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Have you ever doubled the opponents in a contract that you were sure you could beat - only to see them flee to a safer haven?
♥ J 9 8
♦ K 10
♣ A 10 8 7 6 4 2
♠ 10 8 6 5
♥ A K Q 10 4 3
♦ A 6 5
♠ 9 7 3 2
♥ 6 5 2
♦ 3 2
♣ Q J 9 3
♠ K Q J 4
♦ Q J 9 8 7 4
♣ K 5
|1 ♥||2 ♣||Pass||2 ♦|
|3 ♥||4 ♣||Pass||5 ♣|
West had crowded the auction sufficiently to jostle North-South into the inferior 5♣ contract. That would have failed by two tricks due to the unfortunate trump break. Was East content to write +200 (two down vulnerable) on his scorepad? No - he wanted every penny! East’s double sent a warning signal to North, with his bare ♣ suit. He wisely ran to his partner’s ♦s and West doubled with a shrug of the shoulders.
West led ♥A and continued with ♥K. Declarer trumped and led ♦7 to ♦5, ♦K and ♦2, and returned dummy’s ♦10 to ♦3, ♦8 and ♦A. West switched to ♠5 to dummy’s ♠A, but declarer trumped ♥J (avoiding returning to hand with ♣K which West would have trumped); he drew West’s last trump, ran his ♠KQJ and ♣AK. The doubled game was made.
East must have been kicking himself - he had been too greedy! The moral is clear….
ANDREW’S TIP: When the opponents are in the one contract you are confident of defeating, do not double or they may remove themselves to a contract you are not confident of defeating.