What should I bid? (September 2018)

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What should I bid? (September 2018)

The best submission for September 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.

K6
KQ7
J63
AKT94

(Pass) Pass  (3) ?

Vul vs not, what bid/call do you make?

Hi Ron,

The only options to consider on this hand is either 3NT or pass. When the opponents preempt at Not Vul vs. Vul, and especially in third seat, they tend to not have that great of a hand, so sometimes partner can help you out in the diamond suit, say he might have Qx or Kx in diamonds, which would then give you a stopper. If partner gives us Kx of diamonds and West leads a diamond against 3NT, say West has a doubleton diamond and East has AQxxxx. East can easily duck the first round of the suit to keep communication but in practice it would be very difficult to duck (i.e. partner may have a singleton diamond, so East would not want to give up a trick).

However, even if partner gives us a diamond stopper (i.e. one diamond trick), we will need to manage to take eight tricks after that and that might be a bit of a stretch.

But then again, 16 HCP with a decent 5-card club suit is a lot to be passing with. It’s certainly a tough problem. One thing’s for sure is that I won’t double as I am lacking the majors, I won’t have any recovery if partner bids 3 or even 4.

I think after contemplating it all, I think I would bid 3NT. It’s very likely EW’s diamond suit won’t be solid when they preempt at not vul against vul, and thus I can put East out of the game as he will not have any other entries to cash his diamonds. This seems like the type of deal where even if we’re missing a club honour or an ace, we can give the lead to West as he will not be able to persist with more diamonds.

For example, let’s say partner has this ordinary hand:
Axx
xxxx
Qx
xxxx

If the clubs are 2-2 and West has the A, it seems like we’re likely to take 9 tricks in 3NT, and that’s only 6HCP for partner.

No action is “perfect” here. I have the majority of the strength (along with a good 5-card club suit), and as I have judged that it is not likely that EW will be able to run diamonds, I will take my chance in 3NT!

Kind regards,
Andy

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