The Earl of Yarborough liked to make a bet with his whist-playing friends who complained that they always held bad cards. The bet was simply that if they bet one pound and their next hand had no card higher than a nine, he would pay them one thousand pounds. Since the actual chance of being dealt such a poor hand is 1 in 1828, the Earl was making an excellent bet.
Back in the 1960s, an acquaintance of mine, one John Kelk, picked up a hand in which the highest card was an eight. He claimed that such hands should, thereafter, be called a “Kelk”. These hands are extremely rare occurring once in every 16,960 hands but one appeared in a recent Monday night game. David Robinson was probably bemoaning his luck in holding such a poor hand and not expecting to play any major part in this hand. Imagine his surprise when he found himself playing the hand after his partner had opened 1NT!
The South hand is one of those hands which has no ideal bid. Holding two suits, you would like to bid both, especially since the second one is a major. On the other hand, bidding clubs and then two hearts would be a reverse and there are not quite the values for that. Certainly partner might respond 1D or 1H but mine never seem to and even then you will have some extra unexpressed values. Playing a strong NT, the South hand is in range and, if one of the small clubs were a spade, it would be obvious to bid 1NT. There are risks but it is another way to consider bidding these difficult hands. When East protected with 2S and South made a take- out double, North bid 3C and found himself playing 4C. This contract made 7 tricks and might have made 8 but the matchpoint score was the same. The field was in 4 of a major with half making and half being 2 down so this score was a middle. West has a problem in the auction that they think they are making 2S or 3S and getting 4C down two will not be adequate compensation so they should double 4C.