THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder

For the next two-plus weeks, let’s look at some of the best bridge books published in the last year.
First, we have “The Contested Auction” by Roy Hughes (Master Point Press), the International Bridge Press Association’s book of the year. In more than 300 pages, Hughes gives a comprehensive analysis of competitive bidding. However, be aware that it is not intended for inexperienced players.
This deal from the book occurred during the 2011 Bermuda Bowl in the Netherlands.
If Lorenzo Lauria from Italy (West) had doubled two hearts, it would have been negative, not penalty. After he passed, Alfredo Versace (East) reopened with a double, showing short hearts. West was happy to pass. Two hearts doubled can be taken down six!
North, though, redoubled for rescue. When South bid three clubs, West passed to see if his partner wanted to double for penalty, which East was very happy to do.
The defense was excellent, although declarer could have done better.
West led the club ace, then shifted to his diamond. East won with his jack and played three more rounds of clubs, West discarding hearts. Now South would have done best to lead a low spade from the dummy. But he played the spade king. East took his ace and returned a spade to the nine and queen. The next spade went to the six and West cashed two more winners in the suit. South got dummy’s last trump and his heart ace for down five, minus 1,400.

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