Retro Edition

It’s Your Call

IMPs. N-S vulnerable.

♠10 3 2   A K Q 10 2  Q 10 5 2  ♣8

West North East South
Pass 2 Pass 2
Pass 2♠ Pass 3
Pass 3NT Pass ?

What’s your call?

4♣ 4 4 4♠ 4NT
5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Dbl Pass
Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
4 100
Pass 70
4♣ 60
5 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


A simple majority of the panel chooses to bid 4, belatedly showing the diamond fit that many insist they should have been allowed to show earlier in the auction.

The Gordons want to take their cards and go home. “4. We are tempted to abstain because we would never be in this position. Why 2 and not a direct diamond raise? We can’t catch up so now we have to guess.”

The Coopers are none too happy, either: “On this auction, partner has some concern about clubs. We do, too. Why didn’t we raise diamonds or splinter over 2? We do not under-stand the 2 bid.”

And Boehm: “4, but under protest. Why on earth didn’t I raise diamonds immediately? It’s not even matchpoints!”

The Sutherlins suspect that partner may have but one club stopper. “If diamonds don’t run, 3NT is failing when 5 or even 6 may be making.”

Sanborn’s analysis leads to a similar conclusion as she, too, bids 4: “Part-ner could be pointing out weakness in her club stopper. If she bids 4♠, I will show my club control. Meanwhile, we’re just looking for the right game.”

Kennedy says, “IMPs makes the decision easier.”

Lawrence is very upbeat: “4. Slam is still possible, perhaps even likely here. Give partner:

♠A x x x x A K x x x ♣Q x x,

and 6 is the place to be.”

Also on the slam track are Meckstroth, Rigal, Weinstein and Col-chamiro. But they’re proceeding forward via 4♣.

Weinstein explains: “I expect to make 4 or 5 with a shot at 6. Partner might have a hand like:

♠A K x x x A K x x x ♣Q 10 x.

I cuebid clubs since that is what partner might need to hear.”

Rigal says that the auction as given suggests only three-card diamond support in our hand. Partner’s se-quence suggests doubt about strain and level “and we certainly know we have doubt. 4♣ might be read as a choice of game by the cognoscenti (not a bad description of my hand), but I think it is simply a club control for diamonds.”

Colchamiro bids 5 and picks up where the Gordons and the Coopers left off — griping about the 2 rebid. “4♣. Why didn’t I bid 3 the first time? I know that going to the three level shows a good hand but this is a good hand: plenty of trumps, side control and a source of tricks … Also, at IMPs, a 4♣ splinter over 2 might well be the majority choice. 2 just seems so misplaced with two other good options. I would call 2 fairly stupid.”

The passers of 3NT trust partner to know what he’s doing.

Says Cohen: “I don’t like my ear-lier auction, but now that I’ve shown nothing but red suits and partner of-fers 3NT, why should I overrule him? I still have nothing but red suits. He could easily be 4=0=5=4.”

Walker, too, passes 3NT. “Partner knows he’s getting a club lead. I don’t have enough undisclosed values to overrule him.”

Stack passes, but regrets not raising diamonds immediately. “There is no reason to overturn partner’s decision to play 3NT. We have already painted a picture of having few high cards in the black suits.”

Falk bids 5, throwing around invectives like “good grief” and “it would never (all capital letters) have occurred to me to bid anything other than 3” and “2 is an abomination.”

He kvetches, “I’m not sitting in 3NT. And I don’t want to try for slam now — 4 would suggest a strong hand, not one that may be nearly worthless opposite 4=1=5=3. Imagine playing 3NT opposite

♠K Q x x x K J x x x ♣A x x .


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