Focus your attention on this rather uninteresting East hand from the Generali European Championships. As you can see, when your partner opens One Diamond and your right-hand opponent doubles, suddenly you have enormous scope for exciting action.

A little joke in the shape of a bid of One Heart might well hve set North- South problems in reaching their excellent Heart slam and - curiously enough - a peaceful pass makes it distinctly difficult for North to be seriously interested if all his partner can do is respond One Heart to the double.

In the match between Denmark and Norway, both Easts took the violent approach and pre-empted with Five Diamonds. After two passes, one North took the dramatic action of bidding Six Diamonds (!) which worked well when South's bid of Six Hearts was passed out. After all, it was anybody's guess whether this was a sound contract or not, but in fact it proved to be sensible, depending on only one of two possible finesses.

At the other table, North (more practically) doubled Five Diamonds when it came round to him, but sensibly enough raised to Six Hearts when his partner bid the suit at the Five level.

Alas, rational bidding was not rewarded for, after this more scientific approach, West sacrificed in Seven Diamonds. Although the bid was doubled, careful play gave declarer nine tricks and, naturally enough, losing 800 points proved a good thing when your team mates were collecting 1430.

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