Club News Sheet – No. 169   28th  Jan 2006


                                    Winner                                           Runner-up


Mon 23rd   N-S    1st    Ron Z/Terry             64%               2nd    Kenneth/John             58%

                  E-W   1st    Esko/Lars                 61%               2nd    Dave/Ruth                  53%

Wed  25th   N-S   1st    Olaf/Terry                61%               2nd    Jim(Can)/Tom            58%

                  E-W   1st    Derek/Gerard           59%               2nd    Dave/Hans(Hol)         58%

Fri    27th    N-S   1st    Olaf/Terry                60%               2nd    Jim(Can)/Tom            59%

                  E-W   1st    Jacki/Jean-Charles    58%               2nd    Albert/Tomas             57%


Happy new year (of the dog) to you all.


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated


Hand A            Hand B            With Hand A it favourable vulnerability and partner opens 2, what do you do?

J64               KQ108762                          

10873           8                   (a)  What do you open with Hand B?

A432            AKQ2          (b)  Suppose you choose 1 and partner responds 1NT, what

Q4               10                      now?


Hand C            Hand D            With Hand C RHO opens 1, what do you bid?


KQ54           103

QJ5              Q                  With Hand D partner opens 2, what do you do?      

AQJ73          AKJ106

3                  AKJ74


Hand E             Hand F             With Hand E partner opens 1 and you bid 1NT. Partner then bids

                                                3, what do you do?

A5                A107

9732             2                   With Hand F LHO opens 1 and partner overcalls 2. RHO

J54                10986           bids 2, what do you do?

A543            AKJ108


Hand G            Hand H            With Hand G you are playing a short (could be 2) although

                                                I think that that is irrelevant here. You pass as dealer, partner

K6                5                   opens 1 and RHO overcalls a weak 2. What do you do?

98                 87532        

AQ843         1093             With Hand H, if (a) partner opens 1, what do you do?

10984          A762            and if (b) partner opens 1NT what do you do?


Hand J             Hand K            With Hand J you open 1, partner responds 2 and RHO bids 2♥.

You bid 3 and partner bids 3asking for a stop, what

AKQJ8         A7642          do you bid?

J                   Q10

654               AK4             (a)  What do you open with Hand K?

QJ82            K83             (b)  Suppose you open 1 and partner bids 1NT, what do you do?


Bidding Sequences Quiz


Sequence L      You open 1, LHO overcalls 1NT and partner bids 3; what is 3?

Sequence M     You open 2 and partner bids 3, is 3 weak or invitational?

Sequence N     You open 2 and partner bids 4, is 4 weak or strong?

Sequence P      1♦ - 1NT - 2 (no interference). Is 2 weak, invitational or strong?




Virtually everybody seems to be very happy with the move to the Mercure hotel. It certainly is a move ‘up-market’. The club has to pay the hotel 50 bht a person (it seems nothing is for free these days) and so the playing fee has had to be increased to 100 bht a session (150 bht for non-members). Most players agree that this is a very reasonable price for an afternoon’s bridge in such an excellent location.

Anyway, we’re back to normal now and so we again have the size of news-sheet that you are accustomed to. Incidentally, I did note that a member achieved the elusive triple this week. Perhaps he managed it because the pressure (of moving etc) is now off and most of the ‘ruffians’/rude people no longer play at (or have been removed from) this club and we can all simply enjoy playing bridge in a very pleasant atmosphere?

The Dummy. I have been asked if dummy could please lay out the cards in a reasonably neat manner, and I totally agree. If this is not done then you can politely ask dummy to organise them. If there is a problem then call me over and I will sort it out in my usual way.

Bridge Lessons. I give free bridge lessons on request. Currently I am giving lessons on Wednesdays and Fridays (11.00 – 12.00) to improvers (not beginners but not yet totally proficient), this definition probably applies to about 1/3 or more of our members, so let me know if you would like to join a session. But please let me know if you are going to turn up as I am fed up with appearing and nobody else turning up (it’s happened six times to date). 

I have done in the past, and will gladly give, more advanced bidding lessons to anybody who asks. Also, if there is enough demand then I am prepared to start a beginner’s class, so please let me have contact details of anybody your know who may be interested but it may take a while before it gets started. If we get enough we could have a separate beginner’s session alongside the main event (we’ve done that in the past and it worked well). Actually, to tell the truth, I am actually quite busy so if anybody else wants to start a beginners class then…..please come forward. Anyway, let me know details of people you know who wish to learn bridge and I’ll sort out something when I get a decent number.

