Freak Hands by Howard Schenken & Richard L. Frey
On 17 July, 2015 At 11:56
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The Milwaukee Sentinel – Aug 31, 1960 by Howard Schenken & Richard L. Frey
FREAK HANDS are always exciting. There is no net formula for handling them, but generally speaking it pays to pre-empt as high as possible, within the necessary margin of safety considering vulnerability. Often it’s hard to tell during the auction which is the hunter and which the hunted, and so it is usually better to risk a small set than the larger loss of having the opponents make their game. Today’s freak deal furnished quite a few fireworks.
Dealer: North; Vulnerable E/W
South had a high quality three spade call. West’s double was a standard takeout. North crowded the bidding, but East was not to be silenced. South was beginning to worry about pushing the opponents into a makeable slam, and passed.
North thought his clubs were strong enough to stop an opposing slam, and pushed once more. East thought for a long limp before passing. West doubled. The North-South hands fit like a glove and declarer had no difficulty making her contract—conceding a heart and the spade ace.
In view of the opponents’ bidding. East might have elected to bid six hearts rather than play at five spades doubled. The factors favoring that choice were:
Six hearts might be made land would be unless South opened and continued clubs: It would cost little even if set a trick, and the opponents might make five spades, and finally, the opponents might elect to save at six spades.
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