The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PAUSE & PLAY -

Pass Pass dbl Open­ing Lead: ƆJ

South was un­able to scram­ble more than four tricks and the con­tract was down four, N-S 800.

West was hand­cuffed by the weak two-bid and elected to pass and await de­vel­op­ments. When part­ner is­sued a takeout dou­ble, he was quite con­tent to pass in the ex­pec­ta­tion of a huge penalty even if part­ner was sim­ply bal­anc­ing. At this vul­ner­a­bil­ity, West could not have been hap­pier to de­fend the dou­bled partscore. Sup­pose that E-W were red against white. Would this change West's opin­ion? I don't think so be­cause his spades as­sure him of three trump win­ners where de­feat is in­evitable. It is quite pos­si­ble that East was bal­anc­ing with less than an open­ing bid but spade short­ness. Sup­pose that East had made a bal­anc­ing dou­ble with 9 HCP and a 1,4,4,4 dis­tri­bu­tion. Would West wish to play 3NT op­po­site this con­struc­tion? Ob­vi­ously he would not but would rather ac­cept the penalty from de­fend­ing two spades dou­bled. South's weak two-bid was a very rea­son­able ac­tion but he had run into a buzz saw on this oc­ca­sion.

West would likely score eleven tricks at 3NT los­ing a trick in each ma­jor. How­ever, +460 pales in com­par­i­son to the ac­tual re­sult.

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