Shuttle Service. The Mercure run a free shuttle service to/from the junction of Soi 15 and 2nd road. At the 2nd road junction, simply ask the chap with the Mercure hat on and he’ll contact the hotel and the tuk-tuk or whatever will speedily be there. At the Hotel simply ask at the reception.

Shuffle the Boards? It appears that some members prefer the boards to be shuffled at the table rather than pre-dealt. Well, that certainly saves me a lot of work. Anyway, I personally feel it’s nice to have the hands printed out and on the web, with makeable contracts etc, and so for as long as the numbers stay high (6 or more tables) we’ll continue to have pre-dealt hands on Mondays and Fridays and the boards will be shuffled at the tables on Wednesdays only. I expect all of the complainers to come early enough to do their fair share of shuffling on Wednesdays and hope that the director can sort out all of the mis-boardings as there is no print out or curtain card. And please do not complain to me if it turns out that N-S, say, get all of the big hands and you end up defending all the time – that does not happen with the computer generated boards. And also don’t complain if you get a couple of pass-outs in a set of boards.

Obey the Law                                     Board 9 from Monday 23rd  


Dealer:             85                                              

North               QJ9652                                      West          North         East          South(A)

E-W vul           K10                                            -                 2              pass         4    (1)

                        953                                            4    (2)     all pass


AK73                N             Q1092                 

A                    W    E          K4                       

J95                      S              Q876                   

AKJ102                             876                     






(1)   What did you bid with this South hand A in this week’s quiz? You should raise the pre-empt to 4, especially at this vulnerability. North has 6 ’s, you have 4 ’s and the Law says to compete to the four level and it’s best to do it immediately as it may make it difficult for the opponents to find a fit.

(2)   And, indeed, it’s difficult for West. It’s up to you if you play a double at this level as take-out but I guess that West was afraid of a pass by partner.


And what happened? 5 made but scored poorly as 4(+1) and 3NT(+2) were popular spots elsewhere. 4 doubled would have gone just two down for a top to N-S.


The bottom lines: -

-         Raise partner’s pre-empt to the limit at once.




Passed out                                                            South 23 from Monday 23rd 


A942            I set the parameters in the dealing program so that at least one hand has 12

9872             points or more, so I was surprised to see board 23 passed out twice on Monday.

J8                  Now I personally will not automatically open all 12 point hands (especially if

AK3             the dreaded 4333 type shape), but this one has reasonable shape and both majors. As it conforms with the rule of 20 it’s a clear opener for me.


And what happened? Most N-S’s ended up in 1NT making exactly.

Who should bid 4?                                             Board 2 from Monday 23rd 


Dealer:             A5                                              Table A

East                  9732                                           West          North(E)    East          South(B)

N-S vul            J54                                              -                 -                 pass (1)    1    (2)

                        A543                                          pass           1NT           pass (3)    3    (4)

                                                                              pass           pass (5)

43                      N             J9                        

QJ64              W    E          AK105                 Table B

983                     S              1076                     West          North(E)    East          South(B)

K962                                 QJ87                    -                 -                 pass (1)    1    (2)

                        KQ108762                                 pass           1NT           2    (3)    4    (6)

8                                                 all pass




Table A:     (1)  It’s one short for the rule of 20, but with two tens and good intermediates I would not argue if you were tempted to open (1).

(2)   What did you open with this South hand B(a) in this week’s quiz? It is not good enough for 2 in my opinion. Playing Benji or strong twos it’s worth a strong opening.

(3)   Having failed to open East cannot sensibly come in now.

(4)   What did you bid with this South hand B(b) in this week’s quiz? After a 1NT response from partner I think it’s just about worth 4but won’t argue with 3.

(5)   What did you bid with this North hand E in this week’s quiz? Now North is maximum but has only two card support. However, South has invited game in the full knowledge that North probably has at most two ’s and North should certainly raise to 4. Those two aces are big cards.

Table B:     (1)  This East also chose to pass

(3)   But then decided to come in at the two level with a 4 card suit! Not my style.

(6)  East having ’s probably improves this South hand and so he (I, actually) took the pressure off partner and bid game.


And what happened? Dummy was perfect for South and 12 tricks were easy. 5 out of 8 tables bid to 4.

The bottom lines: -

-         If you respond 1NT with a maximum (9 points) and partner invites, then go.

Pass 1 with a singleton?                                    Board 6 from Monday 23rd


E-W at Table A got too high here, what do you think went wrong?


