West switched to the ace of clubs but he was entitled to only one more trick the king of spades, N-S +790. Should West have doubled four spades? There is no doubt that he held the best hand at the table but he should suspect wild distribution with everyone in the auction. Most of the blame for this result falls on East's shoulders. He had competed by advancing to three clubs but partner could not hold a trump stack given that he had offered a takeout double promising hearts and clubs. East's hand is likely to produce no defensive tricks and, therefore, he should beat a retreat to five clubs at favorable vulnerability. If he is allowed to play there, eleven tricks will be available by finessing North for the queen of clubs. He will lose only two diamond tricks to score +400 or even +550 when North judges to double. There is also a fair chance that South will be unwilling to subside based upon the eye-pleasing 7,5,0,1 distribution. He may try five spades but the five-level will prove a notch too high where West will undoubtedly double again. In this scenario, E-W will record +200 instead of being -790. Questions on bridge can be sent with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to The New Canadian Bridge c/o Torstar Syndication Services, One Yonge St., Toronto, M5E 1E6.
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