Retro Edition

Matchpoints. None vulnerable.
♠J 6 5 2   K Q J 10 8 7 2  A  ♣K

West North East South
1
Pass 1♠ 2 ?
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
Dbl Pass

What’s your call?

Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
4 100
3 70
Dbl 20
3 20
3♠ 10
2 0
2♠ 0

For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from November 2010’s Bridge Bulletin), 4 was named top bid.

The majority preferred to play in the excellent heart suit. North’s 1♠ bid improves South’s hand, so 11 experts bid a direct 4. What were their reasons?

Larry Cohen: “Surely this will handle better with hearts as trumps. Because I have a play opposite ♠K 10 9 3 and out, I think I am worth jumping to game.”

Kay and Randy Joyce: “Seven-card suits with one hundred honors deserve to be trumps. Partner’s spade bid improves our chances.”

Barry Rigal: “It’s hard to imagine this won’t play as well in hearts as in spades.”

Steve Robinson: “I see no reason to play spades. To make a spade slam, partner needs a lot. I don’t want to bid less than 4 and allow the opponents a better chance to find a fit, if they have one.”

Linda and Robb Gordon: “The spade suit is an illusion. Playing this deal in spades might end horribly if partner has only a four-card suit.”

Jill Meyers: “I can play 4 opposite a void.”

Allan Falk: “I’m a bigger fan than most of raising partner’s suit, but a spade contract could be problematic. Also, a 4 bid does not disclose the spade fit — a tactical consideration.”

Mike Lawrence: “I’m content to emphasize hearts and give up on spades. If partner has ♠A 10 8 3 and out, I have a play for 4.”

Peggy and John Sutherlin: “As little as ♠K Q 7 4 from partner will be enough to make game. If we are lucky, our 4 bid will shut out West and end the auction.”

August Boehm: “This hand is more about hearts than spades. With 4, I’m trying to shut out the diamonds.”

Four experts rebid 3.

“This is a suit that has to be bid again,” said Karen Walker. “My hearts could be worthless in a spade contract.’”

Mel Colchamiro echoed 3. “It’s hard to imagine spades playing better than hearts, even opposite a void. My second choice is 4.”

“Hearts must be trump because of the quality of the suit,” said Don Stack. “The only question becomes how many do I bid. I opt for 3 to show the playing strength. Partner’s 1♠ bid is a tremendous plus to my hand. Let’s put it this way: Partner’s spades are more valuable in a heart contract than the hearts would be in a spade contract.”

Kitty and Steve Cooper cuebid. 3. “Let’s make a forcing noise to find out more and put us in a forcing pass situation later on,” they say. “We wish to be in game — perhaps 4 or perhaps 4♠.”

Kerri Sanborn took an interesting position. “Double,” she said. “How about a support double, then a jump to 4? It isn’t clear which suit we should be paying in, so this could determine how good our spade fit is.”

As Stack pointed out, your hearts may be of little use in a spade contract, while the spades will be useful to South in a heart contract.

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