Let’s play a little WWGD. You are in the maestro’s chair, holding
6 A K 9 7 A Q J 7 2 K 4 3
You open 1D, lefty passes, partner bids a weak jump shift of 2S, passed back to you. What Would Gee Do? Have at it before you continue reading below.
9 7 5 4 3 2
K 6 4
9 8 7
Q 8 6 3 2
9 8 3
J 6 5
K Q J 8
J 10 5
A Q 10 2
A K 9 7
A Q J 7 2
K 4 3
If you passed you need to enter into the spirit of the thing. Gee did not pass.
Three hearts is certainly possible: if you’re not going to show hearts now, then when? But 3H risks catching partner with something like 10xxxxx Qxx x Q10x, on which three, or even four hearts has a real chance of success.
3NT? Likely to be a disaster, but again, not necessarily. Same hand as above but with 10x Qx in the minors, and you have a shot of getting home with highly favorable breaks and an extremely generous club lead.
An invitational raise to 3S? No, there is only one bid available to assure disaster: the jump to the spade game. The beauty of 4S is that, on the best possible hand for North, let’s say QJ109xx xx xxx xx, it almost has to go down. Even on that hand, even if we assume spades are breaking 3-3 and both minor suit finesses are on, although you might survive in 3S in 4S the entry problems are insuperable.
North, alas, neglects to hold the best possible hand. A technical note: a double of 4S, holding KQJ8 of trump and the club ace, is not Bones.
Questions for Discussion
1. What would Gerard bid on this hand if his spades and hearts were reversed?
2. Suppose you had bid 4S and your partner asked you why. What is the best reply?
3. Over 2S on this auction, is 4C natural, a splinter, Gerber, or checkback Stayman?