Club News Sheet – No. 196        5th Aug 2006






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Mon 31st  1st  N-S  Bob & Jo                          56%     2nd    Dave & Neil                             53%

                1st E-W John & Kenneth                 56%     2nd    Paul Wijnbergen & Harry         54%

Wed 2nd   1st  Bob & Eddie                              55%     2nd    Paul Scully & Dave                   55%

Fri    4th    1st        Gerry & Tony                       60%     2nd    Jim & Phil                                 54%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A LHO opens 1, partner bids 1 and RHO

bids 2. What do you bid?

K765            AJ9

AK753         1086             With Hand B LHO opens 1, partner bids 1 and RHO

Q105            KQ7             bids 2. What do you bid?

9                  A932


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C partner opens 1, you bid 1 and partner reverses

with 2. What do you bid?

J10872         QJ8                                           

Q3                KQ6             With Hand D RHO opens 1. (a) what do you bid?   

3                   Q104            (b) Suppose you pass and this is passed round to partner who

AK987         K965           doubles. Then what do you bid?


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E LHO opens 1 and this is passed round to you.

What do you bid?

A106            QJ109                                 

J9874           KJ10            With Hand F LHO opens 1 and partner doubles.

A854            5                   (a) What do you bid?

2                  J10942         (b) Suppose you bid 1 and partner bids 2, what now?


Hand G           Hand H           With Hand G you open 1and LHO overcalls 3which is passed round to you. (a) What do you bid?

K8                A752            (b) What if partner made a long pause?

4                   AQ92          

A109864      AQ84           With Hand H RHO opens 1. (a) What do you bid?

AKQ7          8                  (b) Suppose you double and partner bids 1, what now?


Hand J            Hand K           What, if anything, do you open (both vul in 1st seat) with Hand J?


AK9732       3                   With Hand K partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 1, what   

4                   J862             do you do?            

97                 K862                                         

K965           10542


Bidding Sequences Quiz


L      1      1    pass   2              What is 2?

M    1      1    pass   3              What is 3?

N     1      1    pass   4              What is 4?

P      1      1    pass   2              What is 2?

The Unassuming Cue Bid – part 1                      Board 1 from Friday 28th   


This deal is actually from two week’s ago, but I was asked about it when a player was unjustly criticised by a club ‘expert’.


Dealer:             Q42                                            Table A

North               Q9                                              West(A)     North         East          South(K)

Love all            A743                                          -                 1              1            2    (1)

                        AJ87                                          3    (2)      pass           pass (3)    pass


K765                 N             AJ1098                 ‘Expert’ Table

AK753           W    E          104                       West(A)     North         East          South(K)

Q105                  S              J9                          -                 1              1            2  (1)

9                                        KQ63                  3    (2)      pass           4    (4)    all pass






Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand K in this week’s quiz? I would negative double – I know it’s ‘only’ 4 “points” but partner’s opening and the overcall have improved the hand and it’s worth looking for a 4-4 fit as you can always retreat into ’s if there is not one.

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand A in this week’s quiz? If you don’t play the Unassuming Cue Bid then I would bid 4. I understand that one player did indeed bid 4 and was criticised by an opponent. I see no need for this, not everybody plays all of the latest gadgets.

(3)   If 3showed an invitational hand in their system then I would go to 4♠ with this hand – those intermediates are great and it’s decent shape.

‘Expert       (2)  Our experts play that a cue bid of the opponent’s suit after partner has overcalled

 Table’:             in a major show a ‘limit raise or better’ – the Unassuming Cue Bid.

(4)   As I said above, this hand is worth 4 opposite an invitation.


And what happened? Two pairs bid 4, two stopped in 3. Just one player made 4, this is an example of when you should not play eight-ever nine never. After the defence cash two tricks then South has shown up with 3 points and so you should play North for the Q which he probably needs to have an opening bid.

The bottom lines: -

-         ‘Eight ever-nine never’ is in fact very close (2%). Take the bidding and cards already played into account before making the decision.

-         When partner overcalls in a major, then cue bid the opponent’s suit to show a sound raise to the three level or better (limit raise or better – the Unassuming Cur Bid).

-         If you play the Unassuming Cue Bid then a direct raise of partner’s suit to the three or four level is pre-emptive.


The Unassuming Cue Bid – part 2                      Board 7 from Monday 31st    


Here we see the advantage of playing the Unassuming Cue Bid – you can stay low if partner has a minimal overcall.


Dealer:             2                                                 Table A

South               J74                                             West          North         East(B)     South

Both vul            J1093                                          -                 -                 -               1

                        KQJ76                                       1              2              4    (1)    all pass


1086543            N             AJ9                       ‘Expert’ Table

K2                  W    E          1086                     West          North         East(B)     South

A62                    S              KQ7                     -                 -                 -               1

54                                      A932                    1              2              3    (1)    pass

                        KQ7                                           3    (2)      all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this East hand B in this week’s quiz? If you do not play the Unassuming Cue Bid then I guess that you have to hope that partner has a decent overcall and bid 4.

