e-Vil Files 15

Another No Trump hand that was very difficult to handle for the group that played this deal at our club. Maybe with a bit more experience things might be different.

Board 5 from Wednesday 16/09/2020.
Dlr N NS Vul


When North opens 1NT, what should opponents do? That is not an easy question to answer, for either East or West. If playing natural overcalls, East can bid 2C, the vulnerability is favourable. That might make West’s next bid difficult, but West should bid 2D which East should read as forward going. East can now bid 2H and West raise to 4H. Lucky for those who play natural overcalls. Personally, I would be inclined to jump to 3C if I was East, which East would have to do if 2C was not natural. Unless, of course, EW were playing “EVil” overcalls, when 2C would mean clubs and hearts. There are so many reasons we play these overcalls, and even if East were to choose to pass, the heart fit would still not be lost, because West would bid 2D for diamonds and hearts. Whether or not an EW pair manages to get to 4H, even a part score in hearts making over-tricks would have been a very good result for EW.

There is more to this than just the bidding. That is because of the EW pairs that did end up in hearts, only one actually made ten tricks. That should be easy enough to do: if North leads the ace of diamonds, the king can then be ruffed out and West’s diamond suit set up. But given that North does not lead a top diamond, there are still a number of ways to make ten tricks. For instance, on a spade lead, declarer can duck to South’s king and later finesse against North’s queen, and then cross ruff clubs and diamonds for an easy ten tricks. Many ways, but the only way to fail is to “draw trumps”, something I have tried to instil into readers they should NOT do until they have worked out a plan for playing the whole hand.

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