goren bridge Society

Close choices

North-South vulnerable, East deals

Today’s deal is from a team game in Poland recently.

What would you do as West over South’s four-heart bid? A double would be for takeout, not penalty. At one table, the West player decided to pass, hoping that his ace-king, ace opposite a partner who had opened the bidding would give his side a plus score. He thought that a double by him would likely lead to a final contract of four spades on a 4–3 fit with bad breaks looming. When the queen of hearts fell doubleton and East-West could not get a diamond ruff, four hearts was a lucky make.

At the other table the West player chose to double, which did indeed lead to a final contract of four spades. Had South led a low heart, four spades might well have been defeated. Remembering the opening bid of one club, North was quite likely to find the club shift for South to ruff. Even if South then led the king of hearts, North could ruff that and give South another club ruff. There were 10 top tricks in four spades after the actual queen of diamonds lead.

This deal is an example of the close decisions created when the opponents pre-empt. It is often a fine line between success and failure and there may be no one to blame. All the players made reasonable decisions.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 5:04:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/close-choices/article26744917.ece

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