* Long pause and a head-shaking pass.
When each side gets exactly 20 points, it becomes a very competitive situation. Rather than bid a three-card suit, North made a very reluctant pass.
His pass turned out poorly while a bid of 2S would have worked wonders. N/S got a bottom board instead of a top and missed placing in the event by a very small margin. Two spades by North makes while 2D by West cannot be beat. It turned out that passing 2D and not doubling would have been above average. South thought he was bidding his values and North thought he was being victimized. Passing could have worked out on some other deal, but not on this one.
When your partner makes a takeout double, it is best to take a preference, even if you have to bid a three-card suit.
My New Year’s Resolution is to not let the opponents play the contract in less than 2S.