ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
ATTEMPTING to punish your opponents with a double is all very well but it is not such a good idea if it warns the declarer of bad breaks ahead and steers him into a successful line of play. So argued East after his partner had fallen into just such a trap but declarer explained that he would have played in the same way without the double.

Love all; dealer South

North

S A J 9 6 2

H 7 5

D Q 10 8 5 3

C A

West

K Q 4

K 10 8 6 4

A

K Q J 8

East

10 8 7 5 3

none

J 7 6 2

10 6 4 3

South

none

A Q J 9 3 2

K 9 4

9 7 5 2

South opened One Heart and West, with nothing sensible to bid, passed in the hope of better things to come. Good times seemed to have arrived when both South and North overbid their hands and finally wound their way to Four Hearts. Be honest, could you have resisted the double that West found at this point?

West led the king of clubs to dummy's ace and declarer was off to a good start when he cashed the ace of spades, discarding a club, and cross- ruffed the next four tricks in spades and clubs. Then he led a diamond to West's ace.

West had one safe exit with a club now but South ruffed to leave himself with the ace, queen and jack of trumps and two diamonds. West still held his original five trumps and all declarer had to do was get off lead with a diamond each time he was in, compelling West to ruff, and so making three more trump tricks.

It would still have been a good line of play even if West had not doubled.

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