a. How do you rank these three choices:
This hand will make a fine dummy for clubs and will provide a source of tricks if partner is balanced with 18-19 and wants to bid NT. If partner is unbalanced and can hearts or spades over an enemy diamond call, we are doing fine. Pass is too conservative and a negative double is wrong but not terrible. It is a little light and a spade short, but this hand could do OK in a 4-3 spade fit with the tap coming into the short hand.
b. Let's say you choose
a. What would you have done at your previous turn? (Over
would be. Given that I'm 54 in the reds, we need as little as
One thing is clear. Given this auction, I don't believe they're making
b. What now? If you pass, what do you lead?
Why bid slam instead of passing? Slam may be cold, but it is probably on a hook for a red king; it might go down on a first-round ruff in the other red suit. If both red aces are cashing, we get 800, just about as good as 920. If one is not, the bad break might beat the slam. And, as we see, perhaps slam might go down even when we get 800. Since we don't expect the other table to reach slam with about 20 HCP, 800 should be plenty even if we are wrong.
a. What is your call?
OK, Mike was very adamant about how superior 3NT was. He claims 8-1 odds. Too bad I didn't take that bet, but did a simulation and told him the results. The bottom line appears to be that, more or less, it doesn't matter if you bid 3NT or double at IMPs. At matchpoints, 3NT is a big winner, as +660 tends to beat +650 and +620. At IMPs, I didn't deal a hand that mattered more than 3 IMPs. And this was without making any non-trivial decision as advancer. So it looks as if 3NT is better, but not substantially.
b. If you double and partner bids
4NT is right because it will make more often, but ...
4NT could be really bloody if the preemptor has an entry
to go with his QJ-seventh.
Pass is out because partner could have the right junky six-count for the red game. I bid 4NT.