Retro Edition

Matchpoints. Both vulnerable.
♠9   A Q 8   K Q 9 8 6   ♣A 10 6 3

West North East South
1
Pass 1♠ 2♠1 ?

1. Natural

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

What’s your call?

Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
3♣ 100
Dbl 80
Pass 60
3♠ 0

For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from February 2010’s Bridge Bulletin), 3♣ was named top bid.

Ten experts bid 3♣. What were their reasons?

“3♣,” said Betty Ann Kennedy. “Pass or double puts too much pressure on partner.”

“I think the correct way to play double here is takeout,” said Jill Meyers, “but I don’t believe it is Bridge Bulletin Standard.”

“3♣,” agreed Jeff Meckstroth. “If double were takeout, I would bid that instead.”

Steve Robinson agreed. “Very little has been written on what bids mean in this auction,” he said. “Because I have short spades, I’ll bid 3♣.”

“3♣,” said Kerri Sanborn. “I’m a simple soul and bid what I’m looking at.”

“With an extra ace, we need to do something,” said Peggy and John Sutherlins. “We feel double says we have something in spades.”

“3♣,” agreed Barry Rigal. “Double would show spade support, so the question is whether to risk 3♣. The vulnerability tempts me to act. I’ll blame it on Larry Cohen.”

“I would gladly double if it were for takeout,” said Larry Cohen, “but I don’t want to risk an accident if it is undiscussed. So I’ll let them push me to 3♣. If partner has more than four spades, I’ve done the wrong thing.”

Five experts doubled.

“I’m ready for minus 670,” said Karen Walker, “but with three and one-half quick tricks, allowing them to play undoubled is just too cowardly at matchpoints.”

“We had some discussion about this and decided that playing a double for penalty in this auction makes no sense,” said Linda and Robb Gordon.

“Double here should show extra values and a hand good enough to compete,” said Mel Colchamiro. “There are only so many spades in the deck, so partner should know I don’t have many.”

Allan Falk also voted for double. “If you play double for penalty, you will wait for years for that hand,” said Falk. “I hate to violate the BBS system, but if I get a zero, so be it.”

“I play a double here as takeout,” said Mike Lawrence. “My shape is slightly skewed, but if North bids hearts, then he has five spades. With that holding he might pass for penalty.”

Three experts chose to pass.

“Pass,” said August Boehm. “If double were takeout with extra values, naturally that would be ideal. Unfortunately, it isn’t.”

“Although we have some extras, we don’t mind defending spades if that is partner’s choice,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper.

Your vulnerable opponent bid 2♠, a suit North has at least four of. Most of the panel trust that East is not a maniac, and so look for a fit in clubs.

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