A Delicate Rock Crusher

How would you value the East hand? If you like to count losers, how many losers? Would you open the East hand 1S or a game forcing 2C? Would you be happy to play in 1S if partner cannot respond, or would you be prepared to be in game in either major irrespective of what partner has? And if partner can make a positive response to a 2C opening bid, will you definitely bid a slam?

Board 22 from Thursday 22/08/2019
Dealer E EW Vul


Those are the questions that may help you, if you are East, to make the right decision. Personally, I would open the East hand with anything that will end up in game in spades or hearts if East can bid the shape as well as the strength. The problem, however, may be in the ensuing bidding after a 2C opening if West makes a positive response. The worst response from East’s point of view would be 3NT, and East would then have to bid 4S and leave it to West to make another move. Maybe West should respond a quiet 2D in anticipation of East having a strong hand in either or both majors. All highly conjectural, the ace and king do make the West hand pretty well a mandatory positive response, but 2NT may be a better option than 3NT. Then, after East’s 3S, West’s 3NT, and East’s 4H, West might take the conservative view and bid 4S. See the prospects for this board by clicking here. Is there a slam there or not?

Any reader who is interested in how my Evil Acol would look at these EW hands can email me and I will send a chapter from my series “More Evil”. The “Evil 2NT” and “Evil Fours” are a very easy addition to any normal Acol system and can help the serious players get more mileage out of their more difficult bidding situations when such very big hands occur.