Retro Edition

What’s your call?

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
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August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, Geoff Hampson, The Joyces, Mike Lawrence, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Bridge Buff

That’s your cue
Most of the panelists favor moving forward with a cuebid holding this pointed collection.

“3,” bids Cohen. “I have too few hearts and too many diamonds to double. It’s tempting to splinter to 4, but partner might not know if that is a self splinter in spades or a raise of diamonds.”

Meckstroth, too. “I think I need bet- ter defense to double. I would prefer to double, but I think that can be left in, so I’ll gamble we can make something and
cuebid 3.”

Stack calls 3 “forcing to game showing diamond support. But it doesn’t show this good of a spade suit. 3 has lots of flaws. With ♠J x, ♠x x or ♠A x and a heart stopper, partner will almost always bid 3NT. I will follow up with 4. 3 is only competitive and not even invitational, so it’s not a good bid at IMPs. 3♠ invitational is possible, but it doesn’t show the diamond fit.”

“I think I may try for slam if partner doesn’t bid 3NT,” indicates Hampson.

Robinson bids 3, game forcing, asking for two-card spade support. “I’ll support diamonds next if partner does not have two spades.”

“Even if 3 is not perfect,” say the Coopers, “we have to force to game. If partner bids 3♠ or 4, we’ll cuebid hearts. If he bids 3NT, we’ll probably pass, expecting partner to have good hearts.”

The Gordons create the force by bidding 3 and plan to pull partner’s 3NT to 4♦. “We had a discussion about the merit of an initial fit-showing jump shift with a two-card disparity like this. We concluded it wasn’t a good idea.”

Sanborn bids 3, also seeking a doubleton spade or any bid other than the anticipated 3NT. “I will remove 3NT to 4 and look for a third chance at spade support or to play 5.”

The Sutherlins explain their 3: “We play support doubles, so partner has denied three spades. Doubling 2 is risky. We might make 4♠ or 5.”

With their 3 cuebid, the Joyces are hoping to learn whether partner holds a doubleton spade.

Falk barrels in with 4♦. “I reject 3NT as a target game. Partner pretty much needs three aces and spades to break, and opposite three aces and spades breaking, we can make 4♠, 5♦ or 6♦. I reject 3 (the panel choice, I’m betting) because partner is a heavy favorite to bid 3NT, which I’ve already
rejected. If I bid 3 and then pull 3NT, I’m showing a stronger hand. I reject any number of spades because my spades aren’t good enough to bid 3♠ or 4♠ and my hand is too good for 2♠. I reject 3 as not enough and 5 as way too much. 4 should be what we can make opposite the worst collection of junk imaginable. It alerts partner that (1) I’m not good enough to force to game; (2) I am distributional; (3) I have at least five spades and at least four diamonds.”

Meyers favors a forcing 4. “I have to choose between forcing to game and inviting (in which case I would bid 3♠). Because my diamonds are so good, I am taking the high road. Partner has already denied three spades, but if I bid 4, she might bid 4♠ on ace or jack doubleton.”

Rigal believes 4 is forcing. “I don’t want to risk a double and find we are defending 2 doubled. The trouble with a jump to 3♠/4♠ is a 6–0 split. The presence or absence of a support double is almost irrelevant.”

Lawrence: “4, a splinter. Most likely it should be considered as support for diamonds. Partner may sign off in 4♠ if he has a doubleton. It would not be a cuebid.”

Colchamiro also elects to splinter. “4 leaves room for 4♠ from partner on ♠A x or ♠J x, or a high-level contract in diamonds. I would prefer to have a club card, but life is like that sometimes.”

Meanwhile, Walker’s out on a limb all by herself with a red card and a rosary. “I’m praying that the IMP conditions mean partner will be averse to passing unless he has really strong trumps.”

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