2024 Retro Edition – April Week 1

What’s your call?

3 3 3♠ 3NT
4♣ 4 4 4♠ 4NT
5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Pass Dbl
Click to reveal awards

August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, Allan Falk, Geoff Hampson, Betty Ann Kennedy, Daniel Korbel, Mike Lawrence, Roger Lee, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Steve Weinstein
Easy peasy lemon squeezy

This problem must have been way too simple – 16 out of 17 panelists are in agreement.

“3 . Thanks, East!” says Falk. “Now partner knows I have a minimum opener with six decent hearts and four diamonds. As it would be wrong to compete only if North has 4=1=3=5 or some such ridiculous distribution for the negative double, we should land on our feet. Meanwhile, what if partner is suddenly able to come to life holding:

♠Q 10 x x x A x x x x ♣x x x!

5 is essentially cold, 6 might be makeable and even 7 is possible!”

Sanborn bids 3 with the same rosy optimism that carried Falk away. “Could it be that partner has diamonds? My hand is likely better on offense than defense. They probably have nine trumps, so I’ll look for another playable spot.”

“3 – why not?” asks Rigal. “Many, including me, would have bid 2 at our second turn, planning to bid 3♠ over 3♣ when it came back. Thereby we would get to describe our hand at the cost of a marginal overbid and get to issue platitudes about omelets and eggs at the relevant moment.”

Colchamiro finds East’s delayed 3♣ a bit curious. “In my experience, it usually shows a good hand – maybe with spades – rather than a poorish hand with only two clubs. Still, my hand is better offensively than defensively, so I bid.”

According to Robinson, “I’ve already shown six hearts. Now I can show four diamonds. If you pass 3♣ expecting to find partner with a club stack, you usually end up with partner holding something like:

♠K x x x x A Q x x ♣x x x x.

They make 3♣, and you would make a lot of diamonds.”

Korbel calls his third call “an opportunity to describe this offensive 6–4 hand. If partner was sitting there with a club stack, too bad!”

Cohen says, “I expect a good board no matter what I do, since my opponents, who obviously have lots of clubs, have been so tame (or should I say lame?).”

Lee: “I’m not going to sell out with this much shape, and doubling doesn’t really show this hand, so 3 is all that’s available.”

Stack says he’s close to bidding 3 because of the 10. “Because I am missing the top two hearts and there is still a possibility that we could have a nine-card diamond fit, I bid 3 .”

The Sutherlins cast the lone dissenting call. “Pass. Let’s leave it up to partner. We don’t have extras and may not have an eight-card fit. Partner can elect to defend against 3♣ doubled or even raise hearts with two-card support.”

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