Source: ABF Bulletins

Liam Milne
Liam Milne

You might have heard the advice “lead trumps against doubled part-scores”. This is usually sound advice: if you have doubled the opponents at a low-level, your side frequently has the balance of strength, so cutting down the opponents’ ruffing power is a good strategy.

Who do you think should double 3 on the hand shown below?


Between them, East-West have the strength and the trumps to double any three-level contract, but with East and West only able to see thirteen cards each, 3 was passed out. Some might find a double based on ‘the sound of the auction’, but this can sometimes lead to disaster.

Playing in her first national teams final, Sophie Ashton realised that perhaps 3 should have been doubled. So she heeded the advice above and instead of leading the partnership suit, led a low trump!

After two rounds of trumps, Gosney played a spade through to the Q and K. Ashton cashed the A and played another spade. Declarer could only make two trumps, a spade and two diamonds for down four; +400 and 6 IMPs to SYDNEY 2 when 3 was made by East in the other room. A spade lead would have led to 3 going down only one or two tricks.