Tribune Content Agency
If today’s South had jumped to three hearts in the direct position, his bid would have been preemptive. (A few pairs agree to treat it as intermediate; almost nobody uses it as the old-fashioned strong variety.)
But in the “passout” or “balancing” position, South’s bid was intermediate, suggesting a good six-card suit with opening values or a bit more. To define a balancing jump-overcall as weak and preemptive would make no sense. North could reasonably have passed, but he judged that his aces sufficed to bid game.
Since South had a sound hand, North’s raise appeared to be a winning action. But after West cashed the king of spades, he led the queen of clubs. Declarer won and took the A-K of trumps, relying on a normal 3-2 break, but West discarded. South then exited with a spade, hoping West would lead a third spade, but West led the ten of clubs.
South won, took the K-A of diamonds and ruffed a club, but he had to lose a trump to East’s jack plus a diamond. Down one.
There was nothing about the auction that careful play wouldn’t justify. At Trick Three, declarer must concede a spade. He wins the club return and takes the K-A of trumps. If East-West followed, South could lead a diamond to his hand and draw the missing trump for 10 tricks.
When instead West discards on the second high trump, South ruffs a club, takes the K-A of diamonds and ruffs dummy’s last club. At the 11th trick, he exits with his diamond loser and wins the last two tricks with the Q-10 of trumps behind East’s J-9.
Both sides vulnerable
S 8 4 3
H A 3
D A 7 5 2
C 7 6 4 2
S A K Q 10 2
D J 9 4
C Q J 10 8
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment