Spade Heart  Diamond Club
Take Your Medicine
Take Your Medicine !
Take Your Medicine !

There are many points of discussion on the featured hand from a pairs event.  West, holds only a poor 16 hcp and may well have passed, but it was pairs.  Many experts suggest a Pass when holding a hand such as East's (West may have the beating of 1NT on his own) and only to remove the double when holding a 5 card suit.  However... 

When South came in with a free bid  of 2 (it would be difficult for West to double for penalties with a Jack high suit at best) West bid 3C, "knowing" that his partner had next to no points - very dangerous.

South really wanted to double for penalties, but felt he would get a good score from 100 points a trick when the opponents went down. The defence were merciless but slipped at the last and did not quite extract the maximum penalty without a double.

The Lead of the K asked North for his count in Hearts.  When the A was played, North played his lowest Heart again, this time suggesting a Diamond switch.  South cashed third Heart and played 9. North won Q and cashed A before giving South a ruff with 5 (highest remaining  asking for a Spade return).  When the Spade was played, North won Q and A before playing his 4th Diamond, ruffed by East and overruffed with 10.

A Heart return at this point from South would have promoted North's J to be the 10th trick for the defense and +600 for 3-6 !  But South slipped, played a Spade and had to be happy for +500 and a "top".

South shoud have doubled for penalties.  With a sound lead (A then K), more than the balance of hcp (21, and maybe 23!) and all cards sitting badly for East a sound penalty looked on the cards.  +1700 was available.

West was wrong for bidding 3. His double was dubious; even if his partner held Q there may only be 6 tricks for E/W in defense against 1NT.

If there had not been a double from West then N/S would have registered a quiet +120 (1NT+1).  If West had not bid 3 the score would only be +110 (2=).

If East had not bid 2C, then 1NTx +1 would only have been +380.  Sometimes, it pays to take your medicine and go quietly.