Retro Edition

IMPs. Both vulnerable.
♠A Q J 10 7 5   A K Q 9   J 4   ♣J

West North East South
1 Pass 1♠ ?
1NT
2♣ 2 2 2♠ 2NT
3 3 3♠ 3NT
4♣ 4 4 4♠ 4NT
5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Pass Dbl

What’s your call?

Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
2♠ 100
Pass 50
Dbl 30
4♠ 30
3♠ 20
2 10

For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from October 2009’s Bridge Bulletin), 2♠ was named top bid.

Say the opponents open the bidding and respond in a new suit at the one level. If your side cuebids one of their suits, the standard interpretation is that it’s natural. Usually it’s a limited bid, however, with good opening-bid strength. Even though this hand is stronger than that, 10 of the experts chose to bid 2♠.

“2♠ natural,” said Betty Ann Kennedy. “If I have another opportunity, I’ll follow with 3. Partner rates to be broke.”

Peggy and John Sutherlin agreed. “There is a good chance the auction does not die over 2♠. We plan to bid hearts next — partner could have four hearts and zero to one spade.”

“My hand is a little stronger than partner expects for 2♠,” said Karen Walker, “but it’s the most accurate description.”

“2♠ is heavy,” said Kitty and Steve Coopers, “but no other call fits.”

“I want to show my spade suit right away,” said Jeff Meckstroth.

“I hope that I get another chance to bid 3 later,” said Mike Lawrence.

“The only problem with 2♠ is that the hand is too strong,” said Don Stack. “We are vulnerable, so probably it should be stronger like this hand.”

“I choose 2♠, even though I’m a touch heavy for this,” said Mel Colchamiro. “4♠ is tempting, but I’m too old for that.”

“This hand is what a 2♠ bid shows,” said Allan Falk. “I have a maximum, but that’s not a crime. This is how we find 4♠ when North has no spade support but some useful values.”

“2♠,” agreed Jill Meyers. “If I were sure 3♠ were natural, I would bid that.”

Two panelists were sure.

“3♠,” said Kerri Sanborn. “I play that 2♠ is natural, so this is highly invitational. Double is wrong because all future spade bids would be cuebids.”

“I hope partner plays 3♠ as natural,” said Lynn Deas. “This describes the strength of my hand pretty accurately.”

Several panelists considered 3♠, but rejected it as asking for a spade stopper for 3NT. Others weren’t sure what it would mean.

“Pass,” said Barry Rigal. “Stay fixed this round and then balance over 1NT or 2. Any delayed double of diamonds should show spades and another suit, because I didn’t act on the first round.”

“Pass,” agreed Steve Robinson. “I hope to find out more about the hand and bid some number of spades later.”

“Pass,” echoed Bridge Buff. “No call describes this hand well, so I choose to pass and listen to my human opponents. My simulations will be more accurate with more data to input.”

“We are curious how those who double and the 3♠ bidders will convince their partners that they have spades,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper, “so we marked those scores down.”

The panel acknowledged that the hand is stronger than most 2♠ bids would be, but it’s close enough. When you have a good hand and a good suit, bid it.

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