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Bridge 8/11

With a double fit, don't defend

    Look at the South hand. With neither side vulnerable, your left-hand opponent deals and opens one diamond. Your partner makes a takeout double. And righty passes. How would you plan the auction?
    This is another deal from that Swiss Team tournament in St. Louis a month ago.
    At one table, South jumped to four spades, West rebid five diamonds, North doubled, and everyone passed. Declarer (West) had no trouble making this contract, losing one spade and one heart. His fourth heart was ruffed in the dummy. That was plus 550.
    At the second table, South also leapt to four spades, but when West bid five diamonds, North passed, leaving the decision to his partner. Now, strangely, South passed too. This made for plus 400, so the cautious team gained four international match points.
    But South, with a diamond void and 12 high-card points in his partner's suits, should have continued with five spades. Can that contract be defeated?
    It looks as though South will lose two hearts and one club, but unless West leads a low heart at trick one, declarer can use his strong heart spots to build up a second trick in the suit, on which he can throw his losing club.
    Back, though, to South's predicaments. He should make a two-diamond cue-bid on the first round, which shows at least 12 points. Clubs may be the correct strain, and slam is a distinct possibility.
    Here, though, West would rebid five diamonds, which would "force" South to continue with five spades. Then, who knows what would happen?

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