Did partner overbid or did you misplay?
By Phillip Alder July 17, 2012 1:38PM
Updated: August 19, 2012 6:06AM
Delia Smith, an English cook and TV personality, said, “A cake is a very good test of an oven. If it browns too much on one side and not on the other, it’s not your fault; you need to have your oven checked.”
If you go down in a contract, it is surely because your partner overbid. If not that, then the distribution was so bad that you had no chance. But just maybe you misplayed.
In this deal, South was in six spades. West led the diamond jack: queen, king, ace. Declarer ran the spade queen, but it lost to East’s king, and a diamond return defeated the contract.
Did North overbid, was South unlucky, or did he misplay?
North was optimistic in looking for a slam. And, yes, South was unlucky that the lead was a diamond, the king was over the queen, and the spade finesse lost. However, he misplayed.
Suppose the trump finesse had worked. What would South have done then? He would have drawn trumps and taken the club finesse. If it won, he would have collected an overtrick, but if it failed, he would have gone down one.
The spade finesse was a black herring. South needed the club finesse, and if that was working, he could afford the loss of the trump finesse.
After West did not cover the spade queen, South should have won with dummy’s ace and called for the club queen. East would probably have covered. South would have won and taken his other two club winners, discarding dummy’s diamond loser. Then he would have led a trump and claimed.