Club News Sheet – No. 204        30th  Sept 2006






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Mon 18th      1st N-S     Henrik & Johannes     61%               2nd    Alan & Ian               52%

                    1st E-W    Bob Short & Emil       61%               2nd    John & Kenneth       57%

Wed 20th      1st Jim & Knut                            63%               2nd    Phil & Tomas           62%

Fri    22nd     1st Ivy & Wolfgang                     60%               2nd    Bob P & Ken           57%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A partner opens 1NT, what do you bid?


AJ7               86                

K92              A98              With Hand B partner opens 1 and you bid 1. Partner then bids

3                   Q532            1, what do you do?

Q107652     A1054


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C partner opens 1 (guaranteeing 4+ ’s) and RHO doubles. What do you bid?

-                   874              

AQ6             K10              With Hand D RHO opens 1 in 3rd seat. (a) What do you do?

K7653          AKJ107        (b)  Suppose you pass, LHO bids 1 and this is passed round to

A10764        Q103                 you. What do you do?


Hand E            Hand F           

With Hand E partner opens 1, what do you bid?

1084             52                  

KQ72           J104              

K97              10976           With Hand F it’s favourable vulnerability. Partner opens 1

K62             J642             and RHO doubles. What do you do?


Hand G           Hand H          

With Hand G RHO opens 3, what do you do?

K7                J9                                        

A86              K852           

A8542          J982              With Hand H partner opens 2NT (20-21), what do you do?

AJ6              642


Bidding Sequences Quiz            All of these sequences occurred last week.


J      1      dbl     pass   1NT       How many points for 1NT?

K     1      dbl     pass   1NT  

2NT                                     How many points for 2NT?

L      1      dbl     pass   2    

2NT                                     How many points for 2NT?

M    1      pass   pass   dbl    

redbl                                    What is the redouble?

N     1      1      2      2     

4                                        What is 4?

It’s rarely correct to transfer to a minor            Board 17 from Monday 25th


 When partner opens 1NT you should virtually always transfer into a 5-card major. But transferring into a (6-card) minor is different and you should only do so if very weak or if you are looking for slam. This is because 3/4/5 of a minor will usually score poorly as opposed to a NoTrump contract.


Dealer:             62                                               Table A

North               AJ75                                          West          North         East          South(A)

Love all            A765                                          -                 1NT           pass         2    (1)

                        AK8                                           3              pass           pass         4   (2)

all pass

Q85                   N             K10943               

Q3                  W    E          10864                   Table B

QJ10984             S              K2                        West          North         East          South(A)

93                                      J4                         -                 1NT           pass         3NT (1)

                        AJ7                                             all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand A in this week’s quiz? If you play 4-way transfers then you can bid 2 as a transfer specifically to ’s and then bid 3NT or a quantitive 4NT, but I would like a little more to make a move towards slam.

(2)  And this shows a weak hand with a long suit.

Table B:     (1)  Clearly the best bid, as chose at 4 out of 7 tables.


And what happened? 4+2 scored a near bottom. It was only surpassed when one North elected to open 1 (I believe that he considers you need a stop in each suit to open 1NT?) and was (deservedly) left to play there!

The bottom lines: -

-         When partner opens 1NT, do not bother to mention minor suits unless you have a very good reason for doing so.

-         With a balanced (2443 is certainly balanced) hand open 1NT if 15-17; don’t worry about the weak doubleton.


      If you play 4-way transfers then the uninterrupted sequence:

1NT - 2 - 3 - 3NT        is mildly slam invitational with a 6 card suit.

1NT - 2 - 3 - 4NT        is strongly slam invitational with a 6 card suit.


All of these and similar sequences (transfer to ’s, super-accept etc.) are listed in the

“The Definitive Guide to (Strong) No Trump Bidding, Stayman and transfers” book.

Raising partner directly to game is weak           Board 25 from Monday 25th


This is usually the sequences 1 - 4 and 1 - 4. But 1 - 5 is also weak and pre-emptive.


Dealer:             AK                                             Table A

North               743                                             West          North         East          South(C)

E-W vul           AJ842                                         -                 1              dbl           5    (1)

                        852                                            5    (2)      pass (3)      pass         6    (4)

dbl   (5)      all pass

J1096532          N             Q874                   

J1052             W    E          K98                      Table B

Q10                    S              9                           West          North         East          South(C)

-                                         KQJ93                 -                 1              dbl           3    (1)

                        -                                                 dbl   (6)      5    (7)      5    (8)    pass (9)

AQ6                                           pass           dbl   (10)    all pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand C in this week’s quiz? Jumping straight to 5 is a weak bid (in fact any bid is weak after the double). Redouble is reasonable I suppose but easily the best bid was chosen at table B.

