Retro Edition

IMPs. N-S vulnerable.
♠A K 7 4 3   Q J 8 2   —  ♣A 10 6 3

West North East South
1 Pass

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
Redbl Pass
Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
2NT 100
2♠ 70
1♠ 60
4 50
August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, The Joyces, Betty Ann Kennedy, Mike Lawrence, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Bridge Baron
Support with support

With so many good things to show partner and so many things to ask him, where do you start?

Eight of the 18 panelists responded with a Jacoby 2NT game-forcing raise. “Since I have such a strong hand, I need to inquire as to partner’s shape and strength,” rationalizes Kennedy. “If partner shows shortness in clubs, my hand balloons in value.”

Lawrence, too, is using the 2NT bid as a means of learning more about partner’s hand. “A splinter of 4 endplays North. My hand is so good that I will still want to continue even if partner signs off. It is very unusual to bid 2NT with a singleton — and a void is even more unlikely. Still, there is a lot of information that I may gain from partner’s rebid.”

Fearful of LHO flying into the auction with a high-level diamond bid, Falk starts with 2NT. “If I don’t make a forcing heart raise now, I may not be able to clarify my hand later. Of course, I play that with a minimum, partner must rebid 3♣, not 4. In SAYC, a 4 rebid will be annoying, but I think I have five-level safety.”

According to Bridge Bulletin Standard, a jump shift by an unpassed hand in a non-competitive auction is strong, and that’s how a third of the panel decide to approach this auction.

Some plan to use a Soloway jump shift. The late Paul Soloway liked to use 2NT by opener to solicit more information about the jump shift. A new suit by responder promises at least a four-card fit for opener’s suit and either shortness or a fragment (depending on agreement) in the new suit.

“The strong jump shift is not dead!” exclaims Walker. “If partner rebids 2NT or 3, I’ll follow with a club rebid (in the Soloway style) showing diamond shortness and hope he can Blackwood, which will allow me to show everything.”

Boehm makes a good point about his 2♠ bid: “Partner will know to upgrade the ♠Q after the strong jump shift.”

Rigal and Cohen dial their spade call down a level.

“1,” says Cohen, “though any approach might work. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s just a matter of what you’re in the mood for today. If playing Soloway jump shifts, you could bid 2♠, then show shortness and heart support. Jacoby 2NT is also possible.”

“1♠,” says Rigal. “Assuming 2♠ is weak (ugh!), I don’t think 2NT or 4 is a good idea — it takes up too much space.” Ugh? Just minutes ago you were quoting the Bible, Barry. In any event, 2♠ isn’t weak in this forum.

A number of panelists strenuously object to splintering with this hand for a variety of reasons: “It takes up too much room and shows a stiff rather than a void.” (Sutherlins and Gordons); “This hand is much too good for a splinter.”(Meckstroth and Robinson); “Much too good for 4, a suit-under splinter that leaves partner no room.” (Boehm). Even the easy-going Cohen, who says there is no right or wrong answer, objects to a splinter with this hand: “Too strong for 4.”

Two panelists, however, do choose to bid 4 at their first opportunity.

“4 splinter. Followed by 5. Followed by 5♠,” plan the Coopers. “We are not stopping short of slam.” Who needs partners?

“4 splinter,” says Meyers. “It will be too hard to describe this hand later if I bid 1♠.”

Want to receive the retro “It’s Your Call” by email?

Click here to subscribe.

The Zoom Room is available Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm (Eastern).

Getting help is easier than ever with the ACBL Zoom Chat service.
Simply click the "Join Zoom Chat" button below to be taken to our dedicated zoom room.
Once there, click the "Launch Meeting" button to start your session. To hear us and vice-versa - don't forget to "Join with computer audio."

If the Zoom Room isn't available and you need answers, you can email us at

Join Zoom Chat