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A McKains Deal (only 1 in 6 is good enough)

This seemingly easy bidding problem seems to have been not so easy for five out of every six NS pairs in the field of 192.

Board 5 from Wednesday 6/02/2019.
Dealer N NS Vul

Board#5 06/02/2019

After two passes, South would open 1C and West overcall 1S. Whatever you have been taught about having to have quality cards in the suit you overcall, the West hand has sufficient high card strength to overcall 1S. North has club support and enough points to either bid 1NT or raise to 2C. 1NT should show the usual “6 to 9” high card points BUT after a 1S overcall, a spade stopper as well as the higher range of the point count, at least that is the way I like to play it. South, also with a spade stop AND 17 HCP, therefore is justified in raising to 3NT or, if pessimistic, just 2NT which North should raise to game, in NO TRUMPS, because the point count suggests game in No Trumps (combined 25+ HCP) and not in clubs which normally requires 28 or more for an eleven trick game.

The alternative bid for North after West’s overcall is a simple raise in clubs, to 2C. That should not stop South from bidding further, and South can now bid 2H which is 100% forcing and clearly looking for more than just a part score club contract. That should encourage North to now bid 2NT because North has TWO spade stoppers assuming West has the ace, North might even bid 3NT if North trusts South’s bidding and why have a partner if you won’t trust them?

3NT should make comfortably enough as long as a club is led from the South hand towards the jack at some stage and declarer does not have a blind spot and starts on clubs by LEADING the jack which will give West THREE club tricks. There is more to the play if East ignores partner and leads a heart!

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