What should I bid? (April 2023)


What should I bid? (April 2023)

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

Nil Vul
N Dealer
K 2
10 5 3
J 8 7 2
7 4 3 2
A K Q 2
A 9 6 4 3
K 5
[ 1 ] A 9 6 4 3
K 10 5
A J 10 8
  10 8 7 5
9 8 7 6 4
Q 9 6

West North East South
  Pass 1 Pass
2 Pass 3 Pass
4NT Pass 5 Pass
6 Pass Pass Pass

Hi Lauren,

Here’s a doozy. I’m West and my partner opened 1. When I made a forcing bid of 2 he sat for some time and bid 3. I was then excited seeing a Diamond slam or NT. My next bid was 4NT and we ended up in 6. I was surprised when I saw just three diamonds in dummy. Down one were my thoughts. Can’t recall the opening lead but think it was a Heart which put me nicely in Dummy. I played a low Diamond to my Ace and bingo down came the D!Q from South. I prayed South wasn’t tricking me and led a low Diamond to the Ten in Dummy which held. I then had the contract losing just D!J. Scored poorly as others in 6NT. Don’t think anyone bid 7NT. I was reluctant to bid 6NT as wasn’t sure of partner’s Club holding. As East I’d have bid 3. What did I miss?

Hi Del,

Thanks for writing in.
I like your partner’s 3 rebid! These sorts of hands are tricky after partner responds at the 2-level, because you have to compromise with whatever rebid you make.

Some pairs play that opener rebidding their major is a ‘default’ bid and doesn’t promise a sixth card – if you had this agreement then your partner could have rebid 2. 3 would be a reverse, so would be game forcing opposite your 10+ HCP, which I’m sure he didn’t want to do. 3 shows support, presumably an unbalanced hand, and doesn’t promise any extra HCP or spades. In the likely situation that you play in game, it also keeps 3NT firmly in the picture. It’s worth noting that a 2 response almost always has either 3-card support for opener’s major or a 5-card diamond suit (unless responder has specifically a 2443).

On your hand, I’d be excited too after hearing a 3 bid. From the 5 response to keycard it looks like you play Blackwood rather than Roman Keycard Blackwood – this is a convention I would strongly recommend adopting! Since you have the red aces, it’s certain he has A and A, and you would assume at least 4 more HCP from his opening bid. This has to be some combination of K, Q, KQJ, QJ – all of which are helpful in 6 or 6NT. Knowing he has the A strengthens the suit for you to feel more confident bidding 6NT (if the opponents lead a club and then get the opportunity to knock out your other club honour, you’ll be needing to take the rest of the tricks anyway)

There are two reasons why I think 6NT is preferable to 6. The first is that you’re playing matchpoints, so every little advantage in the scoring counts, as you observed when you scored poorly compared to those in 6NT. The second is if diamonds break poorly – you might still be able to find your way to 12 tricks without requiring additional tricks from the diamond suit (e.g. 5 spades, 3 hearts, 2 diamonds, 2 clubs) – whereas in 6 you can’t afford two trump losers.

Happy slamming,

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