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Should you double a slam with two aces

To bid and make a Small Slam, only one trick can be lost. But a defender holding two aces should not necessarily double a Small Slam - the opponents are likely to have a void somewhere so one of your aces may not win a trick. That said, you have to feel sympathy for this week’s East who, holding no less than three aces, watched his opponents bid and make a Small Slam. Here is the hand:

South Deals
None Vul
K 7 5 4 2
K 7 6
K Q J 7 6
Q J 10 8
Q 9 5 3 2
9 8 5
W   E
A 9 6 3
9 8
A J 7 4
A 3 2
A Q J 10 5 4 2
K 10 8 6
10 4
West North East South
Pass 6  Dbl Pass
Pass Pass

West led ♠ Q and dummy and East played low, declarer trumping. Correctly resisting the temptation to trump s, declarer realised that by far the easiest route to 12 tricks was to draw trumps then - assuming trumps split 2-1 - establish ♣s by knocking out ♣ A. He cashed  Q and  J then led ♣ 10. East ducked his ♣ A, then won ♣ 4 to dummy’s ♣ J. He had no sensible return so simply exited with ♣ 3. Declarer was able to enjoy dummy’s three established ♣s discarding  1086 from hand, trump ♠ 4, trump  K with  K, then table his remaining cards, all trumps.
Last week we saw that it was a mistake to double a Slam if you would be unhappy should the opponents remove themselves to an alternative contract. This week we see that holding two - even three - aces is not a good enough reason to double.

ANDREW’S TIP: Do not double a freely bid Small Slam on the basis of holding two - even three - aces.

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