2023 Retro Edition – October Week 4

What’s your call?

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 Buff
One bid says it all

5 has a precise meaning in this auction. Weinstein explains. “I have a slam-going hand with two little spades. Glad I have a bid for this.”

“5,” agrees Hampson. “I need to hear about second-round spade control to have slam. If partner bids 5♠ (first- round spade control), I will settle for 6. Partner can’t have enough for seven to be good without magic.”

The Sutherlins join the 5 chorus: “We need partner to have a spade control to make slam. There is little chance that partner does not have at least one major-suit ace. He may, however, have two spade losers.”

Falk, too. “I suppose it’s possible North also has a singleton diamond, but more likely, partner thought 4 was ‘last train.’ Anyway, if partner has a spade control, I think I want to be in slam, and 5 is the clearest way to signal my intentions.”

The Joyces agree with the interpre- tation of 4 as “last train” — a purely artificial bid that indicates slam interest. “5 will get partner to focus on spade control and show my excellent cards elsewhere.”

Meckstroth interprets partner’s 4 “last train”: “Partner should have a decent hand willing to try for slam. 5 by me asks for spade control.”

Colchamiro carefully reviews North’s options before bidding 5. “Partner’s 4 without the ace tells me he’s got something good over there, and it’s not good clubs. So what’s left besides good trumps and probably short spades. But I’ll check for the spades to be sure. If he bids 5♠, I’ll go for it all.”

5 from the Gordons. “We would love to have partner play if he has ♠K x. If he shows that by bidding 5NT, we will make a suggestion with 6♣.”

5 from Stack to learn about spade control, then “if partner emerges with 5♠, showing the ace, we can bid 5NT as a grand slam force and not ‘pick-a-suit,’ since we have already agreed on hearts.”

Sanborn bids 5 . “At first glance, 5 seems automatic, asking for spade control. On the off chance, however, that partner has ♠K x, we might belong in 6♣ instead of 6, so I don’t want to overstate hearts as a trump suit. I hope partner can read the situation as well and bid 5NT with the guarded spade king.”

Boehm bids 5 , saying, “Partner is trying hard for slam, likely cuebidding a second-round control. We might need to pick up the trump queen facing:

♠x A x x x K Q x ♣Q J x x x,

and we might need to avoid a late club ruff facing:

♠A x Q 10 x x K x ♣Q J x x x

and a spade lead. I am willing to risk the five level if partner doesn’t own a spade control.”

4NT by Lawrence. “North is making a cuebid. Is he doing this with:

♠x x A Q x x K Q x ♣Q 10 x x?

I have to doubt that. He surely has a singleton spade and is afraid to bid 4♠. I hope 4 is some kind of ‘last train’ bid with a stiff spade. It is nice to know he has four hearts.”

Robinson bids 4NT. “I think 4 must show a spade control. If partner bids 5 showing only one keycard, I’ll gamble on slam.”

Rigal figures he’s done enough and signs off in 4. “My 4♣ call was helping partner with a decision over 4♠ maybe, but not necessarily a slam try. 4 by partner sounds like a control, but we have no reason to go past 4 unless or until we find a spade control.”

The Zoom Room is available Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm (Eastern).

Getting help is easier than ever with the ACBL Zoom Chat service.
Simply click the "Join Zoom Chat" button below to be taken to our dedicated zoom room.
Once there, click the "Launch Meeting" button to start your session. To hear us and vice-versa - don't forget to "Join with computer audio."

If the Zoom Room isn't available and you need answers, you can email us at membership@acbl.org.

Join Zoom Chat