February 2009


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By Arlene Port


You are South Ė IMPís, N/S Vul

Your hand is: 

S         Q 9 8 6 4
H         A 8 4
D         J 7
C         K 6 5

The bidding is:


What do you bid? 

Jim Bachelder: 3S  With 9 hearts accounted for, there's room in partner's hand for three spades. I'm going to try for the spade game rather than a shaky 3NT with potentially only a single stopper. If partner fits spades, he'll raise, if he doesn't, he may have a heart stopper too and bid 3NT, knowing that I have values. If neither situation exists and partner holds something like: AX, XX, AQX, AQJTXX, we'll play 5C which, at IMPS, is no concern.

Bruce Keidan: 3S. Values and a spade suit.

PJ Prabhu: 3S. No clear answer; but vulnerable at IMPs, I can stretch a bit to reach game. 3S bid here does not preclude 3NT, but 3NT would very likely preclude playing 4S on a 5-3 fit. Hope I don't get to play 3S on a 5-1 or 5-2 fit.

Jim Bossert: Pass. Partner is balancing

Mary Paulone Carns: 3NT.  Least of evils.  3S only works if partner has exactly 3 spades and a minimum hand, and lessens the chance of finding 3NT when it's right (I have the stopper); 3H overstates my values and may well result in 4C rebid when 3NT is the right place.

Steve Nolan: 3H, trying for 3NT.  I'd pass if I wasn't vulnerable, or at matchpoints.

Asim Ulke: 3H So many choices: pass, 3H, 3S, 3NT, 4C. I think 3H covers more possibilities. That is my bid.

Gail Carns 3S if notrump if right it should be played from partners side.

Herb Sachs: 3NT: I know my partner has a good playing hand. You donít balance at IMPís with nothing. Partner should not be balancing at IMPís otherwise. So, I take my chances and bid 3NT, even though I donít know I have enough tricks. Partner should be short in spades. If I bid spades, we will probably play it there and lose three no trump.

Trudy Cohn: 3NT Partner can have a pretty big hand and I am looking at a stopper in the opponents suit and a good fit for partner so I will bid 3NT.

Stanley Ruskin: 3H Very difficult. Iím going to eliminate 3 spades because partner can double with only 3 spades in this instance. I bypass 3NT if I raise clubs but I donít want to be in 3NT unless he has a heart stopper or semi heart stopper like QX. I donít want to force a game so I think I would bid 3H. If he doesnít have a heart stopper, he would bid 4C and I would pass Ė Too bad if 3C is the limit of the hand.

Florine Walters: 3NT. The Club K makes this bid attractive, in addition to the fact that there is little room to investigate a spade contract. The spades are not robust and partner could easily support with A or K doubleton. The fact that I have  a three card holding in the heart suit as well as the ace affords me the opportunity to hold up taking the trick if  needed. All that being said, I am hopeful that partner will bid four clubs with stiff or void in the heart suit, so that we can arrive in 5 clubs rather than 3NT, if not I can always blame partner for not getting to the right contract!!!!

Bill Holt: Pass I am going to pass.  If partner had the off-shape 15 that we need for game he'd surely double in the balancing seat - where he could be less perfect shape-wise than he would need to be in the direct seat.  A question, though: Why do we always miss Vulnerable games when we're wrong? :)

Arlene Port: 3NT seems to me to be the most logical bid. If it doesnít work, I still have the ďIím sorryĒ bid!!

Ernie Retetagos: 3 Hearts.  Gives partner a chance to bid 3 NT with Qx or Jxx. If partner bids 3 spades, I'll raise to 4.

Auxiliary Experts:

Marvin Rulin: 3NT I guess it comes down to 3 hts or 3 nt. Iíd take a shot at 3 nt and probably get killed in diamonds

Internet Post Results:




Philip Alder3NTKaren McCallum3NT
Alan Bell3NTMarshall Miles3H
Marty Bergen3NTMike Passell3NT
David Berkowitz3HLarry Robbins3NT
Larry Cohen3SArthur Robinson3NT
Chris Compton3HSteve Robinson3NT
Billy Eisenberg3HAl Roth3NT
Robb GordonPJeff Rubens3S
Allan Graves3HIra Rubin3S
Carl HudecekPFred Stewart3NT
Michael Kamil3HPaul Sugar3S
Eddie Kantar3SHoward Weinstein3H
Sami Kehela3NTKit Woolsey3NT
Eric Kokish3HZia3NT
Boris Koytechou3NTRay Zoller3H
Richard Margolis3S  

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