As promised, here is one interesting hand from the recent NABC in New Orleans. It comes from the swiss teams--you are vul vs not and partner opens 1 Heart.
The auction begins simply enough--with the opponents silent, you respond 1 Spade, partner bids 2 Diamonds and you bid 3 Diamonds. Now partner bids 3 Spades. Apparently he has a good shapely hand, but is there a range? Could he be 2-5-4-2 without a club stop? And, perhaps more importantly, what do you bid now?
Thanks for all of the comments on this hand. I was planning on updating sooner, but figured I'd let you guys run with it for a while. As stated, I faced this problem in the Swiss. I made a poor bid of 4 spades that had a happy ending when I managed to emerge with 10 tricks. One thing that I did consider that was not brought up in the comments was that hearts could still easily be the right strain. Our stiff king is actually quite a fine holding. My 4 spade bid amounted to a guess, and a bad one, as the comments indicate--although we can control the first round of clubs and will be able to ruff the second round in the shorter trump hand, our trump are not the robust type that you like to have to play a 4-3 fit...not to mention the possibility that partner is 2-5-5-1.
In the postmortem my partner suggested the 4 Club cuebid. Assuming you are willing to give up on notrump at this point (I know that Kenny is!), the cuebid stands out. My partner thinks that 4 Clubs says, "I have a good hand but am not sure where to go with it yet." Over 4 Clubs, partner has an easy 4 Heart bid--his hand actually was: JT7 AQJxxx AQxx void.
To finish the story, 4 Spades needed some luck, including the diamond finesse. We gained an imp on this one when the other table played in 3nt with 9 toppers when the hearts split 4-2...the opposing declarer didn't take the diamond finesse and was duly punished.
Main Event wrap-up
6 months ago