What’s your call?
After you sort your hand, look around to make sure this wasn’t supposed to be a skip round, pray that LHO will bid out of turn and that your partner will accept it, consult the ceiling and curse how utterly blank and helpless you feel — it’s still your call. You hope you’ve managed all this mental stammering in tempo, and then you …
“Bid 2NT,” ventures Sanborn. “Help! I just can’t pass. Second choice is 3♦.”
“2NT,” says Kennedy. “My five-card heart suit looks more like a four-card suit.”
The Sutherlins elaborate: “Our heart suit isn’t good enough to bid — partner might think K–x–x is great support when it would be barely adequate. 3NT is likely to be a better contract than 4♥.”
Cohen breaks it down. “At least they won’t beat me in the spade suit. Opposite ♦A–Q–J–x–x–x and out (and partner’s vulnerable two-level overcall surely shows more than that), I have play for 3NT on a spade lead.”
“Got to try for the game bonus here,” says Meckstroth.
Meyers, too: “It’s too good a hand to pass, and bidding 2♥ or 3♦ would paint the wrong picture. My whole hand is in the enemy suit.”
Boehm agrees. “2♠ would imply better diamonds and 2♥ would imply better hearts.”
The Coopers and Stack bid 2♥.
“After partner leads the ♥K from ♥K x, we’ll explain that game in hearts was still a remote possibility,” argue the Coopers.
“This hand is worth a bid and even with the anemic heart suit, this is the best call,” according to Stack. “Pass is taking the low road and could be correct, but at IMPs, we should make some move toward game.”
Lawrence and Falk pass.
“It is close to being worth 2NT,” says Lawrence. “I would like one more useful something to bid that.”
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out where Falk stands on an issue. “I hate to pass, but 2♥ is just sick and 2NT sicker. With spades not being raised, partner rates to have a few, so notrump has a fatal weakness somewhere and LHO will not be leading spades.”