This Week’s Expert Opinion

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

♠ Q 9 8 3 K J 3 A K 2 ♣ 9 4 2
West North East South
3♣ Pass
Pass Dbl Pass ?

For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from Aug. 2008’s Bridge Bulletin), 4♣ was named top bid.

The panel split into two camps. Eight of them jumped to game in spades.

“4♠,” said Larry Cohen. “I’d like to have better spades, but what else am I going to do?”

Several panelists chose 4♠ because in their methods, 4♣ would offer two suits as trumps.

“4♠,” said JoAnna and Lew Stansby. “We don’t see a good alternative, because a cuebid of 4♣ followed by 4♠ would suggest a second place to play.”

“4♠,” echoed Steve Robinson. “If I bid 4♣, partner will bid 4*H* any time he has four hearts, even with five spades. If I correct 4 to 4♠, I’m showing diamonds and spades. 4♠ may be a bad contract, but I have no other choice. By the way, I might have doubled 3♣ and then partner would have the problem!”

The majority cuebid 4♣.

“4♣,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “Over partner’s bid, we can correct to 4*S* to show extras. If partner has:
♠A K 4 2 A Q 6 4 Q 8 7 3 ♣3,
slam is very good indeed.”

Kerri Sanborn agreed. “I hate it, but I don’t really want to pass the double and I hate jumping in spades. So I will show strength via the cuebid on my way to game.”

“4♣ is easy,” said Grant Baze. “We will correct 4 or 4 to 4♠. An immediate 4♠ bid is not enough, as we would bid that with less, such as if the K were the jack.”

“4♣, planning to rebid 4♠ over four of a red suit,” agreed Barry Rigal. “I’m clearly too good to jump directly to 4♠, which would suggest less playability in other suits.”

None of the panelists passed 3♣ doubled, although some considered it.

“I suppose pass could work out,” said Larry Cohen, “but I wouldn’t dream of it here.”

“Pass is tempting because there’s no guarantee of game,” said Jill Meyers. “On the other hand, we could be cold for slam.”

“No expert passed,” said scorer Allan Falk, “but given that their actual choices may work out poorly, the pass has much to recommend it.”


Call Score
4♣ 100
4♠ 90
Pass 50
5♠ 0

If you’d like to hear what others are saying, join the debate on our Facebook page. Look for another “It’s Your Call” in your inbox every Tuesday.

To see past “It’s Your Call” problems, click here or here.