IMPs. None vulnerable.
♠8 4 ♥K 8 6 ♦A Q 9 5 3 ♣K J 10
What’s your call?
A majority of the panelists are simply hoping for a plus score as they choose to pass partner’s reopening double.
“With a minimum and no good fit, I’ll take the sure thing,” says Walker. “I expect at least plus 300.”
Boehm agrees. “Pass seems like the surest plus, maybe even the largest.”
Kennedy passes and hopes partner will lead trump.
The Gordons recognize that while partner’s double is for takeout, “the four level is pretty high, and we are unlikely to have more than eight cards in our best fit.”
Cohen sounds more cornered than confident. “I don’t like to defend doubled partials at IMPs, but really, where else can I go? We have plenty of strength and we will lead trumps — it’s not likely they can take more than nine tricks. I hope they will be caught speeding with either a five-card jump overcall or a two-card raise.”
“Pass,” says Rigal, joining Cohen in the corner. “I hate to do this, but on a trump lead I’d hope for 300. Even if partner is 1=4=3=5, we should still beat it unless there is some extreme shape in my opponents’ hands.”
Or, as Falk puts it, “We’ll have to run into a distributional buzzsaw not to score five tricks.”
Meyers passes, saying, “I have good defense and I think we will beat this. Partner does not have five hearts, so 4♥ is not an option.”
Lawrence isn’t as picky about the opening lead as some of the others. “North rates to have 10–11 HCP with two spades. We should do well on defense, and we have no clear road to a good contract. Anything partner leads will be acceptable.”
Robinson’s pass is made with the hope that he and partner have enough aces and kings to beat 3♠. “No other bid makes sense. My second choice would be 4♣ since partner could have more than four clubs, but he can’t have more than four hearts.”
Oddly enough, there were no votes for 4♣. Two panelists chose to bid 4♦, however.
Meckstroth is one of them. “I can’t bid notrump, and I don’t want to bid a suit that I don’t have four of.”
The Sutherlins bid 4♦ because “passing when the opponents have nine or 10 spades doesn’t appeal to us.”
The Coopers go for the game contract in hearts. “This should play well in the 4–3.”