Matchpoints. N-S vulnerable.
♠A Q 9 3 ♥A J 3 ♦10 ♣K Q 6 4 3
What’s your call?
Those annoying opponents and their annoying diamonds! If they just stayed out of the auction, we’d know where we belong, but now it’s nothing but a guess. Or is it?
It’s a good thing that 2♣ set up a force long before the start of the leaping diamond nonsense. On behalf of those who are passing 5♦, Meyers explains. “Pass. Then I’ll bid 5♥ over partner’s expected double (under the assumption that pass and pull is better than bidding 5♥ directly).”
Robinson takes it a little further. If partner bids 5♥ rather than doubling, “I’ll raise him to six. If partner bids 6♥, I’ll pass.”
Are the 6♥ bidders taking a flyer, or are they trusting the opponents to guide them to the right spot?
“6♥,” says Rigal. “Easy on paper. It is clearly nothing more than a guess (and yes, defending could even be right since we might get 800 or not be able to make the five-level. But will they save over 6♥? They might. Or 6♥ might be cold facing, e.g.,
♠x x ♥K Q x x x ♦x x ♣A J x x.”
Kennedy feels more confident in her 6♥ bid. “I’m much too good to bid 5♥ and not good enough to bid 6♦ missing two aces.”
Stack believes that “the opponents have indicated through preemption that we have a slam, and this hand seems to validate it. Partner has passed, which implies a tolerance for clubs, so I will bid a slam. 5NT, which would give partner a choice of slams, is a possibility, but with good hearts, there is no need to give partner a choice. The opponents are probably going to sacrifice, so we will bid the slam with confidence.”
Meckstroth and Cohen bid 5♥, confident of a plus score but not as confident about the slam.
“This could easily make six,” says Meckstroth, “but there’s no way to know. When in doubt, I like to get a plus score.”
Cohen takes it a step further. “I don’t see why I should choose to defend when holding only one diamond. Sure, we might be missing a slam, but maybe 680 will beat the pairs who collect only 300 or 500.”
Falk and Walker bid 5NT asking partner to pick a slam. “This should imply heart support, but if partner bids 6, I’ll trust his judgment,” says Walker.
Falk’s strategy, on the other hand, is to bid 5NT, asking partner to pick a slam, and “if North comes back with 6♣, I’ll bid 6♥ (since partner did not raise to 3♣ when he was free to do so, I’m not playing in that suit).”
The Gordons were the lone doublers. “Partner’s pass of 2♦ is telling. We can’t have that great a fit, and things will break poorly. We will take the plus.”