2024 Retro Edition – February Week 3

What’s your call?

3 3 3♠ 3NT
4♣ 4 4 4♠ 4NT
5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Click to reveal awards

August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, Allan Falk, Geoff Hampson, Betty Ann Kennedy, Daniel Korbel, Mike Lawrence, Roger Lee, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Steve Weinstein
Red means go (at IMPs)

Colchamiro bids 4 . He dissects the hand: “I have three big assets: the two red queens and the singleton spade. But it’s really a guess as to how many aces partner has. We’re vulnerable at IMPs, so I push slightly.”

4 by Lawrence. “On all hands where partner has four diamonds, I don’t want to defend. Slam is possible on these cards. 4 might be best, but I can’t accommodate that possibility. Against this, passing 3♣ doubled is possible — however, we are vulnerable and we may have a game or slam. I do not like passing.”

Robinson likes 4 . “Leaves room for partner to bid 4 if he doesn’t like diamonds.”

Cohen bids 4 . “Too strong for only 3 . Picture:

♠A x x x A K x x x A J x ♣x.

Wrong for 3NT with only one stopper and wrong for a leave-in since the opponents have a secondary spade fit and it might play well for them.”

“Partner has asked me to bid,” says Stack, “and this is actually an excellent playing hand. A jump to 4 is in order to show the playing potential. Passing the double when we have a six-card suit that partner has asked us to bid is not a possibility.”

Meyers, too: “4 , highly invitational — this is what I have. 4 is my second choice.”

Boehm “stretches just a tad for a vulnerable game” to bid 4 . “Might choose 3 at matchpoints to protect the plus.”

“4 , too good for 3 ,” says Rigal. “Since 4♣ would suggest both majors, we need to get the strength of our hand across and hope that if partner is 4=6=2=1, he can bid 4, which we will pass gracefully.”

There’s always a cuebidder (or two or three) in the bunch.

“What a hand we have!” exclaims Korbel with 4♣. “It’s close for me between 4♣ and 5 , offering partner a choice. Partner will bid any suit in which he has extra length (4 with four diamonds, 4 with six hearts or five great ones, 4♠ with four spades). I will pass 4 but convert 4♠ to 5 .”

Likewise, Weinstein: “4♣ is forcing to game, trying to find the right strain. I have a great hand if I catch a diamond fit. If I don’t, we might make 4. I see red at IMPs, I charge! If we were not vulnerable, I might settle for 4 .”

Lee uses 4♣ to communicate the flexibility of his hand. “I’m showing a good hand, but because I don’t have four spades or three hearts, partner can infer that I have diamonds.”

Sanborn didn’t think she had enough for the five level on No. 1, but there’s no stopping her now. “5 . If partner has a club, then it is likely she has more high cards. With a club void, 5 may not be enough, but it is all I have.”

Because the majority of the panel voted strongly for more aggressive action, the scoring dings those who took a dimmer view of the hand.

Falk, for one, is content with 3 . “I have a good hand, but bidding more now may not lead us to whatever game, if any, we can make. If partner has extras, he’ll bid again and then I can move towards game. At this point, however, 4 is too much (may leave North with nowhere to go and may lose hearts), 3 is too soon (diamonds may be far superior), 4♣ is off the charts and 3NT is absurd.”

3 from Hampson: “I have a pretty good hand, but need too much to leap in diamonds. Hopefully partner has a 3 correction that I can raise.”

The Sutherlins hang back with 3 : “The ♣K has little offensive value. If partner can’t act over 3 , there is little chance to bid and make game.”

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