Double Dummy 07

Monday X-Clubs provided this ‘double dummy’ problem The problem is: how does North end up in 2H after East opens a weak 1NT?

Board 10 from Monday 8/01/2024
Dealer E All Vul


The “Evil” defence against a 1NT opening has been formulated to accommodate a four (or five) card heart suit and four or five cards in another. We started playing that quite successfully but have also rued the fact that the four card spade suit when accompanied by a five card minor suit was never brought into play when that would have worked out well. Well, here is a suggestion for the more adventurous players: use DOUBLE to show a hand with four spades and a five card minor.

I suggested that some time ago but have yet to put it into practice, partners can be quite reluctant to try anything from left field, especially if it means giving up the chance to extract a sizeable penalty from doubling 1NT. But when was the last time you doubled 1NT and ended up with a great result? Murphy’s Law will invariably come into play and something unexpected will put paid to your expectations.

So, let’s forget about a penalty double and instead play the double as I have suggested. East opens 1NT and South doubles: a hand with four spades and five (or more) in a minor and a good enough hand to want to compete. Note that the double does not preclude and end result of 1NT doubled, in fact increases the chances since partner may have a good enough hand to pass the double. So, South doubles, four spades and five clubs or diamonds. North doesn’t like spades that much, nor is that keen on 2C or 2D, but lo and behold, North has a good heart suit, so bids 2H, which tells South everything.

Of course, DOUBLE DUMMY, NS can defend brilliantly and defeat 1NT so that is your real Double Dummy problem, but when this deal was played nearly all Easts played in 1NT and made 1NT. How Finesse defeats 1NT and whether it is based on sensible defence I leave to the reader to decide. Happy to tell you, as well as more about the Evil defence to a 1NT opening on request (