2023 Retro Edition – November Week 4

What’s your call?

2 2 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
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, Bridge Baron
Game of chance

“Bart!” many panelists are demanding. No, it’s not Bart Simpson they want, but a convention that accommodates this particular hand type. Using Bart, 2 over 2♣ would be artificial, often showing five hearts. Opener could bid 2 with a doubleton, perhaps ending the bidding. There’s more systemically from there, but because BBS doesn’t play Bart, it matters not.

“Spin the roulette wheel and where does it land?” asks Rigal. “2/3♣/2NT … I’m going to go low with 2 and hope that if partner passes with a singleton, it might still be a playable spot. Second choice — 3♣. Again, the 4–3 fit might not be a tragedy.”

The Joyces: “This is an excellent advertisement for the Bart convention, which is not included in IYC standard. We would bid 2 because we may be playing in a 4–3 club fit. We have a good hand, and we should do really well if partner has enough to bid again.”

Kennedy bids 2. “Partner can easily have a 5=3=2=3 hand pattern.”

Meyers explains her 2: “It may be wrong if partner has only one heart, but certainly right if partner has two or more, and I might even get raised. Partner’s 2♣ does not promise clubs, so raising clubs is not a possibility for me.”

2 by Cohen, “especially if 1NT was forcing. I’m not looking to play in clubs, where partner might have only three. Of course, I’m on record as liking to play 1NT as not forcing — just ‘up to 12,’ which is still strangely considered ‘semiforcing.’”

The Sutherlins bid 2 saying, “Partner may easily have a good hand that lets us bid and make a partial or game in hearts. If partner continues with 2♠, we will take him back to clubs. If he bids 2NT, we will bid 3NT.”

Stack, who wishes Bart was on the card, also bids 2. “This is an invitational hand with a club fit and a decent five-card heart suit and it is impossible to show both of these features. Even if partner passes with a singleton or doubleton, we should be able to make it on power.”

Colchamiro says 3♣ is maybe inadequate, but he bids it anyway. “I would love to have a fifth club, but I do have a fairly good hand. Then again, if partner has a singleton heart — not at all unlikely — my hand goes way down in value.”

Boehm raises 2♣ to 3♣. “Absent sophisticated methods (Bart and Gazzilli), we’re guessing. We might still back into hearts if partner has three.”

Robinson raises to 3♣ also. “Shows a good hand with club support.”

Meckstroth is wary. “Pass. No safety in bidding anything. We certainly could have better spots.”

Hampson passes, hoping “maybe they will balance into trouble.”

The Gordons pass. “At matchpoints, we take the low road.”

Without a conventional 2 bid, Lawrence sulks. “Yuck! There is no bid that is remotely OK. Pass does not seem reasonable. 2 is a guess. 3 — if fit-showing — would be nice, but that bid is not available. 3, if showing a semi-constructive hand not good enough to bid 2 earlier, is possible. But it has only five hearts. 3♣ is a wimpy expression of these values. 2NT is actually as close to these values as any of these bids. I vote for 2NT hoping partner can find one more bid.”

Falk bids 2NT. “Partner might pass with heart shortness and extras, and then I probably still want to be in 3NT. The odds of finding 4 on a 5–2 fit are not good enough to warrant introducing the suit and concealing my highcard values.”

2NT by Sanborn. “Bart anyone? It’s potentially right to pass, bid 2, 2NT or raise. I like my intermediate cards, so I’ll go pushy.”

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