Club News Sheet – No. 179   8th  April 2006


Mon 3rd      N-S   1st    Chuck/Paul Kelly              68%       2nd    Alan/Bob Short                  58%

                  E-W   1st    Ursula/Hans(Ger)             54%       2nd    John/Kenneth                     52%

Wed 5th      N-S   1st    Alan/Bob Short                62%       2nd    Ole Dam / George              56%

E-W   1st = Ursula/Terry                     63%       2nd    Clive/Dave                         61%

Fri    7th                1st    Bob P / Bob S                  65%       2nd    Chuck/Paul Kelly                55%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 2, what

do you do?

A532            KQ82        

9                   A10942        With Hand B you open 1 and partner responds 1, what

9863             KQ9             do you bid?

QJ65            A


Hand C           Hand D           (a) What would you do with Hand C in 1st seat, both vul?

(b) Suppose you choose 2 and partner bids 2NT, Ogust,

Q                  AKJ742              then what would you bid?

AQ8743       10753 

J65                A3                With hand D you are vul against not. LHO opens a weak 1NT

Q76             8                  (12-14) and RHO bids 3NT. What do you do?


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


1062             K4                (a)  What do you open with Hand F?

A63              Q76              (b)  Suppose you open 1 and partner responds 1, what now?

932               AKJ103

AQ54           Q54                                      

(a) What do you open with Hand G?

Hand G           Hand H           (b)  Suppose you open 1, LHO bids 2 (weak) and partner

bids 3, what do you bid?      

QJ9              KJ985                                 

-                   K4                (a) What do you open with Hand H?          

AK9542       J                    (b) Suppose you choose 1 and partner bids 2, what now?

AK42           KJ1097


Hand J            Hand K           With Hand J you are dealer at favourable vulnerability. What do you open?

KQJ10953   Q96             

Q98              J953             With Hand K partner opens 1 and you bid 1. Partner then   

8                   65                 jumps to 3, what do you do?          

K5               K982


103               Leading Quiz. With this Hand L RHO has opened 1NT and LHO bid 3NT.

986               (a)  What do you lead?

10982           (b)  What do you lead if partner had doubled?

QJ73            (c)  What do you lead if partner makes a long pause and eventually passes?


Bidding Sequences Quiz


M    1     p      1      1        what is dbl?


N     1     p      1      1        what is dbl?


P      1     1    1      p          is 1 forcing?

Q     1NT   p      3NT   dbl       what is dbl?


There is no interference in the following sequences: -

R     1 -    1 -           3              is 3 forcing?

S      1 -    1 -           4              is 4 strong or shut-out?



Hanging Partner – part 1                                     Board 28 from Monday 3rd


I’ve mentioned this a few times recently, but is appears that some players are determined to get poor scores whatever: -


Dealer:             KJ64                                         

West                Q95                                            West          North         East          South

N-S vul            J6                                                pass           pass           1            1    (1) 

                        J985                                           2              2              pass         pass (2)

                                                                              3    (3)      3    (4)      dbl   (5)    all pass

105                    N             AQ                          

K1062            W    E          AJ743                 

843                     S              72                        

A763                                  Q1042                    






(1)   I prefer 2or else double.

(2)   With this shape it’s maybe worth a game try.

(3)   West has 4 ’s, so ‘The Law’ says to compete.

(4)   And North correctly bid for exactly the same reason.

(5)   But this really is silly. Partner has pushed them up – he is showing no more values than he did last go (just more ’s) and so it’s more likely that a contract is making.


And what happened?

-         3 doubled +1 is 930 and a cool top for N-S.


The bottom lines: -

-         When partner makes a balancing bid he is not showing more values.

Hanging Partner – part 2                                     Board 17 from Monday 3rd


Seems some people are determined to bid on after their partner has balanced. The typical excuse is ‘but I had 11 points’. How many times does it need to be said? – Partner is bidding your points when he balances! Here’s yet another example: -


Dealer:             A87                                           

North               96                                               West          North         East          South

Love all            Q9                                              -                 1             pass (1)    1

                        AQ8652                                     pass (2)      2             pass         pass

                                                                              2    (3)      3   (4)      3    (5)    all pass

K96                   N             Q1042                     

32                   W    E          AQ74                  

A8543                S              K106                   

K104                                 73                           






(1)   Looks like a classic double to me.

(2)   It would be very unwise to bid here in the ‘sandwich’ seat.

(3)   But now there’s no problem. The opposition have stopped bidding and so partner has points.

(4)   Bidding his hand 3 times, but East can do better (I mean worser).

(5)   West’s balancing bid has pushed the opponents too high. But unfortunately East had to announce that he had the points that West already knew that he had.


