Retro Edition

1♣ 1 1 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

What’s your call?

Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
3 100
Pass 80
2 60
4 40
1 0


For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from May 2009’s Bridge Bulletin), 3 was named top bid.
The distribution of this hand looks like a preempt. But holding two singleton kings argues against that. Fifteen experts, however, made a preempt at various levels.
“3,” said Larry Cohen. “This is pretty sick, but I can’t see passing, and opening 1 is just not me. I suppose 2 is a viable compromise, but seven-card suits are meant for the three level. Still, I’m not proud of my bid. Why did you have to deal me not one, but two singleton kings?”
“3 isn’t perfect,” said Karen Walker, “but it’s better than passing and trying to preempt later after the opponents have exchanged information.”
“3 seems about right as I must open the hand and all levels of hearts up to 4 are possible,” said Don Stack. “If my opponents play it, I hope a rabbi doesn’t pick off my singleton kings.”
“If not 3*H*, then what?” asked Kerri Sanborn.
“3, warts and all,” said August Boehm.
“3 is not perfect, but it’s reasonable,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin.
Janet and Mel Colchamiro agree with 3*H*. “The two stiff kings give us pause, but 2 just seems too wimpy.”
“Though this is nothing resembling a textbook preempt, I want to do something before the bidding gets out of hand,” said Richard Freeman.
“I completely rule out passing,” said Lynn Deas, “so my choices are to start with 1*H* or a preempt. 3 seems about right with this vulnerability, although I would bid 4*H* with most other vulnerabilities.”
“3,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “Steve was tempted to open 4 with the 7–4 distribution, but the heart and club suit quality argue for the more normal three bid.”
Steve Robinson chose 4. “With 7–4, bid more,” he said. “Let’s make everyone guess.
Allan Falk preferred 2. “Vulnerable against not, this is not a 3 bid,” he said. “Because it is not a 3 bid, I choose 2, which is a much better description than pass. I predict that most will bid 3 and I’ll be one of either one or two 2 bidders.”
Good prediction.
Because none of the heart preempts describes this hand, what about pass?
“Pass,” said Barry Rigal. “I’m not sure I can beat 7♠ or 7 on my assets, and I don’t have the boss suit (spades), so I’m done. I’ll collect my 33% score and try to persuade partner, but he won’t be listening.”
“I think it’s close between pass and 3, but I would pass and hope I can enter the auction later,” said Jill Myers. “If later is 4♠, they were likely to get there anyway.”
Preempts are the name of the game these days, even if they are “pretty sick,” as Cohen said. Making life difficult for the opponents is worth the risk.

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