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Bridge 8/16

He was taking no prisoners

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Posted: August 15, 2007 2:05 p.m.
Updated: August 30, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    First, look at only the West hand. East, your partner, opens two hearts, a weak two-bid showing a decent six-card suit and 5-10 high-card points. South overcalls two spades. What would you do?
    Opposite a weak two, the more trumps you have, the better. And a side-suit singleton — a ruffing value — is excellent. You should jump to four hearts. Here the contract makes, but even if it failed, it would probably be a cheap sacrifice.
    North bids four spades, which is passed back to you. What now?
    There is an American proverb that runs: "A joy that's shared is a joy made double."
At the bridge table, if you double a contract and defeat it, the joy is shared by you and your partner. But most pairs do not double as frequently as they should. If you never double a making contract, you are not doubling often enough.
    In this deal, West was taking no prisoners. When his opponents reached four spades, he thought he saw three defensive tricks, and if his partner had an entry — the heart king, for example — there was a shot at a diamond ruff. West doubled and led his singleton.
    East knew what was happening. Under dummy's diamond nine, he played his eight, the highest spot-card being a suit-preference signal for hearts, the higher-ranking of the other two side suits.
    Declarer played a spade to his ace and another spade, but West rose with his king (East signaling with his heart jack), led a low heart to his partner, and received his diamond ruff. The club ace then defeated the contract.
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