North south vulnerable

North south vulnerable

Play Bridge: Balancing action over a weak two-revisited

"In this column, we see what happens when the player seated directly after the weak two takes action when he should not."

In this column, we see what happens when the player seated directly after the weak two takes action when he should not.

The bidding: West has a hand that is almost too strong for a weak two. He actually has a perfect vulnerable weak two, with the required good suit quality and with the upper end of strength. He is not vulnerable so he could have a lot less. However, his Spade shortness spurs him on to an opening weak two.

North tells himself, “I have an opening hand so I must bid.” East redoubles telling his partner he is strong and wishes to have a crack at punishing the opponents.

South bids Two Spades and East doubles. The vulnerability is perfect for letting the opponents play doubled.

If vulnerable, East would play Four Hearts because they would need to set the opponents too many tricks to make up for a vulnerable game.

The Play: South loses two Spades, two Hearts and three Clubs for down two and -500 points. West, if playing a Four-Heart contract, would lose two Diamonds and a Diamond ruff for +420 points. The double paid off.

North should have passed and East would jump to Four Hearts, thus silencing any desire North had for entering the auction.

Had East passed and South had a suitable hand to balance, then North would have been quite happy to play the hand even with his poorly-shaped four-triple-three hand.