What’s your call?
Sanborn is one of the 4♦ majority. “The opponents’ bidding has tipped off short spades in partner’s hand, ergo length in diamonds. All of my cards are golden.”
Cohen, too, says, “I’ve fallen in love with the purity of my hand (no spade wastage and potentially all working cards). This is a bit of a stretch, but could pave the way to a good 5♦ save or even make, opposite, say,
♠x ♥Q J x ♦ A Q x x x x ♣A x x.”
The Joyces support diamonds, illus- trating that there are “minimum-plus” hands that partner could hold that would make a game. For example:
♠x ♥A Q x ♦ A Q x x x ♣Q x x x.
Hampson makes it all sound so simple. “4♦ . It seems like partner will be short in spades and I have a decent hand for his opened suit.”
Simple for Robinson, too, who com- petes to 4♦ with diamond support.
Boehm bids 4♦ , “now or never. Part- ner’s 1=3=5=4 should mesh well.”
And the Sutherlins: “With an extra king and a fit with partner, we must compete.”
4♦ from Weinstein: “Partner rates to have a singleton spade and five dia- monds. If partner raises, he’ll probably make. If we don’t make, 3♠ or more might have made.”
The Coopers reconstruct the oppo- nents’ hands. “East must have five or maybe six spades and a very weak hand, otherwise he would have overcalled or preempted over 1♦ . West passed and we have a moderate hand, leaving part- ner with a good hand. So we bid 4♦ , showing our support for his suit.”
Stack says he’s torn between pass- ing and bidding, “because either one is likely to be a winner. This hand is certainly minimum for bidding 4♦ , but the fact that partner may be able to carry on to 5♦ successfully tips the decision in favor of bidding.”
Rigal passes. “I might act at pairs, but at teams, I need partner to have extras before it is clearly right to bid. He is in better shape than I am to diagnose the answer to that question.”
Walker passes also. “We no doubt have a nine-plus–card diamond fit, but my hand just isn’t that great. ♣K is possibly slotted, only one heart honor, weak diamond spot cards. If partner has enough high-card strength to make 5♦ opposite my hand, he may bid again.”
Lawrence calls this “a nice problem.” He surveys his choices — pass, 4♦ and double — and doubles. “East did not bid over 1♦ so his auction clearly shows a weak hand, and West did not open, either. I am leading a spade and hoping my ♣K is useful on defense. 4♦ is a very close second. But the possibility of plus 300 makes double my choice.”
Kennedy doubles, too, “card showing. If partner bids 4♣, I’ll return to 4♦ . Or, he may leave the double in!”