Retro Edition

What’s your call?

5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
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August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, Geoff Hampson, Dianne Isfeld & Martin Henneberger, The Joyces, Mike Lawrence, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Steve Weinstein, Bridge Baron

Grand expectations

“What a great hand when partner bids hearts freely at the four level!” enthuses Stack. “We will RKCB for hearts, as there is a possible grand in the offing.”

“This looks like a job for Roman Key Card Blackwood,” states Hampson, one of the dozen who opt for 4NT. “If they don’t find a diamond lead, I will probably make a slam if we are only off one key card. I might even make it if they find the diamond lead.”

Weinstein aims high: “Although 5 feels like the right value bid, we can’t risk it getting doubled. We’re going to bid a slam if partner shows one key card, and a grand if he bids two.”

Walker is right there with him. “If partner shows two key cards, the grand should be virtually laydown.”

Meyers has visions of seven, too: “K–J–10–x– x– x–x and the ♣A and we have a grand.”

“RKCB seems perfect for this one,” Cohen says. “Opposite two and the queen, I have an easy 7 bid. Any other call is really an error.”

Sanborn doesn’t err. “We could have a grand with the right key cards. It will help in later decisions to know what we are lacking.”

Colchamiro bids 4NT for two reasons. “First of all, I want East to lead a spade. I want him to think I have a small singleton to reduce the chance of a diamond lead. Two: If I just bid 6, they may do exactly that, but then again, they may sacrifice in 6♠, which I would not mind at all. Partner’s 4 is a little bit strange. Why didn’t he bid 3? Does he have eight to the K Q J and out? If it’s a splinter, then oy!”

“A pinochle deck!” exclaim the Gordons. “But we go with the flow. If we have all the key cards, 7 is easy if we can avoid a first-round ruff. If we are off the ♣A, things are a bit iffy.”

Robinson goes right to 6. “I would hate to see a diamond lead, but partner could be 2=8=1=2. I’d expect to have a good play for 6 with a spade lead. I wouldn’t expect partner to have a preemptive heart hand plus the ♣A.”

The Coopers move forward with 5♠. “All we need for a grand is for partner to hold the ♣A and six or seven good hearts. This is obviously a try for a grand and should show something like this many controls. If he’s unsure, partner can cuebid the ♣A and we’ll bid 6, last train.”

Isfeld and Henneberger also try 5♠. “I can count 13 tricks if partner has the ♣A. A 5♠ cue will allow me to find that out. ”

Rigal explains that because “6♠ looks likely to be a cheap save, I’m going to try to buy the hand in 5 or 6 by going slow. 4NT key card for hearts might work well also.”