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Bridge 3/23

A raise with three over a double

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This week, we have been looking at raising partner's major suit with three-card support. What difference does it make if the second hand makes a takeout double?
    If you have a weak hand with 6-9 points, you raise to two, ignoring the double. But with 10-plus points, you must start by redoubling. After this call, the simplest rule is that either your side buys the contract, or the opponents play in something doubled for penalties. So, all passes by your side are forcing.
    Here, North starts with a redouble (which denies four or more spades). East passes because he has no preference between the unbid suits. And South passes as well. West will not be passing — and if he does, how bad can that be? Each vulnerable redoubled overtrick would be worth 400 points. (If South bids immediately, it indicates a minimum or subminimum opening bid.) Then, over West's two clubs, North jumps in spades to show 13-plus points with three spades. (A simple two-spade rebid would promise 10-12 points with three spades.) South, who wonders how many aces his partner holds, wheels out Blackwood. Then he gambles on his fourth club.
    Against seven spades, West leads a red-suit king. How would you plan the play?
    You win, draw one round of trumps (getting the bad news), cash the ace-king of clubs, and ruff the club three with dummy's spade ace.
    What? You don't have the spade ace left on the board? You have been overruffed and gone down? Ah well, better luck next time!
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