Retro Edition

IMPs. E-W vulnerable.
♠A K 7 4   8 6  2  ♣A K J 10 9 2

West North East South
3 ?

What’s your call?

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
Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
4♣ 100
Dbl 80
Pass 40
5♣ 20
3♠ 10

Is it safe to double?

A takeout double promises at least three cards in each unbid suit ( or very strong values), but eight experts are willing to make that call with two low hearts. What are their reasons?

Lawrence: “Double, likely followed by clubs. This is a miserable problem.”

Stack: “If partner passes or bids 3NT, we will be happy. If partner bids 3♠, we are delighted and will raise to 4♠. If partner bids 3 or 4, we are strong enough to correct to clubs. The other choice is to bid 4♣ and put all options in one basket.”

Meyers: “Double and correct 3 to 4♣. If partner jumps to 4, I will pass.”

Meckstroth: “Certainly a tough problem. Over a 3 bid from partner, I will correct to clubs and hope for the best.”

Rigal: “Double, planning to convert 4 to 5♣ – a little of an overbid, but I have some quick tricks.”

Robinson: “I think I can handle heart bids from partner.”

Sutherlins: “We want to keep spades in the picture. If partner bids 3 or 4, we will bid the minimum number of clubs.”

Ten experts bid 4♣.

Falk: “The last time I made an off-shape double, I was the only panelist to do so. This time, I suspect I will be in the minority of those who don’t double. I’d rather bid 4♣ now than 5♣ over 4. Anyone who says they will double, then pass 4 is a sadist.”

Sanborn: “This isn’t the right hand to double and convert, as that should show more values than what I have.”

Kennedy: “Perhaps I’ll get another opportunity to show my spade suit.”

Gordons: “We would love to be able to get spades in the picture right away, but the wheels could come off after double. We just hope partner or left-hand opponent will save us with a bid.”

These were the two best comments, and summarize the problem:

Cohen: “Double. Maybe for once, the dope won’t mention hearts.”
Walker: “4♣. When my opponents double with this hand, their partners always bid 4♠. Mine bid hearts.”

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