Retro Edition

IMPs. None vulnerable.
♠A 5   Q   6 5 4 3  ♣K Q 6 5 4 3

West North East South
4♠ Pass Pass
4NT(1) Pass 5♣(2) ?

(1) Two‑suiter.
(2) Pass or correct.

What’s Your Call?

5 5 5♠ 5NT
6♣ 6 6 6♠ 6NT
7♣ 7 7 7♠ 7NT
Dbl Pass
Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
5♠ 100
Pass 90
Dbl 50
Panelists
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

A good problem

This problem produced three choices, each earning about the same number of votes.

“This is a wonderful problem,” says Lawrence. “I bid 5♠ and let them sort it out at the six level. Perhaps I should have bid something earlier, such as a fake Blackwood call.”

The Coopers agree. “Let’s not let the enemy easily find their heart fit,” they say. “We can stand a spade lead, so we don’t need to double to help partner.”

“If I pass, I expect West to bid 5, showing the red suits,” says Robinson. “Bidding 5♠ might confuse the issue and stop them from finding their heart fit.”

“Double seems ill‑conceived because it makes it easy for West to reveal his likely red two‑suiter,” agrees Boehm. “They may have a slam.”

“Double won’t do any good when West gets his next bid to show the red suits,” says Sanborn, who agrees with 5♠. “Let’s make him decide now whether he wants to force to the six level.”

“Let them guess at the six level,” echoes Kennedy.

“The opponents have a massive heart fit and they will find it if I pass,” says Stack. “West surely has the red suits — they may even have a slam. 5♠ could be a cheap sacrifice or even a make.”

The second group chooses to pass.

“They sometimes actually play it here,” says Falk. “I can always consider 5♠ on the next round.”

“I have some defense against 5 or 5, but I don’t want a club lead,” says Walker. “Our fast spade trick or tricks are more likely to go away than my slow club trick.”

“Pass,” says Meyers. “I have no idea if I can beat anything including a slam. I’m concerned if I double 5♣, I’ll get a club lead when I really want a spade lead.”

“I pass, and I pass again over 5 or 5,” says Colchamiro. “The five level belongs to the opponents, and at none vulnerable, I’m not going to contradict that. Who knows what partner has. He may have already won the board.”

“Pass,” agree the Gordons. “We want a spade lead, not a club. If we double, we are directing a lead.”

The third group chooses double. “Double, just in case,” says Cohen. “Yes, they are pulling, but I can always bid 5♠ later, if I so choose. If I double clubs and pull to 5♠ and they later bid six, partner will be better able to judge whether or not to save against slam.

“Double lets partner know we have something and where it is,” say the Sutherlins.

“Double,” says Meckstroth. “They may not stay here, but you never know!”

“Double and hoping partner can double 5 or 5,” says Rigal. “If he doesn’t, I can balance with 5♠.”

This a good problem — three choices with each earning five or more votes.

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