2024 Retro Edition – May Week 1

What’s your call?

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

Wafik Abdou, 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
Strain first, strain foremost

Korbel calls it: “4 will be a landslide, if not unanimous.”

Yep, says Meyers. “Let partner pick a major.”

Weinstein makes a feeble attempt at poetry (I think): “I’m not sure if I can make game, but I care too much about strain. I hope they don’t double and cause me much trouble.”

“4 is a slight overbid opposite a balancing double,” the Sutherlins say, “but it ensures that we play in our best major – presumably a 4–4 fit. Guessing to bid 3 or 3♠ could easily lead to playing the wrong major at the wrong level.”

Abdou calls 4 “a bit light,” but it will lead to finding the right strain. “It pays to be pushy, vulnerable at IMPs. Pass is a close second choice.”

Robinson bids 4 , asking partner to pick a major. “If he’s 3–3 in the majors, he has to bid 4.”

Lee calls 4 easy. “I’m not making a speculative pass, especially at this vulnerability, when four of a major will probably roll. I can create hands where 3NT is right, but insisting on it seems terrible.”

Rigal agrees that passing is “a huge position” to take. “4 is the most flexible action, even though it may drive us too high. But who would stop in a partscore with this hand?”

Stack calls 4 an aggressive bid, “but this hand will play well in an eight-card fit. To bid only 3 or 3♠ with this hand is an underbid. Pass is not tempting with two biddable majors.”

Hampson, too: “Playing in a real major-suit fit is too important to risk guessing which major to play in with a three-level underbid.”

“Toughie!” cries Sanborn. “I bid 4 because of the game bonus and pray partner is not a minimum 3=3=1=6. I might pass the double in a long knockout match.”

Cohen is all alone in passing. “A lot will depend on partner’s clubs. If he has something like ♣K Q 10 x, defending is likely right. If he has ♣10 x x x and all his points are in the majors, a pass could be disastrous. I’d be much happier at matchpoints. I’m not saying, ‘Pass – what’s the problem?’ but rather ‘Pass – tough decision.’ Speaking of tough decisions, I’m not sure whether I’m leading the K or my singleton club.”

Falk, too, is all alone. He bids 4. “Yes, I know I’ve given partner the choice between 3 undoubled and game in a major, but I’m just too good for only 3. While 4 is tempting and may well get a majority of the panel, what is poor North supposed to do over 4 with, say:

♠A J x A x x x x ♣K Q x x x?

Even if partner has four spades and three hearts, 4 rates to be quite playable.”

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