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Takeout doubles revisited

Play Bridge: Tips and tricks for the bridge player, new to experienced.
Both vulnerable

The bidding: West, with 13 points, opens one club bidding his four card suits up the line. He does not need to worry about a rebid since his hand is well-suited for a one notrump rebid. West has no intention in bidding two diamonds because that is the wrong rebid for this hand.

North, with opening points, does not have three cards in diamonds, but has three or four cards in the unbid majors. He makes an offshape double with the intention of rebidding one notrump if partner replies in diamonds. A double then the cheapest notrump shows the same points as a notrump overcall, 15-18.

With 8 to 12, South jumps to two hearts and North invites. With a stiff ace and five hearts, South goes to game.

The contract: Four hearts by South

The opening lead: The three of clubs

A good lead is often a difficult thing to find. Audrey Grant, in her book, The impact of opening leads against notrump contracts, wrote that over 50 years ago, it was suggested that the opening lead be made after dummy was faced. It did not catch on although it would help one’s opening leads.

It is better to lead from a king than from a queen because, in the latter case, one may find the queen for the declarer. Leading from a tenace (such as A10xx or KJxx, etc) is not good, but opponents may be short in clubs as a double usually suggests so the odds are higher that partner has help in clubs.

The play: South wins the opening lead with the ace of clubs. South plays to the king of diamonds which loses to the ace. East returns a club. South does not have a luxury of playing a loser and setting up the queen because he already has two diamond and one spade loser.

South ruffs the club and plays a small heart to the ten. It holds. A small diamond is played from dummy and when the queen is not played, South plays the nine and West wins the queen. West exits his bare king of hearts.

South wins the ace and plays a spade which West wins. West exits a spade which South wins. South ruffs his small diamond. South ruffs a club back to his hand and plays his last trump to draw the last trump in East’s hand.

Note: If South draws trump, West will hold-up with the ace of spades and South will lose a third diamond.

The result: Four spades making four for +620.