When bridge players dream, they fantasize about defending a contract holding six of the declaring side's trumps, and the dream is indeed rosy when that contact is doubled. When I traveled to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, recently for a tournament, I encountered this hand that fit nicely into my dreams. Some combination of hopeful bidding by south and a very accurate bid by my partner, with whom I had never before played, led to the doubled contract of two spades and I held six of them! The spades I held were not very high-ranking, but I passed my partner's balancing double to convert it to a penalty. We managed to take more tricks than the declarer, and set him 3 for 500 and a top score.
One of the principles of the duplicate pairs game is that if you let the opponents play at the level of 2 you will generally have a bad result, so you strain to push them to the level of 3.
My partner sat with nearly half the deck, or 19 high card points, when the dealer on his right bid 1 heart partner has no sensible bid to make at this point because a double would promise spades, of which he had only 1, and an overcall would promise a five card suit. When the bid of 2 spades came back to him he did have a descriptive bid to make, and that was a double. It said that he was short in spades and had support for the other suits, and suggested that we should not defend at the level of 2. It was the perfect bid for this hand and led to the top score that we enjoyed.
On the local scene, we completed another Unit game with a separate section for new players and this received an enthusiastic group again. It allows new players to compete among their peers. We also anticipate the coming regional tournament to be held at the DoubleTree Riverside Hotel. There will be daily afternoon and evening events for new players. We hope to see close to 800 tables of bridge in the week of May 15 to 21. Come and observe the competition, or compete yourself!