(2)   Difficult, but I guess the best bid.

(3)   Of course North would have doubled if he knew that partner had a good hand.

(4)   It’s too late (and too high) to show the good hand now.

(5)   Out of fright! He does not want to hear 6 from partner.

Table B:     (1)  This is the answer to question C – a splinter agreeing ’s. 4 (to show a void) is also fine.

(6)   West can show his ’s quite cheaply now.

(7)   But this time North knows what’s going on. With “wasted” values in ’s he simply bids game (fast arrival). 3NT is an alternative.

(8)   This seems reasonable.

(9)   Some play this as showing 1st round control and leaving the decision whether to bid slam or not up to partner.

(10)   The knowledge that partner’s splinter raise was maybe based on a void makes it clear the 6 is not making and double obvious.


And what happened? Results were all over the place, 5 was the limit for N-S and 2 is all the E-W can make. One E-W pair ‘sacrificed’ in 6, going for 1100 and there were a couple of 800’s for 5 doubled down 3.

The bottom lines: -

-         When partner opens then a jump to game in his suit is weak.

-         Splinters still apply after a double.

-         You can splinter opposite a minor suit opening provided that you have 5+ trumps (or 4+ ’s if you know that partner’s 1 opening is 4+ cards).


Play in the Moysian fit?                                      Board 19 from Monday 25th


Occasionally a 4-3 fit is the best contract.


Dealer:             7543                                          

South               KJ105                                        West          North         East          South(B)

E-W vul           A4                                              -                 -                 -               pass

                        KQ8                                          pass           1             pass         1

pass           1              pass         2   (1)

KJ2                   N             AQ109                 all pass

Q62                W    E          743                      

J986                    S              K107                   

J96                                     732                     






(1)  What did you bid with this South hand B in this week’s quiz? I don’t like 2 as partner may well have only a 3 card suit. 1NT or 2NT were the most popular choices but with this doubleton and good ’s I would bid 2. But then that’s my style – I do not guarantee 4 card support. Note that a 2 bid is more encouraging than 1NT and more likely to lead to game if partner has a good hand.


And what happened? 1NT (or 2NT) scored the top, making 9 tricks when the black suits  behaved and the Q was ‘onside’. As it happens, a contract would have made 10 tricks for an outright top.

The bottom lines: -

-         Don’t be afraid of the Moysian fit when you have three decent trumps and a weak doubleton in a suit which partner has not shown.


In my style (and many expert’s), sequences like

1 - 1 - 2           or

1 - 1 - 1 - 2    do not guarantee 4 card support.


Play of the suit


Incidentally, how should declarer play the suit KJ105 opposite A98 in a No Trump contract with ample entries everywhere?

With no inference from the bidding it’s best to start with the J – you never know, some people always “cover an honour with an honour” regardless. Assuming the Q does not appear it’s best to go up with the A and then finesse by running the 9. This enables you to pick up Qxxx with West.

In a contract you do not have to worry about the location of the Q as you simply ruff two ’s in the South hand – although the 2nd is over-ruffed with the Q this still gives you one more trick than a NoTrump contract.

on a 3-1 fit             Board 22 from Wednesday 27th


When I saw this very odd result on Wednesday I asked Dave to check it. As it happens he has kibitzed the board and so told me the sorry tale: -


Dealer:             KQ2                                          

East                  83                                               West(E)     North         East          South

E-W vul           J6542                                          -                 -                 1    (1)    pass

                        A93                                            3    (2)      pass           pass (3)    pass


1084                  N             J53                      

KQ72             W    E          AJ654                 

K97                    S              A                         

K62                                   J1054                  






(1)   A minimal but reasonable opener.

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand E in this week’s quiz? With great trumps and no jacks the hand would be worth a sound raise to 4 were it not for that dreaded 4333 shape.

I would simply raise to 3. This E-W pair played Bergen raises (past tense, I believe that after a couple of disasters they have come to their senses and no longer play them) and the 3 bid here conventionally shows a sound raise to 3 (a direct 3 is pre-emptive playing Bergen raises).

(3)   East apparently forgot the system and thought that it was a weak jump shift. Obviously he should not accept the invitation and simply sign off in 3.


And what happened? 3 was not a success and went 4 down. Three tables managed to overbid to 4 going one down and just one pair stopped in the sensible 3 just making.

The bottom lines: -

-         Don’t forget the system?

-         I cannot really recommend Bergen raises and I will produce something superior shortly.

-         Knock off a point for the dreaded 4333 type shape.





