What’s your call?
For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from March 2009’s Bridge Bulletin), 2NT was named top bid.
North has spades and values, but his hand is not well-defined beyond that. South has some values, so he realizes that game is possible. What’s the best way to proceed?
“2♠,” said Larry Cohen. “Partner’s double shows a good hand with spades. We could easily have a game, so I’ll start with a cuebid and see where we go from here.”
“Partner’s double shows spades and a good hand,” echoed Barry Rigal. “I’m not sure where to go, but I want to bid and maybe this is the best way to get back into the auction. Spades may even be our best trump fit!”
“2♠,” agreed Mike Lawrence. “I have a good hand and hope to untangle notrump. A reasonable alternative is just to bid 3NT.”
Janet and Mel Colchamiro agreed. “Game our way is likely,” they said. “Bidding 2NT without a heart stopper is too rich and 3♣ is a big underbid.”
Six panelists bid 2NT, although it’s not clear to some of them what that call means.
“2NT,” said Steve Robinson. “The only thing I know for sure is that partner has a good hand with spades. No matter how partner takes 2NT, that’s okay with me.”
Betty Ann Kennedy also bid 2NT. “I don’t care which way he takes 2NT,” she said.
“Partner knows I don’t have good hearts or I would have doubled,” said Richard Freeman, “so he should read me for some values with both minors.”
“Because I’m a passed hand, 2NT should get the right message across,” said Allan Falk. “I have minors, but if partner wants to play notrump, that’s okay, too.”
“I need to show the strength of my hand,” said Kerri Sanborn, “and 2NT should do it. Double should show more hearts, three of a minor could be done on a weaker hand. Because partner’s bid showed spades, I could bid 2♠, but I prefer a third spade to do that.”
“A 2NT bid might not be understood,” said Grant Baze, “so I choose 3♣.”
“3♣,” agreed Peggy and John Sutherlin. “We need to compete and partner’s failure to bid over 1♠; suggests we don’t have enough to make game.”
There was one vote for 3♥. “Partner’s double should be for penalties with a spade stack,” said August Boehm. “The 3♥ cuebid shows strength without hearts or a clear direction.”
Two experts passed.
“I’m not happy about passing, but I’m going to,” said Jill Meyers. “Partner has spades and although we have high-card points, we may not have a fit.”
“I’d double at matchpoints,” said Karen Walker, “but I’m not confident enough of what partner’s doing to risk it at IMPs. Partner has four or more spades, but not enough HCP to overcall 1NT, so I can’t imagine why he’s bouncing back into this auction. We aren’t missing a game and there’s no guarantee he has a fit for either of my suits, so I’ll hope for plus 100 or so.”
In her remarks as scorer, Walker posed a good question. “Did anyone propose a possible hand for partner that’s consistent with his original pass and the opponent’s non-fitting auction, but still worthy of a balancing double, vulnerable at IMPs?” she asked. “I can’t construct one. Because most panelists seem confident they have a fit somewhere, the top vote-getters get the top scores.”
No panelist constructed such a hand for North.
Partner could have a strong hand with no convenient action at his first turn. Because of that, South must show some values. Bidding either 2♠ or 2NT does that.
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