Janet De-Botton

Bridge | 28 March 2018

Bridge | 28 March 2018
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Have you ever picked up your hand, opened a weak 2 on a proper six-card suit (all right, if you’re being honest, maybe a bit underweight point-wise but you’re not vulnerable) and watched with mounting alarm as it goes pass, pass, DOUBLE, all pass? Have you then sat there while they take the first seven tricks, and a couple more at the end, and written miserably on your scorecard minus 800? Scoring up is not too attractive, is it? It has happened to me so often that bad weak twos or two level overcalls with only a five-card suit are toys I have put away. I look at my hand and invariably think ‘Nah — can’t be bothered’, and I rarely regret it.

I was watching the Vanderbilt round of 32 last week, the main teams tournament at the Spring National in Philadelphia, when a slim (vul) weak two hit an anorexic (vul) double:

It looks like a totally normal T/O double by South — or does it? West led A, saw dummy’s three spades and played ♠A, expecting a singleton in partner’s hand. Next came ♠2 (asking for a diamond return) ruffed by East who dutifully returned a diamond. West won, shot back another small spade (ruffed), and waited for another diamond. He won, cashed his third diamond and exited yet another spade, ruffed in dummy and overruffed by East, who returned a heart, leaving West with another two trump tricks. Six off. Minus 1700. ‘Same result at the other table,’ said North sympathetically. Sadly not. A jaded South decided not to double as his partner was a passed hand and West bid 4 which was a tricky make. Bet he didn’t expect to lose 14 IMPs on his careful play! Happy Easter.