What should I bid? (April 2019)

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What should I bid? (April 2019)

The best submission for April came from Julian Foster. He wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridgegear.

AJ
AK87632
8
J97

You are dealer. Game all.

West North East South
1 X 2 X
4 5 Pass Pass
?      

I felt this was a nasty 5 level decision – classic choices being pass, double or 5.

When LHO bid 5 I thought there was a fair chance partner had singleton club, although obviously not guaranteed. RHO probably doesn’t have 4 for his double so almost certainly is at least 44 in the minors, plus LHO surely must have at least 5 clubs to venture 5 now.

But even then it felt like there was a risk of 3 losers (a spade, a diamond and a club) and that’s assuming no heart loser which wasn’t certain either – LHO could be void and RHO have QJ9 or something.

Equally it didn’t look like I was necessarily beating 5!  1 spade trick and maybe 1 heart trick. Admittedly partner has something for his 2 bid but it doesn’t have to be much.

Eventually I just passed out 5 which was wrong on all counts! We were making 5 and we could beat 5 by 3 tricks!

The full hand was 

Bd 4
All Vul
W Dealer
Q 10 6
5
A K 9 4
Q 8 5 4 3
 
A J
A K 8 7 6 3 2
8
J 9 7
[ 4 ] K 9 7 5 2
J 10 9
J 10 6 5
2
  8 4 3
Q 4
Q 7 3 2
A K 10 6
 

So we get a heart, two spades and a spade ruff plus a deep diamond eventually.

No other table got higher than 4 and several didn’t even get to 4.

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Hi Julian,

Your thinking is definitely on track, but don’t forget that not everyone thinks the same way, so we can’t always be sure of our deductions! For example, when RHO doubles, it’s not guaranteed that he is 4-4 in the minors (e.g. what would he do with 3343 and 11 points?). Also, some people might also decide to double with 4342, thinking that if their partner doesn’t bid spades, then they can bid 3 later (even though I would personally just bid 2, but some people may have other ideas).

Over 5, I would definitely not bid 5 for the reasons you stated – but also the fact that partner may have more than one club which would see 5 fail quite quickly.

On the other hand, I would double 5, thinking that we probably have two tricks, and that partner will have something for the 2 bid. I wouldn’t fault passing out 5 that much because the bidding does sound like North might be void in hearts and has five or six clubs. But it is quite possible that our opponents were bidding under pressure (due to our 4 bid), and having two aces with some values in reserve from partner’s 2 bid, I think it’s worth a shot doubling.
On the actual hand, I think I would’ve passed out 4 with LHO’s 3145 hand as it feels like a 5m contract is a long way away and I have defence against 4.

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