One from a Club Game, 1/98: Answer

Today's panelists: Bobby Bodenheimer, Ed Davis, Mike Shuster, Sylvia Summers, Roberto Scaramuzzi, Walter Hamilton, Web Ewell.

Matchpoints, no one vul, you hold

 S:K10 H:A2 D:AK1098x C:A108

You are dealer. What's your plan?

My general plan is: 1D:-1X; 3D: - 3X; 3NT.
1D:. I have no qualms about opening 2N with this distribution (e.g.,  S:Kx H:QJx D:AKQxxx C:Kx) [Another 18-count! ...K&R = 19.5 --Jeff] but this hand is too rich in tricks and controls for 2N. I would open 1D: and jump to 3C:. I do not like opening 1D: and jumping to 3N since that is too much emphasis on just the diamond suit (e.g.,  S:Ax H:Kx D:AKQxxxx C:xx).

Regarding the 3C: bid, I would make it playing standard but I like to play that 1D:-1M, 3C: is artificial showing a strong jump shift with a) D: + C: or b) 6331 or 7330 with shortness in a major* or c) diamonds, no stiff and controls (this hand). Over 3C:, responder describes his hand with lots of major-suit distribution and otherwise relays with 3D: to find out about openers hand. Opener rebids 3H: with shortness in a major, 3S: with clubs and 3N with this hand. Over 3H:, responder bids 3S: to ask opener to bid 3N with shortness in reponder's major.

* with shortness in clubs, opener rebids 2S: over a 1H: reponse or 2H: over a 1S: reponse

My initial reaction was 1D:. Upon reflection, 2NT is right since this is matchpoints (I'm less worried about missing a diamond slam). Followups should be pretty easy. [I knew he'd open 2NT! --Jeff]
Open 1D:, rebid 3N over any "likely" response. 2nd choice: Open 2N. I hate to open 2N on offshape hands, though (one of my pet peeves).
Open 1D:, rebid 3C:.
I ran this through your K&R evaluator and it came up with 22.2 and 21.9 DK. It seems a little high if you are evaluating the hand in NT. I open 2NT. [Seems OK. Maybe a tiny bit high. Would you open 2C: if the suit were spades? I'd not, but it'd be close, so I'll evaluate at about 21.5. Hmmm...that makes 2NT a mild underbid! --Jeff]
It looks to me like opening 1D:, preparing to bid 3D: over a one level response. I admit it's a slight underbid, but I think the alternatives are worse. I expect to play in 3NT unless partner rebids a major or shows diamond support.
2NT. Partner has  S:Q98x H:1087x D:Qx C:Jxx. 1D:...3NT will work, too, as would Ed's approach, if partner chooses to respond to 1D:. My guess is that he wouldn't; his favorite answer to all bidding problems is "pass." He did get us to game after 2NT.
3 bid 2NT
2 bid 1D:...3D:
2 bid 1D:...3C:
1 bid 1D:...3NT
0 bid 1D:...2NT (phew)
I think Mike hit it on the nose. I'd open 1D: and rebid 3C: if the game were IMPs, but at matchpoints, I'll give up some of the chances for a diamond slam in exchange for being sure to have my hand be declarer and maybe reaching a thin 3NT without divulging anything before the opening lead.

Most of the field opened 1D: and rebid 2NT, playing there. The 1D:...3D: underbids are very bad, I think, not so much because they are big underbids (not awful at matchpoints if you don't have anything good to do) but because if partner passes, you're playing in a minor, almost certain to be a bad score at MPs when notrump is playable.

Does Cole 2C: solve this problem? A K/S forcing 3D: rebid does, I guess.

Ed's methods are interesting, but I'm not sure I want to remember artificial methods that will come up so rarely. If they were similar to methods over 1D:-1NT; 3C: and 1M-1NT; 3C:, then I'd be more interested in a full set of such structures, I suppose.

Jeff Goldsmith,, Feb. 4, 1998