Thursday, September 15, 2011

Go Where the Experts Dare Not?

A funny email just came to me.

You have xx-Qxx-10xxx-AKJx opposite a partner who opens a limited (max of 15 HCP) 1S, 2D overcall.  What do you do?  If you opt to pass, what next when partner reopens with a double?

The question has been asked of several people, including experts, with a wide variety of answers, including:

Bid 2S the first time;
Double 2D negative;
Pass twice;
Pass and then bid 2S;
Pass and then bid 2H;
Pass and then bid 3D(!);
Pass and then bid 3C.

When asked about this, I decided to apply a rule.  When experts have six or more ideas of what to do in a given situation, avoid all six (or more) options at all costs and look for yet another option.

I think this rule works here.  I opted for pass and then 2NT.

Pass and then 2NT seems to show extras without spade support, without four hearts, and without five clubs (and hence four diamonds).  Plus, it seems to show insufficient diamonds to sit for penalties.  Tada!

Now, maybe pass...2NT is not the best answer, but maybe it is.  The rule of ignoring all options of experts when they pick six or more different answers seems to be the best argument, though, for pass...2NT.  I'm convinced!

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