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Common Game 2015-12-10 Board 1
West
QJ632
J876
J
KJ9
North
K87
K2
AQ976
876
East
A1054
AQ109
K1042
Q
South
9
543
853
A105432
D
1

Analysis by Stephen Cooper

Awkward

This is my last week doing these commentaries. I hope you have enjoyed them.

E/W can make game in either major, with an overtrick available in spades. But how do they get into the auction? Assuming North opens 1, East has no perfect answer: Double is inappropriate with a singleton club, one of the suits for which you have promised support. A Michaels Cue Bid cue-bid should deliver 5/5, not 4/4. That leaves the possibility of overcalling 1, with a chunky 4-card suit. That is not to everyone's taste. One of its flaws is that it finds the heart fit but will lose the superior spade fit.

If East chooses to Pass, South has a technical 1NT response. This will be passed back around to East. What can he do? It is useful if you have some sort of conventional agreement here. One scheme I have read about suggests using Double to show a minor one suiter or a major two suiter (4-4 is OK). 2 and 2 are DONT (that suit and a higher one), and 2/ as natural one suiter. (Partner might also also use this same scheme directly over the 1NT response.) That would allow a double here. Partner bids 2, Pass or correct, then East pulls to 2. Spades can then be found.

Note if the auction goes 1-(P)-1- (P)-1NT-(Double), the double should be seen as a takeout of spades. If you understand a 1NT response as essentially showing clubs, you might use a double here as takeout of clubs, a perfect description, even having no special system.

Full Disclosure

Some pairs play that a takeout double of 1 or 1 opening is not standard. It does not promise support for all the unbid suits, but instead focuses only on the majors. They might double 1 with this hand and easily find their spade fit. If your partnership has such an agreement, please alert the takeout double and explain it appropriately.

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