Mon 6th N-S 1st Dave/Eddie 59% 2nd Dinnie/Jacques 57%
E-W 1st Barbara & Ben Estes 55% 2nd John/Kenneth 53%
Wed 8th N-S 1st Alan/Chris 63% 2nd Bill/Mike(Can) 58%
E-W 1st Jim(Can)/Tom 60% 2nd Bob/Eddie 59%
Fri 10th N-S 1st Ian/Jean-Charles 60% 2nd Dave/Ruth 56%
E-W 1st Bob/Eddie 68% 2nd Jim(Can)/Tom 56%
Bidding Quiz Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated
Hand A Hand
B With Hand A partner
opens 1♠ and
♠ J ♠ KQ765
♦ 843 ♦ A you bid now?
♣ 10854 ♣ K752
Hand C Hand D What do you open with Hand C?
♠ AQ10965 ♠ Q109853
♥ - ♥ 42 With Hand D you open 1♠ and LHO overcalls 2♥. This is passed
♣ KQ109873 ♣ AKQ
Hand E Hand F What do ypo open with Hand E?
♠ AK954 ♠ 983
♣ J3 ♣ 5
Hand G Hand H What do you open with Hand G?
♠ QJ ♠ J8 (a) What do you open with Hand H?
♥ AK64 ♥ AQJ53 (b) Suppose you choose 1♥ and partner responds 1♠, then what
♦ AKJ ♦ QJ4 do you bid?
♣ Q1097 ♣ A83
Hand J Hand K With Hand J you open 1♥ (because you do not play Benji) and
partner responds 1♠, what do you bid now?
♠ 543 ♠ Q1098
♥ KQJ10874 ♥ 87 With Hand K partner opens 1♥ and you respond 1♠. Partner
♣ - ♣ K92
Bidding Sequences Quiz All of the following occurred this/last week
L 1NT - 2NT - 3♠ No opposition bidding. What is 3♠? Is it forcing?
M 1♠ 2♥(overcall) pass pass 2♠ Normally I would expect opener to re-open with a double, so what is this 2♠ bid?
N 1♥ - 1♠ - 3♥ No opposition bidding. Is 3♥ invitational of forcing?
P 1♥ - 1♠ - 4♥ No opposition bidding. Is 4♥ strong or shut-out (fast arrival)?
Open 1NT with a 5-card major? – part 1 Board 3 from Monday 6th Feb.
Dealer: ♠ AK954
♣ J3 pass 1NT (1) pass 2NT (2)
pass 3♠ (3) pass pass (4)
♠ J1072 N ♠ 63 pass
♥ QJ96 W E ♥ A52
- Opening 1NT with a 5 card major is up to partnership understanding. Most experts do these days.
Which slam? – part 1 Board 12 from Wednesday 1st Feb.
Dealer: ♠ 10642 Table A
N-S vul ♦ 75 1♦ pass 1♠ pass
♣ Q76 2♣ pass 2♥ (1) pass
2NT (2) pass 4NT (3) pass
♠ - N ♠ AQJ8 5♣ (4) pass 6NT (5) all pass
♥ J106 W E ♥ KQ2
♠ K9753 1♦ pass 1♠ pass
♥ 984 2♣ pass 2♥ (1) pass
♦ 98 3♣ (2) pass 3♦ (6) pass
♣ J98 4♣ (7) pass 4NT (8) pass
5♥ (9) pass 6♦ (10) all pass
Which slam? – part 2 Board 15 from Wednesday 1st Feb.
Dealer: ♠ Q6 Table A
N-S vul ♦ 10943 1♥ pass 1♠ pass
♣ 8642 4♥ (1) pass 4NT (2) pass
5♠ (3) pass 6♥ (4) all pass
♠ 543 N ♠ AK1092
♥ KQJ10874 W E ♥ A2
♠ J87 2♣ (1) pass 2♦ (5) pass
♥ 3 2♥ (6) pass 4NT (7) pass
♦ 862 5♠ (8) pass 7NT (9) al pass
If 3NT is a sensible option – then bid it? Board 21 from Wednesday 1st Feb.
An all-too familiar title in the news sheets which apparently is not heeded enough. Not a single pair from 9 tables found 3NT on this board: -
Dealer: ♠ K532 Table A
E-W vul ♦ K542 - pass 1♣ 1♦
♣ 2 1♥ 2♦ 3♣ (1) 3♦ (2)
dbl (3) pass 4♣ (4) pass
♠ J764 N ♠ 108 5♣ all pass
♥ 86432 W E ♥ A7
♠ AQ9 - pass 2♣ (5) dbl (6)
♥ K10 2♦ (7) pass 3♣ (8) pass
♦ Q9873 3♥ (9) pass 4♣ (10) pass
♣ 854 5♣ (11) all pass
One, two, that’ll do? - Understanding negative doubles Board 30 from Monday 6th Feb.
One, two, that’ll do? Often good advice, but absolutely not in this situation. I have tried, on numerous occasions (even very emphatically in just last week’s news-sheet) to demonstrate the need for the ‘automatic’ re-opening double when playing negative doubles. Yet I witnessed at least two very experienced players messing this one up.
Dealer: ♠ J
Love all ♦ 843 - - pass 1♠
♣ 10854 2♥ pass (1) pass 2♠ (2)
pass 2NT pass 3♠
♠ AK4 N ♠ 762 pass 3NT all pass
♥ K10975 W E ♥ 6
- When you play negative doubles you have to understand that opener should virtually always re-open with a double when LHO overcalls and it gets passed back to you. There are very few exceptions to this ‘automatic’ double.
- Note that double at (2) is not a negative double or a take our double, is simply an ‘automatic’ double to state that you actually had 13 cards when you decided to open the hand.
- I made the same point very emphatically just last week, but it seems that a number of experienced players got it wrong and bid 2♠ here. And I repeat – they got it wrong – this is not ‘a view’ or ‘one, two that’ll do’. If you do not realise or accept that you have to double at (2) then I suggest that you give up playing negative doubles.
re-opening double is only applicable when LHO overcalls and partner and
And if LHO
overcalls, partner passes and
How many points for a 2♣ opener? Board 6 from Wednesday 8th Feb.
I’ve been all over this before (news-sheet 152, 156). In old – fashioned Standard American a 2♣ opening was 23+ points. Most people these days play 22+ for a balanced hand, but that’s a minor change. The thing that’s ‘new’ these days is that it is recommended to open 2♣ on any hand that has game (or virtually game – say one trick short) in it’s own hand. Hand A from news-sheet 156 was very strong in playing strength but had only 13 points. I stated then to my partner that I require some sort of minimal point count for a 2♣ opener (otherwise responder does not really know what’s going on). There was a similar problem hand in news-sheet 152. And we again had a similar sort of situation on Wednesday: -
Dealer: ♠ -
E-W vul ♦ A9865432 - - 2♣ (1) pass
♣ 5 2♥ 5♦ (2) 5♠ (3) pass
6♠ (4) pass pass dbl
♠ 83 N ♠ AQ10965 all pass
♥ AKQ95 W E ♥ -
‘Bristling with Intermediates’ Board 12 from Monday 6th Feb.
I was asked two questions about this deal. South’s opening and North’s response if South opens 2NT.
Dealer: ♠ 983
♣ 5 pass pass (2) pass
♠ 10752 N ♠ AK64
♥ 93 W E ♥ Q82
(1) What did you open with this South hand G in this week’s quiz? To me it’s very clear, 2NT, 20-21 balanced. Note that a 2NT opening (just like a 1NT opening) does not promise a stop in every suit. It simply shows a balanced hand within your specified point range. If you open anything but 2NT you will have a rebid problem.
(2) Now we come to the real point (the previous question was trivial). What did you do with this North hand F in this week’s quiz? When I was asked, I said that I would not pass. This North hand is not 3 points – it has good shape and great intermediates, it’s really worth about 5 points, even more if a ♥ fit comes to light. I said that I would bid 3♣ (Stayman) and raise 3♥ to 4♥ and bid 3NT over a 3♦/♠ response. Those were my words of wisdom, but a few disagreed, saying that the hand is not good enough. OK. For the feint hearted I’ll accept that Dave’s proposal of bidding 3♣ and then passing any response (so Garbage Stayman at the 3 level) is perhaps an equally good idea. Either way, I most certainly would not pass 2NT.
And what happened? Two pairs bid game, six pairs did not. 4♥ (or 3♥) is a good contract, 2NT is not.
