2023 Retro Edition – December Week 2

What’s your call?

4 4 4♠ 4NT
5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Pass Dbl
Click to reveal awards

August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, Geoff Hampson, The Joyces, Betty Ann Kennedy, Mike Lawrence, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Steve Weinstein
Damned if you do and if you don’t

Vulnerable at IMPs, the panel thought it imperative to act with this hand.

Boehm explains his double. “It’s dangerous to act, but it seems more dangerous to pass. Double misses some heart fits but retains flexibility — playing spades or diamonds may be best. So might defending.”

Lawrence doubles, planning to bid 4 over the expected 4 . “Not beautiful, but better than passing and having partner end the bidding with a slow pass.”

Ditto Robinson. “I want to put spades in the picture. I’ll bid 4 over 4 .”

Calling pass cowardly, the Coopers double. “4 may leave us in a bad 6–1 with our heart spots not up to the job. So that leaves double. If partner bids 4 , we’ll bid 4. If he bids 5 , he shouldn’t be disappointed by our excellent doubleton.”

Sanborn doubles. “I’ll pass 4 , but hope to find a playable major. This gives us the option of defending as well.”

Meckstroth doubles to keep spades in the picture, as does Hampson. “I risk hearing 5 from partner,” says Hampson, “but I may not be unhappy with that.”

Double by Stack. “If we bid 4, we deserve to catch a singleton heart and four or five spades in partner’s hand. On the other hand, if partner bids 4 and we then bid 4, let us hope partner does not bid 4♠ with three spades and two hearts.”

Weinstein doubles. “I have an anemic heart suit, three defensive tricks, and spade support. I’m also less likely to land on my feet after a unilateral 4 call.”

Meyers makes the 4 call, but says double is “a close second.”

The Joyces guess that 4 “will be nearly unanimous.”

“They” (whoever “they” are) make Cohen bid 4. “Double could work, but has too many issues.”

“The power of preempts strikes again!” notes Kennedy as she offers 4. “This could be costly, but it could be worse if I didn’t bid.”

Falk opts for 4. “There’s too big a risk North has something like 3–3–5–2, and if I double, we can find hearts only if I show a much better hand. With my spades, even if we have a 4–4 fit, it may be no prize, so unless partner has a suit he wants to bid without prompting, hearts seems right to me.”

The Sutherlins cast their vote for 4. “Take a chance and maybe go for minus 800. Pass and collect plus 100 instead of plus 620 to 1440. Too much major-suit disparity to double.”

The Gordons: “4. Can’t let them steal!”

Rigal puts forth 4. “If they double, I’ll make my excuses and leave. Certainly it might work to double here, but I’m not sure I’d welcome a 5 response.”

Only the scorer opted to pass, and she docked herself accordingly. “4 needs a loaded dummy,” Walker whimpers, “and my partners never seem to have those.”

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