Retro Edition

What’s your call?

5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
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August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, Geoff Hampson, The Joyces, Betty Ann Kennedy, Mike Lawrence, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Steve Weinstein, Bridge Buff
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“Redouble?” queries Hampson.

“This problem is from the Twilight Zone. What does partner have that he couldn’t bid over 3 but is forcing slam now? No idea, but I suppose I will follow 5˜ with 5NT and raise six of a minor to seven.”

“Redouble,” says Weinstein with no question mark. “I think 5 is one-directional. Partner has to start with 4NT (or 5NT) to give me a choice of suits. His most likely hand is a slam try in spades with a control in hearts (no 5♠ bid directly). ”

Meckstroth redoubles. “Rather amazing 5 bid when I have this. If pard bids 5♠, I’ll follow with 5NT, pick a slam.”

Cohen thanks East for the opportunity to show first-round heart control with a redouble. “Are you on my pay-roll?” he asks RHO. “Seriously, be wary of such gratuitous doubles.”

The Joyces also seize the redouble opportunity. “We don’t know what partner has, but this bid is easy, show-ing first-round heart control.”

Stack, too. “What can partner have for the cuebid if not the minor-suit aces and the ♠K? It is tempting to bid 5NT (pick a slam), but this hand has too much potential to settle for a small slam at this point.”

Unsure of where they are headed, the Sutherlins use redouble to conserve space. “Partner is pushing for a slam, but is willing to settle for 5♠ if we have a minimum. Instead we have a super max. A grand is definitely possible. Re-double gives us the maximum amount of room to investigate.”

Walker redoubles. “Partner must be 6–5 or 6–6 with a heart void (else he would bid 4NT). Although hearing about the A won’t excite him, the redouble seems better than 5NT because it gives him more room to identify his suits. I can’t imagine partner bidding like this without the two missing aces. More evidence of that comes from East, who surely wouldn’t double 5 if he held an outside ace. ”

Sanborn toyed with her redouble card, “but thought it might only be confusing without really helping part-ner.” She settles on 5NT. “I am almost certain to be heading toward seven of a minor. Let’s see which one.”

Rigal teases: “5NT minor-suit oriented to locate our best slam. Will I raise partner’s effort to the grand? Watch this space — and thanks for not asking!”

The Gordons’ 5NT: “Over to you, pard!”

5NT from Robinson. “Asking partner to bid a minor and denying four spades.”

Giving up on the grand slam, Falk bids 5NT to find the partnership’s better minor. “It’s not 100% clear that my A is pulling any weight. North would bid 5° with the likes of:

♠K J x x   —   A x x x x   ♣x x x x,

expecting that 5♠ is safe and giving me an option of more.”

“What a headache!” exclaims Colchamiro. “I’ve gone over and over this one to figure out exactly what partner has. I’m guessing that partner has a two-suiter, but not the minors, or he would have tried 4NT or 5NT. So that leaves spades and a minor. For sure partner has a heart void, so my A is useless. I’m bidding 5NT for the minors. With 20 HCP, it seems a bit chicken not to bid 6 and force a seven-level contract, but I just don’t think partner has the three prime cards I would need given his pass over 3.”

The Coopers retaliate with a back-atcha cuebid of 6. “Partner must have more than just the two minor-suit aces for his 5 bid. But which grand do we belong in? If partner bids 6˜, we’ll bid 7˝, which should tell him we hold equal length in the minors. We hope.”

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