East west vulnerable

Play Bridge: Leaving a shorthanded guard

"One does not want to get stuck in a misfit at the three- level."

In the last column, one player made a two-level overcall, and his partner bid another suit at the two-level because he did not have the original overcall suit. One would not change the overcall suit if it meant going to the three-level if one did not have mild support for partner’s suit. One does not want to get stuck in a misfit at the three- level.

The bidding: West opens one spade, with the intention of rebidding two hearts if partner responds. However, North overcalls a shapely two diamonds. South has mild support for partner’s suit with 14 points and bids three hearts with sufficient values to make four diamonds. North has 11 points in support of hearts and raises partner to game.

The Lead: The King of spades.

The play: Declarer wins the Ace of spades and plays two rounds of trump.  Intending to win the third round of trump and exit a spade so declarer has to ruff in the long-trump hand, West ducks twice. Making declarer ruff in the long-trump hand is called tapping the declarer and is also known as a forcing defense.

When West wins the ace of diamonds, he exits another spade knocking out declarer’s last trump. West will win two trump and two spades setting the contract.

However, if declarer knocks out the diamond Ace when there is still a trump in dummy, any spade continuation can be ruffed in the short-hand. West will win the Ace of diamonds, cash the ace of trump and exit a spade. Declarer will ruff with his penultimate trump, draw the last trump and claim.

Result: Four hearts making five for +450.

Four hearts down one for -50 if declarer gets tapped.

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