I picked up this promising hand at matchpoints recently. None vul., RHO passed and I opened 1 spade:
LHO bid 2C, partner bid 2S and RHO raised to 3C. I paused to consider.
Generally I would downgrade my hand with the club bid on my left, deducting value from my king of clubs. The raise on my right, however, adds a new element.
In my experience, the raise of the overcall makes it more likely that a club will be led. If LHO were to lead the ace of clubs, the king of clubs would become a sure winner and the hand could actually be upgraded.
Where are partner's values? Most likely in the red suits, where they will be of most value. In addition, partner's values (such as they are) will be sitting behind the overcaller, so should carry their full weight.
With all of this in mind (more or less), I jumped to 4 spades. I was pleased with the ace of clubs lead, particularly when I saw the dummy:
Clearly my plan is to discard one of my losers on the club queen. A diamond is led at trick two and I ruffed the diamond continuation. Now it was a simple matter to draw trumps and claim. If there had been a heart switch at trick two, the spade 9 rated to be an entry for discarding a loser.
Plus 420 was a tie for top. Pay attention to how your hand decreases or increases in value as the auction proceeds--or in this case, does both in the space of one round of bidding!
In the next round, partner opened 1 club and I responded 1 spade:
He rebid 2 spades and it was decision time. Only 10 points, but I'd like to keep the auction going. The 5 card spade suit is nice, along with the club honor. I count my losers and I have only 7, so I really should bid game. As I am currently putting the finishing touches on a booklet about losing trick count, I put my money where my mouth is and jump to 4 spades.
His hand is a disappointment, but a diamond is led which is helpful. I win the diamond continuation with the king and lead a spade to the ace. The queen is played on my right. So far, so good.
As I need to tackle hearts at some point, I decide to lead the 9 from the board and let it ride--trying to keep RHO out of the lead and prevent a club lead through my Kx. Alas, the heart loses to the queen on my left and I ruff the diamond return.
Now the only way to make the hand is if the club ace is onside. I finish drawing trumps and lead a club toward my king which wins!
Plus 420 is another good score. Count your losers and hope for a little luck!
See you at the table!