2024 Retro Edition – January Week 2

What’s your call?

4♠ 4NT
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, 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
Paper Tigers

Who’s afraid of overcalling a fourcard suit at the four level?

Not Lawrence. “Bidding 4♠ is easy. Making it may be less so.”

Not Sanborn. “4♠. At least we’ll get the right lead if they bid on. Obviously I will listen to the table for what to do if they double me.”

Not Rigal: “The upside is that we get to the highest scoring contract. The downside … well, there are so many that I do not need to list them! I cannot justify 4♠ except to say that I’m a paper tiger.”

Not Boehm. “A first for me. At least, I don’t expect to be forced in trumps at trick one.”

Not Lee. While bidding 4♠ precludes defending 4 doubled, which he views as a huge downside, “we really want partner to bid 4♠ with four of them, and we know from the quality of our spades that he will be wary about bidding with four bad ones. We also have the kind of hand that might survive a 4–3 fit.”

Not Korbel. “Yuck! What a nightmare! Pass, double, 4♠ and 5♣ are all horribly flawed. I’ll try an offbeat 4♠, and if this gets doubled, I reserve the right to run to the safety of my long suit. If I double, partner’s 5 bid is just too horrible to contemplate.” Welcome to the fold, Daniel. Your melodrama will play just fine here.

Not even Cohen — much to his surprise — is afraid to overcall on his fourcard spade suit. “Taking the principle of ‘when in doubt, bid 4♠ over 4’ to a new extreme. I’ve never overcalled on the four level with a four-card suit. There’s always a first time.”

Double by Weinstein. “This seems automatic.”

Kennedy doubles. “This is obviously a real problem! If partner bids diamonds, I’ll live with it. At IMPs, I would pass.”

Hampson doubles. “I hope to land in 4♠ or have partner ask for my longer minor if he pulls.”

While there are a few maybes in Meyers’ response, she is swayed by the flexibility that a double offers. “Partner will not bid 5 unless he has a lot of diamonds. I was tempted to bid 4♠, but that is unilateral (although it may be practical). My club suit is not good enough for me to bid 4♠. I could easily lose control of the hand if partner has three or fewer spades. If I double and he has four spades, he will bid 4♠. And maybe it is right to defend, and maybe he will bid 4NT with both minors …”

“We need to bid something,” the Sutherlins agree. “We can’t get to 4♠ if we bid 5♣, and bidding 4♠ ourselves is too big a position to take. That leaves double. If partner bids 5 , so be it.”

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