In last week’s column, a player had an EHAA weak Two Hearts and the opponents had all the rest of the points which spelled disaster for the Two-Heart opener. The opponents were able to draw trump, and declarer simply got the Diamond Ace.
Here North takes action over a weak two with the wrong hand. He simply has an opening hand which is not equivalent to a hand that should take direct action over a weak two, whether it is an EHAA or a conventional weak two.
North has at least three cards in the unbid suits so his double has the adequate, but not ideal, shape. However, a hand that would make a takeout double of Two Hearts is at least a King stronger than a hand that would make a takeout double of One Heart. It also becomes critical that there are no points in the suit being doubled.
The bidding: West has the same hand that was opened an adventurous weak Two Hearts in the last two columns. The difference being the distribution of the outstanding points.
Here, North makes an ill-advised takeout double and East redoubles telling partner he wishes a chance to double the final contract. South bids his four-card suit and East doubles for penalty.
The Opening lead: The Nine of Clubs. West leads trump to make sure that North and South are helped as little as possible by any shortness in a side-suit.
The Play: Declarer ducks one round of clubs then wins the Club Ace. He wants to break opponent’s communication. He is stuck in dummy and leads the Jack of Spades. West wins and cannot play Spades or Clubs so he leads the Heart Six, top of nothing.
East wins the Queen of Hearts and draws trump. He cashes the Ace of Hearts and exits the Diamond Queen. South will win dummy’s King and exit a diamond.
East and West will get one Spade, two Hearts, two diamonds and three Clubs for down four and +800 points. 1-800 is a toll free phone number but there is nothing free about it in bridge.
EHAA pays off when the opponents do not judge properly of when to enter the auction. North should have passed and seen whether East or his partner could take action. One does not want to find out at the three-level that one should have passed. EHAA is slightly different from conventional weak twos, however, defensive bidding is identical.
One bids directly over or balances over an EHAA two bid the same as one would do over conventional weak two’s.