What’s your call?
For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from Dec. 2008’s Bridge Bulletin), 1♥ was named top bid
South doesn’t have a call that is descriptive but has to do something — North–South could have a game or belong in another denomination. Most of the panel choose to advance the bidding with 1♥.
“We need to bid something and 1♥ seems like it has a good upside,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “1NT and 2NT feel ugly.”
“We’d like to have five,” said Janet and Mel Colchamiro, “but 1♥ leaves us well placed. Over 1♠ or 2♦, we’ll try notrump next.”
“I usually guarantee a five-card suit for this bid,” said Karen Walker, “but if partner raises 1♥, a 4–3 fit might play well. It is likely that someone will bid spades next and I’ll have a tougher problem then.”
“1♥ is the bid most likely to elicit further bidding around the table,” said Richard Freeman. “Then, I can get a better idea of where to go. A 4–3 heart contract is not the worst thing that can happen.”
“Is 1♥ forcing in Bulletin Standard?” asked Kerri Sanborn. “Even if it is not, perhaps I can survive this round of bidding. I suppose it is no worse to go down in 1♥ than to do so in 1*D* or a ridiculous 3NT.”
“If 1♥ is terribly wrong, there is a good chance that someone will save me,” said Grant Baze. “With most partners, I play this is a one-round force.”
“I bid 1♥, even though I’m not sure I can justify it,” said Barry Rigal. “Seriously, a heart raise might be on three, but who is to say that will work out badly?”
“I owe partner a heart,” said August Boehm, “but what else can I do? 1NT seems way off the mark.”
“Even if 1♥ is non-forcing in this system, it is presumably constructive, and partner will not pass when we can make game,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper.
“I’ll try 1♥ and see what happens,” said Allan Falk. “Because North is short in clubs, hearts could be our fit. 1NT is too little and 2NT is too much (because of the misfit), and 3NT is waaaaay too much!”
“3NT,” said the Bridge Baron. “I declare contracts better than humans.”
Other panelists also bid notrump.
“1NT,” said Steve Robinson. “Bidding 1♥ shows five and could lead to a silly contract.”
Jill Meyers agreed with 1NT. “It’s a little heavy on HCP,” she said, “but with a singleton in partner’s suit, I am starting on the low side.”
“2NT,” said Jeff Meckstroth. “I could try 1♥, but I’m not really interested in playing a 4–3 fit. If partner has a good hand with four hearts, he can bid 3♥ (over 2NT).”
“I stretch to 2NT, courtesy of the ♠10,” said Mike Lawrence.
The majority voted for 1♥, even though that bid should show five cards or longer. The notrump bids have their problems, as well, and South is too strong to pass.