“The man’s over­trick ob­ses­sion has reached new depths,” Ed, the club ex­pert, told me. Joe Over­berry thinks it’s no­bler to go down in pur­suit of over­tricks

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than to make his bid. Los­ing a cold con­tract thereby doesn’t bother him but drives his part­ners mad.

At 6NT, Joe won the first spade with the ace and led a heart to dummy’s jack.

“I was East,” Ed said, “and played low. Joe could see a trea­sured over­trick. He took the king of clubs, led a di­a­mond to his king and threw di­a­monds from dummy on the A-Q of clubs. Joe then led a sec­ond heart to the ten. I won and took the jack of clubs.”

“What did North say?” I asked.

“He was speech­less.”

Joe chucked 1,540 points try­ing for a 30-point over­trick. Af­ter the jack of hearts won, he could take the A-K and lead a fourth heart to get 12 sure tricks.

Of course, had Joe known di­a­monds were split 3-3, he could have made an over­trick af­ter his first heart fi­nesse won. In fact, he could al­ways take 13 tricks.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & A653h 72 ( K7 $ A Q 8 7 3. You open one club, your part­ner re­sponds one di­a­mond, you bid one spade and he raises to three spades. What do you say?

An­swer: Part­ner’s raise in­vites game. Your king of di­a­monds may be a use­ful card, and you may be able to set up your long clubs. As against that, your trumps are weak, and your high-card val­ues are min­i­mum. Bid four spades if you’re vul­ner­a­ble.

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