The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part XXX: The Telltale Double

The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part XXX: The Telltale Double

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Lead directing doubles can be a very useful tool in a bridge buff’s arsenal, but many times these doubles are abused in ways that go beyond comprehension.

In the auction, 4NT asked for aces and 5 showed two without the queen of trumps, spades being the agreed suit. When West doubled his 5 bid, Team Captain Stari Pas of Team Porcupine thought that West surely had the ace and queen of this suit. Else why would he make a lead-directing double? Although the strange thing was that West must have known that he would be on lead against this bold slam. Pas was even more surprised when the opening lead of the six of hearts was made and he saw the ace of hearts in the dummy and East’s queen pop up when he played the eight. What had possibly induced West to double?

After some thought, Pas decided West must have been doubling on length. If so, then possibly spades were splitting badly and a safety play was in order. At trick two, Pas led a a low spade to dummy’s king, then dummy’s five. East played the seven and Pas covered this with the eight. West now showed out, tossing one of his hearts. Pas smiled to himself as he saw his reasoning justified.

Declarer now cashed the ace of diamonds and led a heart to the ace, East following with the five. Next came the queen of diamonds and a small diamond to the king as West showed out. Pas now knew East had started with four spades and four diamonds. He guessed that because of West’s double of hearts, the rest of East’s hand must be two hearts and three clubs.

If Pas was right, then East could be endplayed. He led his last diamond, ruffed in dummy, then led dummy’s last trump to his ace. He led the jack of hearts. East had the option of ruffing, but would then have to lead into dummy’s club tenace. Instead, East tossed a small club. No matter. Pas simply threw East in with a trump to produce the same result. Six spades bid and made. Plus 1430 to Team Porcupine.

When the team later compared scores, Kowalski confessed that he, too, had doubled the five heart bid. When asked why, he replied, “I didn’t think they could make five hearts.

“But, Stanislaus,” Pas said, “you gave declarer a valuable clue to playing the hand.”

“I must not have,” Kowalski said, “because at our table, declarer was down two.”

 

This entry was posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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