IMPs. N-S vulnerable.
♠A K 7 4 3 ♥Q J 8 2 ♦— ♣A 10 6 3
What’s your call?
With so many good things to show partner and so many things to ask him, where do you start?
Eight of the 18 panelists responded with a Jacoby 2NT game-forcing raise. “Since I have such a strong hand, I need to inquire as to partner’s shape and strength,” rationalizes Kennedy. “If partner shows shortness in clubs, my hand balloons in value.”
Lawrence, too, is using the 2NT bid as a means of learning more about partner’s hand. “A splinter of 4♦ endplays North. My hand is so good that I will still want to continue even if partner signs off. It is very unusual to bid 2NT with a singleton — and a void is even more unlikely. Still, there is a lot of information that I may gain from partner’s rebid.”
Fearful of LHO flying into the auction with a high-level diamond bid, Falk starts with 2NT. “If I don’t make a forcing heart raise now, I may not be able to clarify my hand later. Of course, I play that with a minimum, partner must rebid 3♣, not 4♥. In SAYC, a 4♥ rebid will be annoying, but I think I have five-level safety.”
According to Bridge Bulletin Standard, a jump shift by an unpassed hand in a non-competitive auction is strong, and that’s how a third of the panel decide to approach this auction.
Some plan to use a Soloway jump shift. The late Paul Soloway liked to use 2NT by opener to solicit more information about the jump shift. A new suit by responder promises at least a four-card fit for opener’s suit and either shortness or a fragment (depending on agreement) in the new suit.
“The strong jump shift is not dead!” exclaims Walker. “If partner rebids 2NT or 3♦, I’ll follow with a club rebid (in the Soloway style) showing diamond shortness and hope he can Blackwood, which will allow me to show everything.”
Boehm makes a good point about his 2♠ bid: “Partner will know to upgrade the ♠Q after the strong jump shift.”
Rigal and Cohen dial their spade call down a level.
“1♦,” says Cohen, “though any approach might work. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s just a matter of what you’re in the mood for today. If playing Soloway jump shifts, you could bid 2♠, then show shortness and heart support. Jacoby 2NT is also possible.”
“1♠,” says Rigal. “Assuming 2♠ is weak (ugh!), I don’t think 2NT or 4♦ is a good idea — it takes up too much space.” Ugh? Just minutes ago you were quoting the Bible, Barry. In any event, 2♠ isn’t weak in this forum.
A number of panelists strenuously object to splintering with this hand for a variety of reasons: “It takes up too much room and shows a stiff rather than a void.” (Sutherlins and Gordons); “This hand is much too good for a splinter.”(Meckstroth and Robinson); “Much too good for 4♦, a suit-under splinter that leaves partner no room.” (Boehm). Even the easy-going Cohen, who says there is no right or wrong answer, objects to a splinter with this hand: “Too strong for 4♦.”
Two panelists, however, do choose to bid 4♦ at their first opportunity.
“4♦ splinter. Followed by 5♦. Followed by 5♠,” plan the Coopers. “We are not stopping short of slam.” Who needs partners?
“4♦ splinter,” says Meyers. “It will be too hard to describe this hand later if I bid 1♠.”
Want to receive the retro “It’s Your Call” by email?
Click here to subscribe.