Bridge - The Scotsman 22/05/2012

The best Scottish performance at the Spring Foursomes was that of Willie Coyle and John Matheson, who reached the semi-finals in the team captained by Bernard Teltscher. This deal from their quarter-final was an essential gain in a match won by just 6 imps.

Neither West was tempted to open a weak 2S in second seat at the vulnerability. Neil Rosen chose to pass over the weak no-trump because he had no particularly good lead. South began a transfer sequence and Martin Jones thought he could safely compete with 2S. He was wrong – Rosen leapt to 4S, a contract with no real play. Jones went two down when the defenders cashed the first five tricks in the red suits. Perhaps West should perhaps wait till North has completed the transfer: if 2H is passed round to him partner will not expect much from a partner who has already passed twice.

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Matheson believes it is winning bridge to double a weak no-trump with 14+ points, so had no scruples about doubling. South’s redouble asked partner to bid 2C, which he would convert to his single suit. Coyle’s 2S showed, by agreement, a few values and long spades. A weaker hand passes, then bid 2S later; a stronger hand passes, then joins the doubling or cuebids. With his minimum double Matheson was not tempted to proceed, and Coyle made the same eight tricks as his counterpart.