John Terry, captain of the Chelsea soccer team in London and former captain of England, said, “You don’t have to be captain to have an opinion.”

That reminds me of Mao Tse-tung’s “Little Red Book,” which contains the recommendation that army leaders listen to the opinions of the enlisted men.

Sometimes in the auction at a bridge table, one player knows where to go and immediately names the final contract. But in particular in competitive sequences, it pays to anticipate further enemy action.

Look at today’s South hand. He opens one spade, and his partner raises to two spades. What should South rebid after East (a) passes or (b) overcalls three clubs?

If East stays out of the auction, South ought to make a three-heart gametry, expecting partner to bid game with his values in the majors. But South might shoot out four spades.

When East enters the auction, though, it is time to call on partner’s opinion. Now South must show his heart suit, so that North can judge what to do if the opponents bid higher.

Here, over three hearts by South, West will presumably raise to four clubs. Then North will continue with four spades, and probably East will bid five clubs as an each-way bet – maybe it will make, or it might be a cheap sacrifice.

After South passes, North should go on to five spades because of his side’s double fit. East will double, and South will go down two, minus 300. This is cheaper than five clubs bid and made for plus 400.

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