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Freak Distributions Should warn Declarer

For the  The Pittsburgh Press – 22 Sep 1939

by William McKenney; Secretary of the American Contract Bridge League

FREAK distribution is the bugaboo of every bridge player. While we all like to hold aces and kings, there are times when too many of them; is the cause of our downfall. When you hold an especially powerful hand with a long suit and a void in another suit, take into consideration that the 0pponents may hold similar hands. With each opponent void of a different suit they will be able to take a good many tricks against your high cards. Today’s hand, taken from a recent duplicate game shows in a convincing manner what distribution will do for you.

South dealer N/S vulnerable, Pairs

  J 3 2
Q 10 8 4 2
8 5 4
6 4
10 6 5

K 10 9 6 2
K J 9 7 3
  K Q 9 4
7 6 5 3
A Q J 7 3

A 8 7
A K J 9

A Q 10 8 5 2
West North East South
Pass 1 2 3
5 Pass Pass 5
Pass Pass 6
The end

Lead: A

South’s bid of three diamonds was a cue bid, showing a void in that suit. West jump to five diamonds showed some control in clubs and practically a void in hearts, as North and South had shown a fit in hearts. When West passed over South’s five heart bid,  East knew his partner wanted him to take action.

Now certain that West held no hearts and that the diamond suit was solid, six diamonds could be made with a break in spades. When South doubled, West, who had analyzed the hand in a similar manner was justified in redoubling.

In selecting his opening lead South analyzed that undoubtedly West was void of hearts and East of clubs. Hoping  to find his partner with a spade trick he led the ace of spades. Now the play was very simple for six made, doubled and redoubled.

South could have given East a little trouble by leading the king of hearts, but even then the contract can be made with a spade finesse.


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