An Hand With Many Lessons 

This hand demonstrates several principles of team play and opens the door (trapdoor?) to several mistakes. North did not double the opening bid of 1 heart because his distribution was even or flat, but when south doubled 2 hearts he detected the shortness in his partner's hand and jumped the bidding. East-west could still have gained on the hand by passing, but east was not eager to defend, knowing there was no more than 1 trick in hearts for their side. Finally, after north bid to game, west should have refrained from doubling, honoring the principle that if you are going to double in a team game you should have tricks in trump. At the table, the player saw 2 passed hands volunteering to take 10 tricks and thought they would go down.

Another lesson in the auction is that east could have—and perhaps should have—jumped directly to 4 hearts, holding a 5 card suit when west shows 5 hearts. This may well have shut the other side out altogether, and 4 hearts can go down only 1 trick. As it happened at the table, north made 5 spades doubled for 990 points compared to the 650 at the other table for 4 spades making 5. The north hand at that table doubled the opening heart bid to show support for the other 3 suits and north-south bid game without any help.

Team play is different from pairs events because you are interested in how much each hand will score, not how it will compare to the rest of the field.

Next week, every session at the club will be a special tournament game with the participation of dozens of clubs. Hundreds of pairs will play the same hands and their results will all be compared together, leading to large masterpoint awards. If you would like to participate, call us at 327-0166.

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