♠10 9 2 ♥8 4 ♦2 ♣K 10 9 7 6 5 4
What’s your call?
Is North’s pass forcing? Half the panel didn’t think so and passed.
“Pass,” said Larry Cohen. “No reason to think this is a forcing pass. We might already be well ahead of the game if partner’s double was marginal and they can make exactly 10 tricks.”
“Pass,” agreed Kerri Sanborn. “We have done our work. Nobody knows whose hand this is, so leave the five level to the opponents.”
“A pass gives us our best chance to go plus,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “A 5♠ bid is too big a reach.”
“It’s too close to double,” said Kay and Randy Joyce. “Bidding five over five is not attractive with this collection.”
“We pushed the opponents to the five level, and I don’t consider part¬ner’s pass forcing,” said Don Stack. “Let the opponents have the five level.”
What about double? You have a singleton to lead and a partner who bid twice.
“Double,” said Steve Robinson. “If I expected to beat them only one trick, I would pass, but I can lead my singleton diamond and possibly beat them a lot.”
“We double and lead a diamond,” said Linda and Robb Gordon. “Even though pass isn’t forcing, the double makes partner more alert to our diamond being a singleton. It’s worth the risk.”
“Double and lead my stiff diamond,” agreed Jill Meyers. “Partner should know when I double and lead an off-suit, it is a singleton.”
“Double and lead a diamond,” echoed Barry Rigal. “I think this is a forcing pass, like it or not.”
“I double, although I prefer to abstain,” said Allan Falk. “Why did I bid 4♠ at my previous turn? I would have bid 5♣, and now I could think about 5♠, which would give partner a fair idea of my hand.”
Four experts bid 5♠.
Karen Walker: “My hand looks better for offense than defense. Partner would surely have doubled with a quick-trick-type hand.”
August Boehm: “It’s IMPs, and this could be a double game swing with the likely big club fit. It’s a closer decision at matchpoints.”
Kitty and Steve Cooper: “This sounds like a forcing pass. Maybe we should bid 6♣. With three spades, a singleton and a king, we have lots of offense.”
Is North’s pass forcing or not forcing? The panel didn’t agree.
Half the panel voted for pass. After pushing the opponents to the five level, they were content to try to set East-West.
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