Preempts Work: Answer

None vul, you hold:

 S:--- H:K106542 D:Q104 C:Q1032

1D: Pass1H: 2S:
Pass3S: ?

If balanced, partner can have 13-18 HCP (though I wouldn't hold my breath about 18).
IMPs, short matches.

Today's panelists: Alan LeBendig, Andy Lewis, Barry Rigal, Brian Oxley, Curt Hastings, Ed Davis, Mike Shuster, Roberto Scaramuzzi, Walter Hamilton, Joel Wooldridge, Web Ewell, Dan Molochko

I'll bite. 4C:. I guess worst case is that partner bids 4S:. I'll now end the auction at 5C:. I'll pass 4D:. [Isn't partner going to think 4D: is forcing? --Jeff] Just too much offense to defend and a pass (my second choice) rates to end the auction. 4H: is too unilateral. I may miss the 6-2 fit but am willing to take that chance. I have too little defense to double here. My failure to do so should be informative to partner.
4H:. Who needs spots (or values, for that matter)? If partner has a balanced minimum without too much wastage in spades, this will have some play. Of course, if he has some 3154 (or so) minimum it could be a disaster, but I think on balance it's worth a shot.
No idea! Pass could easily be right (our smallest minus/a way to go plus). Yes there is a big downside - but why be undisciplined here?. Pass and accept my small minus/plus. bidding turns the board into a lottery.
I don't expect to get this one right... I'll continue bidding out my hand, even though I don't really have the values for it, with 4C:. Hopefully, partner will then pick a suit, rebidding 4D: or trotting out 4H: (perhaps). I'm a leery of trying 4H: myself since he could easily have a 3-1-5-4 hand (although I am a little curious why they are in 3S:, not 4 in that case). In Panglossia, partner will pass 4C: with that hand, but in truth, 4C: is forcing, so he'd raise to 5. On the grasping ["Gripping?" --Jeff] hand, 5C: just might make (give him  S:AKx H:x D:Axxxx C:KJxx maybe? cash our tops and cross-ruff the remainder, or on C:A, C:x lead/continuation, try to setup hearts).
4H:. If we have a game it is most likely to be 4H:. I think partner will have at least two hearts most of the time on this auction. When there is a choice of bids where no bid will be right much more often than another as there is here, I like choosing the one with the most to gain (a game bonus in this case). Of the alternatives, 3NT or double for takeout would appeal most but I think 3NT is needed as natural, e.g.,  S:Kx H:Axxx D:KJxxx C:Jx, and double should be cards, e.g.,  S:xx H:AKxxx D:Jxx C:Kxx.
Seems right to take another call with a void in the opponents suit. Bid 4H:. I expect partner to be 4243 or 4252. He might be 4144 or 4153 - oh well. He might have 3 hearts, too. They'll probably bid 4S: anyway - and now, partner might be able to double.
Basically, I'm screwed. I'm going to double and hope that partner, who probably has three or four spades, can work out it's takeout, but -730 vs. our own game or slam is quite possible, especially since partner is likelly barred by my tank by now. Second choice, 4D:; third choice 4H:.
Pass. We might make 4H: but I don't see any bid that will get us there and partner's most likely response to my double is pass.
Partner is not supposed to have more than about 15 on this auction, but I'll deal...anyhow, I'll probably bid 4C:. I can't stomach x, because if partner passes, I'll puke. At least this will gain if partner bids 4D: (I pass), or 4H: (I pass). If partner raises clubs, I'll say a short prayer. I don't like giving up with a spade void, and I don't like 4H:, since partner can still have 4-0-5-4. I'll take the game swing against, in exchange for a few partscore swings our way when partner has 2 hearts and can't bid 4H: (since he would if he's 4-2-5-2, maybe).
Sometimes preempts work... I think 4H: is the best shot. I don't think any other game is likely to make given partner's pass of 2S: (wouldn't he have doubled with 15-18 balanced?), and even if you're not making you may induce a phantom 4S: sac. [He'd double with 16+-18, surely, but he expects us to expect 13-16-. --Jeff]
IMO there are only three reasonable actions, Pass, 4C: and 4D:.

Pass is not my style, and God gave you three tens so that in the post-mortem you could point to them and say, "that's why I bid!"

As between the real choices, the advantage of 4D: is that it is a bid and it's a contract, and it's obvious that the 4-level may be high enough. (LeBendig to the contrary, bidding 4C: and then passing 4D: is bad bridge.)

I like 4C: just a tad better because of all the 4-4 club fits that get lost if I raise diamonds. If we're going to play in game, I don't see why we shouldn't find the best one.

People who bid 4H: on this hand should be shot. Shuster first!

Pass 2
Double 2
4C: 4
4D: 1
4H: 4 of the 4C:/4H: bidders want to change to 4D: so we can have two of each of the five cheapest calls?
4H: or 4C:. Partner has  S:KJx H:QJx D:Kxxx C:AJx. After my 4D:, partner bid 4NT (natural, presumably) which I corrected to 5C:. Partner recorrected to 5D: and went down 3. 4NT was down 4. Pass yields -140. Double produces -530. 4H: gets +420. 4C: will get partner to bid 4H:, for +420. Seems to me that 4D: should also get partner to bid 4H:, but it didn't work out that way.

At the other table, they opened that garbage a strong NT and Texas'ed into game. It's not cold from that side; on a spade lead, I'm not sure 10 tricks are there single dummy (C:K is off and D:J is off and we don't have the D:9 or D:8). Teammates brought back -420.

I bid 4D: because we could stop below game if partner was weakish, and they can't double and get us there. (Hartman's Law.) If 4H: is wrong, it could get doubled; if everything's wrong, we could be going for our lives, but they'll think twice about doubling 4D:. I guess that's a corollary to Ed's argument: if anything can be wrong, pick the choice that if it's wrong, probably won't get doubled I figured partner would bid 4H: when it's right, or just try to find a 5-3 on the way to 5D:. I gave up on clubs, but I try to talk my partners out of opening 1D: on 3145 hands. This hand'll do it!

Upon reflection, I think 4C: has the best upside; we are likely to get to our best fit, albeit at the wrong level. In practice, I think 4C: or 4D: should get to hearts when there's a 6-3 fit most of the time; my result was ... hmmm ... this could be a "you be the judge" followup. Nah.

Roberto wonders what partner's double and 2NT would have been at his 2nd call. We were playing double as business and 2NT as good/bad, but this partner always forgets G/B (why do we play it? He wanted to!) so in fact, it wasn't an option. Double really ought to show 16-18 balanced using these methods, not a spade stack, but again that really didn't matter much, since partner was closer to a 10-12 NT than a 16-18.

I'd like to remark on partner's actual hand - No 4H: bid???????? Wow. This was a reasonably interesting problem, but there are no right answers if partner is going to bid like that. No YBTJ needed, 100% for partner.

Jeff Goldsmith,, Aug. 12, 1998