2024 Retro Edition – July Week 2

What’s your call?

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
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Wafik Abdou, 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
Raising in every size and color

You can never have too many ways to show partner some love.

Most of the panel goes with the straightforward 2 cuebid to show a limit raise.

“I love, love, love this hand for spades!” exclaims Colchamiro. “4♠ is a close second choice. That’s what I would bid at IMPs.”

Stack explains, “This is a limit raise by any standard. It contains four good trumps, an ace and a singleton and evaluates to 10-plus points. 2 will let partner make a good decision on how high to go, and leaves plenty of room for partner to make counter-game tries.”

2 by Kennedy. “This hand is too good for 2♠ or 3♠. Redouble sends the wrong message, as I have no interest in defending anything but hearts.”

“At IMPs, I would definitely blast out 4♠,” Korbel says, “hoping for something good to happen. But getting doubled for minus 300 could be terrible at matchpoints. I’ll hedge with 2 , a limit raise, and see what partner wants to do.”

3 here is a mixed raise: a jump cuebid by the overcaller’s partner that shows 6–10 points and at least fourcard trump support.

“Isn’t this the prototype of the mixed raise?” asks Falk. “I have one, I make one.”

Sanborn doesn’t care whether the 3 jump cue is a mixed raise or a splinter. “I have both.”

3 here is a fit-showing jump. The jump shift by a passed hand shows a maximum pass and at least nine cards in the two suits bid. Four panelists choose 3 to tell partner about the spade fit and the heart suit on the side.

Cohen: “This is really a methods question. I think this hand is too good for a mixed raise. My vote would be to show a 4-card limit raise via 2NT if available. But because it’s not, 3 fitshowing is my vote. I want to show the 4-card trump support if I can.”

Weinstein would also prefer to bid 2NT to show a four-card limit raise over the negative double. “2NT can’t be natural – passed hand or not. If you had a hand worthy of an invite in notrump (pretty unlikely), you’d start by redoubling, then bidding 2NT. So when you take the natural invitation out of the pool of possibilities, the most practical use for 2NT is a four-trump limit raise, which is very important to show.”

Weinstein sticks to the convention card and bids 3. “Because I am a passed hand, this should show four spades and longer hearts and invite game. On the surface, this looks like a mixed raise, but there are too few losers to call this a mixed raise. If I made a mixed raise and partner bid a slow 3♠, I would feel sick to my stomach and I don’t like feeling sick to my stomach.”

Rigal considers both 3 and 2NT before settling on 3. “I’d rather get our opponents to the four level if they want to get the minors into play. By a passed hand, jumps in new suits facing overcalls can’t be natural and singlesuited.”

Abdou, too. “3, fitted. I would like the J to improve the suit, but this is the best description that will allow partner to judge the auction and/or the defense.”

Two panelists have heard all they need to hear to leap to game.

“4♠,” bids Hampson. “Good fit, correct shortness and none vulnerable, I think I like to bash out a game. I would use 2NT as a four-plus–card limit raise in many of my partnerships.”

Ditto Robinson. “4♠. Hopefully my singleton diamond will be worth a lot. If I wanted to describe my hand to my partners, I could jump to 2NT, which shows a four-card limit raise.”

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