BRIDGE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PUZZLES - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

The auc­tion is com­pli­cated in to­day’s hand. North opened a strong 1NT and East dou­bled for penalty. As South, I would have run at this point. The com­mon­est es­cape method is that re­dou­ble shows a sin­gle suited hand, part­ner must bid 2C and the re­dou­bler can now cor­rect to their suit. For two suited hands, 2C shows clubs and a higher rank­ing suit, 2D shows di­a­monds and a higher rank­ing suit and 2H shows both ma­jors. Here, South would bid 2D and North would play there. For what­ever rea­son, per­haps sys­tem- re­lated, South passed. West, with scat­tered val­ues, is happy to de­fend and North runs to their club suit. The EW de­fen­sive method is known as VTP, an acro­nym which means the first dou­ble is Val­ues, the sec­ond dou­ble is Take Out and sub­se­quent dou­bles are Penalty. East can­not dou­ble 2C for penalty but West makes the sec­ond dou­ble, which is for take out, and East passes, con­vert­ing it to a penalty dou­ble. South now runs to 2D and West makes a penalty dou­ble. This method, VTP, is use­ful against anony­mous pre­empt­ing meth­ods like the Multi 2D too. Al­though one might make ten tricks in ei­ther ma­jor or nine tricks in 3NT, it is much safer to take the sure plus from the penalty. At pairs, it is im­por­tant how many other scores you beat but not by how much. At teams, it is im­por­tant to get a big score even if it is not the big­gest one avail­able. West led the QS. East over­took this, cashed the AD and con­tin­ued with two more rounds of spades. South ruffed, led a di­a­mond and fi­nessed the jack. The ace of clubs was ruffed by West who re­turned the two of hearts to part­ner’s jack and ruffed a sec­ond club when part­ner re­turned them. South, thus, went two down vul­ner­a­ble for 500. The event was us­ing imp scores com­pared to the field av­er­age ( some­times called But­ler imps) with the top and bot­tom scores be­ing ig­nored. The av­er­age for the board was 410 so the vul­ner­a­ble penalty was worth 3 imps.

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