2023 Retro Edition – October Week 5

What’s your call?

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, Bridge Buff
Beggars, choosers, blah, blah, blah

The Coopers indicate that this would be a harder problem at favorable vulnerability, “where bidding 5♣, getting doubled and going down four loses only 5 IMPs when 4♠ makes, not the 9 IMPs that you would lose here.” They pass.

Walker concurs. “No need for heroics white at IMPS. This doesn’t look like a deal where we could suffer a double game swing.”

Hampson rules out the alternatives before passing. “Double risks playing the wrong strain, possibly for a huge negative, and 5♣ is a massive overbid (at least the ♣J short).”

Meckstroth passes. “Tough problem, but with only one ace, I don’t have enough to double. And I don’t have the playing strength to risk 5♣.”

Pass from Colchamiro. “I know I’m short in spades, but 5♣ is a really big bid. Double with only one ace leaves me cold because partner will often pass.”

The Gordons dismiss both 5♣ and double as “too big for us here.”

Wishy-washy Cohen: “Pass. It could be incredibly right to bid 5♣, but it could also be embarrassingly wrong. I guess I’ll go quietly.”

“We need to compete,” insist the Sutherlins, who double. “4♠ doubled may be our best spot. If partner pulls to 5 or 5, he will usually have five or more in that suit.”

Sanborn wakens. “Double. I want to cater to the penalty pass. Partner can bid 4NT with two places to play, so hopefully we won’t wind up in a silly 4–3 heart game at the five level.”

The Amazing Rigal: “Double, cross my fingers and hope that it works as well as it did in the Vanderbilt semi- finals. (6♣ was cold, though it went down at least once.) We have short spades and opening values … Do we need more to double? Yes, we do, but beggars can’t be choosers.”

Falk, the woeful: “Double. Not happy about this, but six losers is too many to bid my suit at the five level. Partner may guess wrong, but there’s not enough information for me to think 5♣ is not wrong. I think this ‘under double’ is for takeout. I should have more defense (at least another red queen), but this is what I was dealt and I’m not willing to pass quietly.”

Robinson makes a takeout double. “Partner could have spades or he could have a long suit. If he has a balanced hand, he’ll pass and we’ll gamble on beating it.”

“Another tough decision over a high- level preempt,” moans Stack. “Should we put all our eggs in the 5♣ basket? We will opt for the more flexible double.”

Meyers doubles but says, “I don’t mind 5♣.”

Boehm calls his 5♣ risky, “but pass feels more dangerous.”

5♣ from Kennedy, too: “I’m a little leery of doubling and having partner respond in a four-card heart suit at the five level.”

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