You are South, holding:
Q 10 8 6 3 2 Q 6 K J 9 7 3
South dealer, N-S vul.
You consider your hand unfit for a weak 2 opening because your suit is not too robust and you have a five-card side suit as well. A moment later, you have repented it, since the auction has risen a bit too steeply for your taste:
2 is a weak two, while 4H is ambiguous: it could be either a continuation of the preempt, or a sincere game bid ... or both of them!
Pass is the sage choice; 4 is the temerary bid. In any case, what do you bid now?
(Scroll down - see what happened at the table.. )
This was board 32 of G.Britain v Poland for the 13th qualifying round of the 1981 Open World Championship.
The full deal was:
K 9 5 4 A 5 2 10 4 3 A 5 2 J A 7 K J 10 8 7 4 9 6 3 Q J 7 5 A K 9 8 2 6 4 Q 10 8 Q 10 8 6 3 2 Q 6 K J 9 7 3
South had no conventional call available to describe his hand: 4NT would be a call for the minors, while double would tend to show a different hand. However, Rose, the British South, knew that his partner had an inference available after him bidding 4: since he did not open a weak two nor a three bid in spades, it would be "obvious" that his hand was two-suited. Hence, if North were short in spades he'd probably ask for South's second suit. Thus, Rose bid 4, which turned out to be an excellent move.
4 for E-W is always on, while N-S can make 10 or 11 tricks in 4! The icing on Rose's cake was that Jezioro, the East player, thought that Rose was saving, so he applied the axe -but it turned out that it was a boomerang, when Rose guessed clubs and scored a doubled overtrick for 990! At the other table, Milde opened the South hand with a "Wilkosz" 2 (showing any 5-5 except for the two minors) so N-S found easily their fit and bid 4. They were doubled again, but no overtrick was made, so G.Britain gained 5 IMPs after all.
Playing against Argentina, Meckstroth (making his debut in world championships) passed as well the South hand as a dealer and later elected to pass in Rose's position. This was a double game swing against the USA, 14 IMPs, when at the other table N-S bid and made 4 against silent opposition.
Special thanks to Al "BiigAl" Lochli, District 16 ACBL Internet Coordinator for assistance with the
Luxembourg, June 1998