Retro Edition

Board-a-Match. N-S Vulnerable
♠J 9 3   K J 10 7 2   9 8 7 3   ♣A

West North East South
2♣ 3♣ Pass1
4♣ Pass Pass ?

(1) Two queens or better.

4 4 4♠ 4NT
5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Pass Dbl

What’s your call?

Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
5♣ 100
6 80
5 70
5NT 60
4 50
Dbl 20
4NT 0

For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from April 2010’s Bridge Bulletin), 5♣ was named top bid.

South had a chance to bid 3*H* at his first turn, but passed. Some play that a positive response shows a five-card or longer suit with two of the top three honors. When the opponents interfere, that’s a luxury you can’t afford, especially at this vulnerability. Several experts stated they would not have passed originally. The majority tried to catch up by making a cuebid of 5♣.

Larry Cohen was a 5♣ bidder. “Why didn’t I bid 3 the first time? Now, I have an unsolvable problem.”

“5♣,” agreed Kerri Sanborn. “I am too good to bid 4. I will try to investigate a grand slam. Partner’s cards should mesh well with mine. This convention showing two queens seems lame. I should have been able to bid 3 at my previous turn.”

“The first bid, 5♣, is easy,” said Don Stack. “This is a huge hand when partner has no high cards in clubs. This could easily be a grand slam.”

“We would have bid 3 earlier to avoid this problem,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “5♣ seems the best recovery.”

“Slam is a possibility,” said Mel Colchamiro. “I’m bidding 5♣ and bidding hearts over whatever partner bids. Bidding 4 is too conservative.”

“4,” said Steve Robinson. “I don’t understand not bidding 3. It would have made this problem simpler. Partner also has short clubs, so this may not be a good-fitting hand.”

“4,” agreed August Boehm. “I’m tempted to abstain. The first pass was terrible. Why not bid 3 with values and a clear offensive orientation?”

Two panelists took the bull by the horns.

“6,” said Karen Walker. “Partner should have a balanced hand for his pass, so 6 is a reasonable guess. Bidding 5♣ will make it sound like I want partner to choose the final contract.”

The cuebid tortures partner when South already knows he wants to play in hearts.

“I can’t imagine passing 3♣ when I had a 3 bid staring me in the face,” said Allan Falk. “I’m bidding 6 and deserve whatever idiotic result now follows that absurd decision. I hope the entire panel objects to this problem.”

“5NT pick a slam,” said Jeff Meckstroth. “My hand is far too good to just bid 4. I should have bid 3 over 3♣.”

“5,” said Barry Rigal. “I think it was a clear error not to bid 3 over 3♣. In fact, I will be disappointed if you do not get half the panel telling you this. Now, I cannot ever show a suit this good in a hand this good. I considered 5♣, but that should show the majors.”

“Double,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “We should be able to collect 800 on defense if North is balanced. If he isn’t, he will bid a suit.”

If your initial action in the bidding is flawed, it can create awkward problems later.

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