THE weak no-trump used to be seen as a pre-emptive opening, but nowadays opponents very rarely allow you to play there.
On this deal from the Winter Fours North’s attempt to show a major two-suiter would not be to everyone’s taste, but the favourable vulnerability was like a red rag to a bull.
East’s double was also on the fruity side: he knew that his partnership had at least half the points in the pack, but that did not necessarily mean that he could defeat two of a major – his heart pips were particularly poor. South reeled out a pet convention, the ‘Taking Charge’ redouble: he was convinced that if partner had a diamond 2D would surely be the best spot.
Here West would be delighted to double 2D, and that contract has eight inevitable losers.
West passed the redouble, not foreseeing any problems – but North did not fancy playing in 2D so he also passed. East had nowhere to go, so crossed his fingers and led a trump.
The crossed fingers did not help. West cashed his top clubs and switched to a diamond, but declarer discarded a spade and played hearts.
The defenders made two heart tricks, but that was all, and declarer chalked up the unusual score of 560, perhaps the only North-South pair in the event to make game.