‘Expert       (1)  Our experts play the Unassuming Cue Bid of course, so East simply shows a

 Table:              sound raise to 3with a 3cue bid.

                  (2)  And with a minimal overcall our expert finds it easy to stop at the three level.


And what happened? 3 made, 4 was one down.


The bottom lines: -

-         The Unassuming Cue Bid applies when LHO opens and partner overcalls (usually a major).

-         You cue bid LHO’s suit to show a sound raise to the 3 level (or better).

-         And it also applies when RHO bids.

-         I have written up an article on the Unassuming Cue Bid. It’s in the conventions folder and on the web.

The Unassuming Cue Bid – part 3                      Board 8 from Friday 4th    



Dealer:             106                                             Table A

West                Q93                                            West(J)      North         East          South

Both vul            AJ865                                         pass (1)      pass           pass         1

                        874                                            1              2              3    (2)    pass

pass (3)      pass

AK9732            N             Q854                   

4                     W    E          AJ65                    ‘Expert’ Table

97                       S              103                       West(J)      North         East          South

K965                                 QJ10                    pass (1)      pass           pass         1

                        J                                                 1              2              3    (2)    pass

K10872                                      4    (4)      all pass




Table A:     (1)  Did you open this West hand J in this week’s quiz? It conforms with the rule of 20 and with all of the points in the long suits I think it’s a sound opener. I think that it’s much too good for a weak 2 and in my style there is no ‘gap’ between a 1 and 2 opener and so I will never pass.

(2)   What would you bid with this East hand? Having read the last two pages you should know that 3 is the best bid – an Unassuming Cue Bid – showing a sound raise to 3♠. This direct 3 bid is just pre-emptive.

(3)   And West has no reason to know that East has a great hand.

‘Expert       (2)  Our experts play the Unassuming Cue Bid and 3 is clear here.

 Table:        (4)  With great shape and a singleton in opener’s suit this hand is well worth 4♠.


And what happened? 10 tricks were always made in ’s. One player (Dave) did open the West hand with 1 and got an invitational 3 response from partner. Actually it’s not so clear to accept the invitation now (rather than at (4) above) as he does not know that the singleton is great. But after a short pause he did indeed go to 4.


The bottom lines: -

-         The Unassuming Cue Bid also applies when LHO opens and partner overcalls and RHO bids.


The Unassuming Cue Bid – part 4                      Board 11 from Friday 4th  


There was yet another example of the Unassuming Cue Bid on Friday: -



Dealer:             532                                             Table A

South               K                                                West          North         East          South

Love all            A9864                                        -                 -                 -               pass

                        A1032                                        pass           1              1            pass

3    (1)      pass           pass (2)    pass

QJ7                   N             A106                   

QJ84              W    E          A10975                ‘Expert’ Table

K2                      S              QJ53                     West          North         East          South

J864                                   K                         -                 -                 -               pass

                        K984                                          pass           1              1            pass

632                                             2    (1)      pass           4    (3)    all pass




Table A:     (1)  We all know by now that this should be a pre-emptive bid.

(2)   And so East had no reason to bid on.

‘Expert’      (1)  Our experts play the Unassuming Cue Bid and 2 is clear here.

 Table:        (3)  And opposite a sound limit raise East has an easy game bid.


And what happened? Two out of 3 pairs bid the game. Everybody made 10 or 11 tricks.


The bottom lines: -

Play the Unassuming Cue Bid!

Hanging Partner                                                   Board 8 from Monday 31st   



Dealer:             QJ8                                           

West                KQ6                                           West          North(D)    East          South(E)

Love all            Q104                                          2              pass (1)      pass         dbl   (2)

                        K965                                         pass           3NT (3)      pass         4    (4)

all pass

K97432             N             5                          

A32                W    E          105                      

J7                        S              K532                   

Q3                                     AJ10874             






(1)   What did you bid with this North hand D(a) in this week’s quiz? With a flat 13 count pass is certainly best. If your partner understands balancing then he will bid your hand for you.

(2)   What did you bid with this South hand E in this week’s quiz? I don’t see the point of doubling when holding a 5 card suit and, being a simple soul, I would simply bid 2.

(3)   What did you bid with this North hand D(b) in this week’s quiz? 2NT is quite sufficient opposite a balancing double that may be as few as 7-8 points. Bidding game here is called “hanging partner” – partner has made a balancing bid simply to protect you/push the opponents up and you leap off to an unmakeable game. It looks like North ‘understood’ balancing with his initial pass but forgot about it here.

(4)   And it looks like South finally noticed that he had a 5 card suit and for some strange reason he decided to bid it at the 4-level.


