WHAT do you bid next as North in the above auction?
THERE is an old saying that ‘the five-level belongs to the opponents’. I understand this to mean that, once you have successfully pushed the opponents to a level higher than necessary for their contract, you leave well alone. And, if you are the one that is pushed to the five-level, you never allow yourself to be pushed further. I know that several players would be irresistibly tempted to bid 5 ♠ on this hand, but that would be quite wrong for various reasons.
(A) Partner has already passed, so his hand wasn’t even suitable for an initial pre-empt.
(B) At the favourable vulnerability, he is obviously trying to get the opponents too high, knowing that he can afford to be three down if their game is on.
(C) You are certain to be doubled in 5 ♠ and concede a penalty, when you have a very good chance of defeating 5 ♥ . Partner has done his bit to sabotage the opponents, so don’t spoil the party by turning a potential top into a bottom.