Interesting Hand 18

Went to France and was asked to play at a local club with my host, a relatively inexperienced player at club level (plays social bridge most weeks) Playing the French system which is essentially 5 card majors , 15-17 1NT, weak twos in the majors and some odd other 2 bids. We had agreed that if opponents opened with a weak two, then a double is for take out, and suit bids are competitive showing at least a 5 card suit. Not doing too well so far and vulnerable (opponents were not), on the last hand of 25:

My RHO opened 2, explained as 6-10 pts , and a 6 card suit (volunteered, we did not ask). I decided to double and after a long hesitation, LHO bid 3.

Partner held: A43 86 K107 KQ642

What would you bid on his hand.This may look simple but wait until you learn what actually happend

The replies

I have stops in both opposition's suits. A good 5 card minor but only 2 hearts which partner must be able to cover. I would bid 3NT and expect to make it.

My choice is between double and 3NT. As we are vulnerable I think 3NT is better, so thatís my bid

At first I thought 3NT might be difficult if partner had a singleton spade. But if that is the case, then I might expect a 3 spade bid on my right, instead of the diamond bid. So 3NT it is. Hoping partner has good heart suit

I think I would pass, as no idea what my partner has, and the opponent has made a bid so presumably I do not have to bid? Bidding is high already, I have only 12 points and have a stopper in spades and diamonds.

What has my partner got for his double? Not a shortage in spades, otherwise the openerís partner might have supported spades instead of bidding diamonds. My diamond stop should be good enough if I believe partners double , so I am bidding 3NT. If partner has a long heart suit, and wishes to bid four hearts, good luck.

What happened

Partner forgot that my double was for take-out, so passed! 3 became the contract.Worse as to come because when spades were led, it was ducked (he does not know I have 3 cards in spades) and the contract made. We should be in 3NT

South Deals
E-W Vul
A 10 7 3 2
A J 9 8 5 4
J 8 6
K Q 9 5
Q 6
A J 10 7
A 4 3
8 6
K 10 7
K Q 6 4 2
K Q 10 9 7 2
J 4
3 2
8 5 3

3NT by East requires careful timing. You have 5 tricks in s, 1 in s, 1 in s and 1 in s. The extra trick can come from any of the three suits outside s. If S leads K, you can work out that N has only one card in the suit, and cashing 2 rounds of s reveals the 1-5-6-1 distribution of North's hand. Lead 6intending to finesse the 10 if no honour comes up from N. If that wins you can lead a towards the J, knowing S has the Q, but better still lead a towards the KQ.Careful play will win 9 tricks. If instead of the initial lead, S chooses to lead partner's suit, you always have 2 tricks in that suit and, an immediate lead ensures the contract, and an overtrick is likely. We finished 4th, and if 3NT is bid and made (not likely with E) we would have been 2nd, an overstatement of our ability!