Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bridge Blog 363: To bid or to double?

          Janet Frisch and I missed a golden opportunity against Meg Klamp and Bev Cohen in the second round of Tuesday’s game at the Airport Bridge Club. It was Board 23, everybody vulnerable. South’s the dealer. I’m East. Janet’s West. Bev is South and Meg sits North. After two passes, Meg bids a Heart. I double. Bev bids 2 Hearts. Janet passes. Meg bids 3 Hearts and that’s the contract. They make two overtricks for a plus 200. It’s next to bottom for us. But it could have been a top, had we bid our suits. Here are the hands:
East (Dale)
Spades: K-J-8-7-3; Hearts: None; Diamonds: K-Q-7-6; Clubs: K-Q-10-8.
West (Janet)
Spades: Q-4-2; Hearts: 9-7-5-4; Diamonds: A-J-10-9-4; Clubs: 7.
North (Meg)
Spades: 9-5; Hearts: A-K-J-8-5-2; Diamonds: 5; Clubs: A-4-3-2.
South (Bev)
Spades:  A-10-6; Hearts: Q-10-3; Diamonds: 8-3-2; Clubs: J-9-6-5.
          Clearly, instead of doubling, I should have overcalled a Spade. But given my double, should Janet have bid her five-card Diamond suit at the three level? The traveler – the running score tabulation – told the story at the end of the day. In all, it was split. North-South took the bid five times. East-West won the auction on four occasions.
          Only one East-West had a poorer score. Their opponents bid 4 Hearts and made it. Other Heart bidders were less successful. One bid 5 Hearts and went down two. One bid 4 Hearts and went down one. One bid 3 Hearts (or is that an N for No Trump? Probably is.) and went down two.
          As for the East-Wests, top boards went to those who bid 4 Spades, making an overtrick. Another bid 3 Spades and still made five. Only one of them wound up in Diamonds – 4 Diamonds – and made it on the nose for a middle board.

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