Rio de Janeiro, August 23 2018

Paulo Brum
Paulo Brum

Board 6, from the 3rd segment of the 2018 Junior final between Sweden and Singapore, was very difficult to navigate properly. The traps were dangerous, and they were everywhere. East was the dealer, and EW were vulnerable against not. Let’s look at it from West’s viewpoint:

A  9 7 3  A J 6 5 4 3 2   7 4

A nice looking hand. When Adam Stokka held this hand, his partner passed and RHO opened 1.

What would you do? Most people would probably bid a simple 2, but I think a case can be made (facing a passed partner, and vul vs. non-vul) for the 3overcall.

Would it have made any difference? Perhaps, for this was the full hand:

Dealer East. E/W Vul

9 5 4 2
2
K Q 10 7
K Q 8 2
A
9 7 3
A J 6 5 4 3 2
7 4
K 8 7 6 3
Q J 5
9
A 9 6 5
Q J 10
A K 10 8 6 4
8
J 10 3
West North East South
Pass 1
2 Pass 2 Pass
3 Dbl Pass Pass
Pass

After the first bid by West, the bids were all pretty much forced. I would not say that East could never pass 2with that hand, but I can say that I would never do it. And the final result was 500 for Singapore, when EW lost the obvious 6 tricks (2 hearts, 3 diamonds, 1 club), due to the spade blockage which prevented the K from adding any trick to declarer’s total.

After an initial 3overcall, North would not have a natural penalty double.

Would South reopen? He should, but there is no doubt that it is easier for North to double 3than for South to do it.

Meanwhile, in the other room, the Singaporean pair nimbly avoided any trouble in the bidding with these cards:

West North East South
1 2
Pass Pass Pass

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