Strange Double Self-Destructs

/, Harold Schogger/Strange Double Self-Destructs

West discovered on this deal that powerful trumps and some outside strength often are not enough to defeat a one-level contract. The bidding is strange, but it is presented exactly as John Russell, North, provided it to us. Why West doubled will have to remain a mystery.

Dlr: North Vul: None
Scoring: IMPs

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

 

WestNorthEastSouth
Pass1H
DblRedblAll Pass

Here is what Russell had to say.

“I had played with janeok once before, and we were a last-minute connection for the tourney. She opened the bidding, and following the double, my thought was that I had a good hand – 16 HCP but a void in her suit. Considering the double I didn’t really want to suggest an alternative at the time, so I chose to redouble with the common promise of 10ish plus which may or may not have heart support.

“With trumps being KQ empty, and a 6-2 split sitting on the side not expected with the bidding, our contract seemed doomed. I imagine West was salivating at the thought of a big plus. Not so, as janeok made with an overtrick with the unusual approach of tapping the defender’s long trump suit.

“I hesitate to submit a hand in which I was involved, but I was almost in the innocent bystander category, and janeok deserves full credit for her play of the hand.”

And incidentally West deserves what he got for his strange defensive effort and his even stranger double.

It appears there are many ways to score seven tricks, but here is how janeok managed to win eight for plus 720 and a gain of 9.79 IMP.

West led his singleton club, apparently hoping to score some of his small trumps with ruffs. Janeok gave him exactly what he wanted. She won with the 10 and continued with the ace, ruffed by West. He shifted to a diamond to dummy’s ace, and janeok continued with another high club, ruffed by West as janeok sluffed a spade. When he led another diamond, janeok won with the queen and led another club for West to ruff as she discarded her last spade.

West was too late in trying to cash the spade ace, for declarer ruffed and led a diamond. West sluffed a spade so dummy’s jack won. Janeok called for the spade king and ditched her diamond king. Next came another club, ruffed by East with the 9, South with the king and West with the ace. He returned the heart jack to declarer’s queen, then won the next heart with the 10. But now declarer had the last heart to score her overtrick. The defense took only five trump 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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