What’s your call?
It’s now or never
Ten panelists make a negative double to get spades into the picture.
Right off the bat, the Coopers aren’t happy. “Double. We don’t really like it, but at matchpoints we don’t really have a choice. There’s no reason partner can’t have four good spades and three low clubs.
The Joyces indicate they would have bid 1♠ without the overcall. They make a negative double. “The overcall makes our ♥K seem well-positioned.”
“Double,” booms Lawrence. “Now or never.”
Stack is on board. “I would always bid 1♠ if RHO passes, so it is appropriate here to make a negative double, even though this is a shabby suit. If instead we raise clubs and we have a spade fit, then it is probably lost forever.”
Hampson adds, “I don’t want to bury spades — that is the suit we can play at the same level the opponents play hearts.”
Double by Rigal: “Yes, I really don’t have it, and I may find myself uncom-fortably high. But passing is unaccept-able and preemptive club raises don’t really describe my hand either.”
Boehm sees two bids in this hand. “It’s more economical to start with 2♣ and then balance with 2♠ than it is to begin with double and have to compete to 3♣. It might be old-fashioned, but it’s sensible.”
Falk follows the same logic. “2♣ limits my hand. If the auction returns to me at 2♥, I can bid 2♠ showing (a) four terrible spades and (b) a fifth club.
2♣ from the Sutherlins. “Our hand is not strong enough to double and then remove 2♦ to 3♣, so we are stuck.”
Ditto the Gordons: “We see too much potential to bid 3♣ right away, but it’s not good enough for a negative double.”
Meckstroth preempts with 3♣. “This looks like a classic.”
Meyers agrees. “My choices are negative double or 3♣, but my spades are so bad I am opting for 3♣. It is more preemptive and describes the strength of my hand better.”
Sanborn joins in. “I like 3♣ better than pass or a negative double. It puts the most pressure on the opponents and might be the right landing spot.”