Retro Edition

IMPs. E-W vulnerable.
♠8 5 2   K Q 10 8 2  6  ♣A Q 6 2

West North East South
3NT(1) Pass
4♣(2) Pass 4 ?

(1) Gambling: Solid minor suit, no outside ace or king.
(2) Pass or correct.

What’s your call?

4 4♠ 4NT
5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Dbl Pass
Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
Pass 100
4 90
Dbl 70
A Good Problem

Cohen has prviously stated that a good problem is one that has (at least) three reasonable choices. This problem should make him happy. Seven experts thought it was too dangerous to bid while 11 thought they should bid, but couldn’t agree on what.

Pass received the most votes.

Sanborn: “It’s tempting to bid, but I don’t want to go for a number when the opponents are in a partscore. If we have a game, however, maybe partner can back in.

Kennedy: “Partner still has an opportunity to bid.”

Walker: “Pass. Just because left-hand opponent ran from 3NT doesn’t mean he is weak.”

Coopers: “If you’re fixed, stay fixed. Any bid other than pass is too much of a gamble.”

If you bid, then what? Six experts saw a strong five-card major and bid it.

Meyers: “I think this is close, but I’m going to bid 4. The problem with double is that partner will bid 4♠ with four spades and three hearts.”

Sutherlins: “Partner shouldn’t expect more because we didn’t bid the first time. A random 10 points might produce game for us.”

Cohen: “West has said he’s willing to play in 4♣, so partner is marked with some cards. I don’t want to double because we could play in 4♠ in a 4–3 fit.”

Robinson: “It looks safe to bid because if West were strong, he might have passed 3NT.”

Lawrence: “I have a hint from the auction that West is weak. I choose 4 and hope I’m right.”

Five experts doubled.

Stack: “There is no reason why this can’t be our hand for a game.”

Falk: “It’s close between 4 and double. Sure, double risks ending up in 4♠ when we belong in hearts. It’s not impossible, however, that our best spot could be 4 doubled.

Boehm: “It seems clear to bid and double provides the most options.”

Rigal: “Double. In my heart, I want to bid 4, but that is really a huge position. I will blame partner if he gets it wrong — always a plus.”

Colchamiro: “Double. Help me, for I have sinned.”

The panel voted for three choices in almost equal numbers — a good problem.

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