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Partner's Surprise Double
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IMP scored Swiss Pairs.

North
KQJ852
76
J
QJ43
W
N
E
S
P
5
P
P
X
P
?

Partner surprises you on the second round by doubling 5 as a passed hand.

What does the double show?

What do you call?

What does the double show?

Unless you play pure penalty doubles - very low on frequency - surely the double just shows some useful values. Perhaps or maybe even probably two aces. I think they need to be useful values both offensively and defensively as partner might have a distributional hand without defense but short of an immediate overcall that now wants to pull. Partner also should not have too much distribution as it will be hard for you to judge whether to pull or double - so a balancedish hand is most likely.

What do you call?

There is a case for 5. You have some distribution and a stiff diamond and limited defense. This suggests pulling. Against that 5 is all but certainly going down and you don't know that 5 is making.

You pass and try your luck on defense. Maybe you have a spade trick or can build a club trick.

You lead the K with no sophisticated agreements. Partner will give you attitude (UDCA).

North
KQJ852
76
J
QJ43
East
64
AK10
43
K87652
W
N
E
S
P
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

Your king holds and partner plays the 3 (UDCA). Perhaps not the most useful information but those are your agreements.

What do you play now?

North
KQJ852
76
J
QJ43
East
64
AK10
43
K87652
W
N
E
S
P
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

It looks like partner has the A and the A.

Can we have two club tricks?

No, well at least not very likely. Partner could have stiff ace and declarer plays the king on the queen.

Can we have two spade tricks?

Yes partner might have three spades. With two partner would have overtaken and returned one since they only need to overruff the four. So three or four spades are possible.

Have you changed your mind on what to play?

 

North
KQJ852
76
J
QJ43
East
64
AK10
43
K87652
W
N
E
S
P
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

Is there another option?

Yes we could play a trump or a heart.

There is no ruffing danger in dummy so we reject a trump immediately.

Is there a danger in playing a heart. Yes declarer may be able to dispose a spade or a club loser on a heart. Is that likely?

North
KQJ852
76
J
QJ43
East
64
AK10
43
K87652
W
N
E
S
P
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

Declarer can throw a loser on a heart only with stiff opposite AKT or Qx opposite AKx. Are these layouts likely?

No. If declarer has stiff heart then partner has QJ seventh and a couple of presumed aces and didn't open. 

If declarer has Qx then partner has Jxxxxx and two aces. This is relatively more likely but partner might have opened and might not have doubled.

Declarer is most likely to be 1=3=8=1 or 2=3=8=0. 

In the former case, a heart switch could be necessary. Say instead you play a second spade and declarer ruffs and draws trumps. Then a club is ducked. Declarer wins the return and goes to the dummy with a high heart.  A club ruff fells partner's ace. Now the second high heart is an entry to pitch the third heart on the K.

In the later case, a heart switch does no theoretical harm. Its possible declarer wins the heart and pulls a club from the dummy and partner might go wrong in practice by flying ace which gets ruffed. 

However the danger of not playing a heart is real and the danger of playing one is only a possibility.

Therefore, all in all a heart switch, which seemed unlikely from the beginning seems best.

West
7
J43
AKQ98765
10
North
KQJ852
76
J
QJ43
East
64
AK10
43
K87652
South
A1093
Q9852
102
A9
W
N
E
S
P
5
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
5X West
NS: 0 EW: 0

Did you defeat 5?

Even in this layout, south may need to play well if declarer wins in dummy and desperately pulls a low club off the dummy.

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