Mon 20th N-S 1st Bob Short/John Gavens 59% 2nd Bill/Mike(Can) 57%
E-W 1st Gerry/Sid 62% 2nd Chuck/Terry 61%
Wed 22nd N-S 1st Bill/Mike(Can) 58% 2nd Mr&Mrs Chauveau 56%
E-W 1st Hans(Ger)/Fred 62% 2nd Dave/Tom 60%
Fri 24th N-S 1st John Gavens/Gerry 56% 2nd Phil/Tomas 54%
E-W 1st Alan/Clive 59% 2nd Jean-Charles/Anton 58%
A mixed bag of results this week, but I note that Bill/Mike are still up there.
Bidding Quiz Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated
Hand A Hand B With Hand A partner opens 1♠ in first seat, what do you bid?
♠ KQ10982 ♠ Q96
♥ - ♥ K943 With Hand B you open 1♣, LHO overcalls 1♠, partner doubles
♣ 73 ♣ K1053
Hand C Hand D With Hand C you open 1♥ and partner responds 1NT.
(a) What do you bid? (b) Would your answer be any different
♠ K962 ♠ A9853 if you play 2/1 and so a forcing 1NT?
♦ A10 ♦ AK9742 With Hand D partner opens 1♥, (a) what do you bid?
♣ AQ ♣ 7 (b) Would your answer be different if you play 2/1?
Hand E Hand F With Hand E partner opens 1♦, what do you bid?
♠ K109 ♠ K943 With Hand F RHO opens 1♦ and you double. LHO redoubles
Q10 ♦ A partner bids 1♠ and
♣ AK52 ♣ KJ76
Hand G Hand H (a) What do you open with Hand G?
(b) Suppose you open 1♣ and partner responds 1♥, then what?
♠ K4 ♠ A9
♦ QJ42 ♦ K52
♣ AJ1043 ♣ AKQ10942
Hand J Hand K With Hand J
LHO opens 1♣, partner overcalls 1♠ and
doubles (negative). What do you do?
A72 ♥ Q982 With Hand K
partner opens 1♦ and
♦ J86 ♦ KJ2 you do?
♣ AJ864 ♣ 98
Bidding Sequences Quiz All of the following occurred this/last week.
L 1♣ 1♠ dbl 3♣ The first dbl is negative, what is the 2nd double?
M 1♣ 1♠ dbl 3♣ What is 3♥, weak or strong?
There is no intervention in the following sequences: -
N 1♦ - 4NT What is 4NT?
P 1♦ - 4♣ What is 4♣?
R 1♠ - 3♥ What is 3♥?
S 1♠ - 2♦ How many points for this new suit at the two level?
T 1♣ - 1♥ - 2♦ How many points for this reverse at the two level?
U 1♥ - 1♠ - 3♣ How many points for this ‘high reverse’ at the three level?
V 1♥ - 1NT - 2♠ What is 2♠?
W 1♥ - 1NT - 3♠ What is 3♠?
A safety play Board 3 from Wednesday 22nd
Play quiz: You are in 6NT with loads of entries, how do you play ♠AK983 opposite ♠J7 to make 4 tricks from the suit? : -
Dealer: ♠ AK983 West North East South
E-W vul ♦ A pass 2♥ pass 2♠
♣ Q964 pass 3♣ (1) pass 3NT (2)
pass 6NT (3) all pass
♠ Q54 N ♠ 1062
♥ 97 W E ♥ 10862
♣ K10 ♣ J83 (1) 2nd suit, natural and forcing.
(2) With the red suit well stopped this is correct.
♠ J7 (3) Since South has shown no interest in ♠’s and
♦ KQ7 correctly bids the slam in NT.
Now the bidding was fairly straightforward
(but only 4 pairs out of 9 found 6NT) but the question is how do you play the ♠ suit for
the required four tricks? What was your answer to the play quiz? You should
lead towards the ♠J. The succeeds whenever the ♠’s are 3-3
or if the ♠ is with East. If you are in 7NT (one pair were) then you need all
the ♠ tricks and the correct play would be to lead the ♠J, this
succeeds if west has Q10x but fails here. With this actual distribution it does
not matter how you play the ♠’s as there are always 4 ♠ tricks.
