According to Cy the Cynic, a typical politician stands on what he thinks his constituents will fall for. In today’s deal from a team match, South wasn’t running for office; he was trying to steal nine tricks.
North- South reached 3NT with spades — East’s suit — well stopped. Unfortunately, South was wide open in a different suit. Both Wests led the nine of spades, and East took the ace.
At the f irst table, South followed with the four. East then knew South had two spade stoppers, and a spade continuation was futile. So East shifted to the four of hearts. West won and returned a heart, and the defense took three more hearts. Down one.
In the other room, South did what he could to dissuade East from shifting: On the ace of spades, he played his jack.
East might have shifted anyway, but he thought he could set up his spades with the ace of hearts as an entry. So East led another spade, and South won and cashed eight tricks in the minor suits to make 3NT.
Question: You hold: ♠ A Q 10 6 3 ♥A 9 4 ♦ 6 ♣ 10 9 8 3. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one spade and he raises to two spades. What do you say?
Answer: If your side isn’t vulnerable and has less to gain by making a game, you might settle for a bid of three clubs as a try for game. If instead you’re vulnerable, I’d recommend a different game try: Bid game and try to make it. I’d bid four spades and let the defense try to beat it.