Matchpoints. Both vulnerable.
♠J 10 8 6 3 ♥A K J 2 ♦K J 2 ♣K
What’s your call?
Players have learned that it’s desirable to nudge the opponents out of 1NT when reasonable. Therefore, 11 of the 17 panelists bid.
“2♥,” said Steve Robinson. “When in doubt, bid. When given a choice between bidding and passing, bidding wins more often.”
Barry Rigal agreed. “You jest, surely,” he said. “Would anyone double or pass? I duck smoothly as the list of eminent players taking that action scrolls in front of me. Seriously, we might make 4*H* on some constructions when they can make some number of notrump.”
“At matchpoints, you have to bid,” said Betty Ann Kennedy. “At IMPs, I would pass.”
“2♥,” echoed Fritzi and Paul Gordon. “This is a guess, but passing could lead to a bad lead for our side, and that persuades us to risk bidding. We wish there were a way to bring diamonds into the picture, but unfortunately, there’s not.”
“I bid 2♥, even though it’s a terrible bid,” said Allan Falk. “West rates to do pretty well in 1NT, so because we’re booked for a bad score, I may as well try to improve.”
“They say it’s a bidder’s game, so I bid 2♥,” said Mel Colchamiro. “I’d feel better if the ♣K was somewhere else.”
“It’s matchpoints,” said Mike Lawrence who also bids 2♥.
Three panel members doubled.
“I will give partner a chance to leave it in for penalties,” said Jeff Meckstroth. “I can always bid 2♥ over 2♣.”
“We’re too good to pass, and double is more flexible than bidding 2♥,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper.
“Double,” agreed Larry Cohen. “This is a tough problem. Pass or 2♥ are surely possible. I think double is better than 2♥, because I’m happy if partner passes, and I can always convert 2♣ to 2♥ or pass 2♦.”
Six experts passed.
“All those soft honors in my short suits look like decent defense and lousy offense,” said Karen Walker.
“There’s no safety and a lot of losers,” said Kerri Sanborn. “I would bid 2*H* with 5–5 in the majors and two diamonds and the same hand.”
“Pass,” agreed Peggy and John Sutherlin. “They have more points, we have poor position. In addition, we are vulnerable with no known fit. Competing for a part score has its limits.”
“I will not stick my neck out when I may have a plus score by defending,” said Don Stack. “I have a good hand and they are vulnerable. This looks like a defensive rather than offensive-type hand.”
“Pass,” echoed Jill Meyers. “Being vulnerable does not look like the time to be bidding.”
To compete, we must have a worthwhile fit, and be able to find it,” said August Boehm. “Double could create club problems and 2♥ could miss diamonds.”
Who has the club suit? The answer to this defines whether North–South should defend or declare. If North has a club suit, South would prefer to defend. If East–West have the club suit, South would prefer to declare. There’s no way of telling, and most of the panel chose to bid again. As Robinson said, bidding wins out more often than passing.
Want to receive the retro “It’s Your Call” by email?
Click here to subscribe.