2023 Retro Edition – November Week 3

What’s your call?

4♠ 4NT
5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Click to reveal awards

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 Baron
Guessing Game

Calls are all over the map — surely the hallmark of a good bidding problem!

Meyers is content with 4♠ “I have values to bid more, but I’m only 2–2 in partner’s presumed suits.”

2♠ from Boehm, who says, “Partner’s extras are apt to be primarily distributional (6–5) since he could have doubled. My K will prevent forces. Slam is possible but speculative.”

The Gordons bid 4♠ saying, “Partner is probably 6–6, which makes our hand useful but not great.”

4♠ by Stack: “We certainly have a lot of high-card points that will be useful to partner. But the big flaw is not enough trumps. So we opt for the low road.”

Sanborn cues 5. “I’m hoping to show a hand that prefers clubs but can stand diamonds. If I wanted partner’s minor, I could bid 5NT. I think that partner is probably 6–6, though. In case spades is the right strain, I plan on 6♣ after 5♠. That should show playability in either of partner’s suits. I have an amazing hand on the auction. We probably won’t wind up in seven, but I think there are more than a few hands that partner can hold that make a grand.”

Colchamiro objects to South’s previous pass. “I would have doubled 3, which would show (1) fewer than three spades, (2) a good hand and (3) not both minors. I will raise 5♠ to 6♠, but really expect partner to bid 5 , which I will also raise to six. With six spades, partner presumably would have bid 4♠ instead of 4.”

Rigal jumps on the 5 train. “Far too good for 4♠, but 5♠ and 4NT commit the hand to spades and eventually diamonds. I want to convert 5♠ to 5NT to offer a choice of slams while a direct 5NT is to play partner’s minor at the six level.”

Falk bids 4NT, asking for partner’s minor. “I’m then going to raise to six (almost certainly diamonds). I’m worried about missing a grand slam. I don’t see how partner can have less than:

♠A K J x x x A Q J x x x ♣x,

so my hand has three key cards. As 5–6 or even 5–7 seems much more likely than 6–5 (partner might bid 4♠), I’ll go for safety at IMPs and plan to play the minor suit.”

4NT, minor-suit asking, by the Coopers. “Once we learn what partner’s minor is, we’ll cuebid 6♣, looking for a grand. Partner has a huge hand, almost surely with 12 cards in spades and (presumably) diamonds. We have three enormous cover cards — the ♠Q, the K and the ♣A.”

Lawrence, tempted to bid 6 — intending to play in seven of partner’s minor — fears the remote possibility of a singleton heart in partner’s hand and goes with 4NT instead. “However the auction goes, I will be thinking of a grand.”

Robinson springs to life with 5NT. “Asks partner to bid a slam with spades in play. 4NT would ask for his minor. I expect him to have only one card in his outside suits. If he had a 5–5 hand, he could have doubled 3.

♠A K x x x x Q J x x x x ♣x

is a good guess.”

“Pinochle deck!” cries Cohen as he, too, invites partner to pick a slam with 5NT. “Partner is driving to game and I have all this? I won’t be a pig about a grand, but surely owe partner something to get us to six. He’ll likely pick diamonds, and I’ll accept 920 or 940 at this form of scoring.”

The Sutherlins bid 5 . “Partner has lots of distribution — at least 6–5 with five spades. So he has at least six diamonds. The K is wrong-sided. We may make 6 , but we’ll settle for a plus.”

Kennedy more optimistically offers 6 . “Obviously partner has six diamonds, five spades, a doubleton club and a heart void.”

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