On the Same Page

I'm playing in a regional Swiss teams. With no one vulnerable, as dealer I pick up a very promising hand.
 S:KQ8765 H:2 D:K C:A9875
I open 1S:, and partner bids a semi-forcing 1NT. I bid 2C:, of course, and partner bids 2H:. It seems normal to correct to 2S: now, but we play a 2D: gadget here, so partner is unlikely to have two spades unless his hearts are decent. Moreover, siren bells are going off in my head—misfit, misfit! I think I shall take a slightly off-beat view and pass before we are doubled. This ends the auction.

Partner is not particularly pleased with his prospects; he has a very moderate 1552 shape. When the smoke clears, he's down three for -150. But spades are 5-1 over me, and nothing else looks better.

While waiting for our teammates, I remark that I think this was a potentially very good result. "If we ever bid 2S:, we are getting doubled and going for a big number." "Maybe. It could be a push." Our teammates finally finish and we compare. They picked up 800 against 2S: doubled on this hand, which wins the match for us.

Partner wanders off, and one of my teammates asks how we got away undoubled. I start recounting the auction, and he interrupts to ask, "they didn't double 1NT?" "No, did you have an obvious double?" "I don't know, but I doubled, and then we doubled everything else." "I wonder how the auction would have gone at our table if RHO doubled partner's 1NT...let's see...I'd still bid 2C:." "That gets doubled, and partner runs to 2D:." "I don't think so; I think he'd redouble for SOS." "What would you do then?" "Vomit." "You are in 600 territory if you pass." "I wouldn't do that, but ..." Partner returns and asks about this hand. My teammate recounts their auction and says, "Jeff says you'd redouble 2C:." "Yes, I would have." "Then what would you do with his hand?" He thinks for a couple of seconds and answers, "throw up." We are clearly on the same page.

Copyright © 2010 Jeff Goldsmith