When I watched today’s deal in my club’s penny game, South was the muchfeared Joe Overberry. He thinks it’s nobler to go down in pursuit of an overtrick than to make what he bid.
Against four hearts, West led the king and ace of diamonds, dropping East’s queen. On the next diamond, Joe ruffed with dummy’s 10 of hearts.
East overruffed with the queen and shifted to a club. Joe won with the king, drew trumps and cashed his ace of clubs. When no queen appeared, Joe tried a spade finesse with dummy’s jack, but East produced the queen for down one.
“There goes another vulnerable game down the drain,” North moaned.
“If West has both majorsuit queens,” Joe said indignantly, “I make an overtrick.”
To take the 10 tricks he contracted for, Joe discards a spade from dummy on the third diamond instead of ruffing. He can win any shift, draw trumps, take the A-K of spades and ruff his last spade in dummy.
Question: You hold: ♠ 87 6 ♥ 8 ♦ AK10743 ♣ Q 10 6. You open two diamonds (weak), and your partner bids 2NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?
Answer: Partner’s 2NT is an artificial inquiry. Partnerships use various methods, but a common one requires opener to show a side feature. That is usually defined as an ace or king, though some pairs would treat the Q-10-6 in clubs as a “feature.” If you have no prior agreement, just bid three diamonds. South dealer N-S vulnerable