Roger Yandle: Pass. I know pard is balancing and may have next to nothing but if he's got SA then we can probably defeat 2 - 2 spades, spade ruff, heart and 1/2 clubs. At MPs I'm prepared to gamble. At IMPs I'd bid the safer 3
I suspect this problem would have been quite easy if the
conditions were IMPs, as the risk of -670 is much more serious
at that form of scoring. Let's see if the conditions tempted
anyone to take a shot:
Manuel Paulo: Pass. I hope for the magic score (+200).
Paul Tranmer: Pass. And lead the
K. I'm hoping for -1 or -2 which will beat any partscore our way. Our only possible game contract, I suspect, would be 3NT and that looks a long way away to me.
David Hester: Pass. I find this very hard, as my middle opponent cannot have a hand on which I would have protected. I do not fancy my chances in any contract, but at least this will give me a top if it works.
Peter Oakley: Pass. Partner promises some spades, so I have a great start with the king. Even 200 will be a triumph.
Sid Ismail: Pass. Duck and two eggs?
Eric Leong: Pass. I am going for +200.
Partner must realize passing the double is a strong possibility if
I have no where to go. Consequently, I would expect a couple of useful cards from partner like aces which are useful for both offense and defense.
Paul Delaney: Pass. Lead
K and pray.
Not all the passers were going for the magic 200;
some of them genuinely believed that 2 was in trouble:
Duncan Roe: Pass. If partner had wanted to make a take out double he would have done it on the first round. So this is penalties and I'm happy with that.
Alexander Cook: Pass. You should be able to defeat the contract on high card point strength.
Sid Kanter: Pass. It is unlikely that we have a game. I'm going to lead the
K and take 300.
Note that dummy has denied four spades, and
partner has denied five; it seems
clear that declarer must hold a four card spade suit sitting
over our partner. K is likely to be just the card to solve
declarer's problems. If you must defend, this has to be a better
John Furedy: Pass. Again very confident of plus score; would lead 4th highest diamond.
If we do choose to take out the double, where should we go?
Boris Richter: 3. I guess that 2NT has a special meaning here.
Ron Lel: 2NT. Don't tell me this isn't "scrambling". I'm never going to pass this hand, by the way. That's an awful call.
Historically, 2NT has usually been interpreted as minors in this
kind of auction, or "scrambling" as Ron calls it. However, Jill
Courtney, the sole 2NT bidder on the expert panel, intended her
choice to be natural:
Jill Courtney: 2NT is enough
unless partner has a surprise in hand. As for passing, crazy,
The natural 2NT is not a common interpretation, although it drew some support from the readers:
Bridge Baron: 2NT. Bridge Baron shows its stopper for
NT in preference to bidding diamonds.
With a spade doubleton, it's
reluctant to cue-bid 3. With just
four hearts, a penalty pass is not
part of Bridge Baron's thinking.
Fred Altstock: 2NT. Enough points to invite game depending on partner.
Richard Morse: 2NT. Rather a tough choice, but this conveys the quality of the hand and denies the spades. There is obviously a risk that partner doesn't realise that we have enough for game, but 3NT is pushing it with a single heart stop.
Barbara Hunter: 2NT. If partner has a suit worth bidding, he has a reasonable picture of my hand.
Denis Haynes: 2NT. Why didn't South double on the first round?
A double by South on the first round would be for takeout -- not
even close to an accurate description of this hand. On this deal
(and most other deals), partner would take out the double into
2, an impossible situation to recover from.
The other 2NT bidders intended it as a minor suit takeout.
Piotr Madry: 2NT. Ask partner to bid his better (longer) minor suit. In my opinion too weak hearts to penalty the double. It, of course, depends on situation in the tournament. If I NEED to win I would pass and lead
Klarie: 2NT. Denying spade strength and promising support in the minors. N obviously does not have 5 spades so a minor fit is on at the 3 level. 2 hearts should make. But n/s should make 3 of minor as N should have a singleton heart.
And having a bet each way:
Marion Carney: 2NT. Take-out
of hearts but with a heart stopper. North probably has spades so hopefully 3NT is on.
A lot of support for 2NT there, in all its forms. So why does
the bid score so poorly?
Ulf Nilsson: 3. Only alternative is 2NT as pick a minor to cater for 4-1-3-5 or 5-0-3-5 (or similar) but that risks missing 4-4 diamonds whenever partner is x-x-4-4.
That's the major flaw with 2NT. If our clubs and diamonds were
the other way around, 2NT would be a better choice, as we would
then find a 4-4 fit over any of North's likely shapes. So the
top score goes to:
Danny Roth: 3. Partner has obviously stretched to balance. This
hand is nothing to get excited about.
Sydney Frish: 3. And apologise to Partner if Pass was a winning bid.
Nigel Guthrie, Amiram Millet: 3. Don't want to hang partner for enterprise.
Leigh Matheson, Barbara Whitmee: 3. Important not to get carried away here. Partner is just looking to push them to 3.
Ron Nelken, Frank Campbell: 3. My heart spots are just not good enough. Why punish partner for balancing? He did not double over 1NT, so he is not that strong.
Chris Turner: 3. Not quite strong enough to convert to penalties,
and notrumps is too scary.
Paul Gipson: 3. Only thought is of finding a safe spot.
Sam Arber: 3.
Partner is fairly weak, 2NT or pass may not work.
Tim Francis-Wright: 3. Partner has already figured out that I have this sort of hand, so we are unlikely to have 6 ready tricks on defense. I could
be missing a better 4-3 fit if partner is 3-4 in the minors with better clubs than my diamonds.
David Matthews: 3. Partner has balanced with a
7-9 count and a 4441 which means East is 6-4 in the majors. 2 could easily make.
Fraser Rew: 3. What else? 2 probably makes and if we had enough to make game
partner would have doubled last time.
We'll end this problem with a player who will never play with
himself again after reading his answer(s):
Ron Landgraff: 2. Else lose a partner!
2: Pass. Despite my 14 pts
no 3 level contract is safe. Best chance is to lead a trump and try to beat 2. They have minimum points and a bad split, maybe they'll go down.
I keep telling you, think very carefully before choosing "Other"
from the drop down box. 2 is certainly our best contract, but
insufficient bids never score well in this forum. There were
also a couple of votes for 3, also under the category "other".
Frankly, given the choice between 3 and 2, I'd bid 2.