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Retro Edition

Matchpoints. N-Svulnerable.
♠4 3   J  3 2  ♣K J 10 9 7 6 4 3

West North East South
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What’s Your Call?

1♣ 1 1 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
Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
3♣ 100
Pass 80
4♣ 20
Panelists
August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, The Joyces, Betty Ann Kennedy, Mike Lawrence, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Bridge Baron

Don’t be too friendly

South is at unfavorable vulnerability and this hand has many losers. Nevertheless, the majority chooses 3♣. Why?

Walker: “3♣ is very pushy with a seven-loser hand at this vulnerability, but passing is too friendly to the opponents.”

Sanborn: “3♣ is about right trickwise. If not now, then when?”

Stack: “4♣ seems too much, but 3♣ seems about right.”

Meckstroth: “I don’t have the playing strength to open 4♣.”

Colchamiro: “Is this a joke? If colors are for children, then pass the Legos.”

Coopers: “Yes, we have eight clubs, but this is the only vulnerability where we preempt one less.”

Robinson: “This hand is not strong enough for 4♣ at this vulnerability.”

Cohen: “Vulnerability makes cowards of us all. Normally, I would preempt to the four level with an eight-card suit.”

Joyces: “We have an extra club, but we are vulnerable.”

Falk: “What’s the problem? Passing means I can probably never show anything like what I hold. Most club bids later are Drury or show more values or a side four-card major because I didn’t open 3♣ originally. I’ll avoid these problems, thank you very much.”

What’s the problem? Several experts see one.

“Pass,” says Lawrence. “This hand doesn’t fit any sane description of a vulnerable first-seat preempt.”

“Our partners have no sense of humor at these colors,” say the Gordons.

“The words ‘heaven forbid’ come to mind when contemplating opening 3♣,” says Rigal. “I’d prefer opening a strong 1NT and passing Stayman if I’m going to psych. At least partner will know I meant to psych as opposed to having to guess when he sees my hand.”

“The eighth club is nice, but I still think it’s a misrepresentation to open 3♣ at this vulnerability,” says Meyers.

“Not the right club suit or hand for a first-seat preempt at this vulnerability,” say the Sutherlins. “We may get another chance to bid clubs.”

Preempting makes life hard for opponents — don’t be too friendly.

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