Club News Sheet – No. 199        26th Aug 2006






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Mon 21st 1st  Alan Hill & Gene                            57%       2nd    Mike Bell & Sid                 56%

Wed 23rd 1st  Per-ake & Terry                             61%       2nd    John & Kenneth                 56%

Fri    25th 1st  Paul Scully                                      59%       2nd    Bill Noe                              58%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A RHO opens 1. What do you bid?


3                   A4                With Hand B RHO opens 1 and you overcall 2. LHO bids

Q7642          872               2 and partner bids 2, what do you bid?

AKQ1092    876

J                   AK975        

With Hand C you open 1♦, LHO overcalls 1 and partner bids

Hand C           Hand D           1NT.  You pass this and LHO bids 2 which is passed round to

you. What do you bid?  

QJ4              A1065         

J2                 A95              With Hand D you are in 4th seat. There are two passes and RHO

AQ652         AQ109         (a) opens 2, what do you do?

A76              53                (b) opens 1, what do you do?


Change of suit over partner’s overcall is non-forcing          Board 11 from Wednesday 23rd 


Dealer:             103                            

North               AQ53                                         West          North         East(B)     South

Love all            KQJ2                                          -                 1              2           2

                        J106                                           2              pass           2NT (1)    all pass


QJ8752             N             A4                       

KJ6                W    E          872                      

53                       S              876                      

43                                      AK975                






(1)  What did you bid with this East hand B in this week’s quiz? Pass is best. This East decided to bid on because ‘he did not know how strong partner was’. That does not really hold water as the opposition have shown around 20 points and 2NT would promise a stop (and a much bigger hand).


And what happened? 2NT went two down for a clear bottom. Others made 7 or 8 tricks in ’s.

The bottom lines: -

-         When you overcall and partner bids another suit it is not forcing, so pass with a mediocre overcall and tolerance for his suit.

-         This is especially true if responder has shown some values and so the points are necessarily about 50-50.

Overcall with a two suiter?                                  Board 23 from Wednesday 23rd  



Dealer:             AQJ74                                        Table A

West                J109                                           West          North         East(A)    South

Both vul            8                                                 pass           1              3    (1)    pass (2)

                        A1097                                        pass           pass (3)     


1096                  N             3                          

AK83             W    E          Q7642                  Table B

65                       S              AKQ1092            West          North         East(A)    South

Q854                                 J                           pass          1              dbl   (1)    3    (4)

                        K852                                          4    (5)      4              5    (6)    dbl   (7)

5                                                 all pass      




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid this East hand A in this week’s quiz? I have repeatedly said in the news-sheets not to double with two suiters unless very strong. But this hand is very strong. 3 here was a weak jump overcall and had the effect of ending the bidding when a game makes +1.

(2)   South would like to show his support but 3 here would be forcing. So he passed assuming that partner would re-open with a double and he can then bid 3.

(3)   Fortunately for N-S, North decided not to re-open with a double (I would automatically) but then I would not expect East to have a rock-crusher.

Table B:     (1)  This East found one of the four possible good bids with hand A. With two suiters it’s normally best to overcall the higher ranking and then bid the lower next go, but this hand is strong enough to double and then pull partner’s likely response into ’s although this does run the risk of missing a possible 5-3 fit. There actually are three reasonable alternatives. (a) A 2 overcall (and bid ’s next go if necessary) or (b) overcall 2 and reverse into ’s next go (this hand is strong enough as it has enormous playing strength) or (c) bid a Michaels 2 (showing ’s and a minor) and then 4 next go to show a strong playing strength hand. Note that there will almost certainly be a ‘next go’ with this distribution; especially if the opponents play negative doubles.

(4)   South can happily raise to 3 now as it’s pre-emptive. Maybe even 4 is good.

(5)   West has a fairly comfortable 4 bid here, it would not have been so clear had South bid 4♠.

(6)   With this huge playing strength East can comfortably raise to 5.

(7)   South has 7 points opposite an opener but points are not everything and a 5 sacrifice would probably have been just one down


And what happened? 5 doubled made. Another table was in 4+1. 3 made +1 for a poor score but was not a complete bottom as another E-W pair bid to 5 doubled minus two.

The bottom lines: -

-         Do not make a weak jump overcall with a strong hand.


Note the apparent discrepancy with the Law of Total Tricks. There are just 18 combined trumps but 20/21 tricks (N-S can make 3/4and E-W can make 5). The number of total tricks is always greatly increased if there are double fits.

