What should I bid? (June 2020)

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What should I bid? (June 2020)

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

Matchpoint pairs, NS Vul, E deals

You are North and hold:

Q9
A7654
10
AKJ94

West North East South
    2 Pass
Pass ?    

The opposition’s 2 bid shows five spades and four or more in one of the minors; less than opening strength

My partner and I disagree as to whether, 3, 3 or double is the best call and would welcome your views on their relative merits?
Would your answer be any different had we been playing Lebensohl in this situation?
Thanks,
Brian

Hi Brian,

Preempts are never easy to deal with. No options look particularly attractive, but we have to do something as Pass is out of the question.

I think I would bid 3. Here are my thoughts:

Double: I would like double more had my minor suit been diamonds instead of clubs. That way, if partner bids clubs (or 2NT Lebensohl) I can convert that to 3 if playing “Equal Level Conversion” (whereby my 3 convert doesn’t show a powerhouse but simply a hand with 4 and longer diamonds). But when I have the club suit like here, I would feel a bit hesitant to ‘convert’ partner’s 3 response to 3, since that is not Equal Level Conversion as it generally shows extra values (unless you and your partner have agreed prior that it didn’t). For example, If I had an average hand of x Kxxxx AQx Kxxx where I doubled first, I would just pass 3 as there’s no reason for me to be bidding 3 over 3.

3: Whilst I do understand bidding 3 (better suit than 3, and still allows partner to bid 3 or 3), the downside is that we may easily lose out on a heart fit. For example, partner can’t bid 3 over our 3 unless he has five of them, so the heart fit may be lost if partner has even four hearts! Another problem is that partner may bid 3 over our 3…now I suppose we would bid 4? But even then that doesn’t show five of them and we may miss out on a 5-3 heart fit.

3: Whilst I hate having a bad suit for this space-consuming overcall, it’s our easiest way to find our most likely game of 4. If I don’t bid 3 now, it may be hard to find our 5-3 heart fit, or even a 5-4 heart fit (as explained above). Obviously if this gets doubled, I am planning to run to 4.
Another upside about 3 is that if partner doesn’t have heart support but his hand is good enough to bid 3, I can now happily rebid 4.

And finally, I don’t think my answers would be different whether the partnership plays Lebensohl or not.

Hope that helps,
Andy

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