Retro Edition

Matchpoints. Both vulnerable.
♠A K 9 3 2   J 9 8  A 10 7 2  ♣5

West North East South
Pass 1 Pass 1♠
Pass 1NT 2♣ ?

What’s Your Call?

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
Click to reveal awards
Bid Award
3♣ 100
3 50
Dbl 10
3NT 10
Panelists
August Boehm, Larry Cohen, Mel Colchamiro, The Coopers, Allan Falk, The Gordons, The Joyces, Betty Ann Kennedy, Mike Lawrence, Jeff Meckstroth, Jill Meyers, Barry Rigal, Steve Robinson, Kerri Sanborn, Don Stack, The Sutherlins, Karen Walker, Bridge Baron

What’s the problem?

The panel is emphatic about its choice — a 3♣ cuebid sets a force and asks partner to further describe their hand.

Meyers: “Let’s set a game force, then decide what to do next.”

Cohen: “I was going to check back for a spade fit anyway, so now I have to do it by bidding 3♣.”

Falk: “What’s the problem? The problem may come the next round. I can’t image the panel being less than 16–2 for the 3♣ bid.”

Never underestimate the panel.

Colchamiro: “I’m just going to bid the value of my hand with 3♣. To double is wrong — I’ve got too many diamonds and too few clubs.”

Gordons: “Do you force to game or don’t you? We do.”

Lawrence: “A 3 bid is only invitational. Because we could have a slam, I need to do something stronger than that.”

A slam is optimistic, but partner could hold: ♠Q 5 2   A K 4  K Q 9 4 3  ♣6 4.

Walker: “No matter how partner takes this — diamond support, checkback for spades or looking for 3NT — my hand qualifies.”

Joyces: “We have too much hand for 3 and not enough clubs for double.”

Boehm: “This hand is too strong for an invitational 3 bid. To make an amorphous modern-day double and torture partner is not my style.”

Rigal: “The delayed 2♣ bid should be diamonds and clubs, but obviously East is a palooka who failed to bid the round before. Double is negative but should deliver more than a singleton club. I’ll force to game with 3♣.”

Kennedy chooses double. “Double is a value-showing call,” she says. “Nearly all low-level doubles are for takeout. I’ll try and raise diamonds later.”

Two experts choose 3.

“I’m a little heavy for this, but it gives us a chance to get out below game,” says Meckstroth.

“3 is only an invite,” agree the Sutherlins, “but if partner passes, we are unlikely to have game and it’s nice to go plus playing matchpoints.”

You have a fit for partner, a good five-card suit and shortness in East’s suit. Because of this, the majority force to game. As Falk asks, what’s the problem?