Main     Movie 3G82 by Richard Pavlicek    

Doubled In Spades

You are in the semifinals of the Grand National Teams, and things have been going smoothly — at least until you pick up these cards:

Both Vul

Table
S K 3 2
H K 10 8
D A Q 9 3 2
C A 3

With both sides vulnerable, East on your right opens 1 H. What is your call as South? _____

This is better than 2 D because it describes your balanced shape and point count in one bid. West passes, partner bids 2 H, and East competes to 3 H. So far it has gone:

West

Pass
North

2 H
East
1 H
3 H
South
1 NT

Has partner lost his marbles? No. You recall you play Jacoby transfer bids over your 1 NT openings and agreed to do the same after your overcalls. What next? _____

If East had passed you would be obliged to bid 2 S, but partner may have a terrible hand. Your values do not warrant a 3 S bid, so the discreet move is to pass. When it gets back to partner he says 3 NT, and East finally passes. Your call? _____

Partner is giving you a choice of contracts. With just two spades you would pass, but here you should prefer a suit contract. Oh no! West doubles! The full auction is:

West

Pass
Pass
Dbl
North

2 H
3 NT
All Pass
East
1 H
3 H
Pass
South
1 NT
Pass
4 S

TopMain West leads the H 6 and partner lays down a respectable dummy. Without the double you would be quite confident, but it looks like West may have all five missing spades. This is what you see:

4 S× South

S A Q 6 5 4
H 4 3
D 8 5 4
C K 10 8
Lead: H 6Table
S K 3 2
H K 10 8
D A Q 9 3 2
C A 3

East wins the H A and returns the queen. Do you take the king? _____

Of course. West could easily have a singleton, but there is nothing to gain by ducking. Fortunately, West follows with the H 2. How many hearts did West start with? _____

His high-low suggests such, and the bidding by East confirms it. You plan to draw one round of trumps. Which honor will you win? _____

As expected after the double, East discards a heart. How many trump tricks will West always win? _____

There is nothing you can do about that. Which suit is the most urgent for you to lead now? _____

Ruffing in the shorter trump hand will gain a trick. You win the C A, C K, and ruff a club as both opponents follow suit. Which card do you lead next? _____

TopMain It is premature to lead a heart, so you lead your last spade to North’s queen. This is what you see now:

4 S× South

S A 6 5
H
D 8 5 4
C
North leadsTable
S
H 10
D A Q 9 3 2
C

You next lead the D 4 and East plays the seven. Which diamond do you play from your hand? _____

This is not an occasion to finesse the nine. On the bidding East rates to have the D K. The finesse wins! What do you lead next? _____

Right! If you did not take it now, West might shed his last diamond. Both follow to this (East plays the king). What next? _____

Excellent! This is the crucial play. If West discards a club, which card will you play from dummy? _____

If West instead chooses to trump with the S J, which card will you play from dummy? _____

Congratulations! West may think twice before he doubles you again.

The E-W hands:

S J 10 9 8 7
H 6 2
D 10 6
C J 9 7 2
TableS
H A Q J 9 7 5
D K J 7
C Q 6 5 4

TopMain

Answers

Bidding:1 NT
Pass
4 S

Play:Yes
2
King
2
Clubs
Spade

Play:D Q
D A
H 10
S 5
D 8

TopMain

© 2013 Richard Pavlicek