IMPs. None vulnerable.
♠A 8 6 2 ♥J 9 2 ♦A K ♣Q 8 6 2
What’s your call?
Did partner balance light?
The majority feel that you won’t set 2♠ doubled enough to make up for the possible 3NT game.
“Is a straight-forward 3NT bid out of style?” asks Colchamiro. “I can hold up in spades and likely shut out East.”
Robinson agrees with 3NT. “My spades aren’t good enough to sit for the double,” he says.
“I don’t have enough spades or tricks to pass the double,” say the Coopers.
“3NT will probably make in comfort,” says Stack. “The penalty pass is possible, but it’s a lot more fun to play the contract than defend.”
“I hate to bid 3NT, but I have way too much to do less,” says Falk. “I hope East has no entry or we have nine top tricks in notrump.”
“I hate to punish partner for balancing,” says Cohen, “but I’ll punish him with the auction that gets him minus 50 or minus 100, if wrong, instead of minus 470. I wish I had the .10.”
“3NT is the practical bid,” says Sanborn.
“3NT is my choice,” says Meyers, “but my second choice is a lebensohl 2NT followed by 3NT which shows more doubt than a direct 3NT bid.”
“3NT, even though North is balancing and it may not make,” says Lawrence. “Pass is acceptable, too, and can easily be right.”
Four experts choose to pass.
“I pass, hoping to hold declarer to his spade winners,” says Riga!. “A lot depends on whether partner has a spade void or not. I vote not because the opponents may have raised with a 6-3 fit.”
“If we had the ♠10, we might try 3NT,” say the Gordons. “With our poor spade intermediates, game is no guarantee and tilts the odds towards defending.”
“Our defensive potential is good and we probably can’t make game,” say the Sutherlins.
“Let’s pass and take the ‘bird in the hand,”‘ say the Joyces.
“2NT,” says Kennedy. “Yes, it’s lebensohl, but I want to hear more about my partner’s hand. If partner bids 3♣ or 3♦ , I’ll bid 3NT. If partner bids 3♥, I’ll bid 3♠. “
Most of the time, responder bids 3♣ in answer to lebensohl, but it can’t cost to bid this first unless it has another meaning. Some partnerships play as Meyers suggests. Others play a direct 3NT shows 12-15, and going through lebensohl, then 3NT, shows 16-17.
“3♣,” says Meckstroth. “Because lebensohl is on, 3♣ is invitational. My spade stopper is thin and I don’t have a real trick source, so I’m willing to stop below game.”
If North has 13 or more high-card points, bidding 3NT would probably work out. If North has a distributional takeout double, however, such as 1=4=4=4 and 10-12 HCP, pass or 3♣ might work out better.
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