Bidding Opener’s ♣ suit Table A
West(B) North East South(J)
Board 3 from Monday 20th - - - pass
1♣ 1♠ dbl (1) 3♣ (2)
Dealer: ♠ AJ10873 pass (3) pass 3♦ (4) pass
Love all ♦ Q92
♣ 97 Table B
West(B) North East South(J)
♠ Q96 N ♠ K5 - - - pass
♥ K943 W E ♥ QJ65 1♣ 1♠ dbl (1) 3♣ (2)
♠ 42 The ‘Sensible’ Table
♦ J86 - - - pass
♣ AJ864 1♣ 1♠ dbl (1) pass (2)
Table A (1) A negative double. In this situation I play it as showing 4+ ♥’s and 6+ points, just the same as a 1♥ bid had there been no overcall.
(2) What did you bid with South hand J in this week’s quiz? I simply do not understand this 3♣ bid. Kamikaze? Jumping in a ropey 5 card suit under the guy who has opened the suit is simply ludicrous.
(3) What did you bid with this West hand B in this week’s quiz? Partner’s negative double has presumably shown ♥’s but the 3 level may be too high. However, 3♥ is very reasonable and is just a competitive bid. But I did not pass (at Table B).
(4) This bid is a trifle ambitious but probably best. East does not know of any fit and a 3-level bid here may be pushing it a bit, but pass is surely too feeble.
(5) But now West has an easy 4♥ bid now that East has shown values.
Stay Low on mis-fits Board 26 from Wednesday 22nd
Dealer: ♠ A9853 West North(D) East South
Both vul ♦ AK9742 pass 1♠ (1) pass 3♥ (2)
♣ 7 pass 4♦ (3) pass 4♥ (4)
pass 4NT (5) pass 5♦ (6)
♠ J4 N ♠ Q1073 pass 6♦ (7) pass 6♠ (8)
♥ QJ1084 W E ♥ 2 all pass
Redouble = the balance of power Board 6 from Monday 20th
Dealer: ♠ 1065 West(K) North East South(F)
E-W vul ♦ 98754 redbl (2) pass pass 1♥
♣ 1052 dbl (3) 1♠ (4) 1NT (5) 2♠ (6)
dbl all pass
♠ AJ87 N ♠ Q2
♥ Q982 W E ♥ K107
(1) I would open 1♣ but that is personal preference. I believe it’s always better to open 1♣ when equal length (33 or 44) in the minors if you cannot open 1NT.
(2) What did you bid with this West hand K in this week’s quiz? Redouble here shows 9+ points and looking for a penalty. With South probably having both majors this must be the best bid.
(4) Simply a better spot.
(5) East has no particular desire to defend 1♠ doubled and so bids 1NT. This pretty much describes his hand exactly; 12-14 with a doubleton ♠ tenace that he wants to protect.
(6) What did you bid with this South hand F in this week’s quiz? This is 2♠ bid is unwise, West has said that E-W have the balance of power and North can (probably does and did) have nothing.
And what happened? 2♠ doubled went for 300 for a good score to E-W. E-W can make 3NT but would they have bid it on their combined 24 count if South had passed at (6)?
The bottom lines: -
- A redouble declares that you have the balance of power and are usually looking for a penalty double.
A splinter? – part 1 Board 22 from Monday 20th
What was your answer to sequence R in this weeks quiz? : -
Dealer: ♠ 102 West North East South
E-W vul ♦ 72 3♥ (2) pass 4NT (3) pass
♣ 1076542 5♠ (4) pass 6♥ (5) pass
6♠ (6) all pass
♠ KQ753 N ♠ AJ984
♥ 2 W E ♥ AK106
(1) A Michaels cue bid (2♠, showing ♥’s and a minor) would be a good bid with this hand.
(2) A splinter.
(3) East was unsure if 3♥ was natural or a splinter but bid (RKC)Blackwood anyway.
(4) 2 key cards + the trump queen.
(5) East should be able to work out from the reply that ♠’s are trumps, but he bid 6♥ to be on the safe side.
(6) And West corrected.
And what happened? A fairly unimpressive auction to the top spot. Declarer made 13 tricks when he got the ♣ position right.
The bottom lines: -
I guess you have
to decide on sequence R. Without another agreement I think it’s a splinter.
A splinter? – part 2 Board 17 from Wednesday 22nd
Dealer: ♠ K962 West North(C) East South
Love all ♦ A10 pass 3♠ (1) pass 4♥ (2)
♣ AQ pass pass dbl all pass
♠ Q4 N ♠ J875
♥ 98 W E ♥ KJ64
(1) What did you bid with this North hand C in this week’s quiz? And what was your answer to V (1♥ - 1NT - 2♠) in the sequence quiz? 2♠ here would be a reverse showing a strong hand with 5 ♥’s and 4 ♠’s. So to answer the bidding quiz C question, 2♠ would be a reasonable bid but I cannot really see the point of mentioning the ♠ suit and I would simply bid 3NT.
