Retro Edition

IMPs. E-W vulnerable.
♠Q 10 5 3 2   A 7  10 6  ♣Q 8 6 5

West North East South
1 2♠(1) 4 4♠
5 Pass 6 ?

(1) Weak

What’s your call?

6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Dbl Pass
Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
Pass 100
6♠ 70
Dbl 10

The save in 6♠ should be cheap enough to be worthwhile, but can the opponents make 6?

“Pass,” says Stack “Bidding 6♠ seems obvious, but the opponents are guessing, and I think they have guessed wrong. I’m not taking out insurance.”

Rigal agrees. “I rate to lose 1100 in 6♠ doubled,” he says, “but I’m not sure the opponents aren’t off two aces or a slow club trick The odds aren’t right to bid.”

“We don’t know any more about whether 6 will make than East does,” say the Gordons. “Remember, East didn’t cuebid, and is now taking a ‘shot.”‘

“I’m not a big fan of ‘insurance’ bids,” says Walker, “especially when the opponents are guessing and I have some defense.”

“Saving is tempting, but I’m not willing to sacrifice holding the ace of trumps,” says Colchamiro.

“Is this a lead problem?” asks Robinson. “I would lead a club.”

“The opponents have guessed their way to slam, and we have good potential to beat them,” say the Sutherlins. “Taking a save is out.”

“I hate to save on an auction like this where they could be off two aces,” says Meckstroth.

“For all I know, the defense has two aces,” agrees Boehm. “Who can be stampeded into saving and who can’t?”

Seven experts are willing to be “stampeded.”

“I’m taking out insurance against their probable make,” says Kennedy.

“I guess to bid 6♠,” says Lawrence. “Oddly, this sequence is one in which they might consider bidding seven, to their dismay.”

“We feel like wusses letting the opponents push us around,” say the Joyces, “but the insurance is cheap.”

“I’m a believer,” says Falk “To disbelieve they can make it, I pretty much have to play partner for the ♣K and lead that suit. Then, when in with the A, I can cash a club trick”

“6♠,” says Cohen. “Okay, they got me. I expect East to be void in spades. Other than the A, we probably have no tricks and minus 800 is so much better than minus 1430. Wouldn’t it be fun if they went to 7?”

“Our save should be cheap enough, even if it’s a phantom,” says Sanborn. “I would bet on them to make 6, which is what I’m doing.”

“I think they are making,” says Meyers, “and wouldn’t it be a bonus if one of them were induced to bid 7 ?”

Bidding 6♠ is cheap insurance if East-West can make 6. The operative word is “if.”

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