2017-06-15 / Arts & Entertainment News

Let’s not get rambunctious

CONTRACT BRIDGE
BY STEVE BECKER

It might seem that declarer must go down one at three spades doubled, losing three diamonds and two trump tricks. But the fact is that South made the contract, and there was nothing the defenders could do about it after West’s club lead.

Declarer took East’s queen with the ace, cashed the A-K of hearts and ruffed a heart, establishing dummy’s two remaining hearts. He then ruffed a club in dummy and returned the ten of hearts.

It did not matter whether or not East ruffed, because in either case South would score nine tricks. In practice, East ruffed low, South discarded a diamond and East-West later scored two diamonds and the ace of trumps to finish with just four tricks.

Had East discarded a club on the ten of hearts, South would again have discarded a diamond, forcing West to ruff with the ten of spades. Declarer would later finesse against East’s queen of spades to limit himself to four losers and again make three spades doubled.

West could have justified his doubtful double of three spades with the inspired lead of a low diamond at trick one. Had he made this unusual lead, the defense could have scored three diamond tricks at once and two trump tricks later on to nip the contract by an eyelash.

West’s double was a violation of the general principle that you should not double for penalties unless you expect to beat the opposing contract at least two tricks. West had no good reason to expect a two-trick set after his partner opened the bidding but then passed at his next opportunity, and he should have subsided peacefully. ¦

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