And what was your answer to sequence W (1♥ - 1NT - 3♠) in the sequence quiz? With no proper agreement I would take it as a splinter – showing ♠ shortage, setting ♥’s as trumps, and inviting slam.
(2) South has the good ♠A but with a minimum he correctly signed off in 4♥.
And what happened? 4♥ doubled went for 300 and a clear bottom. 3NT was bid at many tables, sometimes making and sometimes not.
The bottom lines: -
- A bid of one level higher than a reverse is a splinter.
- A splinter normally agrees partner’s suit, but if partner has bid NT then it sets your suit as trumps.
A splinter? – part 3 Board 16 from Monday 20th
What was your answer to sequence S in the sequence quiz? : -
Dealer: ♠ J5 Table A
N-S vul ♦ Q94 1♠ pass 2♦ (1) 4♥
♣ K10654 pass (2) pass 4♠ 5♥
pass (3) pass 5♠ 6♥
♠ A7643 N ♠ KQ10982 dbl (4) all pass
♥ 1042 W E ♥ -
♠ - 1♠ pass 4♠ (1) 5♥
♦ 63 pass 6♥ 6♠ (6) dbl
♣ AJ92 all pass
Table A: (1) What did you bid with this East hand A in this week’s quiz? I guess that a 3♥ splinter is not too bad but I would like a bit more in the way of high cards. The obvious bid is 4♠ or even 5♠ (The Law – 11 combined trumps). This East chose 2♦ which I personally think is horrendous because (a) it is about 6 points below strength for a two level response and (b) you do not want partner to lead a ♦ from something like ♦Kx(x) if you end up defending a ♥ contract which is very likely if you do not jump in with ♠’s at a high level straight away.
(2) Partner’s 2♦ was game forcing so there’s no need for West to say anything.
(3) And West was again very patient.
(4) But this was the limit and out came the double card.
Table B: (1) This East chose the obviously sensible 4♠.
(5) And quite correctly competed to 5♠ with the known 11 combined trumps.
(6) But this was poor. Unlike at Table A, this East has described his hand pretty perfectly and he should simply pass now. Partner will expect exactly what East has and if West can defeat 6♥ then he will double, otherwise he’ll bid 6♠.
And what happened? At Table A West led the ♦A but then switched to the ♣Q as partner simply had to have the ♣A for his two level bid. 6♥ doubled making is apparently 1210. E-W at Table B thus did not get an outright bottom.
The bottom lines: -
- It’s not a good idea to make really silly bids that are far more likely to confuse partner that the opponents.
- Would you define this East 2♦ bid at Table A as a psyche? Maybe, but either way it’s a totally ridiculous bid.
- Bridge is a partnership game. At Table A East was simply fooling his partner. At Table B East unwisely bid his hand again when he had already told partner exactly what he had with his two previous bids.
Another ‘psychic’ bid? Board 4 from Friday 24th
Dealer: ♠ A9 Table A
Both vul ♦ K52 pass 3NT (1) all pass
♠ Q876 N ♠ J102 West North(H) East South
♥ Q2 W E ♥ K1086 pass 1♣ (1) pass 1♥
Table A: (1) What did you open with this North hand H in this week’s quiz? Now there is a convention called the Gambling 3NT, whereby one opens 3NT to show a long solid minor suit. Obviously I need to cover this in more detail as it looks like not everybody understands it completely. So I’ll write a separate sheet on it soon. Anyway, in short, there are three basic variations of the gambling 3NT. (a) where the 3NT opening guarantees absolutely nothing (no ace or king) outside the suit, (b) when the 3NT opening shows an outside feature, and (c) where the 3NT opening shows decent stuff outside.
I assume that this N-S pair play variation (b) or (c). In my personal opinion that is simply ‘gambling’ and I think that the only sensible variation is (a) but I’ll go into it in greater depth at a later date.
Table B: (1) This North chose a 1♣ opening. Now this hand is very strong but not good enough for 2♣ in my opinion. Playing Benjamin I would open 2♣ and then bid 3♣, but playing normal methods I think that 1♣ is the best opening.
(3) This is best played as a good hand with a good long minor suit. It’s perhaps a bit of an underbid but I cannot see any alternative if you do not play Benjamin.
(4) And partner’s 3NT rebid does not invite South to bid on and he absolutely correctly passed.
