I am playing in a regional KO with a strong and very creative partner. We are playing a team mostly of professionals; their client is at the other table.

With no one vulnerable, I pick up in third chair

 S:A862 H:AKQ7 D:KQ64 C:2
Partner opens 1NT, 15-17, and RHO doubles. I wait for an alert, but none is forthcoming. The player to my right has his name associated with a convention in which doubles of 1NT openings are penalty. Hmmm. Looks like partner psyched. That means no matter what I do now, he's probably going to bid 2C:. I might as well redouble just to let him know that I have something. He won't expect an 18-count, but neither will the opponents. So I redouble, LHO passes, and partner runs to 2C:, as expected. RHO doubles again.

What now? Partner probably has one of two types of hands, either a weak hand with a string of clubs or a weak hand without clubs, probably two-suited elsewhere. If he has the former hand, we can make 2C: redoubled, probably with a couple of overtricks. If he has the other type of hand, I'd like to play one of his real suits. I figure that redoubling again will achieve the desired result in either case. So I do. LHO passes (are we having fun yet?), partner runs to 2D:, and RHO doubles again.

What now? Sounds like partner has diamonds and a major. Probably he has some clubs; if he's short, LHO will be bidding clubs shortly no matter what I do. RHO surely has a bunch of clubs and some diamonds, though probably only about three of them. He's probably short in one of the majors. If I redouble again (maybe I can' bidding box doesn't have any more; I even had to borrow my second redouble from someone else!), partner will run to his other suit. Probably RHO will be short there and will bid clubs. We can probably beat them a little bit, but we are surely making 2D: doubled, probably with an overtrick or two. While 2D: redoubled is the best possible score we can achieve, it appears not to be the best score possible; that's probably 2D: just doubled. So I pass.

2D: doubled becomes the final contract. Partner's psych was even more unusual than I expected, though not all that far from one of the possibilities I had envisioned; he had  S:x H:Jxxxx D:xxxx C:xxx. 2D: played very well and we ended up with two overtricks for a score of +380. At the other table, our teammates reached 4S: and due to the bad trump break, failed by a trick. Our 8-IMP gain was enough to win the match.

Copyright © 2007 Jeff Goldsmith