IMPs. E-W vulnerable.
♠A K 7 4 ♥8 6 ♦2 ♣A K J 10 9 2
What’s your call?
Is it safe to double?
A takeout double promises at least three cards in each unbid suit ( or very strong values), but eight experts are willing to make that call with two low hearts. What are their reasons?
Lawrence: “Double, likely followed by clubs. This is a miserable problem.”
Stack: “If partner passes or bids 3NT, we will be happy. If partner bids 3♠, we are delighted and will raise to 4♠. If partner bids 3♥ or 4♥, we are strong enough to correct to clubs. The other choice is to bid 4♣ and put all options in one basket.”
Meyers: “Double and correct 3♥ to 4♣. If partner jumps to 4♥, I will pass.”
Meckstroth: “Certainly a tough problem. Over a 3♥ bid from partner, I will correct to clubs and hope for the best.”
Rigal: “Double, planning to convert 4♥ to 5♣ – a little of an overbid, but I have some quick tricks.”
Robinson: “I think I can handle heart bids from partner.”
Sutherlins: “We want to keep spades in the picture. If partner bids 3♥ or 4♥, we will bid the minimum number of clubs.”
Ten experts bid 4♣.
Falk: “The last time I made an off-shape double, I was the only panelist to do so. This time, I suspect I will be in the minority of those who don’t double. I’d rather bid 4♣ now than 5♣ over 4♥. Anyone who says they will double, then pass 4♥ is a sadist.”
Sanborn: “This isn’t the right hand to double and convert, as that should show more values than what I have.”
Kennedy: “Perhaps I’ll get another opportunity to show my spade suit.”
Gordons: “We would love to be able to get spades in the picture right away, but the wheels could come off after double. We just hope partner or left-hand opponent will save us with a bid.”
These were the two best comments, and summarize the problem:
Cohen: “Double. Maybe for once, the dope won’t mention hearts.”
Walker: “4♣. When my opponents double with this hand, their partners always bid 4♠. Mine bid hearts.”
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