2023 Retro Edition – October Week 1

What’s your call?

5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Dbl Pass
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 Buff
Force majeure

Agree or disagree: Partner’s jump to 4 establishes a force.

Meyers does not think 4 creates a forcing pass situation. She doubles. “I have not shown my values, so I think I need to ‘protect equity.’” She adds, “They might make this.”

Stack, on the other hand, considers his hand a minimum for the bidding. He doubles. “With no assurance that we have a plus at the five level, we cannot let the opponents push us there. Partner is allowed to override my double with a freak hand.”

Double from Rigal: “I have a balanced hand with no shortage and a minimum. My double here doesn’t show a trump stack, but merely expresses an opinion. Partner can overrule if he has good reason, and he will know that better than I.”

“I don’t expect to make the five level,” says Hampson, “and although I might not be defeating this, I must protect our game bonus and shoot for 300.”

Double, with a healthy shot of paranoia from the Gordons: “Yes, it could be a trap, but 4♠ is more likely than not a sacrifice, and we have nothing in particular with which to move or encourage partner.”

Meckstroth lowers the boom. “I am expecting partner to not be short in spades. I think he would have bid 3♠ if he was. Therefore it looks right to defend.”

“I can’t find an excuse to bid at the five level,” says Walker, who uses double to show “no aces, no singletons and no extra trump length.”

Cohen doubles. “I have a lot of soft junk and the queen of their suit. Let the ‘forcing pass’ discussions begin.”

“Pass.” Lawrence pronounces, “This is forcing. If North had bid 3, it would not be forcing since my 2 was in competition. North had a 3♠ cuebid available, so I suspect he has a good minimum, very likely with a singleton spade. Whatever he has, he will do something. If he has two spades, he will double and we will get rich.”

“Pass,” bid the Coopers. “We assume this is forcing — partner jumped to 4, albeit without cuebidding, and it is doubtful that he did so because he feared 4♠. If partner is short in spades, as seems likely, slam is possible opposite some hands not too much above a minimum opening bid.”

Ditto Sanborn. “One would presume that partner’s jump to 4 includes short spades, but it could be based on high cards and a three-card raise. If that is the case, we want to be defending rather than pushing to the five level. I don’t have to make the decision for our side.”

The Joyces call their pass encouraging. “Partner will play us to have some key values.”

Weinstein passes. “We should be in a forcing auction after partner jumps to game. Double is too unilateral. If partner thinks we’re not in a force and passes, no big deal.”

Like Sanborn, Falk passes to leave the decision up to partner whether to bid on or double . “I think pass is forcing, as North has shown extra values of some sort and I promised 10-plus highcard points. If partner passes, it’s their hand, and we’ll have a discussion about this auction later.”

Kennedy bids 5 on the off chance — “doubtful, but just in case” — there could be a double game swing.

The Sutherlins also opt for 5. “Our hands should fit nicely. We expect to have a play for 5 even though we have the wasted ♠Q and no aces.”

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