And what happened? 3NT was the top spot and about ½ of the field reached it. At a later stage one of the opponents at Table A approached me and asked what I would open with Hand H, I replied 1♣. He then asked what I thought of a gambling 3NT – and I said that I considered it too good. He then suggested that North had psyched. Now normally I simply dismiss these sort of comments, but as this came from the very same person who ‘psyched’ a 2♦ response with the East hand A on the previous page I just thought I’d let you know the sort of comments that I have to put up with when running the club. The bottom lines: -
- It’s up to you how you play the gambling 3NT. If it can be as good as this (a very old fashioned Acol style) then you should inform the opponents.
- If your agreement is something less (and more sensible) then opening 3NT with a strong hand like this may miss slams.
- I do not feel that anybody who makes a bid with 6 points less than the required minimum should complain about others ‘psyching’ because they may have 3 points more than expected.
Worth a reverse? Board 20 from Friday 24th
Dealer: ♠ J976 Table A
Both vul ♦ AK8 pass pass pass 1♣ (1)
♣ 9 pass 1♥ pass 2♦ (2)
pass 2♥ pass 3♥
♠ AQ85 N ♠ 1032 pass 4♥ all pass
♥ Q1093 W E ♥ K6
♠ K4 pass pass pass 1NT (1)
♦ QJ42 pass 3♦ (4) pass 3♥ (5)
♣ AJ1043 pass pass (6) pass
(1) What did you open with this South hand G(a) in this week’s quiz? I would open 1NT – both of the doubletons are good and the ♠K may need protecting from the opening lead. But the main reason that I would open 1NT is, as is usually the case, you have no sensible rebid if you do not. This South opened 1♣…
(2) … but then what did you rebid with the South hand G(b) in this week’s quiz? The problem is that it’s not quite good enough for a reverse into 2♦ - especially with ½ the points outside the two suits and a rebid of 2♣ is a bit feeble. Obviously you cannot rebid 1NT or 2NT as both promise an incorrect point range. That just leaves the pathetic 2♣ and that’s why I would open 1NT.
So how do you bid this hand and stay out of game? Assuming that South opens 1NT then there are no established methods for partner to show an invitational hand 5-4 or 4-5 in the majors. But fortunately our experts know all about Quest transfers ….
(1) A balanced hand in the 15-17 point range, so our expert opens 1NT.
(3) It is best to always use Stayman with 5-4’s.
(4) A Quest transfer! Showing 5 ♥’s, 4 ♠’s and invitational or better values.
(5) South’s hand has got progressively worse and completing the transfer is the only way to show a minimum.
(6) And with miserable majors North has an easy pass. N-S have done well to stay out of game.
And what happened? 4♥ was not a success. 3NT was dodgy and usually failed when bid. The bottom lines: -
- With a balanced hand within your 1NT range, open 1NT. Now I realise that 2245 is not balanced but if both doubletons are good and the hand is not worth a reverse then 1NT is usually best with this exact distribution (♠♥♦♣).
- When partner opens 1NT and you are 5-4 (or 4-5) in the majors with an invitational hand then it’s difficult. If you transfer then it’s game forcing (and I prefer 5-5) and using Stayman and then jumping is usually played as forcing (especially in the States).
- The best solution is undoubtedly Quest transfers. Look them up on the web.
- And a word about reverses. North though that South’s reverse promised 19 points, that is incorrect. A normal reverse (sequence T) is a good 15+ and forcing for one bid, a ‘high’ reverse (sequence U) promises around 19+ and is game forcing.
4NT quantitive? Board 18 from Wednesday 22nd
Dealer: ♠ K109 West North(E) East South
N-S vul ♦ Q10 pass 4NT (3) pass 5♥ (4)
♣ AK52 pass 6NT all pass
♠ J72 N ♠ A53
♥ K7 W E ♥ J109854
(1) I would open 2♥, especially at this vulnerability. Yes, I know that some people have requirements like two honours in the suit or whatever, but with these solid intermediates I still think that 2♥ is the best bid with this hand. I guess it’s a matter of style?
(2) Would you open this South hand? It complies with the rule of 20 and since it has the ♠ suit (so a nice rebid over a 1♥ response) I think it’s fine for 1♦.
(3) What did you bid with this North hand E in this week’s quiz? I think that the simple 1♥ stand out a mile – and if there is a ♥ fit then it’s off to slam. What was your answer to Sequence N in the sequence quiz? North apparently intended it as a quantitative NT bid.
(4) South not surprisingly assumed it was (RKC) Blackwood and showed his 2 key cards. With one ♦ more than partner might reasonably expect, 5♠ (showing the ♦Q) would be a reasonable bid, but South did not want to cloud the issue when he had no idea what the reasoning behind partner’s strange leap to 4NT was.
