What should I bid? (July 2016)

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What should I bid? (July 2016)

The best submission for July came from Max Henbest. He wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridge Books.

You are Vulnerable, they are not.
You are second to act, RHO opens 1 and you hold:

AKQT9xxx
JT

Ax

I came down to 3 possible options.

1. 1 – This seemed to mask the strength of the hand, however, it does run the risk of playing in 1.

2. X (then 4/bidding spades) – This could run into some awkward auctions say (1) – X – (4) – 5/5; (P) – ??

3. 3 (stopper ask, followed by 4).

4. Maybe something else
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Hey Max,

Whilst it’s true that we have slam potential given our strong hand with a nine-card spade suit, with our RHO opening 1 in our J10, it is probably likely that when we declare the spades, we will have two heart losers. Based on that, I would be inclined to give up slam exploration and overcall 4 directly.

One other factor to consider is the vulnerability also – when we are vul and they are not, particularly on a distributional deal, I don’t want to give bidding space to the opponents to find a potential sacrifice. That is, with our diamond void, the opponents may have a big diamond fit so I want to shut them out by jumping to 4 now rather than going slow with a double or a 1 overcall.

As for bidding 3 as a stopper ask, I guess that option is also possible and it might be a good compromise between a low level 1 overcall and a jump to 4. Since this stopper-ask bid is traditionally used for a long running minor suit, I don’t have experience doing it with a major suit. At least it will block out a low level diamond bid by our LHO.

Cheers,
Andy

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