"We rotate partners in my game," a fan writes, "and last night my partner was like the girl who couldn't dance and blamed it on the band. In other words, she a poor declarer. My question is, should I underbid because she'll underplay?"
My fan says her partner won the first diamond and led the ace and a low spade. West won and countered with the ace and a low trump, and South lost another spade and a diamond.
"Her three hearts wasn't forcing," my fan says. "I could have passed it, but I liked my top values. Would you have bid four?"
Considering South's skill level, North had a close decision. Since I hate to miss vulnerable games, I'd have bid four and hoped South surprised me.
To make four hearts, South ducks a spade at Trick Two. If the defense clears dummy's trumps, South draws trumps, sets up the clubs with a ruff and goes to the ace of spades for the good clubs. If instead the defense continues spades to kill dummy's entry, South ruffs a spade in dummy.
You hold: K 10 8 5 A 5 3 J 10 9 5 10 6. Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one spade, he bids two clubs and you return to two diamonds. Partner next bids two spades. What do you say?
A: Your two diamonds showed at most nine points, and partner could have stopped with a weak hand. His two spades says game is possible. He has a good hand with 3-1-5-4 pattern. Since your values are ideal, bid five diamonds or four spades.
Both sides vulnerable
7 6 2
A K 7 5 3 2
K 10 8 5
A 5 3
J 10 9 5
Q 9 7 6
K Q 8 3
Q J 9
J 4 2
K Q J 8 7 2
North East South West
Opening lead -- J