Retro Edition

Matchpoints. N-S vulnerable.
♠8 6 5   8   A 9 8 5   ♣A 10 9 7 5

West North East South
Pass Pass
1 Dbl 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

What’s your call?

Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
Dbl 100
3♣ 60
2NT 20

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

A double is responsive (takeout) when the opponents bid and raise the same suit. If South had spades, he could bid them, so the responsive double in the auction above leans toward the minor suits.

“Double should deny four spades and show both minors,” said Jill Meyers.

“This is a classic responsive double,” agreed Jeff Meckstroth.

“Double is takeout with emphasis on minors because with spades you can bid the suit over 2,” said Barry Rigal. “Anyone who thinks double shows spades simply isn’t thinking.”

“This is a perfect responsive double,” said Don Stack. “I can’t have four spades because I would bid 2♠ as my first priority.”

“Looks like a classic responsive double,” said Karen Walker. “This should be a unanimous panel, or am I missing something?”

The rest of those who choose double call it “classic” or “automatic.”

“Am I thinking of a responsive double?” asked Kerri Sanborn. “I suppose that could work, but I’m bidding 3♣ — that’s what I’m looking at.

Peggy and John Sutherlin agreed. “We have enough to bid, and we have a good five-card suit,” they said. “Why complicate the auction by doubling or bidding 2NT.”

East–West likely have 10 hearts between them. If South bids 3♣ and the opponents compete to 3, a real possibility, he won’t be as well-placed as those making a responsive double.

“2NT shows the minors,” said Mel Colchamiro. “This seems like the normal plan.”

“2NT is takeout for the minors,” agreed Betty Ann Kennedy.

If double promises both minors, then 2NT could be used as a natural bid.

Could diamonds play a trick better than clubs? Several of the doublers mention that they thought so. For example, if North holds:
♠A 9 4 3 7 4 K Q 4 3 *clubs;K Q 6,
a club contract would normally take 10 tricks, but a diamond contract would likely take 11.

A responsive double is a toy that keeps both suits in the picture.

Want to receive the retro “It’s Your Call” by email?

Click here to subscribe.