Buenos Aires, November 7th

Christian LAHRMANN

A few days ago Christian LAHRMANN  (Winner: 4th World Youth Open Championships Opatija 2015 – Kids Pairs) sent us the following bidding problem to consult with some friends.

The hand: Ax  AKQJxx  AKQx

West North East South (you)
1 Dbl
2 Pass Pass ?

What do you bid now and why?

We sent the problem to Sabine Auken and she consulted with some of her own friends. Thank You Sabine. Here are the answers she got:

Sabine Auken

Sabine Auken

I am wondering what a 3 bid at this point would mean. If one plays a direct 3 bid as asking for a stopper it should be something else, shouldn’t it? Probably a hand that wants to force to game, but doesn’t want to double again? Does it help in any way?

Chip Martel

Chip Martel

Honestly I don’t think it’s realistic to find the 4-4 club fit. Since partner is very likely to have 4+ spades he is unlikely to bid clubs if I double, and if I double he might think I have a more flexible hand than this.

In my methods I’d probably bid 4 over 1 as a strong 4 bid, then bid 5 next. Maybe partner would get the idea I have this, but I doubt it (or perhaps more realistically would bid slam with A or K).

Michael Rosenberg

Michael Rosenberg

Honestly I don’t think it’s realistic to find the 4-4 club fit. Since partner is very likely to have 4+ spades he is unlikely to bid clubs if I double, and if I double he might think I have a more flexible hand than this.

In my methods I’d probably bid 4 over 1as a strong 4H bid, then bid 5C next. Maybe partner would get the idea I have this, but I doubt it (or perhaps more realistically would bid slam with A or spade K).

Zia Mahmood

Zia Mahmood

VERY hard ( too hard?)

I think I would bid 3 ( stopper ask?) then 5over 3.

Which may make him wonder why I didn’t bid 5 the first time .. what I would do when I need 1 worker.

But I have no real hope he would bid 6 over that with: xxx xx xxxx xxxx

But I guess I would get there with 5 opp

PS

I think a belated 3 asks in principle for a stopper ..

eg a hand TOO good to bid an immediate 3

But could also be used for hands where you don’t want to double again.

Michael Rosenberg: When you say immediate and belated, do you mean over 1 or 2.  I would not have thought 3 over 1 was stopper ask – only over 1M.

I think you’re right about 3 over 2 asking for stopper as first priority (if that’s what you meant) – the huge club hand.  If I have the huge black 2-suiter then I try to make that clear later.

Fredrik Nyström

Fredrik Nyström

I would have started with 2NT over 1(please dont pass pd!). And at some point depending on the auction I would bid 5. Partner should then not correct to 6with x and xxx in my suits. Feels like my best chance to reach the best spot.

Sabine: Love that plan!!!   &  Roy Welland: I like it! Very creative.

Zia: I like that, Wish I had thought of it.   Tom Hanlon: Good job Freddy, very clever.

Chip Martel: 2NT is clever and could be a big winner. However, not so clear to me that partner will know to P 5 with x xxx in the round suits. Also, worth noting that:

i) 5 may be too high and

ii) even if you catch 4-2-3-Jxxx, 6 clubs requires 3-2 trumps (so even when you “win” in the auction, may still go minus).

Michael Rosenberg: Agree with Chip about “not clear” – though not about the “too high” thing – even though that could be a ‘winning’ thought.  I think it’s impossible to do justice to this hand and not reach the 5-level.

The idea IS clever – but the fact is that 2N guarantees 5-card .  And partner will act on that basis.  You could have 7-5 (maybe) 1-AKJxxxx-0-AKQxx.  Or A, AKQxxx, x, AKJxx.  Or other combinations.
Still, it does get partner to key on club length, and almost no other route can confidently guarantee that you will reach slam opposite 4(+) – cards.  Let’s say after (1)-X -(2)-P, and now opponents are silent…
X     2
3 – even given that I’m confident 3 is forcing.  If partner bids 3 or 3NT I guess now I’m in a fair position with 4.  But if partner raises me to 4, now it’s not clear that my 5 bid just needs any 4-card support.
Having said all that, had I thought of Fredrik’s idea, I might have rejected it, and would now argue against it.  Since I didn’t think of it, my arguments against it don’t seem so strong to me.  So I guess I’m saying what Zia said – in my usual long-winded manner. 

These are some few more answers:

Mikael Rimstedt (Junior Teams World Champion) 

Mikael Rimstedt 
Mikael Rimstedt

One more Dbl. Crossing my fingers partner won’t pass it. Bidding 3on 2 and then 4 if partner keep showing “minimum”.

K. Martens

Krzysztof Martens
Krzysztof Martens

Depend on agreements. I like to bid 3 like forcing – slammish. After any bid, I may risk 6. My dream is – slam in clubs with 4-4 fit.

Eric Kokish
Eric Kokish
Eric Kokish

4. The main hope is to reach 6 not 6 opposite, e.g. xxx, xxx, xxx, xxxx. If I were 5/5+ in the majors I would not have started with DBL, so a cue-bid now can’t be THAT hand. If partner appreciates that he will not bid a three-card major when he has 4+ clubs, so there is real hope we can do the right thing opposite at least some very weak hands. Over 3 I will have to bid 4or risk getting too high in five.

Adi Asulin

Adi Asulin
Adi Asulin

I will bid 3. I extra thought I will bid another dbl. That If partner will bid 3 I can make 6even with zero points and 4 cards in club.

Alfredo Versace

Alfredo Versace
Alfredo Versace

Ciao I bid dbl because is the only chance to find 6if partner bid 3 ..if not I will jump in 4 hearts (very rare slam if no club fit).