The Irish Times - - Bulletin Page - by Steve Becker

When your op­po­nents vol­un­tar­ily un­der­take a slam, you should not dou­ble them un­less you are ab­so­lutely cer­tain you can de­feat the con­tract. This is es­pe­cially true if your dou­ble gives de­clarer in­for­ma­tion that might al­low him to make a con­tract he would not oth­er­wise make.

In the present case, for ex­am­ple, West clearly should not have dou­bled six notrump. In do­ing so, he re­vealed to de­clarer where the miss­ing high cards were lo­cated.

Armed with this knowl­edge, South made the slam by adopt­ing a some­what un­nat­u­ral line of play. He won the spade lead with the queen, led a low di­a­mond to dummy’s jack and re­turned a di­a­mond to the queen. After West showed out on the sec­ond round, leav­ing South with just 11 tricks, de­clarer cashed the A-K of di­a­monds and dummy’s A-K-J-10 of spades to pro­duce this po­si­tion: When South next cashed dummy’s last spade and dis­carded the jack of hearts, West found him­self in dire straits. He could not af­ford to dis­card the jack of clubs, which would have given de­clarer two club tricks in­stead of one, so he dis­carded the queen of hearts in­stead. This did not help West at all, be­cause South sim­ply led a heart to the king and won the last two tricks with the queen and ace of clubs.

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