Dealer:             983                                             Table A

East                  K9                                              West(H)     North         East(K)    South

N-S vul            752                                             -                 -                 1    (1)    pass

                        QJ1095                                      1NT  (2)     pass           2NT (3)    all pass


5                        N             A7642                 

87532             W    E          Q10                      Table B

1093                   S              AK4                     West(H)     North         East(K)    South

A762                                  K83                     -                 -                 1NT (1)    pass

                        KQJ10                                       2    (4)      pass           2            all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this East hand K(a) in this week’s quiz? See Table B for my choice, but this pair play a strong NT and 4 card majors and so East decided to open his 5 card suit. I assume that they have an agreement not to open 1NT with a 5 card major, as many pairs do?

(2)   So did you respond with this West hand H(a) in this week’s quiz? Again it’s a matter of partnership agreement/style. Some players insist upon 6 points for a response, others do not like to pass with a singleton in partner’s suit if they can muster up a bid. I belong to this second school and would bid 1NT but I would not criticise a pass – it’s really up to you/your partnership style.

(3)   What did you bid with this East hand K(b) in this week’s quiz? I personally would pass (but I would have opened 1NT anyway) but I agree it’s a close decision and would not criticise the bid, I go into this in detail on the next page.

Table B:     (1)  Did you open 1NT with this East hand K(a) in this week’s quiz? I certainly would. The thing is, as I have said many times, open 1NT with a balanced hand within your 1NT opening range otherwise you will have rebid problems (as Table A). I personally do not mind opening 1NT with a 5 card major as long as the other suits have their fair share of high cards.

(4)   What did you bid with this west hand H(b) in this week’s quiz? It is even more important to transfer with a weak hand and 2 is correct.


And what happened? 2NT was two down for a poor score. The most common result was 2 by East down one or 1 by East also down one.

The bottom lines: -

-         Respond with 4 points and shortage in partner’s suit? There’s no right or wrong here and it’s up to you. My style is to bid and hope to get into a better spot but I fully accept that that probably is not the majority view.

-         The sequence 1/ – 1NT – 2NT is a well known problem that is impossible to solve but can be minimised. I have a number of opinions here and so I’ll spell it all out on the next page.

-         Should you open 1NT with a 5 card major? Again, I have strong opinions and it’s on the next page.

The problems with the sequence 1/ – 1NT – 2NT


There is a problem when you open one of a suit and partner responds 1NT; and the problem is greater if your opening bid was a major (especially 1) as responder’s hand may well not be balanced. The 1NT bid is generally 6-10 points and opener has problems when he has around 16 points. The main problem is that the 1NT range is very large, a 5 point spread for a NT bid makes life difficult for partner. If opener has 16 points and responder has 9 points then obviously a 2NT bid and the subsequent 3NT will would out fine. But if responder had a miserable 6 (or less?) points then a 2NT bid may well get you too high. It is generally accepted that you need a good 16 or 17 points to raise 1NT to 2NT in this situation, but you will often get it wrong (by missing games) or you will get it wrong (by being too high) if you lower the threshold to any 16 count.

What’s the solution?

There is none! – It’s just a gamble.

But, of course, there are ways round the problem. And the best method is to try to avoid getting into the situation in the first place. Here are my tips: -


1)      Play a strong NT. The problem occurs when opener has a 16 count and if you play a strong NT then the problem occurs less frequently as you will have opened 1NT on most of the hands.

2)      Allow 5 card majors in your 1NT opening. I have actually written a complete page on this topic (it’s chapter 1.1 of the NT bidding book) and it’s also covered in FAQ No 3.

3)      Do not play 4-card majors. As I indicated above, the most serious problem occurs when you open 1 (or 1) and partner bids 1NT. Obviously you will have this problem much less often if you play 5 card majors.

4)      If you play Acol (so 4 card majors and a weak NT) then you get the problem all too often. Now it is generally accepted by more experienced Acol players that you only open 1 (or 1♥) with a 4 card suit if your rebid is NT (i.e. 15 or more points). But I personally have an additional condition (which I have previously spelled out in FAQ No 19). I personally only like to open 1/ with a 4 card suit when playing Acol if I know exactly what to do with a 1NT response. So with 15 or a poor 16 I would open 1/ and pass a 1NT response, with a decent 17 (or more) I open 1/ and raise 1NT to 2NT (or 3NT) but with the marginal 16 I simply will not open a 4 card major. But this is just my personal style and I don’t expect many to agree with me. Anyway, I rarely play Acol these days as I much prefer 2/1.



