One of our hardest ever problems in my opinion -- in fact, there were more
readers scoring zero on this problem than there were scoring 100. I still have no idea where to
begin with this problem, so
let's start with the top reader vote (and the bottom panel vote):
Leigh Matheson: 2. I must be missing something; I can’t see any alternative.
Mats Nilsland (similarly Aake Sjoeberg, Frank Campbell): 2. The natural bid stands out.
Richard Morse: 2. Good shape, good tops, worth the semi-reverse in my book. Passing 1 is a losing game and doubling risks something silly in diamonds from partner.
Sam Arber, Bastiaan Korner: 2. Good enough for a reverse.
Good enough for a
reverse if partner has enough points to respond -- if partner
has a yarborough I would have thought we'd need a little extra.
Stephen Bartos: 2.
Not strong enough for a reverse, want to describe club holding better.
Manuel Paulo: 2. This is an overbid, for sure; but, at MP and NV, I can't resist.
Ingerun Sjosvard: 2. This is an overbid but if I am lucky I get away with it. :)
Phil Davis: 2. Depending on change of suit agreement.
Our exact agreement is that your hand should be good enough
to justify your bids.
Fred Altstock: 2. Partner could have a little bit in hearts I am hoping and we are not vulnerable.
Tim Trahair: 2. Forcing, showing strength and few
diamonds. If North bids 3 or
pass. If he bids 3 we will need to try 3NT.
So in other words, we will play in a
partscore if we have a fit, otherwise we'll go to game.
Martyn Rew: 2. Gives partner some
options. Further bidding dependent on which one he takes.
Peter Oakley: 2. Partner could yet come to life?
Paul Tranmer: 2. Cannot believe it's right to reopen with a
double here so I'll bid 2 to focus pard's attention on my two suits. If pard then emerged from under his stone with a bid of 3 I'll pass it.
Several people saw this as a choice
between 2 and double:
Emil Battista: 2. Double could be OK too, but 2 from partner will hardly be welcome.
Ron Landgraff: 2. Yes, I know 1 doubled could be bloody - but whose blood? It is pairs isn't it?
Peder Linder: 2. Dbl might very well be the best bid.
Which brings us to the 4th highest
Paul Freeland: Dbl. Partner may just have enough for a trap pass, and over a diamond rebid by partner I will bid hearts and hope for the best.
Wilma Domjan: Dbl. Somebody has points or spades - maybe partner.
Alvin P. Bluthman: Dbl. Yes, partner may bid 2 (though he doesn't have to), and I will pass. Anything else (including pass) from partner looks like a good score for us.
Alvin plans to pass partner's
assumed 2 bid, but there are several other plans on the table:
Duncan Roe: Dbl. And
convert 2 to 2NT.
Dean Pokorny, Michael Smart, Michael Yuen: Dbl. 1 is hardly two down. So, I'll double and pull 2 to 2.
David Matthews: Dbl. If Partner continues with 2 I will bid 2 showing my shape and strength. Even Kxxx should be enough for game.
Zbych Bednarek: Dbl. Seems partner has nothing or is
trapping. I'll correct 2
but pass 2,
If he bids 2NT I'll raise.
David Monahan: Dbl. Double shows a likely heart suit and gives partner a chance to convert to penalties (trap pass is unlikely), bid NT with stopper or support clubs if no heart support. I would bid 2 over a simple 2 from partner showing two suits.
Barbara Hunter: Dbl. I would like to see if partner has hearts; I can repeat
necessary. He may of course have good spade holding.
Bill Bennett: Dbl. North will bid 2, but he may have four
hearts and at worst we may finish in 3.
That plan sounds reasonably
foolproof, although I'm sure there is a flaw somewhere. Working
our way up the ladder, our next step sets new standards for the
definition of a rebiddable suit:
John R. Mayne: 2. Chipping this 50 a trick isn't quite good enough. I'll try for a plus; double is going to lead to a 2 call by partner, and that's bad.
Roger Yandle: 2.
