Retro Edition

Matchpoints. N-S vulnerable.
♠A Q 9 3   A J 3   10  ♣K Q 6 4 3

West North East South
1 Pass 2♣
2 Pass 5 ?

What’s your call?

5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Dbl Pass
Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
Pass 100
6 70
5 50
5NT 40
Dbl 20
5♠ 10
August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, The Joyces, Betty Ann Kennedy, Mike Lawrence, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Bridge Baron

Those annoying opponents and their annoying diamonds! If they just stayed out of the auction, we’d know where we belong, but now it’s nothing but a guess. Or is it?

It’s a good thing that 2♣ set up a force long before the start of the leaping diamond nonsense. On behalf of those who are passing 5, Meyers explains. “Pass. Then I’ll bid 5 over partner’s expected double (under the assumption that pass and pull is better than bidding 5 directly).”

Robinson takes it a little further. If partner bids 5 rather than doubling, “I’ll raise him to six. If partner bids 6, I’ll pass.”

Are the 6 bidders taking a flyer, or are they trusting the opponents to guide them to the right spot?

“6,” says Rigal. “Easy on paper. It is clearly nothing more than a guess (and yes, defending could even be right since we might get 800 or not be able to make the five-level. But will they save over 6? They might. Or 6 might be cold facing, e.g.,

♠x x  K Q x x x  x x   ♣A J x x.”

Kennedy feels more confident in her 6 bid. “I’m much too good to bid 5 and not good enough to bid 6 missing two aces.”

Stack believes that “the opponents have indicated through preemption that we have a slam, and this hand seems to validate it. Partner has passed, which implies a tolerance for clubs, so I will bid a slam. 5NT, which would give partner a choice of slams, is a possibility, but with good hearts, there is no need to give partner a choice. The opponents are probably going to sacrifice, so we will bid the slam with confidence.”

Meckstroth and Cohen bid 5, confident of a plus score but not as confident about the slam.

“This could easily make six,” says Meckstroth, “but there’s no way to know. When in doubt, I like to get a plus score.”

Cohen takes it a step further. “I don’t see why I should choose to defend when holding only one diamond. Sure, we might be missing a slam, but maybe 680 will beat the pairs who collect only 300 or 500.”

Falk and Walker bid 5NT asking partner to pick a slam. “This should imply heart support, but if partner bids 6, I’ll trust his judgment,” says Walker.

Falk’s strategy, on the other hand, is to bid 5NT, asking partner to pick a slam, and “if North comes back with 6♣, I’ll bid 6 (since partner did not raise to 3♣ when he was free to do so, I’m not playing in that suit).”

The Gordons were the lone doublers. “Partner’s pass of 2 is telling. We can’t have that great a fit, and things will break poorly. We will take the plus.”

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