What should I bid? (June 2021)

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What should I bid? (June 2021)

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

NS Vul
W Dlr
North
AK432
A
A2
J9876

South
5
Q963
103
AQ5432

West North East South
2 All Pass    

Imps. Should South bid 3? Would partner not expect more? I think double by South is poor, but thought a long time before passing it out. Had I bid 3 we could of course be in 6.

Hi Ron,

That’s certainly not an easy problem.

I think North’s pass is OK, hoping to defend 2X if partner is able to double. However, I think South should be the one to act since he is the one with the shortage. Although South only has 8 HCP, at least it has an ace. It feels like South is close between X or 3. If 3, that has the upside of getting to 3NT (and with a suit headed by the AQ, it feels ‘safer’ to bid 3 with this hand, than if the suit was without the ace, say, KQxxxx). No doubt on this deal 3 is the winning action, but it would not surprise me if X was the winning action – imagine if North has a more typical shape of 5=3=3=2 or 5=3=4=1 where the best contract is to defend 2X, as South was certainly not expecting North to have length in clubs.

North should think the 3C bid would deliver ‘more’, but if North can work out that South is bidding based on being (very) short in spades, then a bit of leeway should be given since you are both under pressure against the preempt. This is a bit similar to overcalling 4 over a 4 opening preempt, a lot of leeway must be given.

Thus, I would bid 3 as South, with X as my second choice.

Hope that helps,
Andy

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