Retro Edition

5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Pass Double

What’s your call?

Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
Pass 100
Dbl 80
5 40
5NT 30
2NT 0


For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from Feb. 2009’s Bridge Bulletin), Pass was named top bid.
Most of the experts either doubled or passed. What’s the difference between these two?
“Pass,” said Barry Rigal. “Double would suggest more defense and less offense. Partner may play me for a diamond control, so you could sell me on the idea that double shows two diamond losers.”
Lynn Deas agreed with pass. “I think I have enough to invite partner to bid at the five level. Years ago, I would have doubled because I have two low diamonds, but now I tend to give partner a choice when all my cards are working.”
“Pass,” echoed Peggy and John Sutherlin. “Partner has committed us to the five level, so probably has a control in both minors and the ♠K. Pass seems more encouraging than double because we are in a forcing auction. Let’s see what partner wants to do.”
“Pass,” agreed Richard Freeman. “I plan to remove partner’s double and raise if he bids.”
Betty Ann Kennedy agreed with Freeman.
“Partner chose to cuebid 5♣, so the question in my mind is not whether we are safe at the five level, but whether we have slam,” said Allan Falk. “I pass and leave it up to North to clarify.”
“I pass,” said August Boehm. “I don’t want to encourage or impede partner. I don’t like double because it sounds like I have a minor-suit trick.”
Other experts preferred double.
“With only 5–5 distribution and two losing diamonds, that says double,” said Jeff Meckstroth.
Larry Cohen agreed. “I have a nice hand, but nothing extraordinary,” he said. “My two low diamonds scream defense. Partner is allowed to overrule me.”
“Double warns partner about the lack of a diamond control,” said Karen Walker, “but it isn’t a command. I have exactly what I advertised, so the decision is partner’s.”
Grant Baze agreed with double. “Pass shows a diamond control,” he said. “Of course, double is not binding.”
“I have two diamonds and one club, so I double” said Mike Lawrence. “A pass would show the reverse. My overall values are consistent with what I have shown.”
Two experts bid 5.
“I think 5♣ shows a club control,” said Steve Robinson.
Kitty and Steve Cooper agreed that 5♣ shows a club control, but disagreed about what is says about diamonds.
“Steve cannot imagine a hand that can drive to the five level without at least a second round diamond control,” they said. “Kitty feels strongly that 5*C* instead denies a diamond control. Steve wanted to pass to show extras and Kitty wanted to bid 5for the same reason. We flipped a coin and Kitty won.”
“5NT, pick a slam,” said Janet and Mel Colchamiro. “We couldn’t come up with a hand that partner would commit to the five level without 6 or 6♠ being safe. We think 5NT should show equal length in the majors.”
A comment from this week’s scorers, the Coopers: “This was hard to score because we don’t know what people’s agreements are. Do the doublers think they are show a bad hand, or a doubleton diamond?”
The normal meaning of double (at the five level) is that you have two quick losers in the suit bid. In this auction, however, partner has already forced to the five level, so most of the experts felt that didn’t apply.

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