Doesn't look like pard has made a trap pass so I'll compete. Double would be nice to try and find heart fit but pard always bids diamonds in this situation.
Alexander Cook: 2. I don't like rebidding 1NT with a singleton diamond.
Larissa Cowlishaw: 2. I expect partner to bid 2 with a weak long suit or pass.
Denis Haynes: 2. I play a short club and I need to bid 2 to show partner I have at least
Robert Black: 2. Not willing to give up yet, nor to find a bid over 2 or 3 after I double. Partner has few points
and/or few hearts.
Tim Francis-Wright: 2. Partner could have a spade stack, but doubling implies better diamonds than this. If she has that spade stack, 2 is hardly a bad description of this hand.
Tania Black: 2. Partner has diamonds +/- clubs, and few points, and might not see the joke if I bid 1NT.
Tony Treloar: 2. Partner is marked with some points here but hasn't made a negative double or bid 1NT, so 2 seems like a very realistic contract.
Rainer Herrmann: 2. Partner is unlikely to have a penalty double nor to have hearts
2 does not overstate your diamond support.
David Davies: 2. Partner probably has a mediocre hand with diamonds so not much on. Might even pass if they were vulnerable, but three off is a lot to play for.
David Hester: 2. We are playing short club and negative doubles, which argue for clubs over hearts. It is tempting to pass.
Next we have the notrump bidders. If
we were worried that a double would exaggerate our diamond
holding, a 1NT bid is a much milder exaggeration.
Maurice Buxton: 1NT. Yes, I know this is disgusting, and I may have to pretend I mistook the 2 for the 2. But 2 is feeble and double is more disgusting, especially as partner didn't double 1 for takeout and so is unlikely to have four hearts anyway, but could well have diamonds. If he has a penalty double of 1, eh, never mind, it only comes up every other year or so.
Damo Nair: 1NT. Definitely not selling out. Maybe 2 is better.
Fraser Rew: 1NT. I'm a bit light for this (should be 18-19 in a strong NT system), though Pass may be best, and
pard may even bid spades (naturally) next time.
Nigel Guthrie: 1NT. IMO Pass or 2 are alternatives but double is dangerous.
Ron Lel: 1NT. At IMPs I think a pass is clear cut,
as my aim is to score a plus on this board. If I double and then correct 2 to
2, I am showing a better hand in my opinion, and am also risking a correction to 3.
To make 1NT I really only need to find pd with Q. Other cards are a bonus.
Boris Richter: 1NT. No negative double from partner and playing in a NT contract at
Matchpoints is rewarding in the long run.
Paul Gipson: 1NT. Matchpoints at love all is often a race to 1NT and I appear to be winning. Does it really matter what it shows?
Such an accurate,
insightful, practical comment, it really seems a shame to give
it just 80 points. But with a third of the expert
vote, here is the winning choice (by which I mean the choice
that scores the top award, not the one that works):
Shyam Sashital: Pass. If partner is diligent on negative doubles, he does not have a 4-card heart (or very low in HCP). I'm selling out because I suspect West is a good two-suiter (diamonds
and spades) and EW can score much better in a diamond partial.
Bridge Baron: Pass. Offshape and too weak for 1NT. A little
too weak to venture 2, because partner
may have to go to the three-level to
correct to clubs. Bridge Baron goes
Eric Leong: Pass. Partner couldn't make a negative double or bid 1NT or bid 2. Why should I give LHO another chance to find a better contract like either a better diamond partial or even a spade game?
Wayne Somerville: Pass. Partner didn't support, double or bid 1NT. They are likely in a 5-2 fit. I don't want to double because partner will often bid 2.
Lindsay Coker: Pass. Sounds as though West has a stack, and if I double pard will bid diamonds. He always does, and this time there's no paddle.
The full deal:
West's 1 will make an overtrick, while we can make three different partscores – 1NT, 2 and 3. East-West have the last word, as they can make 3, although we still have a profitable save in 3 or 4.