Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, June 3rd, 2023


jim2June 3rd, 2023 at 11:34 am

On BWTA, what would a double by North have meant?

bobbywolffJune 3rd, 2023 at 2:27 pm

Hi Jim2,

Technically, an immediate double by North would definitely be for penalty and ask partner, in the absence of a very distributional hand pattern (likely a void somewhere) to pass and hopefully, especially in matchpoints expect the expectations to be down 2, allowing for some bad luck along the way. The fear when doubling will usually be that the overcaller has chosen 1NT with a running suit and a spade stopper, a formation which occurs more often than thought.

IOWs, by defnding 1NT doubled the opponents may be down only one trick or so (even make the contract), while the doubling side could even be positively distributed to even make a game the other way. Therefore the sequence you mention have caused great swings
to take place when nothing appeared out of the ordinary, but the overcaller being shrewd enough to capitalize on these type situations.

“Beware of Greeks and overcallers of 1NT” could be a catchy theme to be aware.
If it looks like a set, feels like a set, and smells like a set, but isn’t, tell your bridge students
to wise up and, at the very least, try to know, whom you are playing against.

jim2June 3rd, 2023 at 4:30 pm

The 2H bid by South is then more attractive, as North’s original Pass does not deny four hearts and a desire to compete, as it would have if Negative Doubles were on.

A V Ramana RaoJune 3rd, 2023 at 5:20 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Brilliant play by Helgemo . Even if south held heart Q, it would cost only an inconsequential overtrick but as west held it, resulted in taking the contract down. It doesn’t help declarer to duck heart K as east would continue hearts. Dummy can lead diamond Q, east would cover and now south cannot reach dummy without providing a ruff. But perhaps declarer, after seeing east cash club A and return heart K could have settled for one down unless he thought of cashing club A as a bluff and a deep trap

Iain ClimieJune 3rd, 2023 at 5:54 pm

Hi Bobby,

It is tricky enough spotting the chance for just one of the two similar coups. Managing both together is extremely impressive. If, as AVRR suggests, he’d had CAx as well, that would have been a Grosvenor coup in addition the trick before.