And what happened? I guess that South’s play is better than their bidding as they lucked out when 4 actually made.


The bottom lines: -

-         A take out double is normally about 10+ points.

-         But in the balancing seat things are about 3 points different, so 7+.

-         So when partner balances with a double do not go leaping into game with 13 points.

-         If you have a 5 card major then overcall with it, do not double.

The jump to 3NT when partner reverses            Board 19 from Monday 31st   



Dealer:             J10872                                       Table A

South               Q3                                              West          North(C)    East          South

E-W vul           3                                                 -                 -                 -               1

                        AK987                                       pass           1              pass         2    (1) 

pass           3NT (2)      pass         4NT (3)

Q94                   N             53                         pass           5    (4)      pass         5NT (5)

104                 W    E          KJ975                  pass           6    (6)      pass         6

J107652              S              Q                          pass           6NT (7)      pass         7NT (8)

62                                      J10543                 all pass


A862                                          Table B

                        AK984                                       West          North(C)    East          South

Q                                               pass           1              pass         2    (1)

pass           3NT (2)      pass         pass (3)

Table A:     (1)  A reverse.

(2)   What did you bid with this North hand C in this week’s quiz? 3NT is correct. Partner’s reverse is forcing (16+ points) but he is not promising to bid again. Thus a jump to 3NT shows values to play there opposite 16, so about 9-12 pts.

(3)   Asking for aces in their system I guess ?

(4)   I would pass, even if partner’s bid was ace-asking (I would take 4NT as quantitative). Partner did not open 2 and you have a total mis-fit and so no hope of slam.

(5)   Asking for kings I guess. Obviously South simply went ballistic from (3) onwards.

Table B:     (3)  This South knew exactly what his partner’s bid meant.


And what happened? 7NT went -4.


The bottom lines: -

-         When partner reverses then a 2NT bid is not forcing (it’s weakish, about 6-8 and promising a stop in the unbid suit).

-         With game values, bid 3NT or a forcing bid.

-         Beware of mis-fits.

-         A bid of 4NT over partner’s 3NT is a natural invitational raise (quantitative).

-         For more advanced partnerships 2NT after partner’s reverse is Lebensohl.

Double followed by a raise shows a strong hand                  Board 2 from Monday 31st


West was incorrectly criticised on this deal; everybody (except West) seems to be talking garbage in my opinion. And nobody picked up on what I think was possibly an inferior bid by West, but it’s marginal.



Dealer:             864                                            

East                  743                                             West(H)     North         East(F)     South

N-S vul            962                                             -                 -                 pass         1

                        KQ75                                        dbl   (1)      pass           1    (2)    pass

2    (2)      pass           pass (3)    pass

A752                 N             QJ109                 

AQ92             W    E          KJ10                   

AQ84                 S              5                          

8                                        J10942                






(1)   What did you bid with this West hand H (a) in this week’s quiz? I know that double will be the almost unanimous choice but with these great ’s I think that 1NT may be better. Unlike a 1NT opening, a 1NT overcall may have a singleton – it’s stop(s) in the suit bid that are all important. Double will normally work out fine, but not if partner responds 2. Anyway, nobody picked up on this so let’s assume everybody was happy with the double.

(2)   What did you bid with this East hand F (a) in this week’s quiz? A jump to 2 is about 9-10 points – and this hand is easily worth it. Solid ’s, good ’s great intermediates and a very useful singleton. I would not argue if you chose 3, but 1 is very poor.

(3)   What did you bid with this West hand H (b) in this week’s quiz? 2 is absolutely correct. Partner has promised zero points and 2 here shows a good hand. 3 would be a gross overbid.

(4)   What did you bid with this East hand F (b)? Partner’s 2 bid is strong and it’s all textbook stuff (and up on the web in the beginner’s section). Pass with 0-3, bid 3 with 4-6 and bid 4 with 7-8. This hand should have made a move last go, pass now is horrendous.


And what happened? The easy game (making 11 tricks) was missed, and apparently the other 3 (experienced?) players at the table all blamed West!! They said that he should have bid 3 at (2)! Total twaddle, and that’s me being polite. My answer is to read up the section on the web and come along to lessons if you don’t understand why 2 is absolutely correct. 3 is a gross overbid.


The bottom lines: -

-         Upgrade (by a lot!) a hand with three tens, two nines and a useful singleton.

-         If you give a minimal response of 1/ to a double by partner and he raises to 2/, then go to game with 7-8 points. This is all very clearly defined on the web (Basic Bidding – doc No. 134).

-         Don’t criticise an opponent if you don’t know what you are talking about.

