Independent Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
THERE IS a wealth of good material and advice from many leading players collected over the years in The Complete Book of BOLS Bridge Tips (Chess and Bridge Ltd, edited by Sally Brock, pounds 13.99).

This deal, contributed by Paul Marston, illustrates his tip: "When they double you, don't just sit there - try a sensible alternative." It is not clear whether it was constructed or whether it actually happened, but this was the story...

West opened Three Spades (well, the vulnerability was favourable) and North overcalled with 3NT. East passed and South raised to 6NT. This was more than East, who was on lead, could stand, and he greedily doubled for the sake of an extra 100 points. He had reckoned without South, who, following Paul's advice and judging that East's double was almost certainly based on !AK, now tried Seven Diamonds. With rather less conviction, East doubled again, but, of course, it was now West who was on lead.

Faced with an ugly guess, but rejecting spades and diamonds, West tried a club. South had only 12 top tricks, but, after winning in hand, he ran six diamonds and followed with three spades, leaving 2K96 in dummy, !J 2Q2 in hand and a highly embarrassed East struggling to find a discard from !A 2J107. Oh dear!

Of course the tip does not always work - sometimes it might be out of the frying-pan into the fire - but it is certainly worth consideration.

North-South game; dealer West


4K Q 5

!Q 10 7

#A Q 7

2K 9 6 4

West East

4J 10 9 8 7 6 4 43

!6 5 3 !A K 9 4 2

#10 #9 5 4

28 5 2J 10 7 3


4A 2

!J 8

#K J 8 6 3 2

2A Q 2