RONF – Raise Only Non-Forcing.                     Board 6 from Monday 23rd 


When partner opens a weak two, then a raise to three is a weak pre-emptive bid. A new suit is forcing and 2NT asks opener to describe his hand further (there are variations - I prefer to play it as Ogust).


Dealer:             103                                            

East                  Q                                                West          North(D)    East          South

N-S vul            AKJ106                                      -                 -                 pass         2   

                        AKJ74                                       pass           3    (1)      pass         4    (2)

                                                                              all pass                          

AK94                N             Q875                   

108                 W    E          7653                    

Q875                  S              4                          

Q86                                   9532                   






(1)   What did you bid with this North hand D in this week’s quiz? 3 is incorrect here as it is best used as a weak pre-emptive bid. If you wish to invite partner then bid 2NT. North meant 3 as invitational. 3 (forcing) or simply 4 are sensible alternatives.

(2)   Now actually I was South and North paused for a considerable time before bidding 3. Now as I said, 3 is a weak bid but my partner was inexperienced and I suspected that he meant it as invitational, and the fact that West and East had both passed gave weight to this. I was in a bit of a quandary but decided that it was ethically OK for be to bid on.


And what happened? Most pairs reached the comfortable 4

The bottom lines: -

-     Don’t make a weak bid with a strong hand.

-     Sequence M (2-  3) is weak.

-     When partner opens with a weak two then a raise to three is the only weak bid.

-     With an invitational hand bid 2NT.

-     You can, of course, bid 2NT with a game forcing hand and then bid on.

-     A new suit over partner’s weak two is forcing.

A ‘sporting’ raise made it difficult                      Board 13 from Monday 23rd 



Dealer:             862                                            

North               AK1093                                     West(F)     North         East(C)    South

Both vul            K5                                              -                 1              2    (1)    2    (2)

                        Q54                                           3     (3)     all pass


A107                 N             KQ54                  

2                     W    E          QJ5                     

10986                 S              AQJ73                 

AKJ108                             3                         






(1)   What did you bid with this East hand (C) in this week’s quiz? Now 2 is not wrong, but I generally like a 6 card suit. But I definitely would not double – what do you do when partner inevitably bids ’s? As I said, 2 is reasonable but I prefer 1NT – it’s OK to overcall 1NT with a singleton (as opposed to a 1NT opening with a singleton which is not allowed). The main point of the 1NT overcall (15-18) is that it guarantees a stop in the suit bid.

(2)   ‘Sporting’ is an understatement for this raise, vulnerable.

(3)   But it apparently made life difficult for West. What did you bid with this West hand (F) in this week’s quiz? Partner has overcalled at the two level so presumably has 11+ points. You have great support for ’s and have to make a noise. 3 looks best. I would bid 3 and pass a 3NT bid from partner.


And what happened? 6 makes but just one pair bid it. 4 on the Moysian fit is also a good contract reached twice. Two pairs bid 5+1 but you know what I think about playing in 5 of a minor when 3NT is an option. A few other pairs stopped in a partscore. If I was either West or East I would be in 3NT.

The bottom lines: -

-     If you have a stop in the suit opened and 15-18 points, think about a 1NT overcall. In my opinion having an outside singleton (minor) is not a problem – the main point is showing your points and the stop.

-     Note that I only suggest a 1NT overcall with a singleton minor. With a singleton major it could be a problem as partner is quite likely to bid (or transfer into) your singleton major.

-     Don’t make a weak bid with a strong hand (East’s 3 here).

-     3NT with an overtrick or two scores more than 5/ making.

‘Afraid’ of the ‘short’ ?                                     Board 24 from Friday 27th


Remember this title from news-sheet 167? A pair got into a poor contract because opener had opened 1 and responder was afraid that it could be short. Something similar here, and then I’ll give my usual words of wisdom.



Dealer:             Q92                                           

West                AJ                                              West(G)     North         East          South

Love all            J109652                                      pass           pass           1           2    (1)

                        J7                                               3     (2)     pass           pass (3)    pass


K6                     N             10874                  

98                   W    E          765                      

AQ843               S              K                         

10984                                AKQ62               






(1)   A weak jump overcall. Some may disapprove as it’s a bit good and also has a 4 card suit. I would normally overcall just 1 but opposite a passed partner I have no problem with 2.

