What should I bid? (October 2014)

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What should I bid? (October 2014)

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

Dealer: South
All Vul

I am South, holding:
Q43
964
J9543
97

West North East South
Pass
 2 Dbl  Pass 2NT
 Pass  3  Pass 3
 Pass  4  All pass

2 = weak
2NT = Lebensohl
3 = Very strong hand
3 = Hoping to play

Our basic system is Precision but we use Lebensohl in the above auction. North is allowed to bypass 3 over 2NT with a very strong hand. 3NT makes but how do we get there. I didn’t want to bid 4 over the 3 as this goes past 3NT.

Hi Gordon,

Your thinking is certainly very reasonable and partner should definitely play you for only three spades as you did not bid 2 (i.e. even playing Lebensohl, all weak hands with spades would bid 2). However, I’m not so sure if I want to suggest spades as a strain already when I have a five-card diamond suit after all. Our 2NT Lebensohl bid does suggest weakness, so if partner wanted to play in 3NT, he would have bid it himself rather than 3. Partner should know there’s a chance that we have a weak hand with clubs or diamonds and bid 4/4, so partner should be prepared for those bids if we do not have a heart stopper.

I think our hand is fine for diamonds, and partner knows I can be weak, so I would prefer 4 rather than 3. However, if my fifth diamond was a third club giving us a 3=3=4=3 shape, then I would certainly bid 3 as I wouldn’t want partner to raise my 4 to 5!

If 3NT is the making contract on the board, then it sounds like your partner should have bid 3NT instead of 3 over your 2NT Lebensohl.

Regards,
Andy

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