Retro Edition

2 2 2♠ 2NT
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
2 90
Pass 60


For yesterday’s It’s Your Call deal (from September 2009’s Bridge Bulletin), Dbl was named top bid.
The panel divided into three camps. Partner may have a trap pass, so six panelists doubled. Five panelists rebid the six-card suit. With a weak opener, five experts passed. The aggressive bidders doubled. Why?
“Double,” said Betty Ann Kennedy. “I’m hoping for a conversion. If partner bids 2♠, I’ll pass.”
“Live by the sword, die by sword,” said Mel Colchamiro. “I am short in clubs, so I double. A good rule in these situations is to double if you would sit for partner’s (old days) penalty double. I will bid 3 over a 2 bid.”
“We may regret our double if partner bids hearts,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin, “but there is a good chance partner has a penalty pass.”
“I want to cater to partner having the penalty pass,” said Jeff Meckstroth.
“Double can backfire,” said Kerri Sanborn, “but surely I would have passed a penalty double by partner, so I owe her a reopening double. If partner bids 2, I will be stuck and have to pass.”
“I hope partner will pass my double,” said Lynn Deas. “If she bids 2, I will correct to 3. If she bids 2♠, I will pass.”
The next group were the conservative players who passed.
“Pass,” said Karen Walker. “I have no tricks, no major suits and no negative double from partner. I have nothing to gain by walking back into this auction. There’s no obligation to ‘protect’ partner by balancing on air, especially at this vulnerability.”
“I don’t have much in the majors,” said Jill Meyers.
“I have to weigh the chance that they are in trouble versus the chance they have a much better fit in one of the majors,” said Mike Lawrence. “My hand has a ton of losers for playing 2.”
“Pass,” said Steve Robinson, “Where are the majors?”
“This is tough to answer if you are not at the table to observe the tempo from opponents,” said Barry Rigal. “In abstract, I think pass is best. Even if we miss a penalty, plus 200 may beat other partscores. If it is the opponents’ hand, there are other strains and levels where they might score better.”
Then, there were the middle-of-the-road bidders.
“2,” said Allan Falk. “I hate doubling when I hold a six-card suit that could be a three-card suit. If partner has a penalty pass of 2♣, maybe we can make 3NT. In any event, 2 won’t be a silly result.”
“I usually try to reopen with a double,” said Larry Cohen, “but if partner has a trap pass, we can possibly play in 3NT anyway. When in doubt, I hate to sell out cheaply. Partner could easily have something useful like:
♠Q J 4 3   J 5 3 2   Q 4 3   ♣7 5.”
“My first thought was double,” said Don Stack, “but it definitely doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel like I can pass, either. Where are the majors? Do they have a game? There are many what-ifs and no clear action.”
“We think 2 is the best bid because they are not vulnerable,” said Kay and Randy Joyce. “Maybe we will get a chance to double 3♣, if that was what partner was hoping for. A pass will usually lead to a below-average score.”
These are the choices: double, 2 and pass. How aggressive do you feel today?