Retro Edition

Matchpoints. Both vulnerable.
♠A Q 4   6 52  8 7 3  ♣K Q 7 5

West North East South
1♠ Pass
2♠ Pass Pass ?

What’s Your Call?

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

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Bid Award
3♣ 100
Pass 60
Dbl 20

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August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, Bob Giragosian, 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
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Not risking much

The majority of the panel weren’t willing to sell out to 2♠. They felt that would be a bad result, so the risk isn’t high. Seventeen experts bid 3♣. Why?

Coopers: “Partner is short in spades and has scattered values. The good suit makes it hard for East–West to double 3♣. Some days we will make it, some days the opponents will bid on to 3♠ and some days we’ll have egg on our face.”

Kennedy: “If I allow the opponents to play 2♠, I’m almost certain to get a below-average result.”

Falk: “Defending 2♠ feels like a 35% score, so I have to take some chances. I expect this to be close to unanimous.”

Gordons: “Besides trying to push them to 3♠, bidding helps get partner off to the best lead.”

Walker: “The field will try to jockey East–West out of their comfortable partscore, so I’m there, too.”

Lawrence: “Defending 2♠ is usually worth about 20% so I’m not risking much when I bid 3♣.”

Sanborn: “Can’t let the opponents play 2♠ at matchpoints as it’s an automatic bad result. Bidding doesn’t risk much.”

Cohen: “I’ve made my living making sure that the opponents don’t play on the two level when they have an eight-card fit. I just have to keep up my reputation.”

Other experts agreed for similar reasons. One didn’t agree.

“Pass,” says Robinson. “I would have overcalled 2♣ because it’s a lot safer. At matchpoints, 3♣ is too likely to go for minus 200, especially when either opponent can double for penalty.”

A 3♣ balance doesn’t risk much. You might make it or the opponents might bid 3♠ and go down.

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