Today’s declarer was the notorious Joe Overberry, who would rather go down trying for overtricks than make his bid.
In a Chicago game, Joe leaped to four hearts at his second turn, reasonably enough, and West doubled and led the king of spades. Joe ruffed and took the A-K of trumps. When East-West followed, he led a third trump.
West took the 10 and queen and led another spade, forcing out Joe’s last trump. Joe next tried to run the clubs, but East had a stopper. So Joe had to lead a diamond, and West took the ace — and some spades. Three down.
“The man’s crazy,” North sobbed. “He won’t play safe even when he’s doubled.”
“If trumps split 3-3,” Joe said indignantly, “I make an overtrick.”
Joe’s play was horrible even for him. After he takes the top trumps, he must force out the ace of diamonds. He ruffs the spade return and cashes minorsuit winners, losing two trumps and one diamond.
Question: You hold: ♠ A KQ 8 6 2 ♥ Q 10 7 4 ♦A 2 ♣ 7. You open one spade, and your partner responds two clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?
Answer: A jump to three spades would not be far off the mark, but you might miss a superior heart fit if your partner held, say, four hearts and a low singleton spade. Bid two hearts. If he next bids 2NT, you can con- tinue with three spades to suggest six spades, four hearts and extra strength. North dealer E-W vulnerable