And what happened?

-         3 was one down. 3 would have gone one or two down for a complete top to E-W.


The bottom lines: -

-         I guess that if you play with a partner who does not understand balancing then you will get bad scores whatever. You can leave the opponents in a comfortable contract or else you can push them up (in the balancing seat) only to hear partner bid on and get clobbered.




A 4 opener, but what if you play Namyats?     South hand 14 from Monday 3rd


-                       I was asked the best opening with this hand. Obviously 4.

Q10876542      But what if you play Namyats? A Namyats 4 bid should be around 8½

109                   playing tricks and this hand is not quite good enough. 4 is correct in my

AK9                 opinion.



Negative double – or you’re fixed!                     Board 11 from Monday 3rd


Dealer:             Q10                                            Table A

South               AJ107                                        West          North         East(A)    South

Love All           AQJ107                                      -                 -                 -               pass

                        72                                              1              2    (1)      pass (2)    pass

                                                                              dbl   (3)      pass           pass (4)    pass

J974                  N             A532                       

KQ843           W    E          9                           ‘Expert’ Table

4                         S              9863                     West         North         East          South

AK4                                   QJ65                    -                 -                 -               pass

                        K86                                            1            2              dbl   (1)    pass

652                                             2    (5)      pass           pass         3    (6)

                        K52                                            3    (7)      all pass



Table A:     (1)  With these great stops and good intermediates, 1NT looks right to me.

(2)  What did you bid with this East hand A in this week’s quiz? It’s not good enough for a two-level bid, but a negative double is perfect. I play this here as promising 4 ’s and 6+ points.

(3)   West assumed that East knew about negative doubles and obviously re-opened with the ‘automatic’ re-opening double.

(4)   But despite the fact that negative doubles appear in just about every news-sheet, this East obviously did not understand them. Of course he is fixed now having not made the negative double last time, but xxxx and 7 points is nowhere near good enough for a pass.

‘Expert’      (1)  A classic negative double.

Table:       (5)  And now the 4-4 fit is easily located.

(6)  It’s one above the Law, but 1 down should be a good score against 2 making.

(7)  With great shape and a known 4-4 fit, 3 is probably making.


And what happened?

Nobody (!) out of 7 tables found the 4-4 fit, there are 9 tricks available in ’s.

-         I note that three North’s played in 2 - are there really four East’s who don’t play (or understand) negative doubles?

-         And are there also three West’s who do not know about re-opening doubles?


The bottom lines: -

-         Negative doubles are a really important part of bidding.

-     If you fail to make a negative double when you should have, you will be totally fixed over partner’s re-opening double.



A 2NT opener?                                                    South hand 1 from Wednesday 3rd


AQ8             I was asked if 19 points is good enough to open 2NT. Not usually, but with

AK1032       a good 5 card suit it is. If this 5-carder was a minor I would open 2NT in a shot.

A102            With a major like this it’s also fine but I would feel happier if playing Puppet

Q3               Stayman (or Niemeijmer) over 2NT.

A long pause and pass fixes partner!                  Board 9 from Wednesday 5th 


Dealer:             Q95                                           

North               KQJ                                           West(D)     North         East(L)     South

E-W vul           J764                                            -                 1NT (1)      pass         3NT

                        K105                                         pass (2)      all pass


AKJ742             N             103                          

10753             W    E          986                       Before we discuss the bidding, what was your

A3                      S              10982                   answer to this week’s lead problem from this

8                                        QJ73                    East hand L?






(1)  Playing a weak NT, so 12-14.

(2)  What did you do with this West hand D in this week’s quiz? At this vulnerability bidding 4 would be suicide, but there are two reasonable options: (1) you can pass and hope that partner finds a lead (quite likely with a sensible partner as he cannot have any points and should ‘look for your suit’). (2) You could double – asking partner to lead his shortest suit (which hopefully will be spades). An unreasonable action is to think for about one minute or more and then pass. This is passing unauthorised information to partner and if he then leads a there will be an immediate director call.


And what happened?

-         I was East and would have led the 10. But after partner’s pause I considered that I was now unable to do that so I led the 10 and the contract made +1 when it would have gone -3 on the 10 lead.

-         I later discussed the hand with Alan, Chuck and Paul K. They all agreed that 10 was the best lead but that it was not ethical to lead it after the long pause, and they agreed that had I led the 10 then N-S would be entitled to an adjusted score; I totally agree.


The bottom lines: -

-         How many times have I said it? If you pause for a long time and then pass you are passing unauthorised information to partner.

-         It’s usually best to bid if you have paused for a long time, it takes the pressure off partner.

-         In this particular situation West should have doubled having paused. This is a conventional double saying that you have a long suit and want partner to lead it.

-         If it looks like partner might possibly have taken advantage of the information from your pause, you will get an adjusted (unfavourable) score.

-         Partner’s actions must be very clear-cut after you pause and then pass, and leading the 10 here, although best, is not clear-cut.


A 3 opener?                                                        North hand 25 from Friday 3rd


KQJ10953   I was asked about the 3 opening that one player made with this North hand J

Q98              as dealer with E-W vul. I think it’s far too good. But a 3 opening is not illegal

8                   or a psyche with this hand (it’s just a very poor bid). I would open 1 and the

K5               only other sensible bid in my opinion is 4.

Too good for a weak two?                                   Board 4 from Wednesday 3rd


Dealer:             J632                                           Table A

West                K65                                            West(C)     North         East          South

Both vul            109                                             2    (1)      pass           2NT (2)    pass

                        K954                                         3    (3)      pass           pass (4)    pass


Q                       N             K875                       

AQ8743         W    E          J                           Table B

J65                      S              AK874                 West(C)     North         East(F)     South

Q76                                   AJ2                      1    (1)      pass           2    (5)    pass

                        A1094                                        2            pass           2    (6)    pass

1092                                           3    (7)      pass           3NT         all pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this West hand C in this week’s quiz? I guess that the Q is not worth two points, but I still prefer Table B’s auction.

(2)   Ogust, asking about partner’s strength. An excellent convention.

(3)   Max points, poor suit. With 6 points in ’s I would respond 3 (and thus force to game).

(4)   With max points opposite and advertised values outside ’s I would bid 3NT here.

Table B:     (1)  I think that this is worth a 1 opener, but then I play weak twos as 6-9. Anyway, if you count the Q as two points it conforms with the rule of 20.

                (5)  What did you respond with this East hand F in this week’s quiz? With game forcing values it’s best to bid the 5 card minor first and then reverse into the major next go (showing your shape and game forcing).

(6)  Showing the shape and game forcing.

(5)   3 (4th suit asking for a stop) is a sound alternative.


And what happened?

3NT made on the nail. Only 3 pairs out of seven reached game.


The bottom lines: -

-         I suppose it depends on your range, but 11 points is too much for a weak two in my style.

-         Play Ogust.

-         If partner give a maximum point response to Ogust, then bid game?

-         6 points in the suit should be a ‘good suit’ response to Ogust.


And an ‘incidentally’. In my style I do not have a ‘gap’ between my 1♥/♠ and 2♥/♠ opening. With a 6 card suit that’s not strong enough to open 1/ I will always open 2/ (unless the hand contains 4 cards in the other major of course, when I can pass).


An easy slam missed by most                             Board 6 from Wednesday 5th  


Dealer:             65                                              

East                  6                                                 West          North         East          South

E-W vul           Q874                                          -                 -                 1    (1)    3    (2)

                        QJ9742                                      3NT (3)      pass           4   (4)    pass

                                                                              4    (5)      pass           6    (6)    all pass

Q4                     N             AKJ109832             

Q752              W    E          3                          

AKJ106              S              9                          

108                                    AK6                        






(1)  The ‘modern’ style is to open 2 with a hand like this, and this one has close to enough high card points for me not to argue too much. But I still prefer to bid naturally!

(2)   With a suit this good and especially at this vulnerability I would try 4.

(3)   I agree with this bid, I think it’s better than 4.

(4)   E-W had no agreement here, and in theory 4 is natural but West assumed that East would take it as Gerber (quite a sensible treatment).

(5)   One ace.

(6)   That should be enough.


And what happened? Only two pairs out of seven reached the cold 6 slam.


The bottom lines: -

-         ‘Theory’ says that after a natural 3NT bid, then 4 is natural and 4NT quantitative; with 5 as Gerber. I’m not so sure that this is always the best treatment and 4 as Gerber in this particular sequence seems sensible to me.


‘Don’t splinter with a singleton ace’ – so what should one do?      


                                                                                                Board 16 from Wednesday 5th

Dealer:             63                                              

West                KQ85                                         West(B)     North         East          South

E-W vul           87532                                         1              pass           1            pass

                        52                                              3    (1)      pass           3NT         pass

                                                                              4   (2)      pass           4            pass

KQ82                N             A1097                  5    (3)      pass           pass (4)    pass

A10942          W    E          3                          

KQ9                   S              J106                     

A                                        Q9763                    






(1)  What did you bid with this West hand B in this week’s quiz? Neither 2 nor 3 are forcing so they are out. A 4 splinter would be correct if it was not the ace (one should not splinter with a singleton ace). So West went had a think and finally manufactured a 3 bid. Now this is (game) forcing but unfortunately it does not show the great support. The correct bid here is 4 - this shows 4 card support, around 18-19 points and a hand that was not suitable for a splinter. Contrary to some people’s belief 4 here is not shut-out and partner is invited to bid on with a good hand.

