2024 Retro Edition – January Week 5

What’s your call?

1♠ 1NT
2♣ 2 2 2♠ 2NT
3♣ 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
Refried Eggs

Stack bids 2. “This type of problem has appeared dozens of times in one form or another in real life and in bidding forums. Usually raising with three trumps is my solution. Usually I do not get a top score, but this time the three trumps are strong, so that appears to be the correct solution. The question now becomes how high to raise? This hand is worth 18 points in support of hearts, but I dial it back a bit because of the three trumps.”

“How many ways can you fry this egg?” echoes Lawrence. “This time I can live with bidding 2, something not possible with some of the other versions of this problem.”

Rigal piles on, “Again you are tormenting us with a hand that doesn’t meet any really nice options. I could imagine bidding 1♠ with the plan of bidding 2, but the simple raise is not far off what I have — change a majorsuit king to a queen and we would not be shilly-shallying about 2.”

Boehm raises to 2. “A raise is more encouraging than a 2 rebid — a desirable goal with my promising hand. Partner knows we can raise with three. 1♠ is possible, but what if partner jumps to 4♠?”

Falk bids 2, hoping partner can scrape up another bid. “If not, at least we’ll go plus. We’ve seen this hand many times, although usually our black suits are reversed, and then everyone bids 2♣ saying, ‘If I get past this round of the bidding, I’ll know what to do.’ Here, rebidding 1♠ is foolish. If partner passes, we’re likely in a worse contract than 2, and if partner bids, there’s a good chance he’d also bid over 2. There is no number of diamonds I can rebid that will show this hand or induce partner to do the right thing.”

Weinstein chances 2 . “Vulnerable at IMPs, partner will bid aggressively with a diamond card, and whatever he bids, I am well placed to bid hearts next. I have a lot of respect for 1♠ — I just can’t bring myself to do it. White (or at matchpoints), I would raise to 2 and not sweat missing game.”

Hampson joins Weinstein with 2 . “Nothing is perfect, but at least I have strength and length and that is allowed for my bidding. 2 or 3 might work, but they are distorted.”

Colchamiro opts for the “obviously flawed” 3. “At least it’s an honest bid. 2 is possible … 1♠ is just not my style … 3 on such a poor suit is yuck and endplays partner out of our (maybe) 5–3 heart fit. 2 is more than a bit timid.”

Cohen is the lonely, secretly admired 1♠ bidder. He calls 1♠ “the sneaky solution to this age-old problem. Between this and problem No. 1, my partners will wonder why I keep bidding spades without the requisite number!”

Kennedy jumps to 3 . “My diamond suit is so weak that I would not normally jump. But with such good hearts, my hand goes up in value.”

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