Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, April 4th, 2022


Iain ClimieApril 18th, 2022 at 9:31 pm

Hi Bobby,

On LWTA doesn’t the SJ act as a warning. If partner had KQJ10xx in any suit and an outside A the double is worth a shot but would he double on (say) AK109xx in S and an outside A? Could be AKQ109x or similar in S or D of course. I gather some partnerships just treat double here (or after 1N 3N) as demanding a spade. Clear but misses some opportunities.



bobbywolffApril 18th, 2022 at 10:14 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, and when I suggested about many partnerships wanting a spade lead when they, with no other indication double 3NT, it was only a “shot in the dark”.

In truth, the whole process is only about having some agreement, whatever it means (and what suit it is), to give your side some advantage, just in case, player’s luck takes charge.

Another possibility is a double by the partner of the opening leader just asks partner to lead his shortest suit.

Here, with no real indication, all that the opening leader would glean as evidence, is that the dummy will probably not have a 4 card major since he didn’t go through Stayman.

Also it might seem rare that “cheaters” would never play such conventions, since to do so, would be overkill, but don’t take that for granted for the obvious reason of camouflage and add the simple fact that what they are doing, rather than bidding, is not as likely to be subject to error.

Finally, even though what you say about the possession of the jack is relatively unlikely (belongs in partner’s hand), but to be influenced in that respect, could cause a partnership disagreement, one that might be hard to reconcile.

All the above, or at least most, is just what bridge is about and why experience is so necessary to even begin to understand the problems involved and especially the possible solutions.

PS: Sum it up: Forewarned is forearmed, except to allow the 3NT bidders to seek a different game contract when doubled by the non-opening leader. And the beat goes on, including a psychic penalty double!

bobbywolffApril 18th, 2022 at 10:27 pm

Hi again Iain,

And heavens above, do not forget to discuss what it means if the bidding goes:
Pass Pass 2NT Pass
3NT Dbl. Pass Pass
Redbl Pass ? Takeout or To play?

Steve ConradApril 19th, 2022 at 7:05 am

Hi Bobby,

In a money game, to play.
In match points, all such redoubles I play as running.
In IMPs, I defer to your VAST experience. What does your lefe experience suggest?

Iain ClimieApril 19th, 2022 at 9:07 am

HI Bobby,

Just wondering what a passed hand on the sequence you quoted could have which is doubling 3N? DKQJ10x(x) and an outside Ace perhaps is possible although most players would open if holding 6D and might be tempted with only 5 e.g. a bent weak 2D. Also raises the question of what to do with a long solid suit (e.g. 7 solid spades) and RHO opens 2N. Passing smoothly (especially at favourable) is great if they play in NT, not so clever if they use Stayman or transfers reaching hearts as then 3S might have stopped it.