A husband, proving to his wife that women talk more than men, showed her a study which indicated that men use on the average only 15,000 words a day, whereas women use 30,000 words a day.

She thought about this for awhile and then told her husband that women use twice as many words as men because they have to repeat everything they say.

He said, "What?"

A jump raise is pre-emptive after a double        Board 15 from Friday 29th


If you don’t play anything ‘fancy’ like Bergen raises then a raise to three of partner’s major is invitational (+- 11 points). However, if there is an intervening double then a jump to the three level is pre-emptive (use the Jordan/Truscott 2NT with a sound raise to three). This could have been very effective on this deal: -


Dealer:             KJ963                                       

South               K                                                West          North         East(F)     South

N-S vul            AQJ82                                        -                 -                 -               pass

                        K8                                             1              dbl   (1)      pass (2)    1NT

pass           2NT (3)      pass         pass (4)

AQ108              N             52                         pass

Q9753            W    E          J104                    

4                         S              10976                  

AQ7                                   J642                    






(1)  I prefer a 1 overcall, presumably this North considered the hand too good.

(2)  What did you bid with this East hand F in this week’s quiz? At this vulnerability a pre-emptive 3 would have worked wonders – either going 2 down for just 100 away or else pushing the opponents too high. If you think that 3 is a bit much, then bid 2. Pass is far too feeble for me.

(3)  North’s hand has improved after partner has bid NoTrump because the K is now a good card, 2NT here is spot-on.

(4)  But South does not quite have enough to bid game.


And what happened? 2NT made exactly for a good score to N-S.

The bottom lines: -

-         After partner’s opening is doubled, then a jump to the three level is weak.

-         At favourable vulnerability, pre-empt happily.

-         A 1NT bid opposite partner’s double is 6-10 with a stop.

A take-out double is short in the suit(s) bid        Board 24 from Friday 29th


If the opponents have bid two suits and you double (take-out) then you are playable in the other two suits. A total of 5 cards between the two suits does not qualify! : -


Dealer:             K96                                           

West                J754                                           West          North         East          South(D)

Love all            Q9                                              pass           pass           1    (1)    pass (2)

                        KJ95                                          1              pass           pass (3)    dbl   (4)

pass           2              all pass

Q1032               N             AJ5                      

986                 W    E          AQ32                  

65                       S              8432                    

A762                                  84                       






(1)  A light 3rd seat opener – perfectly acceptable.

(2)  What did you bid with this South hand D(a) in this week’s quiz? The correct bid is pass – that’s usually best with length/strength in the suit opened. But this hand has improved with a 1 opening from RHO and with three tens I would not argue if you upgraded to 1NT. Anyway, this South chose to pass which is probably more prudent.

(3)  Pass here is quite acceptable opposite a passed hand.

(4)  What did you bid with this South hand D(b) in this week’s quiz? This is the balancing seat and you should say something – you cannot let the opponents play peacefully in 1. But what should you do? Double is terrible – it is take-out and you have neither of the unbid suits. The best bid is 1NT which shows less than the normal 15-18 when in the balancing seat.


And what happened? 2 on the 4-2 fit was not a success and went 3 down for a clear bottom. 1NT made +1 at the two tables where it was bid.

The bottom lines: -

-         A take-out double is short in the bid suit(s).

-         A take-out double is playable in the unbid suit(s).

-         If you have length/strength in the suit(s) bid, then consider bidding No Trump.

-         A direct 1NT overcall is 15-18

-         But a 1NT bid in the balancing seat is around 10-13.

-         We have a book in the library about balancing if you wish to borrow it.

Don’t double at the 3 level without shape        Board 10 from Friday 29th


When RHO opens 3 you need a good hand and ’s to compete with a (take-out) double as you are pushing your side up to the four level.


Dealer:             1042                                           Table A

East                  Q93                                            West          North         East          South(G)

Both vul            KJ106                                         -                 -                 3            dbl   (1)

                        985                                            pass           4♦    (2)      pass         5    (3)

all pass

9                        N             AQJ8653             

KJ1052          W    E          74                         Table B

Q                        S              973                       West          North         East          South(G)

KQ10732                          4                          -                 -                 3            pass (1)

                        K7                                              pass           pass (4)





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand G in this week’s quiz? With only 3 ’s I do not like double. My partner did much better at table B.

(2)   And here we see the problem – we are too high already and not even in game.

(3)   With 5 trumps, South decided his hand was worth another overbid.

Table B:     (1)  Pass is the best answer to question G. 3NT is a bit of a gamble but I suppose a reasonable alternative that would have worked out extremely well.

(4)  North does not have enough (values/shape) to balance.


