Pull The Double – Lots Of Trouble

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This hand was submitted by Malcolm Finn (embee3), who was disappointed that his partner got cold feet and pulled the double of 3NT.

Dlr: North Vul: None

North
S A 6 2
H Q 7 2
D K Q J 10 9 8
C 8
West
S J 8 7 3
H 10 3
D 7 6 5 4
C 10 7 2
East
S K Q 10 5 4
H K 9 8
D 3 2
C A K 3
South
S 9
H A J 6 5 4
D A
C Q J 9 6 5 4

Here is the way the bidding actually went:

West North East South
1D Dbl Redbl
Pass 2D 2S 3C
Pass 3NT Dbl Pass
Pass 4D All Pass

This contract went down one trick, losing one spade, two hearts and a club. But look at what would happen if North does not pull the double. Several scenarios are possible.

Most likely East will lead the SK. Declarer’s only real choice is to duck. If East continues spades, declarer takes his ace, discarding the DA from dummy. Now he has nine tricks – six diamonds, two hearts and a spade.

If East switches to a heart, declarer allows that to run to his queen, cashes the SA discarding the DA and winds up with 12 tricks.

If East switches to a diamond, declarer wins and leads the CQ and the defense is fixed. If East switches to any other suit, declarer is home. So eventually East-West have to take their two club tricks and put declarer back in dummy with a club. After he cashes his good clubs, declarer leads the HJ. East can’t afford to take this – any return gives declarer his game. But declarer leads the HA and another heart, and East is forced to lead a diamond or a spade, giving declarer the rest of the tricks.

About the Author:

Harold Schogger has just celebrated 40 years of bridge teaching. He opened his bridge club in Hendon London in 1983. Since 1997 he has devoted his time to teaching and directing.

He holds the Professional Teachers’ Diploma from the English Bridge Union, and now trains teachers for the EBU. He is also a member of the International Bridge Press Association. Harold is the author of Practice Your Rule of 11 and the ebook Bridge for Winners.

Harold has been an OKbridge member since 1997. You can see his valuable blog posts here under the category Bridge Hand Review. Harold is also a Premier Life Master.

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