IMPs. Both vulnerable.
♠Q 10 4 2 ♥A Q 7 5 3 ♦10 5 3 ♣6
What’s your call?
As this month’s scorer, Allan Falk, notes: “A solid majority makes the ‘easy’ call of 3♥.” It would be an easier call with better hearts, but in reality, North should have some heart tolerance — or at least an alternate plan — when he makes the three-level reverse.
That’s how Meyers is interpreting North’s bid. “Partner must be offering up hearts as a place to play with diamond support.”
Meckstroth, too: “Partner is short in spades, so I think he may have three hearts and we may be cold for 4♥.”
Robinson plans for most of the contingencies with his 3♥ call. “If partner has three hearts, we belong in hearts. If partner has fewer than three hearts, he’ll bid 3♠ and I’ll bid 3NT. He could also have a good 5–6 hand, and I’ll raise 4♦ to 5♦.”
Sanborn is taking it one bid at a time. “3♥. This shows a hand not good enough to bid 2♥ at my first turn. Let’s just go from there. If partner has a good hand, she can bid 3♠, and I’ll have a happy 3NT bid.”
A less sanguine Boehm bids 3♥ as well. “I’m hoping for a heart fit or possibly 3NT if partner can bid 3♠. We may be headed for trouble, but passing 3♦ has no guarantees.”
Walker calls it “close between 3♥ and 3♠. With partner having at most one spade, there’s a good chance he holds three hearts. He has room to ask for a spade stopper if he doesn’t.”
While there is some internal disagreement as to whether 3♥ is forcing, it’s the bid Rigal, Stack, Lawrence and the Sutherlins all choose, planning to bid 3NT if/when partner bids 3♠.
The Gordons and Cohen go directly to 3NT without stopping by 3♥. “North is showing extras, and I might as well go for the vulnerable game bonus at IMPs for the same money on the three level,” says Cohen.
“Partner has a good and shapely hand here,” say the Gordons. “He is most likely 5–6 or maybe 4–6 in the minors, so hearts is an unlikely strain for us. We have values and one and a half stoppers. If partner pulls, we are happy to play in 5♦ or 6♦.”
“Pass seems just a panic reaction or an attempt to find a new partner midsession,” quips Falk. “As it could be right once a month or so and it did get three votes, it gets a minimum score.”
Colchamiro passes hoping for a plus. “With a singleton in partner’s suit, 3NT seems a long way away.”
The Coopers pass, saying 3NT is unlikely to make. “My points aren’t working unless partner has three hearts and we are too high to investigate that.”
The Joyces pass, simply stating “Anything you do is fraught with danger.”
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