Join Bridge Winners
When Partner Hesitates

West
J93
Q107
Q4
AQ853
North
7
832
K987653
106
East
AQ10542
AJ
J2
J94
South
K86
K9654
A10
K72
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
4X East
NS: 0 EW: 0

Here’s a hand from a recent major national event featuring Team W sitting EW against Team CH. Kit's Hand from the Reisinger brought it to mind.

EW play Weak Twos and a 12-14pt 1NT, which can include a 5-card Major. West’s 2 is forcing (even though it’s a passed hand) and, although in principle natural, it can be 3433.South found the A lead and the contract was 1 down.

EW had noticed that North hesitated over 2. North accepted there had been a slight break in tempo. EW duly called the TD and pointed out that, from South’s perspective, North could only be thinking about intervening with 2. After consultations, the TD disallowed the Double but permitted the A lead.

EW appealed, but the Committee dismissed the Appeal and fined EW, whose submission they deemed to be without merit.

Here’s the problem. Let’s imagine the hand had been the other way round (ie. Team W were NS). If the South player had a “tell” that North had , South would not have led the suit. OK, A looks a good shot; but, fearing that their judgment may have been affected by information that North had inadvertently given, South would not lead it. And Team W presumed opponents should show similar restraint.

I guess this hand is an object lesson for the Team Ws of the game: hey, be realistic about these situations!

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