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Levin-Weinstein

After the positive reception we received from Avoiding the 5-1 Fit we are beginning a new series of articles called, Under Further Review. In each article we will revisit disasters from major tournaments.

This series begins with a horrible result from the finals of the 2010 US team trials involving yours truly and partner, Bobby Levin.



Here’s the hand and what I consider the key questions:


Moss
AKJ10954
107
6
KJ4
Weinstein
Q3
AJ62
103
Q7532
Gitelman
8762
K95
8752
108
Levin
Q843
AKQJ94
A96
W
N
E
S
P
1
4
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
4X West
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
2
J
6
3
1
0
Q
9
3
5
0
1
1
A
3
2
4
0
1
2
K
Q
6
9
0
1
3
10
2
K
4
2
1
4
10
6
K
11 tricks claimed
E/W +690
6


Should South reopen with a double, bid 4NT, or bid 5?
Bobby’s double could be right if I held a penalty double of 4. However, there is a range of non-penalty hands where I would pass when playing 4X was wrong or, at least, not best. When I did pass, he still wasn’t sure if he was happy or not.

Should North pass the double?
I treated this as a  Law of Total Tricks problem. I estimated the average trumps to be 18-1/2, with our side holding 8-1/2. There are double-fit possibilities and long-suit considerations that suggest bidding may be the percentage action. On the other hand, the Q could be a useful card on defense and will almost certainly be worthless on offense. When I passed, I still wasn’t sure if I was happy or not.

If the double is pulled, what will be the final contract?
It depends. If North bids 5, South will correct to 5 and North should pass. If North bids 4NT (two places to play), N/S will end in 5 after South bids 5 and North corrects to 5.

With so little information available, it is important to understand the hands with which partner is allowed to make a balancing double. How weak can the doubler be? Is a balanced, 18-19HCP hand possible? What, if anything, should have happened differently on this hand?

We pulled the tape, now we invite you to make the call.

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