IMPs. E-W vulnerable.
♠A Q 10 5 2 ♥K 10 6 5 4 2 ♦Q 4 ♣—
Today’s It’s Your Call is a two-parter.
1. Do you agree with South’s opener?
Most of the panelists agreed with opening 1♠. Some typical comments:
Cohen: “You can’t open hearts, then reverse.”
Robinson, Sanborn and Stack gave similar reasons.
Others agree with opening 1♠, but with less enthusiasm.
“Agree with 1♠, but I recognize that it may lead to awkward moments,” says Lawrence.
“1♠ is fine, but not my style,” says Rigal.
“We would rather bid out our pattern by opening 1♥,” say the Joyces, “but the auction will too frequently become unwieldy.”
“Bidding 1♠ is certainly acceptable,” says Falk.
Some experts disagreed with opening 1♠.
Walker: “Yes and no. Yes to opening, but barely. No to 1♠ — I prefer 1♥.”
Gordons: “We don’t like to distort 6–5 hands.”
Coopers: “We feel that distorting major-suit lengths is a bad idea. Getting to the right major is too important, so we do not lie about lengths.”
You’ve shown 5–5 by bidding hearts twice. Should you bid again over 3NT?
“Pass,” says Meyers. “I’ve told my story.”
“Pass,” agrees Sanborn. “I wouldn’t dream of bidding again. There is no logic to trying to find a 5–2 or 6–2 fit and to be looking for 10 or 11 tricks instead of nine.”
“Pass,” echoes Stack. “I’ve described my hand fairly closely, so I’ll trust partner’s judgment. I have help in diamonds and two suits for partner to work on. Transportation will surely be a problem, but partner sounds like he is loaded in the minors.”
“The ♦Q may be enough for partner to scrape up nine tricks,” says Walker.
“It’s tempting to bid 4♦,” says Lawrence, “but nine tricks rate to be easier than 11. If you bid 4♥ and partner is 2–2, he will put you back into spades instead of leaving you in hearts.”
Kennedy agrees: “Partner might show a preference to spades with 2–2 in hearts and spades. The diamond queen should be a good card for partner and nine tricks might be all we can make.”
Seven experts choose not to pass. Four bid 4♦.
Coopers: “It does not feel right to play notrump with this pattern.”
Falk: “Partner should have a good idea of my hand now — 5=5=2=1 or thereabouts.”
Cohen: “I would prefer to bid 4♥, but I’m afraid partner will think I’m 6–6 and correct to spades with 2–2 in the majors.”
Boehm: “At IMPs, there’s no need to be fixated on 3NT. Partner should picture honor-doubleton in diamonds and 11 major-suit cards.”
Three panelists choose 4♥.
Rigal: “Bidding 4♥ might show 6–6, I agree, but what can you do? I plan to convert 4♠ to 5♦.”
Colchamiro: “Partner has only one spade (he didn’t bid 3♠), so I’m hoping for two cards in hearts.”