The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PAUSE & PLAY -

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.

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