Forced to pass after partner’s hesitation?                           Board 3 from Monday 31st


Dealer:             7543                                           The same set of players got it all

South               AJ                                              wrong on the very next board: -

E-W vul           K32                                           



AQ6                  N             K8                        West          North         East(G)    South

Q73                W    E          4                           -                 -                 -               pass (1)

Q75                    S              A109864              pass           pass           1            3    (2)

8642                                  AKQ7                  pass (3)      pass           pass (4)






(1)   South did not open 3 because had 4 ’s.

(2)   So now the pre-empt implies a 4 card suit.

(3)   After a very long pause.

(4)   What did you bid with this East hand G in this week’s quiz? If you play negative doubles to this level then a re-opening double here is automatic. If you do not play negative doubles this high then I would still double (take-out). You most certainly do not want to sell out to 3 and I think that dbl is clear-cut. East passed because he thought that he was obliged to after partner’s long pause. He is not.


And what happened? 3 went two down for about average. Had East doubled the he would have got a good score for 3 doubled going two down or else for 5 or 6 if E-W bid on.


The bottom lines: -

-         Partner’s hesitation does NOT bar you from bidding. In this example, if E-W play negative doubles then East is OBLIGED to make the ‘automatic’ re-opening double. Otherwise the director may well give an adjusted score if E-W got a good result because there was no re-opening double.

-         If you play negative doubles through to say 2and the above situation occurs, then East has to think “what would 80% of the people of my standard do in this situation” and make a bid if he believed that 80% would. In my opinion 80% of people of this East’s standard would indeed have doubled.


A hat-trick - the same critical guys again.         West hand 4 from Monday 31st


West                East                                    West          North         East            South


Q7                AK952                           pass           pass           1              pass

108               KQ2                               1NT           pass           2   (1)      pass        

AQ1032       5                                     pass   (2)    pass

J876             AQ9


(1)   Quite why East rebid 2 I have no idea, I would bid a game forcing 3. Anyway, people at the table said that West should have bid 2 at (2). I don’t see why – it’s a ‘known’ 4-4 fit. False preference to 2 may be better at pairs scoring but I would certainly not criticise the pass. East should not have made a non-forcing ‘false’ bid with game values.

Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     3. An Unassuming Cue Bid. You have a sound raise to 4 if partner has a decent overcall; but an overcall may be as few as 7 points. So a cue bid of the opponents suit means just that and enables partner to stop in 3 with a minimal overcall.

Hand B:      3. Ditto

Hand C:     3NT. This shows about 8-11 points and stop(s). 2NT is wrong because it is not forcing (it shows about 6-8) unless you play Lebensohl. With a slam seeking hand you could always kick off with 4th suit forcing (3 - which is not natural).

Hand D:     (a)  Pass. Nowhere near good enough for 1NT and far too flat for double.

(b)  2NT. Partner’s double is in the balancing seat and he is not promising the usual 11+ points (only about 8+). When partner balances you should deduct 3 points from your hand and reply accordingly.

Hand E:      2. Totally unsuitable for a double (because of the singleton and values in ’s). It’s very simple really – with a five card major, bid it. Note that 8 points is OK for a 2-level overcall in the balancing seat.

Hand F:      (a)  2. 9-11 points, which is what this hand is easily worth.

(b)  4 Partner is inviting game and you should go with 7-8 points.

Hand G:     (a)  Dbl. “automatic” if you play negative doubles to this level. If you do not play negative doubles to this level than a (take-out) double is very clear.

(b)  Dbl. As I said above, it’s very clear and so not influenced by partner’s pause.

Hand H      (a)  Dbl or 1NT? I prefer 1NT as it has two great stops and you are fixed if you double and partner bids 2. Also 1NT has the advantage that you will probably end up as declarer in an eventual //NoTrump contract and will likely get a favourable lead. If you double then partner is almost certain to become declarer. However, I suspect that 99% of readers will double and with both majors that will usually (but not always) work out fine.

(b)   2. Partner has shown 0-8 points. 2 by you now shows a strongish hand and invites partner to bid game if he has about 7-8 points. This hand is just about worth 2 and I would not argue if you chose to pass. 3, as suggest by a couple of players, would be a gross overbid. If you do not understand this it’s all up on the web (® Basic Bidding ® doc No. 134).

Hand J:       1♠. It conforms with the rule of 20 and with all of the points in the long suits I think it’s easily worth an opener and is much too strong for a weak 2. I would never pass as I do not allow a gap between my 1 and 2 openers.

Hand K:     Dbl. Negative, showing 4 ’s. Partner’s opening and the overcall have improved this hand and you can always rest in ’s if there is no 4-4 fit.




Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers


L      1      1    pass   2        What is 2? About 6-9 points and usually 3 ’s

M    1      1    pass   3        What is 3? Pre-emptive with usually 4 ’s

N     1      1    pass   4        What is 4? Pre-emptive with usually 5 ’s

P      1      1    pass   2        What is 2? A sound raise to 3 or more – an Unassuming Cue Bid