Bridge column, July 25: Another deal for bravery
If only East had been a soldier in this deal, his side would have done much better.
East passed as dealer, South opened one diamond, and West overcalled one heart. (Although it would have worked well here, a takeout double with a singleton club is not recommended. Also, it is usually best to show a five-card major.) North bravely responded one no-trump, despite his uncertain heart stopper, to tell partner that he had some values.
East passed again, not liking his singleton heart. South might have passed, but retreated to two diamonds. After two passes, East, in the midst of the battle, should have bravely bid two spades. This ought to show both black suits because with only spades, he would have bid earlier. Then presumably West would have taken a shot at four spades, which would have made with an overtrick.
To make matters worse, the defense was poor. West led his singleton club, an excellent choice. South took East's nine with her ace and played a low trump.
If West had taken the trick, any major-suit continuation would have worked. But when West won the second diamond, he erred by cashing the heart ace and playing another heart. Now South took two hearts, five diamonds and three clubs.
Finally, an expert East would have played high-low in diamonds to show a spade card.
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