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Bridge 10/15
After a pass, a penalty double
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    In "The Darcy Connection," Elizabeth Aston wrote, "One's life is not as fixed as one believes. Surprises may lie in store for you; the unexpected often tends to happen, sometimes bringing in its train the most delightful change in one's life or circumstances."
    The unexpected will occasionally happen at the bridge table, but, assuming the players know what they are doing, there will be a logical explanation. In today's deal, what do you make of East's second-round double?
    To pass on the first round, then to sound strong on the next round, normally means that that player has length and strength in the suit initially bid on his right. East is making a penalty double and promising strong spades. West, who has hearts sitting over South's length, should be happy to pass. Then, what should West lead against one no-trump doubled?
    Do you think East's double is dangerous? It isn't, because West is marked with some points when the opponents stop in one no-trump.
    West should lead the spade four.
    The play may take one of several courses. East's best defense is to win the first trick and shift to the club jack, which West ducks around to North's queen. Declarer would probably run the diamond 10, then play another diamond, but East can win, cash his spade ace, and play another club. Alternatively, East can switch to his heart at trick two, West winning and continuing with a high heart. Both those lines result in down two, giving East-West a delightful 300 "from nowhere" on a partscore deal.
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