1. Four spades. You don’t have much of a hand, and partner’s three-spade bid is not forcing, but you should nevertheless bid four spades. Partner is essentially saying that all he needs from you for game is one trick in the form of a high card and/or distribution. Your five spades to the king are more than enough to justify a four-spade bid. Partner could easily have something like:
♠ AQ92 ♥ 7 ♦ AK1082 ♣ AQ4
2. Seven hearts. Partner is trying for a grand slam, since he could have ended the auction by bidding six hearts over five diamonds. His five-notrump bid, asking for kings, guarantees that your side has all the aces. It would be a mistake to respond six hearts, announcing two kings, since partner might pass and easily wind up with 13 tricks with the aid of your solid club suit. A typical hand for partner would be:
♠ A96 ♥ AJ7653 ♦ AQ4 ♣ 6
3. Four diamonds. Partner’s double is, of course, for takeout. Considering your previous pass, you have a far better hand than he has a right to expect. You should therefore feel confident that there’s a game somewhere (possibly even a slam), but you’re not in a good position to judge whether the best contract lies in hearts, spades or clubs.
Instead of guessing, you can force your partner to make the choice by cuebidding the opponents’ suit. This asks him to bid a four-card major if he has one — he almost surely has — but even if he lacks a four-card major, he’ll be able to rebid his clubs, and you’ll thus wind up in game in that suit. A typical hand for partner would be:
♠ AQ8 ♥ AK104 ♦ 63 ♣ KQJ4,
in which case you would certainly want to be in four hearts.
For details about local bridge events, go to the HK Contract Bridge Association website www.hkcba.org