Retro Edition

3 3♠ 3NT
4♣ 4 4 4♠ 4NT
5♣ 5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT

What’s your call?

Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
4 100
4 90
4♣ 80
3 70
5♣ 40


For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from July 2009’s Bridge Bulletin), 4 was named top bid.
You have a nice hand, but partner is a passed hand. How hard do you push?
“4,” said Barry Rigal. “This is a horrible bid for a horrible problem. The heart fit might be 4–3 or splitting badly. I can envision 4 going set and 6*C* making. But the balance of probability is to head for the major and not the minor.”
“4 could play like a dream if partner has four-card heart support,” said Don Stack. “Even if only three trumps, we might still make it. This hand has great trick-taking potential.”
The Bridge Baron agreed. “4 is game and I play them well.”
“I’m bidding 4, but I’ll be sorry if I get doubled,” said Kerri Sanborn. “Partner rates to have four cards in both majors and I don’t need much to make it.”
A second school of thought believes a 4 cuebid makes the auction more flexible.
“Once I commit to game,” said August Boehm, “the cuebid adds flexibility. I can pass 4 or convert 4♠* to 5♣.”
“Let’s see if partner has four hearts,” said Steve Robinson. “If he doesn’t, I’ll play 5♣.” Robinson makes the point that if partner has five spades and four hearts, they should bid 4 over the cuebid. This hand is an example why.
“Even though partner is a passed hand, I am willing to play 4,” said Richard Freeman. “If partner bids 4♠, I’ll take my chances in 5♣.”
North is a passed hand and some panelists chose to bid low.
“3,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “With partner a passed hand, game is unlikely. It’s a guess whether 3 or 4♣ is better.”
Jill Meyers agreed. “I don’t want to punish partner for balancing,” she said.
“I can’t see game,” said Karen Walker. “But partner rates to be 4–4 in the majors to bounce back in at these colors, so 3 should be a decent spot.”
Four experts chose 4♣.
“We don’t quite get this one,” said Janet and Mel Colchamiro. “Are we supposed to consider game opposite a passed partner? Edgar Kaplan always said, ‘When in doubt, bid your long suit.’”
“Let’s make the safest bid,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “We open aggressively, so cannot construct a passed hand where game is very good.”
“There’s no need to bid hearts, as I expect to make 130 in clubs,” said Larry Cohen, “and I don’t want to risk that partner only has three hearts. I love my hand, but I’m happy partner reopened, and I don’t want to bury him by bidding too much. It’s very curious that West didn’t raise to 4♦, which would have stolen it for their side.”
“West’s silence hints that partner may have some diamonds,” said Mike Lawrence. “If he does, he may not have four hearts. Bidding 4♣ gets us to a likely plus position. I’m not bidding game facing a passed-hand partner.”
Ten experts forced to game opposite a passed-hand partner, their glasses half full. Seven chose a part-score bid, their glasses half empty. Which is your glass?

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