2024 Retro Edition – January Week 4

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
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
The Least Lie

Meyers doubles for the third hand in a row. “If partner bids 2 , I will correct to 2, which should show longer clubs and four hearts.”

Double, in Stack’s estimation, is not ideal, but it’s the least of the ills. “The only downside is that partner may bid diamonds. If this happens, we can hopefully land on our feet by bidding 3♣. I’m not willing to pass with a hand this strong.”

Rigal doubles. “Here, I get to convert 2 to 2 and suggest extras with this pattern in the rounded suits. Not perfect, but nor do 1NT, 2 or 2♣ look in the slightest degree attractive, so I’ll settle for the least lie.”

Hampson is not discouraged by partner’s silence. “Double. I am unwilling to risk losing the heart suit just because partner was not strong enough to double 1♠.”

A “tepid” 2♣ by Lawrence. “Nothing terrible rates to happen, and it keeps the ball rolling.”

Sanborn, who is betting that partner doesn’t have a trap pass nor a decent hand with four hearts, bids 2♣. “I want to make it easy for us to compete later if possible. It’s all about the best possible plus or minus.”

Lee bids 2♣ because he has to bid something. “Everything else just seems worse. I refuse to show 18–19 balanced when I have an unbalanced 16-count. If I bid 1NT, partner will often bid 2 with a weak hand and five diamonds, and I’m not going to pass, so this is all that’s left.”

“This is a hard problem,” says Weinstein, who decides on 1NT. “Double, 2♣, 2 or even pass could be right.”

1NT by Kennedy. “Not ideal, but probably the most practical bid.”

1NT by Falk, too. “2 is just too much on a deal where no one may have a fit. I can’t sell out to 1♠. Even if it is going down, 50 a trick rates to be a not very good matchpoint score. Technically 1NT is an overbid — it should show 18+ (and no singletons!), but the alternatives — pass and 2 — are worse.”

2 seems ideal to Cohen: “Shows four hearts, longer clubs and a good hand. That happens to be what I have!”

Conceding the hand is a bit light for a reverse, Boehm bids 2. “Partner is likely to hold a weak hand, reducing the danger that he will get us too high. Meanwhile, we bring the other major into the picture and show at least five clubs.”

Colchamiro waves the green card. “Pass. I usually achieve plus 100 or plus 150 by passing, usually more than the plus 90, plus 110 or minus 50 I could get by bidding. 2♣ is my second choice.”

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