During each day of the NABC (National American) Eddie Kantar, one of the best American bridge writers, analyzes one bridge hand, for players who want to improve their bridge. This is the 5th day’s hand of the San Francisco NABC 2012:


6 3
A 9 7 5
A 9 8
K 10 6 2

K 8 2
K 8 6 2
J 10
A Q J 4


Q 10 5 4
4 3
6 4 3 2
9 8 5


A J 9 7
Q J 10
K Q 7 5
7 3

Oeste Norte Este Sur
Dbl Redbl 1 Dbl
The End      

Lead: Q

Bidding commentary: This deal is an example of how a rather large penalty can be exacted at the one level! West has a normal takeout double. North’s redouble shows 11+ high-card points plus a likely balanced hand. North need not redouble with every hand of that strength. Distributional hands often do better by starting with a forcing, unlimited, one-level response (if possible). However, a new suit response at the two level is not forcing. Responder is more or less obliged to redouble holding a five- or six-card minor with 11+ HCP.
After a redouble, the doubling side, outgunned point-wise, can be in a heap of trouble if they have no eight-card fit. After an opposing run-out (1), if opener or responder has four cards in the runout suit headed by an honor or two, that player is expected to double. After a redouble, any double by the opener or the responder is a penalty double and partner is expected to honor that double by passing holding two more cards in the opponent’s suit. Finally, after a redouble, the redoubling side plays the hand or the opponents play it doubled. The opponents shall not be let off the hook!

Lead commentary: As South, with strong trumps, lead from a sequence rather than shortness

Play commentary: As East, if you can squirm out of this mess with five tricks, well done. The plan is to try to ruff a diamond in dummy.

Defensive commentary: Unless the defense loses its way, the contract figures to be defeated two or three tricks, North-South collect 500 or 800 points on a deal that might not have reached game against silent opposition.