich Nietzsche said, “It is my ambition to say in 10 sentences what others say in a whole book.” That is quite some goal.
Bridge players always have the ambition to reach at least game. But when the normal high-card values are not present, it can be tough to work out when game is good. Look at the North hand in today’s diagram. You pass, partner opens one spade, you respond one no-trump (6-9 points), and he rebids two hearts. What would you do now, if anything?
In yesterday’s deal, North was also 2-3 in the majors, but with the spade king and heart ace-queen, all magic cards. Here, North’s hand is much worse. There is a good case for passing out two hearts; it might even be a 5-3 fit. Bidding two spades is probably all right if that is passed out. A 5-2 fit usually plays better than a 4-3.
When this deal was played in a social game, North did rebid two spades. South then tried for game with three hearts, and North understandably passed. (Yes, East might have intervened with two diamonds over one no-trump.) Against three hearts, West led her singleton diamond. Here, South would have done best to take the trick, cash the heart ace to drop the king, and continue with the spade ace and another spade. That would have led to an overtrick. Understandably, though, he immediately played two rounds of spades. East won with his queen and gave his partner a diamond ruff. West continued with the spade king, and East overruffed the dummy. Then another diamond ruff was the defense’s fourth and last trick.