Matchpoints. N-S vulnerable.
♠5 2 ♥4 2 ♦K J 10 3 ♣K 8 7 6 2
What’s your call?
The majority bid 3♣. Even though they also have diamonds, they aren’t willing to chance an accident by bidding 2NT.
“3♣,” said Kay and Randy Joyce. “Because it is unclear what our bids mean over 2♥, we simply bid our longer suit. At least it can’t be misunderstood.”
“I’ll bid 3♣,” said Barry Rigal. “It’s not perfect, but I’m unwilling to be shut out.”
“3♣,” echoed Jill Meyers. “If I thought 2NT was takeout, I would bid that.”
Jeff Meckstroth agreed with Meyers. “I would like to ask partner to pick a minor, but I’m not sure what is standard (2♠ or 2NT). The problem with passing and bidding 2NT on the next turn is that you might not get a chance to do that.”
“It’s tempting to pass and hope to balance with 2NT,” said Linda and Robb Gordon, “but the opponents may not cooperate at this vulnerability.”
“None of the bids shows the minors,” said Steve Robinson, “so I’ll bid my five-card suit. It would be nice if 2NT showed the minors.”
“I’m entitled to a bid and the most straightforward action is to bid my length and strength,” said Don Stack.
“We have too much to pass,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “2NT is natural and double shows hearts.”
Two experts bid 2♠. What does that mean?
“2♠,” said August Boehm. “Double would show hearts, so this is a minor-suit takeout.”
“2♠ shows something like I have,” said Mike Lawrence. “Double would be penalty.”
What does 2NT mean?
“2NT surely has to be for the minors,” said Allan Falk. “How can I have a balanced 11-point hand?”
“2NT asks partner to bid his better minor,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “We hope it’s not lebensohl in BBS.”
“2NT for the minors, I hope,” said Mel Colchamiro. “If I were afraid of a misunderstanding, 3♣ is okay, too. Wouldn’t 1♠–double–2♠–2NT be for the minors? To me, this is the same.”
One expert chose double.
“Double is responsive,” said Karen Walker. “This is the meaning if it went 1♠–double–2*D*–double, which is essentially what happened.”
Do you necessarily need to bid at this point in the auction?
“Pass,” said Larry Cohen. “This isn’t the way to get a high score, but I think it makes a lot of sense. If West bids higher than 2♠, there is no need to compete. “If he bids only 2♠, I can reopen with 2NT, which is obviously for the minors.”
“Pass,” agreed Kerri Sanborn. “If I get to compete after 2♠, 2NT should do the trick. If it is not our deal, then I don’t have a lead preference between the minors.”
Even though more than half the panel chooses 3♣, this is a good problem because five different calls receive votes. Because 2♥ is artificial, the meanings of various bids change.
Want to receive the retro “It’s Your Call” by email?
Click here to subscribe.