Barnet Shenkin

Redoubles in Montreal by Barnet Shenkin prev/next

For those readers who did not get the opportunity to go to the Montreal World Championships a visit to the website will be well worthwhile. As well as the bulletins with excellent hands there is under results a section which gives all the hand records for the pairs with many fascinating deals.

Playing or defending against a redoubled contract is for me an infrequent experience but in these championships I had the dubious pleasure four times.

The first was in the teams against the Juniors. Our team trailed by almost 30 points at the half and we were doubled in five hearts which I redoubled. My partner Mark Molson had no difficulty with bringing home the contract for a score of +1000.

The next three were all in the pairs. The first was not quite such a success when holding a sure trump trick after I had opened the bidding partner Jaggy Shivdisani doubled the opponents in four clubs and they had the effrontery to redouble. He did make his trick but we both then learned that making 12 tricks in four clubs redoubled for 1720 was a higher score than six clubs doubled making which is only 1540.

Then there was this one. Holding ♠K Q 8 7 4
♥Q J 4
♦A J
♣A 6 4
I heard one no trump on my right.

Playing teams or rubber bridge I believe it is correct to pass but at pairs who knows. I chanced a two spade overcall and to my relief it went pass on my left pass from partner. However now the no trumper started to think and produced a double for takeout I knew I was in severe trouble and using all my experience and with a carefree look redoubled - that would put the pressure on. It now went two passes back to righty who thought awhile. Unfortunately he passed and this is the hand.

N ♠3
♥J 10 9 2
♦Q 8 6 5
♣J 5 3 2
W ♠A J 9 5 2
♥8 7
♦4 3 2
♣10 8 7
 E ♠10 6
♥A K 6 3
♦K 10 9 7
♣K Q 9
 S ♠K Q 8 7 4
♥Q 5 4
♦A J
♣A 6 4

The opening lead was the heart eight which was quickly followed by a second top heart and a ruff. The rest of the hand remains a blur but I do remember the score of minus 1400 for down 4 Perhaps I should have saved a trick by timing the play better Had I more sensibly passed 1 NT I would have found myself defending the same contract of two spades.

The following day on the final session I found out I was not the only player to try such an unsuccessful ruse as this is what occurred.

Dlr: East
Vul: E-W
N ♠A Q 10 9
♦9 5 3
♣K Q 10 6 4
W ♠J 5 4 3
♥A 6 5 4
♦K 10
♣A 7 5
 E ♠K 7 6 2
♥K J 9 2
♦A 7 6
♣9 8
 S ♠8
♥Q 10 8 7
♦Q J 8 4 2
♣J 3 2
1NT 2♣ 2♠ 4♣

After Lindquist had shown balanced values and his partner a weak no trump Magnus decided to try four spades. Now I am pretty certain he had not heard of my triumph the previous evening but he decided to redouble . He had two things going for him . Maybe we would run to 5 clubs or if not perhaps there was some hope his partner could bring home the contract. Declarer did his best and managed eight tricks but a score of -1000 produced only a single match point.

It was funny that both of us thought we were going down but redoubled. Perhaps it would be a better idea to save the redouble until there is a good chance of making the contract!