Hand of the Month No 2

You are playing E-W with partner as dealer, both sides non-vulnerable. Partner opens 1 (a 5 card suit) which is overcalled 1 and your hand is

7 J987542 8 K963

Clearly no action from you so you pass. Your LHO then bids 2NT ,alerted, and your partner asks the meaning, answered as " a good raise to 3". Partner now bids 3. Your RHO then bids 4.

Now its your turn? What do you do? Is there something strange about the N-S hands


Partner has shown at least 5 hearts and 4 diamonds and at the most one spade, more likely none. partner is also showing some strength for his 3 level bid. It woudn't take much for 6 diamonds to be on so that's what I would bid. You really want to know if partner is void in spades and if he has the ace of clubs but I don't know how you would find that out.

I have, however, come across your interesting hand 2 but can only comment from memory as it is on the website and I'm back on emails. Obviously there are three plausible choices:=bid 5D, pass 4S or double 4S. It would appear that NS have 9 spades between them, partner being void also 7 hearts, probably no more than 2 diamonds between them, but a secondary fit in clubs. Bizarre. These inferences, especially the club fit, were based on what partner didn't bid -the dog that didn't bark! On that supposition, doubling 4S would be a risky venture as they could well make their contract notwithstanding my ruffing potential, especially if the Ace S was sitting over me. Passing is a bit feeble so I would be bold enough to bid 5D, trusting my partner's void in spades, or at the worst a singleton. If it goes off, even doubled, not too much is lost and they may even go on to 5S. An interesting hand indeed. Another factor would be the calibre of the opponents and whether they would be likely to defend well or even to double.
I've just had the thought that their spades may be 5-3 not 5-4, but I've already bid so will hope for the best and if they are tempted to bid 5S i'll be delighted, let off the hook.

I would double 4 spades expecting to make 2 tricks in trumps and at least 2 others


Partner is either very strong or has a highly distributional hand. Likely to be 6-5 in the red suits since has bid twice without help from you and would not wish to play in a 4 card suit at the three level. Since partner did not open a strong two, s may be headed by the QJ10. So partner is short in s , at most 1 card but also short in s, so opponents have at least a 10 card fit in this suit. Opponents may well have a void in s

What Happened

Despite having two possible trump winners against 4, I elected to bid 5. This was doubled for 1 off, because the opponents can only take 3 aces. This was by far the most popular contract. However 4 and 5 are both making by opponentsas it turns they have an 11 card fit in clubs. Partner has a singleton J of s. In 4s my RHO has a void in s and my trumps are 'wasted'on the opponent's suit so 10 tricks roll home .