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The Best Option
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The following hand arose in a recent tournament.  Give it a shot:

First up, at favorable vulnerability, you hold:

South
KQ103
K984
3
K976
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
X
2
?

East opens 1 in front of you, and you pass (would you?).  West responds 1NT, forcing, and partner doubles.  2 by East.  Your call?

Game is certainly a possibility, so you are much too good for a 2 call.  Indeed, game is quite good opposite many shapely minimums - facing Axxx x Axxx Qxxx, you might easily make five spades.  So, it seems like you must either invite, with 3, or blast a game.  The quality of that game may well depend on how much partner has wasted in diamonds, which is something you can never discern.  There are two good reasons to choose the overbid, both thanks to their methods.

First off, partner won't be really light.  Since 1NT was forcing, partner can wait a round with a marginal hand, and try a later double.  Had the auction gone, say, 1-P-2-X, partner might easily be stretching.

The other factor is the 1NT response will seldom hold long spades, so, some of the poor trump splits that might doom a thin game won't happen. 

On the downside, if partner has two hearts, a heart ruff is looming, and maybe you should pull in a bit.

If you had to make the final partnership decision, game is right.  However, as usual, you can involve partner.  If you invite, with 3, and partner declines, will you miss a great game?  Probably not, and so inviting seems a little better.  The choice is certainly close, and I wouldn't fault either bid.

You choose 4, which ends the auction.  West leads the 5, and partner tables:

West
North
9864
7
AK762
A43
East
South
KQ103
K984
3
K976
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
X
2
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
7
A
4
2
0
1
Q
2

East wins the heart ace and returns the queen.

What is your plan?

The contract seems fine, and it looks best to win the heart king, throwing a club, cash some winners, and cross-ruff.  Things may go sour, but that looks like an easy ten tricks.  So, you put up the king, but West ruffs that with the 5.  Not so good.  Now what?

 

Still unclear, but, as I noted earlier, West probably did not start with four spades, and so there is an excellent chance that trumps are now 2-2.  If so, the hand should be easy. 

So, you overruff and lead the 9 from the table.  East follows with the 2.  Does it matter what trump you play from hand?

No.  The spade jack is onside, but it shouldn't matter.  Whatever you play, West wins the ace and returns the suit, East following with the jack.  

West
North
9864
7
AK762
A43
East
South
KQ103
K984
3
K976
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
X
2
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
7
A
4
2
0
1
Q
K
5
6
1
1
1
9
2
3
A
0
1
2
7
4
J
Q
3
2
2
4

Okay, East was 2-7 in the majors, and the hand has to be makable now.   

If East was 2-7-3-1, we could set up diamonds:  Diamond ace, king, diamond ruff, heart ruff, diamond ruff.

If East was 2-7-1-3, clubs are splitting, and we can simply concede a club. 

Finally, if East was 2-7-2-2, we should be able to squeeze West in the minors.  We have to lose a trick, and rectify the count, but there are easy ways to do that.  We could even lead a heart and throw a diamond from the table.  

Lots of options here - start on diamonds, duck a club, lose a heart, or just trump a heart.  Which is best?

Diamonds.  If you play on diamonds, the contract is 100%. 

Start with a diamond to the ace.  Then, if East discards, East was 2-7-0-4, and has sole guard of clubs.  Continue with the diamond king, and another diamond, discarding clubs.  We will win, in some order, the club king, heart ruff, diamond ruff.  Then the last trump will squeeze East in hearts and clubs.

West
A75
5
QJ109854
108
North
9864
7
AK762
A43
East
J2
AQJ10632
QJ52
South
KQ103
K984
3
K976
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
X
2
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
7
A
4
2
0
1
Q
K
5
6
1
1
1
9
2
3
A
0
1
2
7
4
J
Q
3
2
2
3
8
A
2
1
3
2
K
3
6
4
1
4
2
2
6
7
9
0
4
3
10
3
2
K
3
5
3
8
5
8
10
1
6
3
6
5
10
10
3
7
3
K
11

If, instead, East follows to the first diamond, try the diamond king next.  If East shows out, clubs must be 3-3.  We throw a heart, and give up a club.  

If East follows to the second diamond, discard a heart (or a club) and continue diamonds.  If East follows, diamonds will set up.  Finally, if East discards on the third diamond, then East was 2-7-2-2, and we have a minor-suit squeeze.  Throw a club, and West will soon be squeezed.  

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