How would you assign the blame?

North Had: S 1085 H Void D AJ10543 C J876 in second seat, Vul against not.

It went Pass, Pass, 3NT showing a good hand either a 4H or 4S opening.

Double by South on S QJ94 H AK64 D 6 C KQ43, 4H by West, pass or correct, 5D by North, Dbl by East for 1100.

How would you assign the blame (in % to North and South), and what was the worst call made?

4 thoughts on “How would you assign the blame?

  • Profile gravatar of Sandeep Thakral
    August 2, 2017 at 9:50 PM
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    In my view, it was the lack of partnership understanding.
    I believe 3Nx said interest in penalizing atleast one, possibly both majors, and pass here followed by double of 4M wd be take out.
    In light of partner wanting to penalize a major, bidding 5D is nothing short of harakiri.
    NS were just not on the same wavelength, it’s obvious that north took the double to mean take out of something.

    Brogeland was criticized heavily by commentators for his double, but to me his dbl is perfect.

  • August 3, 2017 at 3:17 PM
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    To properly frame the discussions, let us look first at some possible thought processes that South went through.
    1) It is an unusual treatment of 3NT opening, and it looks like they are overboard.
    2) Double immediately should be just card-showing. I can then pass 4H comfortably (let partner double with cards), and double 4S immediately for penalties.
    3) With this, what can go wrong…..? After all, RHO in third seat, white against red, could be lying about his strength.

    But, opposite a passed partner, where you rate to have a maximum of a 9 card fit in a Major, or a 10 card fit in a minor, with suits likely to be breaking badly, do you seriously expect to secure a game bonus on the hand? If not, what score do you have to protect with a borderline (based on strength) hand, with an aggressive double?

    Besides, even if pass followed by double of 4H may be taken as takeout, will not pass followed by double of 4S be taken as penalty? If so, what have you gained by the immediate double?

    By the way, if you are frisky enough to double 4H for penalties, some of the time you should be prepared to hear a redouble on your left, for an over-trick — with the transfer of the D Ace to LHO.

    So, this is a very instructive hand about setting reasonable targets when opponents put you in awkward positions.

    Next, a similar analysis of North’s action/options is needed.

    But, let us get some inputs from the readers….

  • Profile gravatar of Sandeep Thakral
    August 3, 2017 at 11:57 PM
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    My question is – why should such a situation arise where NS are guessing. I can understand this happening in a pairs game, but playing a KO match – an NABC final – how is it that the partnership did not bother to discuss defence to an unusual opening bid. If I remember right, this board happened in the 3rd segment. It’s an opening bid, and would surely be listed prominently in opponents’ convention card.
    To me , this single oversight by partnership is more unforgivable than any bridge error.

  • August 4, 2017 at 2:42 AM
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    Yes, it was the 12th board in the 3rd segment of the 4 segment NABC final last week, that they lost 56-3 to be down 41 IMP’s with 14 boards to go.

    But despite this disaster, Lindqvist and Brogeland showed great resolve to fight back, to win the Championship by 5 IMP’s. So, the hand is instructive in many more ways than one!

    The misunderstanding I am sure was not about the meaning of the Double by South, but about the implication of the Double that South was acting to protect a big score for their side, despite the fact that North had originally passed. This would be possible only if South had a strong balanced hand with controls, so that a reasonable fit is assured as long has partner had a good, long suit. If that was not the case, they will have sufficient tricks in high cards to defeat whatever contract EW land in.

    The real misunderstanding then was about the type of hand needed to double the 3NT opening. So, what should a typical Double look like to have both offensive and defensive potential at the same time?

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