A Swingy Decision by LC

Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 06/14/2009
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

The 2009 Team Trials to select the  U.S. representatives for the Bermuda Bowl in Brazil, took place this June. The Robinson and Nickell teams qualified.

Our team lasted 6 days, but were dispatched on the final deal of our match (with only six teams remaining). We trailed by a large margin entering the last segment of that match, so I was in "swing" mode when I picked up:


♠J 6 5 4
?A 10 6 3 2
?K 10 6
With both sides vulnerable, my LHO opened 1?.

RHO responded 1? and then raised opener's 2NT rebid to 3NT.

Of course, it is very normal to Pass and await partner's lead.

 David   Larry  
-- --  -- 1?
Pass 1?  Pass  2NT
Pass 3NT Double! All Pass





However, you know what partner's lead will be. Surely, he will lead his best suit, and that is maybe 95% to be clubs (based on your singleton). Rather than be disappointed yet again by partner's lead, I took a chance. A big chance. I doubled. Such a double calls for the lead of dummy's first-bid suit--hearts. It's not like I had good enough hearts for this action (nor a good enough hand), but our team was in need of a swing. We trailed by 30 IMPs at the time late in the match. It seemed like a good shot. (Earlier in the match, this would be a poor action--on a bad day, the 3NT bidder has a 12-count and redoubles for some score you have to look up).

This was the full deal:

Vul: South
Dir: Both
♠Q 10 9
?K J 8 5
?8 5 3
♠8 6 5
♠8 7 3
?Q 9
?J 9 4
♠K J 10 3 2
  ♠J 6 5 4
?A 10 6 3 2
?K 10 6
  ♠A K 2
?7 4
?A Q 7 2
♠A Q 9 7
David   Larry  
 -- -- -- 1?
Pass 1?  Pass 2NT
Pass 3NT Double!  All Pass
David duly led the ?Q instead of a disastrous club. I allowed dummy's ?K to hold the trick. Declarer decided to work on his best minor--clubs (note the spots). He finessed the queen and David won the ♠K to play another heart. Declarer covered with the jack and I won the ace. I exited safely in spades and we ended up 500 (declarer laid down the ♠A next--he wasn't happy).
At the other table, my teammate was not doubled in 3NT (of course). He was treated to a low club lead, won by dummy's ♠8. Declarer set up the diamonds (with a finesse) and guessed the hearts for 9 tricks and a 15-IMP gain. Unfortunately, we then went on to lose the match on the final deal. Instead of a trip to Brazil to represent the United States, we earned a trip home.