Retro Edition

IMPs. N-S vulnerable.
♠9 4 2   —  10 9 7 6 5 4 3  ♣J 5 2

West North East South
Pass 2NT Pass ?

What’s Your Call?

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
Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
5 100
3NT 50
Pass 30

3NT could be expensive

Playing notrump, you might have a lot of diamond tricks for partner or you may have none — it all depends on what he has in diamonds. The panel majority chooses to shoot it out in 5.

“A 5 call is the cheapest number of diamonds that I can bid,” says Robinson. “I can’t see passing 2NT and bidding 3NT is a long shot.”

“It’s difficult to know what this hand will make, but much of the time it will be some number of diamonds,” says Stack. “Because it is IMPs, lets go for the gusto and bid 5.”

“There’s too much upside not to bid 5,” says Colchamiro, “and if 3NT makes, then partner must have three cards in diamonds and maybe 5 will make, too. If 3NT makes and 5 fails, that’s too bad.”

Falk agrees with 5 and says, “Who knows? Even if partner has three diamonds, they may all be higher than the 10 and 3NT will be too high.”

“There are no guarantees with 5, but 3NT could be very expensive if the diamonds don’t run,” says Meckstroth.

Some experts choose 3NT.

Coopers: “3NT should make whenever North has three diamonds, including a low one.”

Gordons: “We like 3NT, hoping partner has at least three diamonds or A K and the ♣J is an entry. If none of these conditions exist, you are unlikely to make eight tricks either. Go for the gusto.”

Walker: “3NT is typical red‑at‑IMPs madness. Partner either has the right diamond holding or he doesn’t. If the latter, 5 isn’t likely to make either.”

Boehm: “I’m hoping partner’s diamonds are as good as A–8–2 or that the ♣J provides a surprise entry. When 3NT fails, it will often go down more than one, so passing 2NT, hoping for exactly eight tricks, seems against the odds.”

Lawrence chooses to pass. “My hope is that 2NT goes down less than 5.”

The majority chooses the straightforward 5 bid. At minus 100 an undertrick, you can lose a lot of IMPs when 3NT fails.

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