♠J 6 5 2 ♥K Q J 10 8 7 2 ♦A ♣K
What’s your call?
The majority preferred to play in the excellent heart suit. North’s 1♠ bid improves South’s hand, so 11 experts bid a direct 4♥. What were their reasons?
Larry Cohen: “Surely this will handle better with hearts as trumps. Because I have a play opposite ♠K 10 9 3 and out, I think I am worth jumping to game.”
Kay and Randy Joyce: “Seven-card suits with one hundred honors deserve to be trumps. Partner’s spade bid improves our chances.”
Barry Rigal: “It’s hard to imagine this won’t play as well in hearts as in spades.”
Steve Robinson: “I see no reason to play spades. To make a spade slam, partner needs a lot. I don’t want to bid less than 4♥ and allow the opponents a better chance to find a fit, if they have one.”
Linda and Robb Gordon: “The spade suit is an illusion. Playing this deal in spades might end horribly if partner has only a four-card suit.”
Jill Meyers: “I can play 4♥ opposite a void.”
Allan Falk: “I’m a bigger fan than most of raising partner’s suit, but a spade contract could be problematic. Also, a 4♥ bid does not disclose the spade fit — a tactical consideration.”
Mike Lawrence: “I’m content to emphasize hearts and give up on spades. If partner has ♠A 10 8 3 and out, I have a play for 4♥.”
Peggy and John Sutherlin: “As little as ♠K Q 7 4 from partner will be enough to make game. If we are lucky, our 4♥ bid will shut out West and end the auction.”
August Boehm: “This hand is more about hearts than spades. With 4♥, I’m trying to shut out the diamonds.”
Four experts rebid 3♥.
“This is a suit that has to be bid again,” said Karen Walker. “My hearts could be worthless in a spade contract.’”
Mel Colchamiro echoed 3♥. “It’s hard to imagine spades playing better than hearts, even opposite a void. My second choice is 4♥.”
“Hearts must be trump because of the quality of the suit,” said Don Stack. “The only question becomes how many do I bid. I opt for 3♥ to show the playing strength. Partner’s 1♠ bid is a tremendous plus to my hand. Let’s put it this way: Partner’s spades are more valuable in a heart contract than the hearts would be in a spade contract.”
Kitty and Steve Cooper cuebid. 3♦. “Let’s make a forcing noise to find out more and put us in a forcing pass situation later on,” they say. “We wish to be in game — perhaps 4♥ or perhaps 4♠.”
Kerri Sanborn took an interesting position. “Double,” she said. “How about a support double, then a jump to 4♥? It isn’t clear which suit we should be paying in, so this could determine how good our spade fit is.”
As Stack pointed out, your hearts may be of little use in a spade contract, while the spades will be useful to South in a heart contract.
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