Retro Edition

What’s your call?

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
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August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, Geoff Hampson, The Joyces, Mike Lawrence, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Bridge Buff

It’s now or never
Ten panelists make a negative double to get spades into the picture.

Right off the bat, the Coopers aren’t happy. “Double. We don’t really like it, but at matchpoints we don’t really have a choice. There’s no reason partner can’t have four good spades and three low clubs.

The Joyces indicate they would have bid 1♠ without the overcall. They make a negative double. “The overcall makes our K seem well-positioned.”

“Double,” booms Lawrence. “Now or never.”

Stack is on board. “I would always bid 1♠ if RHO passes, so it is appropriate here to make a negative double, even though this is a shabby suit. If instead we raise clubs and we have a spade fit, then it is probably lost forever.”

Hampson adds, “I don’t want to bury spades — that is the suit we can play at the same level the opponents play hearts.”

Double by Rigal: “Yes, I really don’t have it, and I may find myself uncom-fortably high. But passing is unaccept-able and preemptive club raises don’t really describe my hand either.”

Boehm sees two bids in this hand. “It’s more economical to start with 2♣ and then balance with 2♠ than it is to begin with double and have to compete to 3♣. It might be old-fashioned, but it’s sensible.”

Falk follows the same logic. “2♣ limits my hand. If the auction returns to me at 2, I can bid 2♠ showing (a) four terrible spades and (b) a fifth club.

2♣ from the Sutherlins. “Our hand is not strong enough to double and then remove 2 to 3♣, so we are stuck.”

Ditto the Gordons: “We see too much potential to bid 3♣ right away, but it’s not good enough for a negative double.”

Meckstroth preempts with 3♣. “This looks like a classic.”

Meyers agrees. “My choices are negative double or 3♣, but my spades are so bad I am opting for 3♣. It is more preemptive and describes the strength of my hand better.”

Sanborn joins in. “I like 3♣ better than pass or a negative double. It puts the most pressure on the opponents and might be the right landing spot.”

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