Make good use of doubles
(Page of 5)

In a knockout match of team event, you are west. Facing partner's passed hand, you have to decide whether to intervene the competition:

West
843
AQ864
AK94
Q
W
N
E
S
P
2
?

The 2 of south is weak two, does not guarantee minor(s). Your call?

West
843
AQ864
AK94
Q
W
N
E
S
P
2
?

You have strengths and you can compete to 3-level. However, partner has already passes, and the vulnerability is unfavorable to you. You don't have a good suit to make an overcall, and the club lack of 3 cards support, nor is it suitable to make a take-out double. Swap your hearts and diamonds, you could play Equal Level Conversion Doubles: After your doubling, if partner bid 3, you could change to 3. This offering a choice of 3 or 3, he could pass or correct to 3. But with actual shapes, when he bid 3, you should'nt change to 3, since this essentially offering a choice of 3 or 4. partner may well be forced to bid to 4-level, if he has short hearts - You do not have enough strengths to do this. So if you want to get involved, you can only make an ELCD, and after partner's 3, you can only change to 3, not let the bidding beyond 3-level.

You might worry that the deal is misfit, 2 points are worth considering :

1. The chance of finding an card fit more than 80% when you hold 5-4.

2. Opponents opened 2 and you hold 3 spades, the odds of their spade fit is 70.35%. Even in the face of small probability (6-1), it is not a big misfit.

When you are in a difficult choice between the bid and not bid, ODR is an important factor. The length in opponent's suit is a factor in reducing the ODR, however, your high cards are all distributed outside opponent's suit, plus the unbalanced shapes, all these can increase the ODR. In addition, perhaps the length of your spades is actually a good factor: if it is 6-3-2-2 distribution, when north ruff the third round of spades, partner can over ruff; instead, if 6-2-2-3, north will have the advantage of over ruff or trump promotion on the third round of spades.

If you find a trump fit, You could take a chance to game via lebensohl: partner's 2NT bid is a show of weakness (you have to bid 3) and it is an invitation if he bid a suit immediately (for example, if he bid 3, you could raise to 4).

You double. and the bidding continues:

West
843
AQ864
AK94
Q
W
N
E
S
P
2
X
3
X
P
?

North deepen the preemption, 3 usually shows 3+ card s. Partner made a takeout (responsive) double, show both minors and 10+.

West
843
AQ864
AK94
Q
W
N
E
S
P
2
X
3
X
P
?

Your side have a fit of diamond at least, the partnership have play strengths of 4-level, you could bid to 4. However, partner's doubling suggests that his holding is likely to not wasted in spades; LHO raise to 3, partner might hold a singleton in spades, and your side have excellent control in all suits; Even your stiff Q looks a little better now -- It has more offensive in partner's suit. Be aggressive in trying for games when vulnerable at team scoring, would you bid 5?

No. Why not try 4 first? Your doubling has shown that your hand is not an one suit hand, or you will bid 3 immediately, or hold a strong hand bid 4 (4/=Leaping Michaels, show 5+5/ GF). So your 4 bidding must be to offer a choice of 5+4m, this allow your partner to bid on 5-level if he has short hearts. When he changes to 5, you will continue to 5.

You bid 4. The bidding concludes:

West
843
AQ864
AK94
Q
East
62
KJ2
Q1032
A1093
W
N
E
S
P
2
X
3
X
P
4
P
P
P

North lead 9 (J/10=0/2 higher, 3rd/even, low/odd, Hi from xxx if raised). South won the trick with K and switch to 7. How do you start?

West
84
AQ864
AK94
Q
East
6
KJ2
Q1032
A1093
W
N
E
S
P
2
X
3
X
P
4
P
P
P

If the distribution of trump is not badly than 4-1 and diamonds are 3-2, you have only 2 losers in spades. Even if the diamonds are 4-1 and the opponents might ruff a round on diamonds, the contract can also be made. Now you want an overtrick, obviously you should to void dummy's spade for ruff. Should you win and then play spades from declare's side or from dummy's side?

If you play spades to dummy, north will have the opportunity to win, then he could play diamonds and south will ruff if he have a singleton of diamond. Instead, play spades from dummy, south will not know who hold the Q (if south hold Q, he will play Q instead of K in the first round), he is likely to hops up with A--if he has. So you should play a small diamond, make dummy win and then play spades, this also avoid opponents's J become a winner. Which card would you play? 9 or 4?

It is better technique to conceal your lowest spot. If you play 4, north will be able to know his partner led from singleton of diamond, because 432 has been on the table, and he owns 65, 7 is the smallest of south. If south led from doubleton, he will lead higher.

You play 9, north followed small, dummy won with 10 and led a spade, south hops up with A. He led third round of spade. All smooth. You trumped spade with 2 from dummy, cashed KJ, both opponents following, there was just one trump outstanding, you need to return to your hand and draw it. Would you back from diamonds or clubs?

To prevent diamonds split badly, you should not play diamonds. You cashed A, trumped second round of clubs and claimed 11 tricks. The full hand is:

West
843
AQ864
AK94
Q
North
Q109
109
J865
KJ62
East
62
KJ2
Q1032
A1093
South
AKJ75
753
7
8754
W
N
E
S
P
2
X
3
X
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 West
NS: 0 EW: 0

How was the defense?

Well. Although a trump leading will be able to cuts down dummy's ruffing value, but it more likely to let declarer throw their loser of spades.

Do you agree with the N-S bidding?

South bid weak two with 5 spades in the second place, that is very unusual. However, the vulnerability is favorable, with so tempting spades and shapes, the play strength is well and worth to making a preempt. If the contract belongs to opponents and he does not make this call, maybe he will lose the opportunity to direct the opening lead forever. North's 3 bidding is very necessary, he has the obligation to deepen the preemption. Even if West are silent, he should raise also, otherwise east might make a balancing.

How was the E-W bidding?

If west bid 3 immediately, and east raise to 4, they will have the same result. However, what if east has short hearts? Let's say he only has 1 heart. East has no way, his strengths is not enough to change to 4-level, he had to bite the bullet and play 3 with 5-1, or even a doubled 3

In the actual actions, E-W clearly their hand through a series of double and change (in fact, they did not change the call), finally reached the best contract.

Doubling is the most flexible weapon, doubling and then bidding a suit should be used to find a fit in more time, during these process you can also distinguish the strengths via different sequences, so it should not only be used to show a GOSH. If you are really holding a GOSH, you just jump when the enemy has preempted, just double and then jump overcall the opening bid when RHO made a non-preemptive opening.