Deal Us In: Understand the double?


Deal Us In: Understand the double?


Date: August 12, 2009
by: Donna Swan


These doubles are somewhat hard to understand, but the bridge world is sometimes strange. West’s double was primarily for takeout but could be left in, if East thinks it can be a profitable result. East’s four notrump was not Blackwood; it was for takeout and promised a two- or three-suited hand. South’s double of four notrump showed defensive prospects with a good four-spade opening bid. The later double of five clubs was mostly for penalties, but North decided to pull the double and bid five spades. East’s final double suggests to West that defending would be best.

West led the ace of hearts, and South played the 10 of hearts. West then played the king of hearts, which was ruffed by South. South cashed the ace of spades, and West played the king. Next, South led the deuce of diamonds, West the eight, nine from dummy and East won with the Jack. How should East continue the defense?

When East sees the king of spades drop from West’s hand, he should know that South has all the remaining spades. Declarer has two entries to the dummy in the spade suit, therefore, if South has the king of clubs, defense has only one club trick coming. East should, therefore, cash the ace of clubs and wait for his partner’s signal. West encourages, and East continues clubs. The defense scores 300.

If East returns another diamond after winning the Jack, declarer can win with the ace and draw trump, cash the king of diamonds and cross to the 10 of spades in the dummy, discard the club losers on dummy’s diamonds and make the contract.

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