Neither vulnerable. East deals.


xJ 10 8 6 2

u7 4

v7 6

wA 8 5 3


xQ 4 xA K 7

uA J 9 6 3 u5

vK Q 2 vA 10 8 5 4

wQ 6 4 wK J 9 2


x9 5 3

uK Q 10 8 2

vJ 9 3

w10 7

The bidding:


1v 1u Pass Pass

Dbl Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of v

Bridge can be a humbling game. On this deal from an international championship West, a many-time world champion, made a misjudgment on the very first deal.

East-West were playing negative doubles, hence West’s first-round pass of one heart. East’s double was for takeout, and West elected to convert it to penalties by passing. West should have realized that, since East’s takeout double marked him with length in diamonds, his diamonds were unlikely to be much of a defensive asset.

That proved to be the case in the play. Dummy’s red doubletons produced a trick since the defenders could not play two rounds of trumps without sacrificing a trick, so declarer was able scramble five tricks for down two — 300 points for East-West.

At the other table East-West bid to six diamonds. South led the king of hearts, taken with the ace. When diamonds split 3-2 the contract depended solely on the ten of clubs being guarded no more than twice, so declarer simply drew trumps and started on clubs. When the ten dropped, the nine of clubs became the fulfilling trick.

The moral of this deal: Do not elect to defend doubled contracts when you have enough for game your way, regardless of the vulnerability. The pain is rarely offset by the game!

2013 Tribune Media Services

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