Hands are from Soledad Club, September 10, 2018.
North: ♠AJ543 ♥3 ♦Q942 ♣AK5
South: ♠9 ♥K106542 ♦107 ♣Q1072
This hand was an example of partnership discipline winning out. West passed and North opened 1♠. East overcalled 2♦. South could have tried 2♥—which would be forcing and greatly overstate the value of the hand. South could have tried a negative double—showing two places to play, but also overstating the power of the hand. The hand is looking like a misfit, so I passed instead. Partner, holding four diamonds, also passed—you do NOT reopen when you have their suit. Careful defense set the opponents one trick for +100. Our only makeable contracts are 1♥ or 1♣ in the South and 2♣ in the North. Plus 100 beats either of those part scores and is much better than us going down. Pass is a very underrated call. The full hand was:
Hand #17 was an interesting one in terms of Losing Trick Count.
West: ♠K76 ♥98 ♦A62 ♣AK976
East: ♠QJ10853 ♥106432 ♦K4 ♣—
North passed and East passed. South opened 1♥ and West doubled. (Yes, you would love to have another spades, but life is imperfect.) North passed. At our table, East bid only ONE spade. I believe that the correct bid with that hand is 4♠. If you feel timid, at least bid 3♠. Now that you are guaranteed a fit from partner's takeout-double, you have a 6-loser hand. You also know you are NOT going to really lose three heart tricks, because partner is expected to be short in hearts for her take-out double. You actually expect to lose only one or two heart tricks. Even with the lead of two top hearts and a heart continuation, North's spades are the ♠4 and the ♠2, so ruffing with the ♠K in Dummy takes care of your third heart, while the ♣A and the ♣K take care of your fourth and fifth hearts. Making 10 tricks.
The overall moral of these two hand is: Bid aggressively with highly distributional hands when you know you have a fit! Tread cautiously with distributional hands when a misfit is looming (or possible).