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Bridge 3/30

What with four over a double?

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Posted: March 29, 2007 3:18 p.m.
Updated: April 13, 2007 5:00 a.m.
This week, we have been studying raising partner's major-suit opening with four-card support after the second player has passed. But how does it affect the responder's actions if his right-hand opponent makes a takeout double?
    Now a jump-raise from one to three becomes pre-emptive. It shows four trumps, but at most nine support points and (at least) nine losers. The bid is made to try to make life as difficult as possible for the doubler's partner — as in this deal.
    After West's takeout double, if North had bid only two spades, East would have been happy to compete with a three-club call. But when North jumped to three spades, East was not strong enough to bid at the four-level. Note that five clubs doubled would probably fail by three tricks (minus 500), but can go down four (minus 800). To get the maximum, South must lead his singleton diamond, get in with the club ace, and twice put North on lead in spades to receive diamond ruffs. The heart ace would be the sixth defensive trick.
    Against four spades, West led the heart king. (Did he have a better choice?)
    South won with his heart ace and conceded a diamond trick. The defenders took their two heart tricks before shifting to a trump, but it was to no avail. South won on the board, ruffed a diamond in his hand, cashed the club ace, and crossruffed home.
    The defense can triumph if West leads a trump at trick one. Declarer would probably win on the board and call for a diamond, but East goes in with his queen and plays a second spade.
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