(2)   As with the previous deal, 4 was Gerber here.

(3)   But now West was in a real quandary, having not shown the support.

(4)   East did not know exactly what was going on, and with little more than a minimum and a mis-fit for partner’s suit he wisely passed.


And what happened? 5 squeaked home exactly for a good score. Declarer would have felt much happier in 4!


The bottom lines: -

-         Sequence S (1 - 1 - 4) shows a big hand.

-         Contrary to some people’s belief, raising partner’s 1/ opening to 2/ is more encouraging than biding 1NT. Although they show the same point range, supporting partner shows support (of course) and is thus more encouraging. 1NT is often a ‘courtesy bid’ with little support but scattered values.

-         So, support with support – especially if maximum.


Pass out or try for game?                                    Board 14 from Friday 7th


There were a number of different evaluations of this South hand on Friday: -


Dealer:             1062                                           Table A

East                  A63                                            West          North         East          South(H)

Love all            932                                             -                 -                 pass         pass (1)

                        AQ54                                         pass           pass


74                      N             AQ3                     Table B

QJ98              W    E          10752                   West          North(E)    East          South(H)

A10875              S              KQ64                   -                 -                 pass         1  (1)

32                                      86                        pass           2    (2)      pass         pass (3)

                        KJ985                                        dbl   (4)      pass           3    (5)    4   (6)

K4                                              pass           4              all pass


                        KJ1097                                      Table C

West          North(E)    East          South(H)

-                 -                 pass         1    (1)

pass           2    (2)      pass         3   (3)

pass           3NT (7)      pass         4    all pass


Table A:     (1)  Did  you open with this South hand H(a) in this week’s quiz? I think it’s easily worth an opener. The J is a ‘wasted’ point but two 5 card suits with excellent intermediates are great. Opinion is divided as to which suit to open with 5-5 in the black suits: Some prefer to open 1 and then bid ’s twice if necessary (and strong enough); others prefer to open 1 and see what happens. I generally prefer this 2nd approach – especially if you agree that a 3 bid over a two level response does not show extras (as when you play 2/1).

Table B:     (1)  This South correctly opened and chose 1, as would I.

(2)   What did you respond with this North hand E in this week’s quiz? With just 3 smallish trumps 1NT is not totally unreasonable, but I certainly prefer 2♠. A flat 10 count is not good enough for more (say 2NT or 2 or whatever)

(3)   What did you bid with this South hand H(b) in this week’s quiz? I think the hand is worth an effort and I prefer the bid chosen at Table C.

(4)   Not unreasonably, South came in with a protective (balancing) double.

(5)   I would bid the major (so 3) in this situation.

(6)   But now South woke up and decided that his hand was worth a bid at the 4 level!

Table C:     (3)  We don’t need any made-up experts this week as Kees got this spot on. The hand has improved when partner supports ’s (one good reason why 2 by North was the best bid) and a 3 game try is easily the best bid.

(7)   4 looks right to me, but with 3 small trumps I guess 3NT is OK.


And what happened? 4 was bid 3 times and usually made +1.


The bottom lines:

-     5-5 shape is big, especially with ’s.

Partscore or slam?                                               Board 4 from Friday 7th


Dealer:             K107642                                    Table A

West                K52                                            West(G)     North         East          South

Both vul            Q8                                              2   (1)      pass           2            pass

                        Q5                                             3              pass           4   (2)    pass

                                                                              5   (3)      pass           5            pass

QJ9                   N             83                         6              all pass

-                     W    E          AJ43                   

AK9542             S              J1073                    Table B

AK42                                 763                      West(G)     North         East          South

                        A5                                              1    (1)      2              3    (4)    pass

Q109876                                    5    (5)      all pass      




Table A:     (1)  What did  you open with this West hand G(a) in this week’s quiz? I don’t like opening 2 with two-suiters and I don’t think it’s strong enough anyway.

(2)   I believe that East meant this as an ace ask. I would not take charge here and would bid 4. But you’re past the best spot (3NT) but that’s because of West’s unwise opening.

(3)   West thought 4 was natural.

Table B:     (1)  This West correctly opened 1.

