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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Redouble: lots of trouble!

We do not use this bid much but when we do, it will cause some heartache for at least one player at the table. Is it you?

There are various meanings attributed to the least used bid, “redouble”. It can according to the situation mean:

“I think I can make this contract.”

“I am pretty sure I cannot make this contract. Please,partner, select another!”

“We have the majority of the high card points. They could be in trouble.”

“I really like your bid, partner.”

“I have three card support for you, partner.”

“I have honour doubleton in your suit.”

So, some agreements about what redouble means would be handy…and not just that but what a pass of the redouble by your partner, after the opposition redouble, means.

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

     
East Deals
E-W Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
K Q J 6 4 3
A 7
7
Q 9 6 4
West North East South
    Pass 1 
2  Pass Pass Dbl
Rdbl Pass Pass ?

 

Maybe you should have: maybe you should not have. You did make a re-opening double. What does your partner’s pass mean? What now?

It started quietly enough with a simple overcall. What then should you do in the pass-out seat? If your partner is sitting quietly with 4 or 5 goodish diamonds, around 9+ hcp, they would really appreciate your reopening with a double. The opposition were vulnerable as well.

On the other hand, the South hand does not offer that much in defence to a diamond contract. It looks more like a 2Spade-small call. However, South was there for their partner…and so was West for their’s. This redouble was not for rescue but was a good hand, happy to play in 2Diamond-small xx, or maybe in 3Diamond-small if the opponents bid on.

The intent of the redouble was clear. What, perhaps, less so for many would be what North intended by their pass?

When the bidding starts:

West              North            East                South

                                              1Diamond-small                   x

xx                    Pass                Pass                ?

In this auction, North’s pass is not a penalty pass. They do not want to defend 1Diamond-smallxx but they have no clear action to take and want their partner to choose, perhaps holding a 3343 three count. Should North-South have to play the hand, it is also better for South to have their strength hidden than laid out on the table.

However, this is different. Even if North had an awkward 2344 shaped 3 count, they would very likely choose to go back to opener’s 5 card spade suit. Even were one playing 4- card majors, there is a really strong likelihood here that South has at least five spades.

So, the pass is not requesting South to make another bid. We have one player who says they think they can make 2Diamond-smallxx and another who thinks they can defeat it. Since the second player is your partner, trust them! When you see the hands below, imagine if North had held the Diamond-smallK instead of East, then it would not have been a case of whether 2Diamond-small could be defeated but by how many.

East Deals
E-W Vul
A 8
Q J
10 6 5 4 2
J 10 5 3
5 2
10 9 5 4
A Q J 9 8
A K
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 9 7
K 8 6 3 2
K 3
8 7 2
 
K Q J 6 4 3
A 7
7
Q 9 6 4
West North East South
    Pass 1 
2  Pass Pass Dbl
Rdbl Pass Pass Pass

 

Well, North was not sure they could defeat 2Diamond-smallxx but they decided to try! What is certain is that declarer has 6 top tricks and can develop a couple more, given time, in the heart suit. Meanwhile, the defence has two tricks in each major suit with three rounds of spades producing a certain 5th….but a 6th?

Even on the lead of Club-smallJ, West cannot take an immediate trump finesse and draw 5 rounds of trumps. South can keep enough spades to defeat the contract. Therefore, West will need to lead hearts while there are still trumps in the dummy. So, a heart to the king and ace and a second club (better for the defence than spades) and a second heart. Now, a third club reduces West to 4 trumps…and eventually to one less than North so that declarer finishes a trick short.

The same is true after three initial rounds of spades. North does best not to overruff. Declarer plays on hearts.  South wins the first heart and switches to a club. North does the same after winning the second heart. Declarer can play a couple rounds of trumps but will have to play a heart with North ruffing and thus forcing West with another club…down one.

However, were North to start with Heart-smallQ, they will be helping declarer and the contract will make.

So, was it -760 or +400? Quite a lot at stake on the opening lead and defence.

The answer was neither.

stress relief 1.jpgstress relief 2.jpg

Just another imp!

South bid 2Spade-small. West managed to get their club ruff with the defence earning themselves 1 imp by holding the contract to 9 tricks.

2Spade-small, much easier to analyse, just another part-score. Just a little “redouble” trouble along the way.

Trouble A’Foot?

 

     
West Deals
None Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
J 5
8 6 3 2
A K 8 4
6 5 4
West North East South
3  Dbl Pass 3 
Pass Pass Dbl ?

 

It always sounds ominous when an opponent doubles you for penalties at the 3 level. Do you accept your fate or look for pastures greener? Not with redouble, though!

See you on Tuesday.

Richard Solomon

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