Every month, I go to Birmingham, Ala., for dinner and bridge with old friends. We always have interesting deals. Cover today’s West and South cards. Defend as East.
Against 3NT, West leads the four of hearts: eight, jack ... and South plays low.
You know South has the ace of hearts — otherwise, his play makes no sense — and West has the queen. West also has the ace of diamonds; he wouldn’t back in with a takeout double with only a queen and a jack in the red suits. You must assume West has the king of clubs to have a chance. He also needs a spade honor for his double, and it must be the queen; the ace would give him an opening bid. If you shift to the seven of spades, South must play the 10. If he takes the ace, he will lose two spades, a heart, a diamond and a club. But then West shifts back to hearts for five tricks.
This defense was marked, but I missed it. (Declarer erred by ducking the first trick.) My only excuse is that I was full of dinner. Sorry, partner.
Question: You hold: ♠ Q8 3 ♥ Q954 ♦ A875 ♣ K J. You deal and pass, the next player bids one club, your partner passes and the player at your right responds one spade. In today’s deal, West doubled in this position. Do you agree?
Answer: West’s double showed a near-opening bid with length in the red suits. His action was dangerous — the K-J of clubs looked worthless — and might have given the opponents useful intel. I would have passed.
West dealer Neither side vulnerable
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