Not So Quick ...

Vil posed this quick question to his panel:

Teams, dealer West EW vul, you are South.


What do you bid holding:


Thank you all very much for your input, this one was very valuable and, according to feedback, very interesting. A good topic for you and your regular partner to discuss.

This one did not turn out to be all that quick, with many different opinions and suggestions. I won't go into them all other than to say that it is important to have an agreement with your partner about what bids in opponents' suits mean in what situations. Sometimes they will bid your suit, and that is what has happened here. East's response of 1S could have been made on four small spades and 6+ points but how do you show partner that YOU have a great spade hand? Another complication is that you have a heart suit as well, and if partner has at least four hearts and some values you could be making 4H. I don't see that 4H would then be any easier to make than 4S anyway. How to show your hand and how high to bid to get the message across to partner? My suggestion is that if opponents have bid your suit in a forcing situation, and this is clearly one, just stay quiet and show your hand later. If you do pass and the bidding then proceeds 2C from opener, pass, pass, you are now in great shape to bid your great spade hand. I don't believe that double is right, looking for hearts in partner's hand, because even if partner now bids 2H, you will have no idea how far to go in hearts, having forced partner to bid. Better to bid your spades at whatever level you think will give partner the best picture. I would bid 3S even though that may be too high if partner has a yarborough but the chances of game can't be ignored, so I would bid 3S. Partner should know that I am not interested in anything but spades and all I require is one quick trick from partner to have a good shot at game. But, I don't have an issue with those more conservative than I am, who would bid 2S. As it happens, partner now would have bid 2NT and this should be enough to warrant a bid to 4S. When this deal was played in a Swiss Pairs, 4S made nearly all the time but could have been beaten if the defenders somehow managed to organise a heart ruff (NS had a 4-4 fit and East a doubleton, but the defence really was Deep Finesse).