Is it guesswork or with the odds?
Charles Dickens wrote, “Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.” Sometimes, though, the apparent evidence suggests one approach, but later you realize you have been misled by an opponent, by accident or intentionally. Today’s deal from a social game is an example.
The bidding was debatable and misleading. West could have made a two-spade weak jump overcall on the first round. North’s twodiamond rebid was fourth-suit game-forcing. Then, he might have jumped to four hearts over three clubs to indicate a minimum game-force with three-card heart support. Over South’s four-club control-bid, North’s four no-trump was Roman Key Card Blackwood. South’s reply denied the heart queen but showed one ace and the heart king, or two aces. North then bid a slam that could have been off two cashing aces.
However, the auction affected West’s lead. Believing that his partner was aceless, West did not select his singleton, which would have defeated the slam. Instead, he led his ace. To make the slam, South had to avoid two trump losers. If the suit was splitting 3-2, there was no problem. If it was 5-0, there was no chance. But what about 4-1? Declarer played a diamond to the king and led a low heart from the board. Here, the ace appeared. But if declarer’s king had held, he would have returned a low heart to dummy’s queen. He would have made the slam whenever possible.