This Week’s Expert Opinion

The Expert Opinion is in. What do you think?
IMPs. Both vulnerable

♠ K Q 7 6 4 10 8 Q 6 2 ♣ 10 8 5
West North East South
Pass Pass
Pass 1 2♣ ?

For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from July 2008’s Bridge Bulletin), Pass was named top bid.

You have a nice five-card major and some values. Normally, a 2*S* bid shows 10 plus points, but you’re a passed hand. Do you make the overbid? A double shows both majors. Do you do that instead and hope to bid spades next?

Nine panelists passed. They felt you don’t have a clear-cut bid.

“Pass,” said Jeff Meckstroth. “I don’t want to be in the auction if partner can’t reopen. Double is asking for trouble.”

“Pass,” agreed Grant Baze. “If partner opened 1*D* in fourth seat and now passes a 2♣ overcall, I bet he is right. If he reopens, I will get a chance to describe my hand.”

Kerri Sanborn also passed. “This is a matter of style,” she said. “With some partners, I might make a negative double, but that runs the risk of a jump in hearts. If my diamond support were better, I could survive double. I will try to come alive if partner reopens.”

“I’ll give partner some leeway,” said Larry Cohen. “My club holding argues for not jumping in aggressively. If it goes all pass, I’m not concerned.”

“No need to bid with sub-minimum values and three clubs,” said JoAnna and Lew Stansby. “If partner has three-plus clubs, he will pass too, and that’s okay.”

Steve Robinson and August Boehm agreed with the Stansbys and gave similar reasons.

Some experts made a negative double.

“Double,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “We play this promises two places to play, one of which can be diamonds. When we bid 2♠ over 2, partner knows we have diamond support.”

“Double,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “We will convert the dreaded 2 response to 2♠.”

The problem with double isn’t what to do if partner responds 2. The problem is what to do if partner jumps to 3 or competes to 3 after your LHO raises to 3♣.

Two experts bid 2♠.

“I am a passed hand, so I hope partner gives me a little leeway,” said Jill Meyers.

“2♠ is technically an overbid,” said Janet and Mel Colchamiro, “but with the diamond fit, it’s a practical bid.”

Karen Walker scored the problems She summed up the problem: “It’s a split between the wait-and-see and the show-some-values approaches. I think the bidders have the better strategy opposite a presumed full opening bid (fourth seat). If you pass now, it will be difficult to get back in the auction if LHO bids 3′ and it is passed back to you.”

Call Score
Pass 100
Dbl 90
2♠ 60
2 50
2NT 0
3♣ 0

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