Retro Edition

What’s your call?

3 3♠ 3NT
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

August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, Geoff Hampson, Dianne Isfeld & Martin Henneberger, The Joyces, Mike Lawrence, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Steve Weinstein, Bridge Baron

Putting it together

4♠ is the top vote getter.

“Extras in context compel me to bid game,” says Rigal. “3 might be played as ‘last train,’ but why mess around when (at least until I see dummy) I think I know where I want to play? Partner rates to have a heart stack, but 3NT isn’t in the picture.”

4♠ from Hampson: “This hand appears to fit nicely, but I don’t want to overstate my strength or divulge which lead to make.”

The Joyces: “Because we have a lot of offense for a 9-point hand, we can’t resist accepting partner’s invitation.”

The Coopers feel unsure about partner’s 3 . “In our partnership, it is a four-card limit raise, 2 is a three-card limit raise and 3 is a mixed raise. Whatever it is here, we are 6–4 with aces, so we bid 4♠.”

Weinstein’s reasoning: “Even though 3 is a stronger spade raise than 2 (and should show four trumps), it’s pretty hard to construct a hand where we are making a slam after partner didn’t splinter.”

Colchamiro’s logic for bidding the spade game is similar: “Isn’t 3 the stronger cuebid vis-a-vis 2 ? If partner has only three trumps, he’s got a bunch of extras.”

Sanborn agrees. “3 should be a stronger cuebid than 2. We can pretty much play partner for a good hand with five or more hearts and at least three spades, so the probable shortness in diamonds looks good facing this hand.”

“4♠,” declares Meckstroth. “Good fit and good shape should make this a good spot.”

The Gordons bid 4♠. “If partner’s hand is good enough to be slammish, he must have wasted values in hearts, so no splinter/cuebid.”

Cohen bids 4♠, but gives some thought to the slam he’s giving up on. “Voids are magical. There is no way to stop on a dime in a partscore when even six might make opposite:

♠K x x x  J x x x x  x  ♣A Q x.

Looking at my construction (and partner could have even more) makes me think that maybe I am worth more than 4♠, like a control bid!”

Robinson proposes 4, a splinter in support of spades. “Partner could have:

♠K Q x  x x x x  K x  ♣A Q x x

and we might make seven.”

Lawrence envisions slam. “4 — a splinter. A modest slam try. If they bid again, partner will have a clue as to my hand.”

Walker also uses 4 to issue a slam invitation. “Partner is probably short in diamonds, which means he’d rather hear about the heart control than the A. My jump shows shortness (I think it should suggest a void on this auction) and lots of enthusiasm for slam.”

On the more pessimistic end of the spectrum, the Sutherlins merely invite game with 3. “Partner has an opening bid with three or four spades and a stiff diamond. Let’s ask partner to focus on his club holding.”

Meyers is willing to give up on game entirely. “3♠. It is matchpoints. I need North to have a lot to cover my losers and I think she has heart cards, which won’t help me.”

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