DAILY BRIDGE CLUB
“I had a tough problem as declarer yesterday,” one of my club’s better players told me.
“Congratulations,” I said. “You had a chance to shine.”
“But this was a really tough problem.”
“Then double congratulations.” At four hearts, my friend ruffed West’s third high spade, drew trumps — West threw a diamond — and led the ace and a low diamond. West ducked, and dummy won. South next played a low club from both hands. He ruffed the spade return and took the A-K of clubs but lost the 13th trick to East’s jack of clubs. Down one. “Too tough for me,” South said. How would you play four hearts? At Trick Four, South should lead his low diamond through West, whose double marks him with the king. If West wins, South has 10 winners: five trumps, three diamonds and two clubs.
If instead West plays low, dummy wins, and South continues with the ace of diamonds, A-K of clubs and a third club conceded. He can ruff his fourth club in dummy for his 10th trick.
You hold: ♠ AKQ8 ♥ 62 ♦ K10963 ♣ Q 5. The dealer, at your right, opens one heart. You double, and your partner bids two clubs. What do you say?
Answer: Your double risked an unwelcome club response. Take your medicine and pass. A further call would show great strength. Some pairs use “equal-level conversion” here and could bid two diamonds without promising extras. Still, it’s unclear that two diamonds would be a better contract.