And what happened? Two tables bid to 5, going 3 and 4 down. 3 went one down and was a near top for N-S.

The bottom lines: -

-         You need a good hand (and usually ’s) to venture forth over a 3 pre-empt.

-         There are a number pass cards in the box, that’s because it’s often the best bid!


Look for the 4-4 fit                                               Board 20 from Friday 29th


It’s the old familiar story, with over ½ the field playing in 3NT with a 4-4 fit.


Dealer:             82                                               Table A

West                AQ107                                       West          North         East          South(H)

Both vul            AK7                                           pass           2NT           pass         3NT (1)

                        AKQJ                                        all pass


KQ43                N             A10765                Sensible table

J94                 W    E          63                         West          North         East          South(H)

Q65                    S              1043                     pass           2NT           pass         3 (1)

753                                    1098                    pass           3              pass         4

                        J9                                               all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand H in this week’s quiz? I simply cannot understand why people continually like going down in 3NT when 4 of a major is making with overtricks!

Sensible      (1)  Obviously South should bid Stayman.



And what happened? Three out of five tables ended up in 3NT. Two went one down and the other made +1. But the two pairs in the sensible 4 contract both made +1 to share the top. So not too bad – with two tables bidding sensibly? No! At one of the 4 tables North opened 2 (Benjamin) and then bid 2 (8 playing tricks with a 5++ card suit). So he lucked out when partner had 4 ’s so actually just one pair bid the hand with any degree of sensibility. Have my continual preaching about the magic of the 4-4 fit in three years of news-sheets been in vain? Just a 20% success rate after 3 years of hard work.

The bottom lines: -

-         Look for the 4-4 major suit fit.

-         With a balanced (2434 is certainly balanced) hand open 2NT if 20-21; don’t worry about the weak doubleton.

-         AQ107 is nowhere near good enough suit for a Benjamin two. Apart from the ‘holes’ it’s a couple of cards short


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     3NT. Even if you play 4-way transfers and so can specifically show ’s it’s best to simply bid 3NT if you have the values for it.

Hand B:      I expect that 1NT will be the most popular answer; with the overbid of 2NT or the underbid of pass coming in 2nd and 3rd. But I prefer 2 - I am not afraid of the Moysian fit with decent trumps and a small doubleton in an unbid suit. I do not guarantee 4 card support in these sort of situations.

Hand C:     3. A splinter agreeing ’s and showing shortage. 4 (showing a void) is a reasonable option. I prefer these bids to redouble (9+ points) as the opponents get in cheaply with their ’s and you have not shown (actually you have generally denied) your support. No bid is any good as any raise (including 5) is pre-emptive. 2NT Jordan (showing a sound raise to the three level or better), if you play that over a minor suit opening, is a poor alternative.

Hand D:     (a)  Pass. With length/strength in the suit opened it’s usually best to pass. With these great ’s  and three tens I would not argue if you chose an upgrade to 1NT (15-18).

(b)  1NT. This is the balancing seat and you most certainly do not want them to be allowed to play in a one level contract. Double (take-out) would be ridiculous with just 5 cards in the unbid suits and with these great ’s 1NT now is fine. You have no stop, but then one rarely gets perfect hands.

Hand E:      3. Invitational. These are great trumps and the hand would be worth a raise to 4 were it not for that dreaded 4333 type shape. Knock off a point!

Hand F:      3. Weak and pre-emptive. I think it’s a good bid at this vulnerability but if you would like a little more then bid 2. Pass is simply feeble.

Hand G:     Pass, with 3NT the only other reasonable alternative. Double is a poor bid with just 3 ’s as you will end up at the 4-level (at least) and probably go down.

Hand H:     3, Stayman. Look for a 4-4 fit; then bid 4 if there is a fit, else 3NT. This seems so obvious that you may wonder why it’s in the quiz?

Because three pairs bid 3NT on Friday and got their deserved poor score when 4 made +1 with 3NT going down. Now I thought this to be incredible so I checked to see if they were beginners – they were not, all were well established members! Guess they don’t read/digest the news sheets? Or maybe trying to prove the experts wrong?


Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers


J      1      dbl     pass   1NT       1NT here is 6-10 with a stop.

K     1      dbl     pass   1NT  

2NT                                     2NT is invitational, and thus about 17 points.

L      1      dbl     pass   2    

2NT                                     But here the 2 bid promises zero and 2NT is 19-20.

M    1      pass   pass   dbl    

redbl                                    I would say that opener has a very big hand, 18-19+.

N     1      1      2      2          4 is a strong bid, invitational to 5. It cannot be pre-emptive

4                                        as the opponents have bid and agreed a suit already.