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Double Me, Will You?

Dlr:
North
Vul:
N-S
North
♠ 10
A J 9 6
A J 3
♣ K Q J 10 5
South
♠ A J 9 8 7 6 2
Q 4
K Q 7
♣ A
West North East South
1♠
Pass 2♣ Pass 3♠
Pass 3NT Pass 4♠
Pass 5♠ Pass 6♠
Dbl All Pass

Charles Goren’s career as a player ended in the Sixties. He died in 1991. Even so, his name remains synonymous with bridge. A master promoter, he was also a fine player, as can be seen on this deal from a tournament in the Thirties. Goren was South.

Goren won the opening lead of the 10 in the closed hand, cashed the ♣A and led the 4.

Who is to say West blundered by playing a low heart? South looked like someone who is going to dummy to take a discard or two on the club suit. But Goren was certain from West’s foolish double that West held three or four spades to the K-Q and probably the K as well. If West held four spades, the contract was doomed, but if he held only three, there was a chance.

Goren finessed the J and ruffed a club. He then played the K to dummy’s ace and ruffed another club. Next he led the Q to the ace and ruffed a heart. A diamond to dummy’s jack was followed by a fourth heart ruff, bringing this end position:

Dlr:
West
Vul:
Both
North
♠ 10
♣ K Q
West
♠ K Q 3
♣ —
East
♠ 5 4
♣ 9
South
♠ A J 9
♣ —

It remained only for Goren to exit with the ♠J or 9 and the doubled slam was home. Note that West could have scuttled the contract by playing the K on the first lead of the suit, depriving Goren of a vital entry to dummy and foiling the trump reduction.

The full deal:

Dlr:
West
Vul:
Both
North
♠ 10
A J 9 6
A J 3
♣ K Q J 10 5
West
♠ K Q 3
K 10 8 7
10 9 8
♣ 4 3 2
East
♠ 5 4
5 3 2
6 5 4 2
♣ 9 8 76
South
♠ A J 9 8 7 6 2
Q 4
K Q 7
♣ A