What’s your call?
Cohen dons his Law-of-Total-Tricks hat. “I don’t have the shape to attempt to take 11 tricks. If we have 11 tricks, I expect we will collect at least 500 right here. LOTT can prove a good general guideline (no, not an exact science if you are reading this, Mike Lawrence). If partner has one spade and five hearts — he should avoid doubling with a void — there are 17 trumps: nine spades and eight hearts. There would tend to be an upward adjustment of one or more tricks (18 or 19 tricks) due to East’s long suit. Still, if we make 11 tricks, that would imply they have about seven or eight tricks.”
Boehm passes. “Partner isn’t dou-bling on spade tricks, but my hand is too flat to bid, and bad splits are likely. Partner could have balanced with 4NT if he couldn’t tolerate defending.”
The Coopers call pass easier at IMPs than matchpoints.
Pass by Meyers: “Bad distribution and I have some defense. Granted I wish my ♥Q J x were elsewhere.”
Pass “almost without looking” by Walker.
“Pass, but reluctantly,” laments Lawrence. “Give partner:
♠x ♥A K x x x ♦A x x x ♣A Q x.
He would definitely double 4♠ with this. What can we make? About 4♥. If partner also has the ♦Q, we might make 5♥. Might make 6♦. Hey, this is why people preempt.”
Stack is unwilling to push this hand to the five level. “We probably have a trick with the ♦K and a good lead with the ♥Q. If we get plus 500 and we can make plus 650, it is not that big of a deal at IMPs. But if we get plus 500 and we are going down at the five level, that is a big deal.”
Kennedy passes. “If I had a fourth heart, I might be more inclined to pull the double to hearts.”
The Gordons bid a more (or less) confident 5♥. “We think we have the right stuff — or most of it. Could be a double game swing.”
“I have three big cards for partner,” says Weinstein, “and I have neither trump tricks nor any other big cards for defense. So I think bidding is automatic.”
5♥ from Meckstroth. “I don’t think I should sit with fit and no spade tricks.”
Falk, Hampson and Robinson try 4NT in an effort to locate a diamond fit.
Robinson explains: “If partner bids 5♣, I can bid 5♦ offering a choice of red suits. Partner’s double is a takeout double.”
Falk’s parting shot: “Defending 4♠ doubled is a good way to end up with a double, doubled game swing.