And what happened? This time North’s egocentric bidding paid off when the ♥K was onside and he somehow managed 12 tricks.
The bottom lines: -
- Never deny a 4 card major.
- 4NT over an opening 1 level suit bid is Blackwood unless you have some strange sort of agreement to the contrary.
- And I would take a 4♣ bid at (3) (so sequence P in the sequence quiz) as a splinter agreeing ♦’s and very obviously seeking slam as it’s gone past 3NT.
- I can see absolutely no need to leap off to the 4 level in the first round of bidding (except as a pre-emptive bid). With a very good hand take it nice and easy and learn more about partner’s hand.
L 1♣ 1♠ dbl 3♣ The first dbl is negative, what is the 2nd double? Penalties,
dbl opener opened a real ♣ suit and is sitting over the ♣ bidder.
M 1♣ 1♠ dbl 3♣ What is 3♥, weak or strong? Weakish, just raising partner’s ♥
3♥ suit in a competitive auction.
There is no intervention in the following sequences: -
N 1♦ - 4NT What is 4NT? (RKC) Blackwood. But a leap off to the 4-level in situations like this with a good hand is usually a poor bid.
P 1♦ - 4♣ What is 4♣? I would take it as a splinter agreeing ♦’s and looking for slam and asking partner to cue bid Obviously responder must have excellent ♦’s and good shape, especially if the 1♦ opening only promised 3 cards. An unusual bid.
R 1♠ - 3♥ What is 3♥? A splinter, agreeing ♠’s and showing ♥ shortage.
S 1♠ - 2♦ How many points for this new suit at the two level? Playing Acol,
8+; playing Standard American 11+, playing 2/1 it’s 12+.
T 1♣ - 1♥ - 2♦ How many points for this reverse at the two level? This is sometimes called a ‘low reverse’. It should be a very good 15+.
U 1♥ - 1♠ - 3♣ How many points for this ‘high reverse’ at the three level? The high reverse is game forcing so about 19+ including distribution.
V 1♥ - 1NT - 2♠ What is 2♠? A reverse (so a good 15+), most play it as forcing.
W 1♥ - 1NT - 3♠ What is 3♠? Since 2♠ is a reverse I take it as a splinter setting opener’s ♥ suit as trumps.
Hand A: 4♠, or even 5♠. 4♠ is probably best (with the intention of going 5♠ if pushed).
Hand B: 3♥ or dbl. Partner has values and presumably 4 ♥’s. But this hand is minimal and game is probably not there with both opponents bidding. So I chose to take the money with double but I would not argue with 3♥ (a weakish bid that is simply competing in partner’s presumed suit).
Hand C: (a) 3NT. A reverse into 2♠ is forcing but I cannot see the point as partner has denied 4 ♠’s.
Hand D: (a) 2♦ - with the intention of bidding ♠’s twice later.
(b) No. I would stretch this hand to a 2/1 response of 2♦ as a 1♠ response followed by repeated ♦ bid implies more ♠’s than ♦’s.
Hand E: 1♥. I cannot see any other remotely sensible bid. The hand is easily strong enough for a strong jump to 2♥ but the suit is nowhere near good/long enough.
Hand F: Pass. Partner is bust. He has simply corrected ♥’s to ♠’s and to bid on is suicide. LHO has doubled twice and has plenty more double cards left in the box, if you bid 2♠ you will simply go for a number.
Hand G: (a) 1NT. I think that 1NT is best as you do not have a decent rebid if you open 1♣.
(b) Dunno. Having opened 1♣ you have a problem now. 1NT is 12-14 and the hand is much too good. 2NT is 18-19. A reverse into 2♦ is possible but I would like a slightly stronger hand and more points in the two suits. The only other remotely sensible rebid is 2♣ but this hand is a bit good.
Playing a weak NT, of course, you can happily open 1♣ as you have a 1NT rebid (15-16) available.
Hand H: 1♣. It’s not good enough for 2♣ and it’s far too good for a gambling 3NT in most people’s style. Playing Benjamin twos I would open 2♣ followed by 3♣.
Hand J: Pass. It’s not quite good enough for 1NT opposite an overcall in my opinion. Bidding 2♣ is just silly, bidding 3♣ (two people did) is simply ridiculous.
Hand K: Redbl. 9+ points and the balance of power. You can subsequently double either ♥’s or ♠’s for penalties.
Bidding Sequence Answers are on the previous page.