What should I bid? (May 2014)

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What should I bid? (May 2014)

There were no submissions in May so Andy has selected another from April. The winner is Julian Foster. He wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridge Books.

987
AQ42
A105
AJ6

Vul v NV. Dealer on your right. Playing teams.

West North East South
1 Dbl
Pass 3 3 ?

I wasn’t completely convinced by double on the first round but felt it was the least bad option since all my values are in the other 3 suits.
Now over 3 it was even tougher!
What does double mean I wonder? If it means “do you have a Spade stop?” that’s probably a sensible treatment but, as an irregular partnership, we obviously hadn’t discussed that. We had discussed that a cuebid of the opponent’s suit in response to a double was forcing to suit agreement, but other than that, we had no real agreements beyond that.

In the end I just bid 5 which, on a bad day, could easily have been off 3 spades, or two spades and a spade ruff. But if we survived through that, I thought that any finesses required were likely to be onside, so it was worth a go at Vulnerable imps.
Turned out this was a good day. Partner held:

10x
KJ
QJxxxxx
Qx

The diamond finesse was onside so we just lost 2 spades for +600 and 10 imps (I believe my counterpart opponent bid 4 on my hand in the same sequence).

 

Hi Julian,

Doubling on the first round is right. It’s the sort of hand where you want to get off your chest as early as you can so your side can fight for the partscore (you do have support for all three suits, after all!). At least you have no spade honours and that you have four hearts so partner can compete in hearts with four of them (i.e. we don’t need to worry about a 3-4 fit).

Over 3, I would now double again given that partner has shown some values for the jump to 3. Given the lack of bidding space, this double usually means “Do something intelligent, partner!” so it’s normally just showing extra values (wanting to compete), and partner’s first priority should be, of course, to bid 3NT with a stopper (unless partner wants to pass it out and convert it to penalties). Your hand is definitely suitable to make that second double, as you also would have done had one of your spades been a club (which would be more ideal).

Obviously if you had a singleton spade and something like a 1-4-4-4 or 1-3-4-5 shape (for example), you might prefer to play in diamonds so you wouldn’t bother with a second double.

Anyway, had you doubled again, your partner will be able to bid 5 with confidence as the hand has extra length in diamonds and we had shown extras with our second double.

You survived at the end though, so well done!

Regards,
Andy

 

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