Retro Edition

IMPs. N-S vulnerable.
♠J 6 4  A Q J 5 4   10 3 2   ♣K 9

West North East South
1
3 4 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
Pass 100
Dbl 80
5 20

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

You assume that your side has the balance of power after partner’s cue¬bid at the four level. When that is the case, the normal bid is to double at the five level with two or more quick losers in the opponents’ suit. The ma¬jority chose instead to pass. Why?

“Pass. This is forcing after partner’s 4 bid,” said Larry Cohen. “I’d be more tempted to double with two low diamonds, figuring on a diamond loser or two. In this case, partner could easily be void in diamonds, and every single one of my cards is working. If he wants to bid on, he surely won’t be disappointed with my hand.”

“Despite my minimum, I don’t want to double without a trump trick and inhibit partner from continuing,” said August Boehm.

“We make an encouraging pass,” said Kay and Randy Joyce. “We have no wasted diamond values and will abide by partner’s decision.”

“I view pass as automatic, despite my minimum high-card points,” said Mel Colchamiro. “Partner is likely to have a stiff or void in diamonds, and I’ll trust his judgment. If I had only two diamonds — the death holding — I would double.”

Kitty and Steve Cooper agreed. “We are in a force and have nothing wasted in diamonds,” they said. “Although we are minimum, all our cards are working.”

“I have no strong view of whether we should defend or declare,” said Allan Falk. “As I have nothing wasted in diamonds, I am not about to tell partner I have a strong preference for defending by doubling.”

“When partner bid 4, one of his primary reasons was to create a force,” said Linda and Robb Gordon. “To bid here is unilateral. We’ll leave the decision to partner.”

“I could bid 5 with nothing wasted in diamonds,” said Jeff Meckstroth, “but I will pass it around and let partner decide.”

“I will pass and let partner bid when he has diamond shortage,” said Barry Rigal. “It’d be a harder problem with only two diamonds.”

“This is a pretty good bad hand,” said Kerri Sanborn. “Even though I’m quite minimum, I have nothing wasted. Because we are in a force, I can wait to see what partner does.”

Six experts chose to double.

“I double to discourage partner from bidding 5 because my hand is dead minimum,” said Don Stack. “Pass would be forcing and encourage partner to bid.”

“Double is the only way to slow partner down in a forcing-pass situation,” agreed Karen Walker.

“It could be right to pass because what I have is pure, but I’m doubling,” said Mike Lawrence. “My double seldom includes a lot of diamond values, so partner can infer that I have a minimum.”

“Because we’re in a forcing-pass situation, my hand should show an unwillingness to go to the five level,” said Betty Ann Kennedy. “Needless to say, partner may override this decision.”

When the opponents interfere in a forcing situation, sometimes it’s right to pass and leave the decision to partner.

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