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21st Oct 2019 16:51 BST
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Board 3 on 21st October 2019

Would you double as east opposite a passed partner?  It's marginal, but with south also having passed, perhaps worth it in the search for a heart fit.  South should count his hand as a 8-loser on LTC and not 9.  His two aces tip the balance, so why has he not just jumped to an invitationsl 3S?  Not playing the Truscott convention, he would have to do this.  Here, after the double, 2NT (alertable) tells partner you have a genuine raise to at least the 3-level in his major, whereras a direct 2S or 3S says the opposite, ie a fit but no strength.  For example, give south's club ace to west and his heart ace to east, and a pre-emptive raise would be very effective:  3S non-vulnerable and 2S vulnerable. That possibly knocks EW off a making 4H contract, or a poor score for 3S* for 3-off and +500 instead of +620!

The club king is led against north's 4S contract.  Ddeclarer can count 11 tricks (5 spades, 3 hearts, 2 diamonds, 1 club), so what could posibly go wrong?  In a trump contract, declarer must count BOTH likely winners and LOSERS.  Clearly, he has 4 losing ticks here (1 spade, 1 diamond, 2 clubs), so any careless play of a trump at trick 2 will lead to defeat.  One way to get rid of a loser is to find a discard before the defence get going.  Once you see it, that's easy:  win the club ace, cash the heart ace to remove your own king, then discard a club loser on the heart queen.  Now draw trumps for 10 tricks.  Well done to all declarers who rightly planned this hand before playing to trick 1.



Last updated : 21st Oct 2019 16:51 BST