Let's take this as a problem.
You are vul against not, LHO opens 1H and partner doubles. RHO passes and you hold this uninspiring collection:
Q J 4
7 6 4
7 5 3
Q 9 3 2
At club level, a 2C reply would be automatic, but some might prefer to bid 1S. Do you?
Playing against Israel in the 13th round, Groetheim of Norway thought it better to reply 1S -after all, partner was almost guaranteed to have spades.
A great player of the 50s, Adam Meredith of England, was so fond of the spade suit that it was routine of him to bid or overcall in a 3-card spade suit like the one held here by Groetheim; he had done this repeatedly even in the 1955 World Championship (which England won). His teammates said "For Meredith, a 3-card spade suit is not only biddable, but rebiddable!". Here however Meredith would have smiled seeing Groetheim bidding, rebidding and then re-raising with three cards! (That said, probably Aa should bid 3C instead of 3S).
The whole deal was:
Board 12, dealer West, N-S vul.
A K 7 Q 10 9 A A K J 7 5 4 3 2 10 9 8 6 5 A J 8 3 2 K 5 K Q J 9 2 10 8 6 4 8 10 6 Q J 4 7 6 4 7 5 3 Q 9 3 2 West North East South D.Yadlin Aa I.Yadlin Groetheim 1H dbl pass 1S 2D 2H dbl 2S pass 3S pass 4S! all passThere have been some successful contracts played in a 3-3 fit, but this was not one of them. It went down four. My Luxembourgian friends probably had the same auction and they also reached 4S; however, since they are not famous they were doubled for 1100, while Groetheim "only" paid 400 -which was no bargain, though, because at the other table the Israeli South replied 2C to the double and they duly reached 5C. You and I would probably underlead your ace of hearts against 5C, find partner's king and give him a third-round ruff, but the Norwegian West, one Geir Helgemo, was not up to the task :-) Israel scored 600 to gain 14 IMPs.
As an aside, in this 13th round Greece and San Marino scored a record for the event; in their match, Greece won by 20 to 8, which is the smallest number of IMPs exchanged in a match so far in this event. It didn't do any good for Greece, though, because although they won they dropped in 6th place.
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