Dear Dr. Robert:
You’re playing OKB 2/1 with Gee, holding Kx xx Qxx AQJxxx. Gee opens 1D first seat. The auction continues pass, 2C (from you, game-forcing), 2H overcall to your left. Gee bids 2NT. What does it show?
–M.D.W., Toronto, Canada
Dear Mr. Principle,
The auction you refer to, 1D-P-2C-2H-2NT, has several possible interpretations when bid by Gerard. The first, and likeliest, is natural, but without implying a heart stopper. Stoppers are for bathtubs and wine bottles. It makes no sense for Gee to confine the advantages of having himself declare, and discouraging a heart lead, to hands with an actual heart holding.
2NT could also be unusual for the suits unbid by your side (spades and hearts in this case) and thus a 4441 hand; or unusual for the two lowest suits and thus a 2155 hand; or just asking for more information from the crew (you). Now let’s consider your rebid. Ignore the fact that you’ve already forced to game: it is a well-accepted principle in captaincy theory that the crew can only force the captain by bidding a new suit. Therefore, to force Gerard to bid and not miss a good 1100, you must bid the only new suit there is, 3S. Remember, 3H would not be forcing: it’s not a new suit. If you’re still confused, what are you waiting for? Order your copy of Bridge Is a Conversation today!