What’s your call?
Walker demoted 3NT in the scoring because two-thirds of the panel showed slam interest. “The 3♦ and 3♥ bids send essentially the same message, but the 3♥ bidders appear to have more serious intentions (planning to continue with 4♦),” she says.
Colchamiro has watched as his minimum notrump opener blossomed into almost a 2♣ opener! “Partner has shown at least nine cards in hearts and clubs, so this 15 count has turned into a monster with the A–K in one of partner’s suits, a delicious queen in the other and a pretty ace on the side. If partner continues with 3NT, I’ll complete my picture with 4♣. Until then, 3♦ is just a stopper shower with concern about spades for notrump.”
Weinstein chooses 3♦ to “show something in diamonds and keep everything in play. I don’t want to commit to 3NT now because we won’t have any problem getting there when it’s right. Sometimes partner has a stiff spade (or even a void) and 3NT goes down when we can make 6♣.”
Meyers is looking for some feedback from partner regarding his spade holding as well. “I have a lot of good cards for partner. If he is short in spades, we could have a slam or belong in a contract other than notrump. I want to hear what partner’s next bid is.”
Concerned that the opponents might reel off the first five spade tricks, Cohen calls it “precipitous” to bid 3NT. “So I will start bidding where I live. If I skip over 3♦ to bid 3♥, partner might worry about my diamonds (which he shouldn’t).”
Giragosian attributes his choice to bid 3NT on his distribution. “I have good controls and the ♣Q, but 4–3–3–3 and 15 HCP seems a little light to accept a slam try.”
The Coopers and Boehm want to hear from partner again before venturing past 3NT. “Although we have some good cards for clubs, at the moment the notrump game looks best as both red suits are double-stopped,” say the Coopers. “We will cooperate if partner bids again.”
Lawrence cites, “Poor clubs, poor hand, maximum stoppers. The only worry is a stiff spade in partner’s hand, and I doubt I will get a spade lead on the go. With any other lead, I rate to have time to get my tricks.”
Walker and Falk bid 3♥, intending to bid 4♦ if partner bids 3NT. “Three quick tricks and Q–8–4 is a moose, not a minimum,” emphasizes Walker. “The auction will be easiest if partner can Blackwood, and the best way to make that happen is to show control of the suit in which he’s most likely to
have a problem.”