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand G in this week’s quiz? E-W were playing a ‘short ♣’ - so 1 could possibly be two cards, but I think that that’s irrelevant. Now 3 here would be reasonable if a bit pushy (and forcing) if it were not for the fact that West is a passed hand. In this situation (and most) you should not worry about the vague possibility that partner does not have a suit. 3 is the best bid here with this West hand.

(3)   With a minimum East very reasonably passed.


And what happened? Results were all over the place but 3 went down 4 for a bottom to E-W.

The bottom lines: -

-         It’s usually best to assume that partner’s 1 opening is 4+ cards (it usually is) unless subsequent action indicates otherwise.

-         Remember that the ‘short ’ is only when opener is exactly 4432 (specifically ♠♥♦♣ order) and subsequent bidding usually indicates if this is possible.

Rebid a 5 card suit?                                          Board 17 from Wednesday 25th


Remember in news-sheet 167 where I gave an example of when it’s acceptable to rebid a 5 card major. Here is another example where it’s acceptable, but this time it’s not because it’s the best of a bad set of choices but because it simply is a good bid: -



Dealer:             AKQJ8                                       Table A

North               J                                                 West          North(J)     East          South

Love all            654                                             -                 1              pass         2

                        QJ82                                          2              3             pass (1)    3    (2)

                                                                              pass           4    (3)      pass         5

10765                N             43                         all pass

AK953           W    E          108762                

-                          S              1072                     Table B

AK75                                 1096                    West          North(J)     East          South

                        92                                               -                 1              pass         2

Q4                                              2              3             pass (1)    3    (2)

                        AKQJ983                                   pass           3    (3)      pass         4    (4)

                        43                                              all pass


Table A:     (1)  3 (or even 4) is an alternative here.

                  (2) East’s failure to bid has made it easy for South to ask for a stop.

(3)   What did you bid with this North hand J in this week’s quiz? With no stop you cannot bid NT and so North supported partner. I prefer the bidding at Table B.

(4)   And South simply bid game. 4 is an alternative (that would have worked out well) but South did not know that North had such a great suit.

Table B:     (3)  This North chose to rebid his great suit – I totally agree.


And what happened? 5 was one down and scored about average as just about everybody did much the same. Just one pair found the excellent 4. Of course 4 goes off on a lead but most players would lead a .

The bottom lines: -

-         A suit like AKQJx is rebiddable – treat it like a 6-carder.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     4. You have 10 combined trumps so raise partner to the limit immediately.

Hand B:      (a)  1. It’s not good enough for 2 in my opinion.

(b)   3 or 4. I think it’s very close. With an experienced partner 3 is probably enough but with a less experienced partner I would bid 4.

Hand C:     1NT (!). I don’t expect many people will find this but I think it’s best. It’s a decent semi-balanced 15 count with a stop. The singleton (a minor) does not bother me for a 1NT overcall, it’s having the stop that is all important. Anyway, I don’t expect any of you chose 1NT and my second choice would be 2 - that is a much better bid than double because you will be fixed by a 2 response if you double as the hand is not strong enough to double and then bid again.

Hand D:     4 or 3 (forcing). Or you could bid 2NT to find out more about partner’s hand. The one bid that you cannot make is 3 as that is a weak bid.

Hand E:      4. Partner is inviting and you are maximum. Partner will expect no more than 2 ’s as you did not support to start with and Ax is great.

Hand F:      3. You have a great hand and want to be in game (or slam). ’s, NT or even ’s could be the right strain so set the ball rolling with a cue bid of the enemy suit.

Hand G:     3. The problem is that you are a passed hand and 3 may get passed out. You have to assume that partner really has ’s and so support him.

Hand H:     (a)  Pass or 1NT. This is up to partnership style and I would not argue with either.

(b)  2, transfer. It’s even more important to transfer with a weak hand.

Hand J       3. You cannot bid NT without a stop and I think that rebidding this suit is better than supporting partner with 4.

Hand K:     (a)  1NT. I think it’s best to allow 5 card majors in your 1NT opening as otherwise you may have rebid problems.

(b)  Pass. For me it’s not quite good enough for 2NT but I would not be in this predicament as I would have opened 1NT.



Sequence L      1, 1NT(overcall), 3        3is a weak pre-emptive bid. With any type of strongish hand responder would double.

Sequence M     2 - 3                              3 is a weak raise, usually 3 cards.

Sequence N     2 - 4                              4 may be weak or strong, only he knows. Opener should not bid again and responder is the captain.

Sequence P      1♦ - 1NT - 2                    2 is strong, it’s a forcing reverse.