Double Dummy 09

Double dummy problems seldom arise in part score situations, because there are too many variations to go through, but this one is worth taking a look at.

Board 16 from Tuesday 23/01/24
Dealer W EW Vul


You are sitting West and North opens 1H and partner doubles. South bids 2H. Do you bid 2S or not?

Since a bid of 2S might encourage partner too much, you pass but partner doubles once more and this time you bid 2S; but a pesky North now ups the ante and bids 3H. 3S from partner now ends the bidding. North takes two top hearts and then switches to a low club, South wins the ace and returns another to North’s king. North now leads a third club and it is now over to you to make the rest of the tricks. How will you continue?

This actually is a very good defence. North has led a third club to lock you in dummy. If you win the queen of clubs and cash the trumps, you will find that it takes three rounds to drop the jack, and then you have no entry to hand without leading the final trump, to your ten. You can’t afford to do that in order to take the diamond finesse. So, is there an answer? Yes, there is. While it may go against your nature to ruff partner’s or dummy’s trick, there is no useful discard on the club queen, and if you think ahead and also ask yourself why North has defended that way, the answer will come to you: ruff the queen of clubs and then run the queen of diamonds for a finesse, and repeat it if necessary. If South has the king, you are down, and if South has Kxx and is clever enough to duck the first round, South will win the king the second time and give North a third round ruff, but you don’t really have any choice, do you?