The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part LXIV: Double Game is the Porcupine Name
By Ray Adams
It is seldom the case that both NS and EW can make 3NT on the same board. However, due to the power of trumps and distribution, making game each way in a suit contract is very possible.
When Pas and Konejwicz sat EW, Konejwicz reached four hearts as seen in the bottom diagram above. South led the ace of clubs, and readers can see that NS should be able to take three club tricks and two spades to put the contract down two. However, it is not possible for the NS pair to untangle their tricks. South is faced with an insoluble problem at trick two. Any red suit shift allows declarer to jettison two losers on dummy’s diamonds and conceding two clubs later to make the game contract. A spade shift actually leads to the same conclusion, no matter which spade South leads. This was an easy +620 for Team Porcupine. Perhaps NS should have sacrificed, but obviously they thought they could beat the contract.
When Nograwowicz and Kowalski were NS, Nograwowicz ended in four spades doubled as shown in the top diagram above. When Kowalski took the extra bid, East was quick to double, most likely assuming Kowalski was sacrificing. Readers familiar with Kowalski know that he has so much faith in his partner, Porczouk Nograwowicz, that he undoubtedly bid to make.
West started with the ace of hearts, East playing the eight. West gave his next move some thought after seeing the singleton in dummy. Eventually, this player shifted to the jack of clubs. Declarer won his ace and crossed to dummy with a heart ruff. He now threw two losing diamonds on the high clubs, took the winning spade hook, and returned to dummy with another heart ruff. The king popped up on the subsequent trump lead and declarer won, conceded two diamonds and claimed the doubled game.
This was +590 to go with +620 for a nifty 15 point pickup for Team Porcupine and definitely helped them win this match. Readers should note that EW did not set this contract because East failed to play the king of hearts on the ace at trick one. This would have told West to switch to the higher ranking non-trump suit, or diamonds. The defense would then have taken one heart and three diamonds to set the contract.
Once again a Team Porcupine opponent found out too late that any mistake against this formidable team usually leads to defeat.