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Double Trouble

East Deals
N-S Vul
IMPS
From: OKbridge
9 4 3
K 3 2
J 3 2
Q 9 6 4
J 7
6 5 4
Q 10 7 4
A 7 5 3
 
K 10 6 5
Q J 9 8 7
K J 10 2
A Q 8 2
A 10
A K 9 8 6 5
8
West North East South
1 Dbl
2 Pass Pass Dbl
Pass 3 Pass 3
Dbl All Pass

This is the sort of ill-conceived auction that one can have when opening with little defense. It is probably right for East to pull the double due to his pathetic defensive values and diamond void.
West led the 6, and East contributed the jack. Declarer, Marvin Elster (magpie on OKbridge,) won in hand, crossed to the K, finessed with the Q, then cashed the A. Marvin then cashed a single top trump, finding the expected bad break.
Marvin exited a spade, and West pitched a heart. East led a heart, and Marvin pitched his club. When East next led a club, Marvin ruffed in hand, and led his fourth spade at this position:
J 3
Q 9 6
Q 10 7
A 5
 
K
8 7
K J
8
K 9 8 6
West clearly could not afford to ruff this, high or low. So West pitched a club. Marvin ruffed in dummy, ruffed a club, then exited with the 9. West had to give the last two tricks to Marvin, who made an overtrick.
If East had cashed his K before playing the third heart, Marvin would have had to ruff, and then West could overruff and hold the contract to three.
There was no way to set this contract. The results on this board were all over the map:
(1-2)       3D-X      S       +4    870     11.66 Imps
(3)         3D-X      S       +3    670      9.45 Imps
(4-7)       3NT       N       +3    600      8.41 Imps
(8)         2C-X      W       -2    300      3.55 Imps
(9)         2S        S       +4    170      0.79 Imps
(10)        3H        E       -3    150      0.41 Imps
(11)        4D        S       +5    150      0.41 Imps
(12)        2S        S       +3    140      0.24 Imps
(13-15)     3D        S       +4    130      0.10 Imps
(16-18)     3D        S       +3    110     -0.48 Imps
(19-20)     3H        E       -2    100     -0.76 Imps
(21)        3H        E       -1     50     -1.83 Imps
(22-23)     2H        E       +2   -110     -4.76 Imps
(24)        3H        E       +3   -140     -5.41 Imps
(25)        5D        S       -2   -200     -6.55 Imps
(26)        5D-X      S       -1   -200     -6.55 Imps
(27)        3NT       N       -3   -300     -8.45 Imps
(28)        4S        S       -3   -300     -8.45 Imps
(29)        1NT-X     N       -2   -500    -11.21 Imps
(30)        5D-X      S       -2   -500    -11.21 Imps
<< A Slim Chance
Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1995-2009.
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