Retro Edition

What’s your call?

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
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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

Invite or insist?

“Jacoby followed by 5NT is pick a slam,” says Weinstein. “I will be happy to play in partner’s five-plus–card minor (partner knows not to bid a four-card minor because I failed to show one at the three level).”

The Coopers also believe 5NT in the auction is standard, offering partner a choice of slams. “We would bid Texas and then 5NT to make a grand slam force.”

“5NT,” insists Meyers. “I am driving this to slam.”

The Gordons, too: “We might be off two aces, but systemically, we have no way to check and give partner a choice of strains.”

“5NT, choice of slams, unsubtle,” Rigal asserts. “Maybe 4NT is enough, but some sub-minimum hands with no heart fit, e.g.,

♠J x x  Q x  K x x  ♣A K J x x,

make 6♣ excellent. Too many controls to just invite slam.”

Boehm: “Perhaps I’m a touch light, but it’s perfect for the hand type. Partner may pick a minor suit slam with a decent five-card suit and a doubleton heart.”

Cohen agrees. “Just another illustration of why this should be used as pick a slam. Partner could have, say,

♠J x x  A x  K x x  ♣A K x x x,

Hampson laments, “I usually play that I can bid 5♣ with this hand, showing a slam force with three key cards in hearts and 5–3–3–2 pattern. But I’m assuming that this is not an option, so I will simply offer partner a choice of slams. I will forego a shot at a grand and avoid distorting my suit lengths by bidding 3♣ or 3.”

“Remember the old song, ‘Torn Between Two Lovers’ from the late Seventies?” moons Colchamiro nostalgically. “That’s the way I feel about this one. 4NT invite or 5NT force? I’m devaluing the spade doubleton ace–king and going low with 4NT.”

Falk chooses to “underbid by a jack rather than overbid by the 10.” 4NT. “With 17 HCP, one would think 5NT would be right. But our long suit has awful texture. The difference between 17 HCP with points in my long suits and this hand, with 11 of the 17 in short suits, is more than a jack in terms of slam play.”

Isfeld and Henneberger temporize with 3♣. “It’s tough to know what this hand is really worth until we find out if partner has three-card heart support. Bidding 3&c;ubs; will find that out. Blasting to 4NT invitational will be an underbid when partner has three hearts, and insisting on slam when partner has two will be an overbid.”

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