2024 Retro Edition – January Week 1

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, 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
Color me yellow

Sanborn leads the passing brigade. “Too much risk for too little reward. Who is to say we can’t beat 1NT anyway?”

Pass from Kennedy. “My hand and my heart suit are too lousy to make a call.”

Meckstroth likes his defensive prospects — especially the strength of the ♠A Q.

“I like my chances on defense against 1NT,” agrees Weinstein, who also passes. “I have some help for anything that partner leads, and because partner is a passed hand, we’re unlikely to be missing a game.”

Walker passes. “I can’t see any reason to stick my neck out fighting for a partscore. We aren’t missing a game and I have good chances for a plus score on defense.”

The Sutherlins pass, estimating plus 100 or minus 90 on defense. “Each side has about 20 points.”

Colchamiro’s calculations are the same. “Partner is a passed hand, so we have no game. Why make a big board out of a little board? They are vulnerable, but so are we, so the risk of bidding is greater than the risk of passing.”

“There is no safety in competing for the partscore,” argue the Joyces as they pass. “How bad can 1NT be at IMPs?”

Rigal passes. “Double is light takeout or heavy penalty, but it is not clear that I have either hand-type.”

“I’d probably balance at matchpoints,” Boehm points out, “but partner’s passed-hand status and the vulnerability color me yellow — or prudent — depending on the result.”

Hampson passes quietly. “Bidding is much too risky, and while we have a plus on offense, we may get a larger plus on defense.”

Double from Lawrence, completing his line of doubles across this month’s board! He explains, “For starters, doubling when the auction goes one of a suit–Pass–1NT– Pass–Pass should be for penalty. With shortness in opener’s suit, you know they do not have a fit, hence your partner may have four or five cards in that suit. This lessens the odds that he has a suit to bid. My double is for penalty but it is a totally offbeat example. I expect a spade lead and hope to win it and switch to hearts. If things go well, I might have six tricks plus whatever partner can offer. And why should he not have something? He could have a random 5-point hand that would give us a two-trick penalty. Some optimism needed here. Other choices include 2 (very committal) and 2 (DONT).”

Double from the Coopers. “We have a tad too much playing strength to pass. We do not have to go gently into that good night.”

Falk doubles. “I have no strong objection to 2, but it requires putting a lot of eggs in one basket. Partner is unlikely to pass, but if he does with a near opening bid, we’ll slaughter this. Meanwhile, we have a good chance of finding a good partscore.”

Robinson is one of the 2 bidders. “Partner has something and knows that I didn’t overcall 2 over 1♠.”

Stack is the other 2er. “If the heart suit had been A–J–10–9–x, we probably would have overcalled originally. The actual hand is reasonably close, so now, nothing ventured nothing gained. Balancing is not without risk, but it is a reasonable bid.”

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