East-West vulnerable, North deals.



uK J 9 4 2

vA Q J

w9 8 7 2


xK 7 xA J 6 5 4

uA Q 7 6 5 u3

v10 9 7 6 5 vK 8 4 3 2

w3 wK J


xQ 10 9 8 2

u10 8


wA Q 10 6 5 4

The bidding:


1u 1x 2w Dbl-

3w 3v 5w Dbl

All pass

-Diamonds with tolerance for spades

Opening lead: King of x

Social bridge players and rubber bridge players still play a game similar to what Charles Goren left us many years ago. Tournament players, however, play a game with which Mr. Goren would not be familiar. On occasion, we like to show some of the simpler bids used by modern tournament players.

West’s first double, used after the opponents have bid two suits surrounding an overcall by partner, showed the fourth suit, in this case diamonds, with tolerance for partner’s suit. Without that bid, West would have to pass with his useful hand, or perhaps raise partner with only two-card support. In this instance, the double unearthed the huge diamond fit for East-West. In fact, East would surely have competed to five diamonds, a fair contract that would succeed on a luckier day, had West not doubled five clubs.

When the opening lead is going to hold the trick, and there is a singleton in that suit in the dummy, it is common expert practice to give a suit-preference signal. It is unlikely that an attitude or count signal will help the defense when there are no more cards in that suit left in dummy. East might well have played a low spade at trick one to signal for a diamond shift, but he knew from West’s first double that declarer was void in diamonds. East played the jack of spades at trick one, instead, and West duly shifted to the ace of hearts and then gave East a heart ruff. Well done all around!

2016 Tribune Content Agency

More like this from

  • December 23, 2003 midnight


  • May 13, 2004 midnight


  • July 4, 2013 midnight


  • November 26, 2009 midnight


  • September 7, 2016 midnight


Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.