Don’t double to show an opening hand               Board 17 from Friday 25th 


I went all over this last week (in fact the whole news sheet was about the same topic). However, some people still seem to think that one should double to show an opening hand. It is a silly old-fashioned treatment, and even more so when partner is forced to bid at the three level (i.e. a double of a 2 opening): -


Dealer:             7                                                 Table A

North               Q62                                            West(D)     North         East          South

Love all            KJ9632                                       -                 pass           pass         2    (1)

                        K96                                           dbl   (2)      pass           3            all pass  


A1065               N             K93                     

A95                W    E          K1084                  Table B

AQ109               S              74                         West(D)     North         East(A)    South

53                                      QJ84                    -                 pass           pass         1    (1)

                        QJ842                                        1NT (3)      pass           pass (4)    pass





Table A:     (1)  N-S play Muiderberg, so this was weak with 5 ’s and a 4/5 card minor.

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand D(a) in this week’s quiz? Do not double with length in the suit opened. Pass is the best bid as it’s not quite good enough for 2NT. Double is a terrible bid with 4 ’s and just 3 ’s.

Table B:     (1)  Playing traditional methods South cannot open 2, but 1 is quite acceptable with this South hand in 3rd seat. I am mentioning this for the benefit of Bob Short who incorrectly (repeatedly - in his usual somewhat abrupt manner) challenged a similar 8 point opening a couple of weeks back. This is most certainly not a psyche, it is a light 3rd seat opener and is quite acceptable.

(3)   What did you bid with this West hand D(b) in this week’s quiz? This hand was not quite worth 2NT in the sequence above but I think that 1NT is reasonable – the intermediates and the 10 make it just about worth it. Pass is the other excellent alternative and double is a poor bid for the same reasons as mentioned above.

(4)  I would try Stayman followed by an invitational 2NT.


And what happened? 3 went two down. It would have been a complete zero apart from one other E-W pair who managed to overbid to 4 (redoubled) minus four! Quite an achievement on a 4-3 fit with 23 points. E-W defending 2 would have been a clear top.

The bottom lines: -

-         Do not double to ‘show an opening hand’. I have repeatedly stated this in the news sheets but some refuse to accept the advice. If you think that I don’t know what I am talking about then please look at any modern (last 50 years) bidding book.

-         There is a green card in the bidding box labelled ‘pass’ – use it!

-         With length/strength in the suit opened, overcall 1NT rather than double if you have the strength; otherwise pass!

-         A double of a 2 opening should guarantee 4 ’s or a very strong hand. This West hand qualifies for neither of course.

-         Opening light (say 8 points) in 3rd seat is perfectly acceptable if that is your style. It is not a psyche. OK Bob S? (Bob Short specifically asked me to write something about this).

Don’t be bullied into bidding 2NT                       Board 9 from Friday 25th 


If you have settled in 1NT and the opponents compete then do not be bullied into bidding 2NT. With a long suit you can compete by bidding the suit if you wish but ‘competing’ in No Trumps is unsound without a long suit.


Dealer:             K952                                          West          North         East          South(C)

North               9854                                           -                 pass           pass         1

E-W vul           J3                                                1    (1)      1NT (2)      pass         pass (3)

                        Q98                                           2    (4)      pass           pass         2NT (5) 

all pass

A8763               N             10                        

KQ103           W    E          A76                     

109                     S              K874                   

K2                                     J10543                    






(1)   I prefer to overcall rather than double with this hand type.

(2)   I prefer this (showing the good stop) to a negative double (showing 4 ’s).

(3)   1NT is where South wants to play.

(4)   Perhaps a bit pushy, vulnerable.

(5)   What did you bid with this South hand C in this week’s quiz? Do not bid 2NT in this sort of situation, but pass. Partner is 6-9 and 2NT may well go down when 2 also fails.


And what happened? 2NT went down for a poor score. 2 would have gone down for a good score to N-S.

The bottom lines: -

-         Do not ‘sacrifice’ in 2NT.

-         There is a green card in the bidding box labelled ‘pass’ – use it!


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     2, 2, 2(Michaels) or double. Any of these are reasonable options, with a chance to show a big two-suiter next go. What is not reasonable is to make a (weak) jump overcall in either suit as then there may well not be a next go.

Hand B:      Pass. The points are roughly even so it’s a partscore deal. You have adequate support and no other sensible bid even if you do think it’s worth a bid. Your initial 2 bid said it all.

Hand C:     Pass. Do not be bullied into bidding bid 2NT (especially with no stop) without the values; and 2 may well not be making.

Hand D:     (a)  Pass. Do not double with length/strength in the suit opened; and the hand is not good enough for a 2NT overcall. Double is terrible as it forces partner to bid at the 3 level and you do not even have 4 ’s.

(b)   Pass or 1NT. Do not double with length/strength in the suit opened. With these tenaces and the important 10 I would not argue with 1NT, but double is again a very poor bid.