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STRONG DOUBLES

For those new to the bridge table.

The Bidding

When we make a take-out double of an opponent’s opening bid, we need either an opening hand of our own (12+ high card points) with tolerance for every other suit apart from the suit opened or a very strong hand with a long suit of one’s own.(17+ hcp.) That second hand- type was used by South below after East had opened 2Diamond-small, showing a six-card diamond suit with 6-10 high card points.

South had a very strong hand:

Spade-small AKQ2

Heart-small AK8542

Diamond-small K2

Club-small 3

So, South doubled the 2Diamond-small opening. West passed and North bid, as they were instructed to do. Had North bid either hearts or spades, South would have raised to game in that major but North bid 3Club-small.

South was too strong to pass that bid and also had no liking for clubs. So, South bid 3Heart-small showing a very strong hand (17+ high card points) and at least five hearts.  North bid 3NT. South felt the board should be played in their long suit and so bid 4Heart-small ending the auction.

                      West          North        East     South

                                                         2Diamond-small          x 
                    
  Pass            3Club-small        Pass       3Heart-small 
                      Pass            3NT       Pass       4Heart-small 
                     
Pass            Pass     Pass

                   

Bidding Note. Remember the 2 hand types of a take -out double stated above. It is also interesting to note that by doubling and then bidding 3Heart-small, you were showing a very strong hand. Your partner, who could have been much weaker, recognised that by bidding 3NT.

 North bid 3NT rather than rebid their own club suit (see the North hand below) as they had a hold in diamonds, the opponent’s suit. North also recognised South had a strong hand (17+ hcp) and that therefore their partnership had enough hcp to be in game. That is why North did not bid clubs again, even with a 6 card suit. Even though North had poor cards in spades,3NT was the right bid. South ought to have some honours in that suit being a strong hand.

Let’s leave you now with the situation that East found themselves in at trick 1. This is what East saw as their partner led Diamond-small7.

 

Board 9
North Deals
E-W Vul
8 7 5
Q 5 4 3
A K 10 7 6 2
   
N
W   E
S
 
J 10
J 6 3
A J 10 9 8 6
8 4
West North East South
  Dummy You  
  Pass 2  Dbl
Pass 3  Pass 3 
Pass 3 NT Pass 4 
All pass      

 

The questions for you to answer are:

Which card as East do you play at trick 1 and why? (Declarer called for Diamond-small3 from dummy).

If you do play Diamond-smallA, South plays Diamond-small2. What do you play at trick 2?

We will be back with the answers on Sunday.

Richard Solomon

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