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responses to 2 club opener

I had 23 points, balanced, 4 good hearts. partner had 11 points 5S, 2H, 3D and 3C. He bid a positive 2S. I replied 3H. He then bid 3NT which I passed and we missed a slam. He was very cross with me, but I thought that he should either have responded 2 or 3 NT initially to show his 11 points or, have bid a suit after my 3H seeking a suit fit. What is correct please?


  • edited August 2018
    With a balanced 23 points, the plan is to open 2C and intending to rebid 2NT. With 11 HCP partner has enough for a positive and 2S is fine as long as his suit quality is ok (don't bid poor suits in slam-going auctions). If the spade suit quality is poor he might bid 2NT, as you suggest or simply make a waiting 2D response (the 2D response should be treated as either "negative" or "waiting with no good suit to mention").

    You should now rebid 2NT, as originally intended. This communicates your hand-type to partner and partner can bid 3H next with a four-card heart suit, so you won't miss a heart fit if you have one. Your partner now knows that you have a combined 34 points and two balanced hands and should bid 6NT directly.

    In the actual auction, I think that your partner's 3NT bid was fine. But after a 2C opening and a positive response, the auction should be treated as forcing to at least 4NT - this allows natural investigation without the risk of partner passing prematurely. You should probably have raised 3NT to 4NT - natural and invitational.
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