Facing a couple of Austrians in a team game, I came across the following collection, red vs white:
LHO opened 2H (weak) as dealer and RHO responded 2NT, forcing. What would you do?
I think most would bid 4S, but I'm very hesitant these days to be aggressive in 4th position after both opp's has gotten a bid in there. The odds for getting good dummies or pressuring opp's into overbidding has seriously decreased. I repeat: seriously decreased. It has finally hit me how much, after spending a considerate amount of time looking through these auctions (actions).
This time though, I probably should have bid 4S anyway. I settled for 3S. I was vulnerable against not and not having doubled 2NT, partner should expect more playing tricks than honor strength. The next hand bid 4H and partner was on the spot with:
I think double is the correct call, but maybe I'm just influenced by what was right this time. I try to look at each call objectively when analysing an auction, post-mortem, but it's not always easy to do that. At some subconscious level, there is always the risk of a biased view. I'm not sure what I would have done over a double. 4S looks a bit tempting, doesn't it?
Anyway, partner hoped for a different kind of hand with me; at this vuln, the 2NT call may have been a semi-psyche with a prime fit and I could easily have had a stiff H. He tried 5C, immediately X-ed, I retreated to 5S and the inevitable X followed.
K of heart lead. This did not look good.
As always, it's not over til' it's over. RHO fell for the old 'play to fast' trap. Sensing blood, he quickly overtook with the ace and shifted to a low spade. Where would we be if our opponents, even the competent ones, played well all the time?
I ducked in hand (with no expectency of a 2nd spade trick, i.e a spade holding without the J, East would have just cashed the ace) winning in dummy as West discarded. The extra entry meant that I could setup club tricks with the ace of diamonds as re-entry to discard hearts and got out for -200. This proved to be a push when the other table played 4S X.
Stop to think both when things look good and when things look bad. Every trick makes a difference. (Sometimes even obvious things need to repeated out loud! ;-)