I have a feeling that this problem, sent to me by a frequent correspondent, might pose a challenge for many partnerships. We all have methods in place for an overcall of 2NT after RHO makes a weak two bid. Our group plays “Wardiator.” A 3 bid relays to 3 for some signoff. A 3 call is invitational in “our” major. Cue for Stayman. There is some variation (which we should eliminate) in how we handle the relay followed by a cue bid. With most partnerships we are playing an immediate bid of Three of our major as showing 5-5 in the minors! As Terrence Reese once observed, this is something that should not be “dis-remembered”!
But what about balancing bids of 2NT? Is everything still in force? Assuming you know what you are doing, how would you handle the problem as posed.
At favorable vulnerability You hold J93, KJ52, —-, J98654.
Your RHO, the dealer, opens 2, you pass as does LHO. Your partner balances with 2NT, and RHO passes.
What is your call?
Just as a reminder to our readers, the trans-Atlantic match for the Warren Buffett Bridge Cup is currently underway in Ireland. Scheduled to coincide with the Ryder Cup, the match features an innovative format. Players use simplified methods and are matched against a counterpart pair on the other team. The U.S. #1 pair, for example, plays Europe’s pairs 2-5 and then compares scores with Europe’s #1 on a one point per board basis. There are team and individual formats along the same lines.
There is plenty of information, including an interesting diary by each team captain, at the official site.
You can also watch the matches online at BBO. Because of the time difference and mostly daytime play, the times are pre-dawn to a little after noon in Chicago.
Readers who enjoyed Justin Lall’s excellent commentary and problems on his blog, Squeezing the Dummy, will be happy to know that he is back in action.
It is always difficult for active players to keep up with the reporting of their hands. Everyone will enjoy his account of the Thailand event, as well as some other interesting problems.
I said that I had a strong opinion about this. The press of activities seems to have caused me more six months to state it, more than my usual delay!
I agree with Simon Cheung (who is most welcome to post, btw, as are others who have joined in).
I find that even players who deem themselves to be experts do not plan their Blackwood sequences. If you are asking, you should already know what your next move will be.
If you are responding, a reasonable delay is always in order, since care is the essence. Once you make a response, you cannot decide to move later.
In particular, if partner issues a try with 5NT, you respond, and then partner delays before signing off, you are finished. There was a case that went before a committee in the World Championships many years ago. Hamilton and Eisenberg had such an auction. The responder had a clear-cut grand slam bid over 5NT, but just answered kings. When he moved again after a delay, the Italians protested. The USA prevailed on that one, but we all prefer not to be in a committee on such a key hand.
It is much better to figure out whether you can accept over 5NT and so so at that point. As to the question, I would have shown the Q, and I would not move again after showing the K.