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Careless Talk Costs Livesby Graham Broadbent
This deal was Board 3 on 30 September. Sitting East you pick up ♠AQ ♥Q953 ♦KQ82 ♣A105; a nice hand, but no real source of tricks. At unfavourable vulnerability partner opens one Club in 2nd position and your hand has improved somewhat.
The two hands:
In an unopposed auction the challenge is to arrive in the optimum contract of 6NT played by East. Possibly an advance cue bid of 4 Diamonds by East would do the trick, but it’s a very big stretch. Maybe:
1 Club 4 Diamonds¹
4 Hearts² 4 Spades³
5 Heartsº 6 NT #
¹ Slam try, Diamond control
² My hand is suitable, Heart control
³ Spade control
º Second round Heart control
# I’ve heard enough!
Now look at what happens when North decides to bid some number of Spades “as an interference bid”.
East must reason that his hand has improved for a second time in the auction, North must surely hold Spades KJxxxx and some other scattered values for his bid, which leaves partner with no wasted values. The key cards are obviously the two red Aces and the Heart King. Give North Spades KJ, look at my own cards and its almost impossible to construct a hand for partner with a vulnerable opening hand that doesn’t contain two out of those three cards. If I trust partner I can almost bid 6NT direct.
The full deal
Now look at the defence, against 6NT what should South lead?
On a passive Club lead East can possibly still prevail. He should play a top Diamond at trick two and then come to 12 tricks with 6 Clubs, 4 Hearts, the remaining top Diamond and the Spade Ace. But there are communication difficulties and he may well trip up.
Now look at South’s lead problem after North makes his “interference bid”.
Surely he must reason, “Declarer must have the Spade Ace to call NT over partner’s bid, but partner must hold QJxxxx. If I lead the Spade King declarer is sunk, he may win his Ace, but when I’m in with my Diamond Ace I can return my Spade 6 and partner will run the suit. If declarer holds up his Ace for one round to exhaust my Spades I can cash my Ace straight away for one off.”
So South leads his Spade King and the world collapse round his ears!
Don’t make weak overcalls if the lead of your suit would embarrass the defence. Careless talk costs lives!