2024 Retro Edition – April Week 2

What’s your call?

2♣ 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, Allan Falk, Geoff Hampson, Betty Ann Kennedy, Daniel Korbel, Mike Lawrence, Roger Lee, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Steve Weinstein
Reverse psychology

In days gone by, Culbertson defined a minimum biddable suit as Q–J–x–x. Today? All bets are off. The panelists are reversing into J–6–4–2 (fine spots!) with abandon.

Lawrence aptly describes 2 as “a wretched bid that looks good only in comparison to the alternatives. If I am lucky, my partner will bid 2♠, showing five. Now I can raise.”

“Do I overbid with 2 or underbid with 2♠?” Weinstein asks himself. “I am in an optimistic mood, and I’m going to take the high road. I think I should have foreseen this problem and opened 1NT.”

Stack is a Culbertson throwback. “What a crummy suit to reverse into! Any other bid, however – 2♠, 2 , 1NT – would be an underbid. I would rather make a slight overbid that comes closest to describing this hand. If partner shows at least five spades by bidding 2♠, we have an easy raise to 3♠.”

Lee’s thinking: “We’re about a point light and our heart suit is bad, but at least this way, we will get our shape across. Every other choice seems worse.”

Hampton’s thinking: “Having elected to open 1 with this, I am compelled to try 2 rather than do anything else that would distort my shape or strength.”

Falk says, “I’m prepared to raise to 3♠ except that I don’t want to do that yet with only three-card support. But I like my hand enough to try hard to reach game, so I reverse. If my ♣A were the ♣2, I would bid 2♠.”

While he calls 2 “a bit of a stretch,” Colchamiro says his spades tip the scales. “2♠ seems too wimpy with a great source of tricks. 3♠ is an honest bid, but something I just try to avoid. If my reverse leads us to 3NT, hopefully my diamonds will run.”

Kennedy’s thinking, “It’s certainly an ugly reverse!”

There are less optimistic panelists.

Sanborn bids 2♠, admitting that the hand is heavy for a simple raise. “I can’t think of a better bid, and sometimes we miss a non-vulnerable game. I would not reverse with these values, and 2 or 3 really isn’t perfect either.”

Meyers: “2♠. I don’t have enough to reverse then correct to spades.”

This month, IYC is proud to showcase the literary rambling of Barry Rigal: “This might be a hand where a sizeable majority of citizens with no felony to their name could make a case for a 1NT opening. If even I (who qualify – just – for Senior events, and thus would never lie about my hand) might consider it, then how much more my colleagues on the forum – barking lunatics to a man or woman – will say that, like the man asking directions to Dublin who was told, ‘I wouldn’t have started from here,’– they would never have had that problem. Very well. Since we are here, I raise to 2♠ and give up on the occasional game to preserve my reputation for always putting down a good dummy.”

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