Do not let fervor overcome logic
By Phillip Alder August 28, 2012 1:14PM
Updated: September 30, 2012 6:02AM
Drew Barrymore said, “There’s a hunger and a fervor that I have, but there’s no person I’m going to push to the side to get where I’m going. I want to create my own road.”
Bridge players occasionally bid with fervor instead of cool, calm, collected logic. As an example, look at the North hand in today’s diagram. West opens three clubs, North makes a takeout double, East passes, South advances with three diamonds, and West passes. What should North do now?
North should assume that South has six or seven high-card points. (Yes, he might have fewer, but one has to start somewhere. If your partner constantly holds fewer than six points in this situation, get a new partner, one who holds better cards.) This means that North and South have 23 or 24 points between them. This will not be enough for game unless there is a long suit to run.
Well, perhaps South has six diamonds headed by the king-queen, but will that be good enough for nine tricks?
No, it supplies only seven: one club and six diamonds. The lack of aces will be fatal.
And even if there is an eight-card major-suit fit, which is unlikely, North cannot safely search for it, because now three hearts would promise a five-card suit.
North should pass.
If South were in three no-trump, East would lead the club nine, and if West knew his stuff, he would cover with the 10 to drive out North’s king. Then the contract would go at least down three. In contrast, three diamonds makes with an overtrick, losing one spade, one diamond and one club.