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Wound & Rewound

Redoubled contracts are rare, at least among serious bridge players, because declarer is seldom confident of success after an enemy double suggests that suits are breaking badly. The defense knows something declarer doesn’t, so it’s generally foolish to up the ante further. Well, that’s easy for me to say. As West, I did not enjoy this recent debacle from OKbridge.

5 C×× by South

Both Vul
S J 9 8 4 2
H K 7 2
D 6 4
C K Q 4
S K Q 10 7 5
H 9 5 4 3
D 10 7 5 2
C
TableS A 6 3
H Q J 10
D K 9
C J 10 9 5 3
Lead: S KS
H A 8 6
D A Q J 8 3
C A 8 7 6 2

West

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North

1 S
2 D
2 NT
5 C
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Dbl
South
1 D
2 C
2 H
3 C
Rdbl

Our opponents bid well to a good contract — at least with normal breaks — but my partner thought otherwise. As East, wouldn’t you like your chances to beat 5 C? This declarer took all doubles as personally insults so he routinely redoubled.

My S K lead was ruffed. Declarer crossed to the H K and took the successful diamond finesse. Now what? The proper play (forewarned of a bad trump break) is to cash the D A. When the king drops, continue with the D J and discard a heart from dummy. East can ruff, but declarer can get home on a crossruff. Try it.

The good news: Declarer erred by crossing to dummy with a trump to lead the second diamond. Now there is no legitimate way to succeed. The bad news: My partner failed to return a trump when he ruffed the third diamond. Minus 1000. Another day at the zoo.

Sigh. I guess it’s my fault, too. A closer study shows that an original heart lead upsets the crossruff timing and seals declarer’s fate. Would you have found it?

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© 2001 Richard Pavlicek