(4)   What would you bid with this East hand? A negative double would show 4 ’s but it really shows a few more points (I would say about 9+ over a 2 overcall). But sometimes you are stuck and I would not argue with double (the support improves the hand) but this 3 bid chosen is probably best.

(5)  But I will argue with this – you all know my feeling about 5/ contracts – don’t bid them unless 3NT is ruled out. What did you bid with this West hand G(b) in this week’s quiz? Now I don’t expect many to agree with me, but I would bid 3NT. You are pretty sure of 8 tricks and may well get a 9th from ’s. And what about the ’s? Who knows – partner has shown some values and the opponents have bid ’s so partner surely (hopefully) has a stop.


And what happened? 5should go down, 3NT makes easily, probably with an overtrick

The bottom lines.

-         Same as every week – don’t bid 5/ if 3NT is a viable option.

-         9 tricks are usually easier than 11.

Too high – who’s fault?                                        Board 17 from Friday 7th


Dealer:             Q96                                           

West                J953                                           West          North(K)    East          South(F)

E-W vul           65                                               -                 pass           pass         1    (1) 

                        K982                                         pass           1              pass         3    (2)

                                                                              pass           3NT (3)      all pass

J1072                N             A853                   

K8                  W    E          A1042                 

9742                   S              Q8                       

A103                                  J76                      






(1)  What did you open with this South hand F(a) in this week’s quiz? 1NT really is a much better bid and avoids rebid problems.

(2)  And what did you rebid with hand F(b). The problem is that it may be a bit too good for 2 but it certainly is not good enough for 3 (in my opinion). And both of these bids imply a more shapely hand with usually 6 ’s. That’s why I would open 1NT – open 1NT and you never have a rebid problem!

(3)   What did you bid with this North hand K in this week’s quiz? This North (incorrectly) thought that 3 was forcing. This North hand is a minimum with lousy ’s and I would pass.


And what happened? 3NT was two down. Two pairs stopped nicely in 1NT.

The bottom line:

-         Same as every week – with a balanced hand within your 1NT range, open 1NT.

Bidding Quiz Answers                 


Hand A:     Dbl. Showing 4 ’s and 6+ points.

Hand B:      4. This shows about 18-19 and 4 card support.

Hand C:     (a)  1♥. It’s a trifle too strong for 2 for me, but I won’t argue if you chose 2 as 1st seat vulnerable should be a decent hand.

(b)   3♠. Good hand and good suit.

Hand D:     Dbl. This asks partner to lead his shortest suit. The other very good alternative is to pass, you know partner is virtually bust so he will probably try to find your suit. To bid (4) is suicide at this vulnerability. And one thing that is nearly as bad is to pause for a long time and then pass as that probably prohibits partner from leading a that he may well have done without the pause.

Hand E:      2. This totally flat hand is not worth more, but it’s max and 2 is more encouraging than 1NT.

Hand F:      (a)  1NT. Saves any rebid problem.

(b)  2. Not nice (you should have opened 1NT) but the hand is not good enough for 3.

Hand G:     (a)  1. It’s not strong enough for 2,

(b)  3NT. You have the ’s stopped and you can see 8 tricks. Nobody has mentioned ’s and partner surely has something there. I simply cannot understand why people continually leap off to 5/ in these sort of situations – 9 tricks are virtually always easier than 11.

Hand H:     (a) 1. 1 is an alternative if that’s your style, but the point is that the hand is well worth an opening bid.

(b)   3. A help-suit game try. The hand is worth a try for game after partner has supported ’s.

Hand J:       1. 4 is also reasonable. It’s far too good for 3.

Hand K:     Pass. A lousy hand with lousy ’s.


Leading Quiz Answer, Hand L.


(a)    10. You have no suit so try to find partner’s. 10 is the next best choice.

(b)   10. Partner want you to lead her suit, which is normally your shortest.

(c)    10. Partner’s long pause inhibits you from leading from shortage. The Q is dangerous.


Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers


M    1     p      1      1        what is dbl? Penalties. This is not similar to the sequence below

dbl                                   as opener can bid 1 if he has ’s.

N     1     p      1      1        what is dbl? This is best played as similar to a negative double –

dbl                                   showing 4 ’s. Thus you cannot show a penalty double of ’s (and presumably have to bid NT). This ‘problem’ is overcome if you play Walsh and then dbl here would be penalties.

P      1     1    1      p          is 1 forcing? Yes.

Q     1NT   p      3NT   dbl       what is dbl? Asking partner to lead his shortest suit (i.e. your good long suit).

R     1 -    1 -           3              is 3 forcing? No

S      1 -    1 -           4              is 4 strong or shut-out? Strong, around 18-19 points with no shortage. Responder is invited to bid on with a good hand.