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ON BRIDGE

East wouldn't have doubled three hearts at rubber or party bridge. If South went down one, the double would gain 100 points; if not, South would score 730 instead of 90 or 140 points. Poor odds.

At matchpoint duplicate, where each deal stands alone and the results from many tables are compared, players often make risky doubles. East feared many East-West pairs would score 110 points at three clubs. If East let South play three hearts undoubled, East-West might collect only 100 points, losing out. But if East doubled for plus 200 points, he'd have a top score.

East took two high spades and led a third spade; and West ruffed South's ten with the eight of trumps. If South overruffed, he'd lose a diamond and two trumps: down one. But South played a loser-on-a-loser by throwing a diamond from dummy.

South won West's club shift with the ace, led a trump to his king and finessed with the queen of diamonds. He cashed the ace of trumps, ruffed a club, threw another diamond from dummy on the queen of spades and cross-ruffed. He lost to East's high trump but made the contract.

Tight doubles require tight defense. Suppose East shifts to the queen of trumps at Trick Two. South wins in dummy with the ace and leads the nine of spades. If East wins, South is home; but let East play low! West ruffs and leads a club; and no matter how South struggles, he loses three more tricks to go down.

East dealer

Both sides vulnerable
NORTH
9 5
A 6 4 3
A Q 6 2
A 7 6
WEST
7
9 8
K J 10 9 4
Q 10 8 5 2
EAST
A K J 8 2
Q J 10
3
K J 9 4
SOUTH
Q 10 6 4 3
K 7 5 2
8 7 5
3
East South West North
1 Pass 1NT Dbl
2 2 3 3
Dbl All Pass
Opening lead -- 7

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