♠A K 6 ♥A J 10 ♦J 10 9 7 2 ♣A
What’s your call?
Your hand is more than a minimum, but your long suit is weak. Because all rebids are flawed, six experts temporized by bidding a three-card suit.
“1♠,” said Larry Cohen. “This is a sexy bid which I wouldn’t teach in my classes, but let’s see if there is support for it here. I hope to next raise hearts to show roughly this sort of hand. I don’t like this, but any dia¬mond or heart bid is inadequate.”
August Boehm agreed. “It’s 1♠ by default,” he said. “I can’t stomach 3♦, 2NT or a jump in hearts. If partner insists on spades, I like our chances in a Moysian (4–3) fit.”
“We bid 1♠ and will raise hearts next,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “This is an impossible problem, although 2NT is a possibility.”
“I hate to bid 1♠, but it may be the least worst bid,” said Mel Colchamiro. “Bidding 3♥ would be my second choice.”
“This is a classic problem,” said Allan Falk. “Bidding 2♥ is not enough, 3♥ is too much, 2♦ is pusillanimous and 3♦ is absurd. 1♠ is the smallest lie.”
Say what? Pusillanimous: lacking courage or resolution; marked by timidity.
A jump raise with three-card support is normally frowned upon. In this case, however, six experts chose that action.
“3♥,” said Steve Robinson. “Any other bid is too dangerous. If I bid spades and partner has four of them, he will insist on spades, no matter how many hearts he has.”
Betty Ann Kennedy echoed 3♥. “Normally my jump in hearts promises four-card support, but I’ll make an exception. My diamonds are too weak to bid 3♦.”
Jeff Meckstroth also bid 3♥. “A very difficult problem,” he said. “I’m almost tempted to bid 1♠.”
“You need to make a strong bid, but 3♦ overstates the suit and other qualities of the hand,” said Mike Lawrence. “1♠ may work, but I prefer to avoid it in order not to confuse the auction. So, 3♥ it is.”
“♥A J 10 has to be as good as most four-card heart suits,” said Don Stack, “so I’ll jump in hearts. Bidding 3♦ is not a good choice because the suit is weak. A close second might be 2NT, even with the singleton club.”
Four panelists chose 2NT.
“If 4♥ is the best contract, bidding 2NT will get us there,” said Karen Walker.
“2NT is exotic and, perhaps, not everybody’s choice,” said Linda and Robb Gordon, “but we cannot stomach a diamond jump on a jack-high suit. At least this way, we can find our eight-card fit.”
“2NT is the least flawed among our choices,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin.
One expert saw a good hand and a six-card suit, so she jumped in it.
“3♦,” said Kerri Sanborn. “As ugly a suit as this is, it comes closest to describing the high-card strength and shape of the hand.”
“2♠,” said Jill Meyers. “I don’t like any of my other choices.”
When all bids are flawed, experts try to make take an action that is the least of evils. That action resembles ice cream — everybody has their favorite flavor.