Mark Horton

(Re)Double Dutch

Having recently penned a book about the Multi 2 and the many associated two level opening bids that go with it one tends to notice deals where one of the methods discussed in the book are in evidence.

That was the case on this deal from the final of the Dutch Teams Championship which featured Het Witte Huis and BC’t Onstein – the latter winning by 245-183.

This dramatic deal finished off any hope of a late rally by the runners up:

Dealer: East

N/S Game

K J 2
Q 8 4 2
6 5
K J 8 6
West East
10 3 Q 8 7 5 4
A K 6 5 3
Q 9 8 J 7 4 2
Q 4 2 10 9 5 3
A 9 6
J 10 9 7
A K 10 3
A 7


West North East South
Verhees De Wijs v Pooijen Muller
Pass 1
1 2 Pass 3 NT
All Pass


West led the five of hearts and declarer won with dummy’s eight as East discarded a spade. A diamond to the ten was taken by West’s queen and he played three rounds of hearts, on which East discarded another spade and two clubs. Now declarer could take the club finesse and claim the rest, +630.

West North East South
Brink Paulissen Drijver Jansma
2 * 2 NT
Pass 3 * Pass 3
Pass 4 Pass Pass
Dbl. Pass Pass Re-Dbl.
All Pass


East’s opening bid promised spades and a minor and after North showed a strong balanced hand North looked for a major suit fit.

Leading by 41 IMPs West elected to double and South was happy to return the cube.

West started off with three rounds of hearts East discarding the seven of spades and a couple of diamonds. Declarer now played three rounds of diamonds, came to hand with the ace of spades and played the master diamond, West ruffing and exiting with the ten of spades. Declarer came to hand with the ace of clubs, East following with a deceptive ten. The last trump was drawn to leave everyone with two cards.

If East had started with the black queen’s a squeeze would have operated and the winning play would be a club to the king. The option was a finesse against the queen. There is not much in it – you are weighing up which is more likely, that West would double without both minor suit queens, or that East would open on just a queen and a jack.

Perhaps reflecting that a squeeze is more elegant than a finesse declarer tried to drop the queen – down one and the lead was up to an insurmountable 55 IMPs.

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