Good players have learned, often the hard way, to hold their tongue when they have a stack in the opponents’ trump suit. A penalty double provides declarer with a warning that there might be some trump trouble and he can sometimes use this warning to overcome it in the play of the hand.

South won the opening club lead in hand, perforce, and led a low diamond to dummy’s ace. He successfully ran the queen of spades, led a diamond to his king, and ruffed a diamond in dummy. He ruffed a club and then led an established diamond from his hand, discarding a spade from dummy. East ruffed and led the king of spades, pinning dummy’s queen. South won and ruffed a spade in dummy, leaving this ending.

South, with eight tricks already in the bag, led a club from dummy. He could not be prevented from taking two more trump tricks. Well done, and thanks to East for the tip-off.

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