We were East-West and having a pretty good game. Finally, we came to the table where the strongest pair in the room (two experts whose names ocassionally grace newspaper bridge columns) were sitting North-South. Get two good boards off these guys and we would have a good game indeed.
First board. South deals and after two passes, North opens 1D in 3rd seat. What would do you bid holding:
I can not double, of course, with a spade void. Bidding clubs has two drawbacks: (1) I don't want partner to bid spades. Correcting to hearts will take us to the 3-level where I do not want to be (2) My clubs are rather anemic. So, I bid 1H. Yes, my 4-card suit. Least of all evils. I would even welcome a heart lead if South ends up bidding spades and they play in the suit.
The bidding now went:
4S stood no chance because the full deal was:
The next board also required good judgement. Partner deals and passes. Then, North bids 1H. What do you bid with this hand?
On the one hand, you have 4 spades, 11 points and partner can bid spades on the one-level. On the other hand, you are a rather poor shape and are at the low end of the range for a takeout double. I hope you passed. I, unfortunately, didn't. I doubled for takeout and disaster proceeded to ensue. The bidding now went:
5C didn't have a chance and we went down 2 doubled. -500 was terrible because even 4H doesn't make:
We ended up with a 58% game. It was good enough to win our direction, but only for second overall, losing to the pair we played at this table. I wish I could take that ill-advised take-out double back!