Retro Edition

IMPs. Both vulnerable.
♠K 4   Q 7 5 3 2   A Q J 10 7   ♣3

West North East South
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
Pass Dbl

What’s your call?

Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
3 100
3 60
Pass 20
Dbl 10
For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from September 2010’s Bridge Bulletin), 3 was named top bid.
South has enough values to enter the bidding, but the heart suit is weak. Reverse the two red suits, and this wouldn’t be a problem. Bidding 3 would be almost automatic. Nevertheless, players strive to bid their major and the majority chose to overcall 3.
“3 is hardly a thing of beauty,” said August Boehm, “but pass and double seem more dangerous.”
“I hate overcalling such a bad suit at this level, but it is necessary to get in now,” said Kerri Sanborn.
“When in doubt, bid over preempts,” said Steve Robinson. “If it goes double, pass, pass back to me, I’ll have another decision.”
“It’s dangerous to bid 3 with such a suit, but also very dangerous not to bid,” said Don Stack. “I cannot double with only two spades, so I bid 3 and hope for the best.”
“The hand with shortness must strain to bid,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “We have good playing strength and our most likely game is 4.”
“We have too much potential to pass and 4 is our most likely game,” agreed Peggy and John Sutherlin.
“I bid 3, even though I’m aware of the danger of bidding such a lousy suit at such a high level,” said Betty Ann Kennedy. “If doubled, I’ll run to 4.”
“This problem is brutal,” said Mike Law¬rence. “If I find a heart fit, life is good.”
“I’m not really tempted by the ‘compromise bid’ of 3, as that buries the heart suit and our most likely game,” said Karen Walker.
“What’s a girl to do?” asked Jill Meyers. “I hate the suit quality of my hearts, but I’m certainly not passing.”
Some experts preferred bidding their stronger suit.
“3,” said Barry Rigal. “I won’t pass and 3 is just a little rich for my blood, though I admit it might be right. If I end up defending, I know what I want led.”
“3, help!” exclaimed Mel Colchamiro. “I’m treating the hearts as a four-card suit.”
“Ugh, I guess I bid 3,” said Larry Cohen. “I better do something, even though I’m not proud of this. My general rule over preempts: The person with shortness in the opponent’s suit bends over backward to get in the bidding.”
“We are uncomfortable bidding 3 on such a poor suit,” said Kay and Randy Joyce, “so we will bid the suit that shows our values and is the lead director if it’s their deal.”
“We are not averse to overcalling a five-card major at this level, but this one could put us on the road to oblivion,” said Linda and Robb Gordon.
“3 seems a lot safer than bidding 3,” said Jeff Meckstroth.
Allan Falk chose to double. “3 is masochistic,” he said. “Bidding 3 aims at an 11-trick game on minimal values. So I’ll hope partner has something useful to do, even though I’m clearly one spade short for this action.”
“Pass,” said Bridge Baron. “Humans are anxious to bid, even when all actions are flawed — they don’t have the discipline of computers. They are just so, um, well, human.”
The majority bid 3 even though they recognize the danger. It aims at the heart game and a big reward.

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