Marcus Tullius Cicero, a famous Roman orator and statesman who was born in 106 B.C. and assassinated in 43 B.C., said, “Nothing contributes to the entertainment of the reader more than the change of times and the vicissitudes of fortune.”
I hope you agree with that! In this deal, South overbid slightly when he went for the vulnerable game bonus in four hearts. But playing for a fortunate lie of the cards, he made his contract — how?
If you employ two-overone, North would respond one forcing no-trump, then jump to three hearts over South’s two-diamond rebid. Note the advantage of Standard American in that the auction could end in two hearts.
South saw that he had several potential losers and realized that he needed trumps to break 3-2. But he still had only nine winners: one spade, four hearts, one
diamond, two clubs and a spade ruff on the board. He saw two chances for an extra trick: clubs 4-3 or diamonds 3-3. Knowing that the former was much more likely (62.2 percent versus 35.5 percent), declarer set out to establish a long club. He ducked the first trick, won West’s spade continuation with his ace, played a club to the king, ruffed a club in his hand, drew two rounds of trumps ending on the board and discarded a diamond on the club ace. When everyone followed, South ruffed a club in his hand, ruffed a spade in the dummy and threw another diamond on the high club nine to get home.
Declarer needed hearts 3-2 and clubs 4-3, approximately a 42 percent chance. But he played well.