“I still think you should ask Wendy out,” I told Cy the Cynic. “You never know; she might end up carrying a torch for you.” Cy, a chauvinist, and Wendy, my club’s feminist, are forever at odds. “If she ever carried a torch for me,” Cy growled, “she would have a gas can in her other hand.” Cy and Wendy were today’s East-West, and she led the eight of hearts against 3NT: ten from dummy, queen from the Cynic. Cy returned a heart to the ace. South next led a diamond, but when Wendy took the ace, she had no more hearts. South lost to Cy’s king of diamonds and made his game, and Wendy made some comments about Cy’s defense that were, let us say, inflammatory. The defense ignited when Cy won the first heart. The bidding marks South with J-x-x-x, so two North dealer N-S vulnerable You hold: A K J A 10 J 10 7 5 2 K Q 5. As the dealer, today’s North opened one diamond with this hand. Do you agree with that action?
North had a balanced 18 points, but even if I were playing a 1NT range of 16 to 18 points, I would upgrade the hand and open one diamond, intending to jump to 2NT over a major-suit response. The hand contains a five-card suit, two tens and mostly prime values. It is worth more than its high-card count suggests.