Matchpoints. None vulnerable.
♠Q 9 6 ♥Q 9 ♦A 10 5 2 ♣Q 6 5 4
What’s your call?
For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from February 2010’s Bridge Bulletin), 1NT was named top bid.
It’s becoming more popular to bid 1NT without a sure stopper in the opponent’s suit. The 1NT bid defines the strength and hand pattern at a low level.
“1NT is the value bid,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “Bidding two or three of a minor is a guess as to suit and level.”
Allan Falk agreed. “I don’t want to pick a minor,” he said, “and end in a 4–3 fit when notrump scores as well or better, even if they can run five hearts and score a side trick.”
“1NT is the only bid that shows this approximate strength,” said Karen Walker.
“1NT looks sick and probably is sick,” said Larry Cohen. “Do you have to publish it? Even if they run five heart tricks, this still might be our best spot.”
“1NT is perfect at matchpoints for the higher-paying contract,” said Don Stack, “but I would make the same bid at IMPs.”
“I like the shape and the level of 1NT,” said Betty Ann Kennedy.
A few experts chose to bid 2♣.
“I’m planning to bid 2NT if they compete to 2♥,” said Barry Rigal. “This shows minors and competitive values. 1NT might work, but I need a little more in heart stoppers.”
“Anything could be right,” said Linda and Robb Gordon, who also bid 2♣. “Ideally, we would like to get to notrump from partner’s side if he has a stopper. We don’t make a stronger bid because we don’t want to hang partner for balancing at matchpoints. If he peeps over 2♣, we’re off to the races.”
“2♣,” agreed Kerri Sanborn. “I think it’s normal to underbid after a balance, and this is not much of an underbid at that.”
Two experts choose to bid the other minor.
“2♦,” said Jill Meyers. “I have 10 points, but they are not very chunky, nor are my honors married. If the opponents compete, I’ll bid 3*C* next.”
Married honors means they are together. Holding K–J in a suit is usually stronger, for example, than K–x–x in one suit and J–x–x in another.
“Over balancing doubles, you subtract a king,” said Steve Robinson, “so I’m not even close to a jump.”
Two experts bid 1♠, a three-card suit.
“I don’t have much of a hand,” said Mike Lawrence. “I choose 1♠ because it is one level lower. In my heart, I suspect that 1NT is best.”
“1♠,” agreed Kitty and Steve Cooper. “If this is a 4–3 fit, it should play well.”
The problem with 1♠, 2♣ or 2♦ is that those calls would be made with a hand with no values. Partner could have a good hand, but not good enough to act over any of them. When faced with a choice of calls, make the one that best describes your strength and shape.
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