“How did the cat ever get into the bag any­way?” — graf­fiti

The Denver Post - - LIFE&CULTURE - By Frank Ste­wart Daily Ques­tion:

South roared into 6NT af­ter West in­serted a vul­ner­a­ble over­call of two hearts. West led the queen of hearts, and South took the king and counted 11 tricks. He could try for a 12th in spades, but South feared that West had the ace and queen for his over­call.

So South in­stead took six clubs and three di­a­monds, saving the king of spades and A-10 of hearts. West had to keep the ace of spades and J-9 of hearts, and the con­tract was in the bag. South next led a spade, and West had to con­cede the last two tricks.

If West had kept any other three cards at the end, South could have read the po­si­tion eas­ily.

Many play­ers would have over­called two hearts as West — the bid had pos­si­ble pre­emp­tive value — but West’s ac­tion let the cat out of the bag. If West passes, South may still get to 6NT, but whether he will make it is uncer­tain. Bid­ding with a weak hand has po­ten­tial draw­backs as well as ben­e­fits.

You hold: 7 743( AQ7 $ A Q J 9 6 2. Your part­ner opens one spade, you re­spond two clubs and he bids two hearts. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say?

An­swer: From your view­point, the most likely game is at notrump. Take the bull by the hand (par­don the mixed metaphor) and bid 3NT. A re­bid of three clubs would be nei­ther forc­ing nor en­cour­ag­ing, and a tem­po­riz­ing bid of three di­a­monds might place a notrump con­tract in the wrong hand. by Dana Sum­mers

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