The Bottom lines: -
- When evaluating hands, take shape into account.
- When evaluating hands, take tens and intermediates into account.
- 3451 is a very good shape (unless you know that partner has ♣’s).
- You can still play Garbage Stayman over a 2NT opener.
- A 2NT opening does not guarantee a stop in every suit.
Open 1NT with a 5-card major? – part 2 Board 20 from Friday 10th Feb.
Dealer: ♠ Q1098
West ♥ 87 West North(K) East South(H)
♣ K92 pass 1♠ pass 1NT (2)
pass pass (3) pass
♠ 7532 N ♠ AK6
♥ K W E ♥ 109642
L 1NT - 2NT - 3♠ 3♠ accepts the game invitation and shows 5 ♠’s, offering 4♠ as an alternative contract if responder has 3 ♠’s.
M 1♠ 2♥(overcall) pass pass 2♠ 2♠ shows a hand that was a miserable opener and has no defensive tricks against a possible 2♥ doubled contract. A very rare hand indeed as double is ‘automatic’ here.
N 1♥ - 1♠ - 3♥ 3♥ is invitational. Typically around 17 points.
P 1♥ - 1♠ - 4♥ 4♥ is very strong. It’s the equivalent of about 19 points counting distribution with a self-sufficient ♥ suit. It most certainly is not fast arrival.
Hand A: Pass. You would obviously like to double for penalties but you cannot as you play negative doubles. So you pass and await partner’s ‘automatic’ re-opening double which you then happily pass and collect the big penalty on offer.
Hand B: 2♠ or 2NT. I am perfectly happy with either. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I will bid 2NT. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I’ll bid 2♠. It does not really matter, but if you play a 4-card major system then it’s obviously 2♠. But the important thing is that you cannot bid 3♣ as that shows a big hand. You can only bid 3♣ here if you have agreed that it does not show extra values - most 2/1 players have this agreement as there is no need bid 3♣ with a big hand as the 2♦ response is game forcing when playing 2/1.
Hand C: 1♣ (or perhaps 1♠ if you really prefer that). Now the modern style in Standard American is to open 2♣ when you have game (or nearly game) in your own hand – I don’t like it. Call me old fashioned if you wish, but I still like to have a reasonable point count (say 18+) for a 2♣ (or Benji 2♦) opener. Note that there is no chance that your 1♣ opening will get passed out (as you have two voids, somebody will bid) and you can then make forcing noises in ♠’s.
Hand D: Double. You do not even have to look at your cards again. Double here is automatic when you play negative doubles. If you think that 2♠ is correct then I respectfully suggest that you are playing single-handed bridge (ignoring partner). You most certainly have to double with this hand – and if partner does not have the hoped for ♥ stack he will doubtless bid 2♠ anyway. Double loses nothing, 2♠ loses 500.
Hand E: 1♠. I would not open 1NT because I think the hand is too strong!. So I would treat it as 18 points, open 1♠ and jump in NT next go.
Hand F: 3♣, Stayman. I would never pass this hand as I think it’s worth a shot at game (the shape and intermediates make it much more than 3 points). However, I would not argue if you took the more conservative approach (bid 3♣ Garbage Stayman and pass any response). Either way, I would not pass. If you play Puppet Stayman over 2NT then you are committed to game and I have no problem with that.
Hand G: 2NT. A balanced 20-21. A 2NT opener (like a 1NT opener) does not guarantee a stop in every suit.
Hand H: (a) 1NT. A good balanced 15 count. If you do not open 1NT with these hand types you will have a rebid problem.
(b) 2♥ or 2♣. These are the only real two poor choices from a poor selection. 1NT (12-14) is a very poor bid as this is a very good 15 points, so either rebid the ♥’s or invent a ♣ suit rather than lie about your points.
Hand J: 4♥. Partner’s 1♠ bid has improved this hand and I think it’s now worth game. I guess an invitational 3♥ is OK but a bit timid for me. 4♥ here shows a very big hand and partner is invited to bid on, it is most definitely not fast arrival or shut-out.
Hand K: 2NT. This hand is worth a game invitation when partner may have up to 15 or so points and the expected ♦ lead will certainly not hurt in NT.
Bidding Sequence Answers are on the previous page.