xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40"> Mountnessing Bridge Club

Mountnessing Bridge Club

 

To double or not to double? PART 1: How to help Declarer!

 

Hand played on 

7th December 2006

Board number

23, Red Section

Dealer

South

Vulnerability

All

Submitted by

John Williams

 

 

North

JT54

-

Q863

AQT73

 

 

 

 

West

K72

AJ863

AKJ

K8

 

East

AQ83

Q94

T5

9652

 

 

 

 

 

North

 

Bidding: 

 

 

East

 

 

 

 

South

 

 

 

 

West

 

 

South

96

KT752

9742

J4

 

 

  No

2

No

No

  No 

x

3

No

 No

No

No

x

1

 3

4

end

 

 

Here is a lesson as when it is NOT a good idea to double the opponent's contract!  Doubling for no particularly good reason alerts Declarer to a potential bad trump break, and may lead him / her to a winning play....

 

At most tables this hand was played in 4 - going one down as a result of  the 5-0 trump break. However, at one table the opponent's bidding proved very helpful to Declarer.  Especially given the vulnerability, North's overcall placed most of the 13 missing High Card Points in the that hand.  As soon as Dummy went down Declarer saw he was in a perfectly reasonable contract, with a 5-3 heart fit and 27HCP, and he realised South's double must be based on holding all 5 missing trumps, and he played accordingly. 

 

North led a diamond at trick one, which Declarer won in hand.  He then crossed to Dummy with a top spade, and  led the nine of hearts, covered by the Ten and Jack.  He then crossed to table with a second top spade, and led the four of hearts, which was covered by the five and six. Declarer now played the King of spades, which South ruffed.  South cannot play the King of hearts at this stage, because Declarer can now draw trumps and use the extra diamond gift, so he led a club and North took two more tricks.  The ten of clubs return allowed South to discard a diamond, and Declarer ruffed cheaply.   In the three-card ending Declarer was down to the Ace of Diamonds and the Ace and 8 of hearts, and South held the King and seven of hearts and a small diamond.  Declarer ruffed his Ace of diamonds with Dummy's remaining trump (the queen), thus setting up a trump coup against South for the last two tricks, losing only 2 clubs and one spade ruff, and making 2 spade tricks, 2 diamond tricks and a diamond ruff, and 5 trump tricks in his own hand. Without the double, Declarer would probably have laid down the Ace of hearts at trick two and then reasonable defence will always defeat the contract by forcing in clubs as soon as South gets in.

 

Very well done to Declarer for reading the situation so well, but the moral of the story for the defenders is to be very wary of doubling based simply on long trumps and values in partner's hand - especially if you are pitted against an observant Declarer!  Otherwise, you too could concede -790!