Our friend from Argentina, Ernesto Muzzio, gave us another tough scenario in the bidding:
We have plenty of interesting hands from the trials to publish, but we will interrupt that series to give a bidding judgment problem, offered by the great Argentinian player Ernesto Muzzio.
If it is not clear by the diagram, no one is vulnerable.
Some of our experts' opinions follow:
Diego Brenner: DBL, meaning "I will be happy if you bid". It's very comfortable to Pass, but in my opinion the comfort zone is a dangerous one in Bridge.
Marcelo Branco: Pass. I don't see any particular reason to act here, since I have a pretty normal opening bid.
Paulo Brum: Pass. Without any special agreements, since my pass is not forcing, the double is commonly interpreted as an expectation to defeat 4 Spades, and as a positive opinion that the 5-level is too dangerous for us. I don't have any assurance of either of those opinions, so I pass. My pass will very often reveal a shortness in spades, allowing partner to reopen if it seems profitable.
Nowadays, many partnerships are playing this Double as Diego described it. There are pros and cons, as in any bridge convention, but in general I (Paulo Brum) like it, particularly in IMP scoring. It helps us bid with more assurance, more often, at the cost of having some 590's and 790's scored against us here and there. Pushing the opponents out of their chosen contract -- either to 5m doubled or to 5S -- will often result in much bigger profits.
We want to hear about your opinion in the comments!