Retro Edition

What’s your call?

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
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

Opening salvo

Too little to open one, too much to open two? The experts are decidedly — though not unanimously — in favor of opening 1♠ with this hand.

“At favorable vulnerability, this hand is much too heavy for a weak two-bid,” declares Meckstroth.

“We are the wrong color for a preempt,” echo the Joyces.

“This hand must be opened and it is too good for a weak 2♠ bid,” states Stack. “The hand contains one and a half quick tricks for defense and a great suit to bid and rebid so that there will be no problems in the bidding except that we may get overboard. Partner would never expect a hand this good if we open a weak two-bid.”

Lawrence, too: “Much too good for 2♠. When you have all prime values such as this, you bid one, not two. If you had no ♣K and the Q x x and ♣J x, this would be a 2♠ bid. If your hand was rearranged a little,

♠Q 9 8 5 4 3  A J  J x x  ♣Q 10,

it would be a pass.”

The Sutherlins call it a matter of style. “Not vulnerable, we open 1♠.”

The Coopers describe the hand as “too good for a weak two in our style. We do not pass with a good six-card major — we open one or two, depending. This is 10 HCP, so above our weak-two range at favorable vulnerability. It is also a seven-loser hand, which is an opening one bid.”

Boehm says, “It’s not my style to preempt with two outside features. Thanks for the ♠10 9.”

“If the ♠10 were the deuce, I would open 2♠ and feel that I was at the very top of my range,” reasons Weinstein. “With the ♠10, the hand is just too good to preempt.”
The ♠9 dictates Rigal’s 1♠. “Vulnerable, this is a weak two. NV, that tempting ♠9 persuades me to treat the hand as a one-level opener. If I’m wrong, I’ll blame those intermediates.”

“These days, 1♠ is scarier to the vulnerable opponents than 2♠,” Falk suggests. “If I bid 2♠ and it went 3–Pass–Pass back to me, I’d feel I should do something, which is why 1♠ wins my vote.”

Colchamiro bids 1♠, calling the hand “the price we pay for modern, nonvulnerable-versus-vulnerable first-seat preempts.” He adds, “Pass is my second choice with 2♠ a non-choice. If I was vulnerable, the two outside cards would preclude me from opening 2♠.”

Cohen is a 2♠ opener. “My heaviest, weak two-bid ever, and in print yet!”

Hampson opens 2♠: “Sometimes one gets dealt a maximum.”

The Gordons, too: “Yes, we have two outside controls. But we have a good suit and a hand that doesn’t approach being a one-level opening.”

Meyers passes. “Too good for 2♠, not good enough for 1♠.”

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