Ludington Daily News – Dec 12, 2005

Pillip Alder
Pillip Alder

At the world bridge championships in Portugal, 2005, there was lots of good bidding and play … and some less than creditable efforts. But there was one bid that I am confident few if any — other players would have produced at the table.

Look only at the South hand: spade A Q 9 5  heart A 7  diamond A K 4 club A K 9 6

Your side is vulnerable: the opponents are not. After two passes, your right-hand opponent opens three hearts. You double for takeout. Lefty leaps straight to six hearts. Your partner passes, promising some values, with little he would have doubled. What would you do now?

The deal occurred in the Bermuda Bowl, round-robin match between Italy and Sweden. (They met again in the semi-finals.) At the other table East opened only two hearts, which is textbook. Over South’s double West jumped to four hearts. North advanced with four spades and South, who could not find out what he needed to know and was facing a passed hand, settled for six spades.aa

That made with an overtrick for plus 1460. What would you do? Probably you would double and collect 1.700. Not bad, and a gane of six international match points.

But you know that South is always the declarer in these column, so maybe you tried six spade or six no-trump. Sitting South was Fulvio Fantoni for Italy. He jumped to 7NT. One guesses that he was expecting a stronger dummy and felt his partner, Claudio Nunes, should have doubled six hearts with that hand. But when the club queen dropped doubleton, Fantoni made his contract and Italy won 13 imps.