Club News Sheet – No. 180   15th  April 2006


Mon 10th              1st    Tomas/Bob P                   66%       2nd    Clive/Dave                         61%

Wed 12th              1st    Chuck/Paul Kelly              63%       2nd    Ian/Terry                            59%

Fri    14th              1st    Dave/Jim(Can)                 65%       2nd  =Hans/Paul Kelly                  54%

=Arne/Oystein                      54%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           What do you open with Hand A?


AKQ8          AQ742        

AQ97           84                 With Hand B partner opens 1, RHO overcalls 1and you

84                 KJ6               bid 1. Partner then bids 1NT, what do you do?

J83               Q72


Hand C           Hand D           What do you open with Hand C?


AK2             AJ763          

AJ1097        A82              With Hand D you open 1 and partner responds 1NT. You then

852               AJ54             bid 2 and partner bids 2. What do you do now?

K9               Q


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E RHO opens 1, what do you do?


AQ102         KJ85           

J542             AQ54           With Hand F you open 1and partner responds 1, what do

Q9                -                    you bid?

K63             K10654


Hand G           Hand H           What do you open with Hand G?


AK               J3                 With Hand H partner what do you do if

KQ964         J107             (a) Partner opens 2NT?

A                  J10854          (b) Partner opens 1?

KJ976          Q53


Hand J            Hand K           With Hand J RHO opens 1, what do you do?


J4                 KQ65          

K10875        10                 With Hand K everybody is vulnerable. Partner opens 1 and

Q752            94                 RHO overcalls 1, what do you do?

A7                A108642


Hand L            Hand M          What do you open with Hand L?


A10              KJ1094                                           

A875            9743             With Hand M LHO opens 1 and partner overcalls 1. RHO

AQ1087       AK10           passes, what do you bid?

K5               9

Leading Quiz. With this Hand N RHO has opened 1NT and everybody passed


Q432            (a)  What do you lead?

9762             (b)  What do you lead if partner makes a long pause and eventually passes?




Bidding Sequences Quiz


P      1      3   3      pass     3 was weak, what is 4?


Q     1      1    p        1        Is 1 forcing?

R     1      1    p        p          What is dbl?







A 1NT opener?part 1                                       North hand 1 from Monday 10th


AKQ8          What did you open with Hand A in this weeks quiz? 1NT is correct.

AQ97           Now apparently one inexperienced player opened 1 (passed out) and got a

84                 poor score. He said that he opened 1 because he thought that he had read

J83               somewhere in the news-sheets that the doubleton should be Qx or better.

Actually, that is a mis-quote. What I have often said is that I will rarely open 1NT with a hand containing a 5 card major if the doubleton is not Qx or better. 


A 1NT opener?part 2                                       North hand 1 from Monday 10th


AK2             That brings us on to this hand. What did you open with Hand C in this weeks

AJ1097        quiz? Now I explained the above to the player who asked and soon afterwards

852               he had this hand and opened 1NT. He then received some stick from others at

K9               the table because they thought that one should not open 1NT with a 5 card major. I would always open this hand with 1NT. Another top club player said that he would open 1 but that 1NT is a perfectly acceptable alternative.

I see it the other way round, I would open 1NT but 1 is perfectly acceptable (but don’t ask me what your rebid is).




Open 1NT with a 5 card major? - setting the record straight


The next two pages are an extract from the comprehensive NT bidding book on the web: -


1.1                   Opening 1NT with a 5 Card Major?


      Most players accept opening 1NT with a balanced hand and a 5 card minor. However, one of the main considerations to be considered when opening 1NT is if you allow a 5 card major. Opinion is divided on this subject; some never open 1NT with a 5 card major, some will allow a weak suit such as J7543, while others will allow virtually any 5 card major suit. Which philosophy shall we adopt? All three probably have equal merit, but we shall adopt the last (providing the hand is balanced, i.e. the doubleton is Ax, Kx or Qx and the major is not top-heavy) for a number of reasons: -


1-   If you open 1/, then you will usually never be able to play in possibly the best contract of 1NT if you play a Forcing NT.

2-   It is usually best to limit your hand as soon a possible, especially if relatively flat.

3-   Once you open 1NT you never have a rebid problem. The hand is off your chest.

4-   1NT (and most other contracts) will be played from the strong hand. And a 1NT opening hand is the hand that is most likely to have tenaces that need protecting.

5-   The defenders do not have it so easy defending against a 1NT contract as they do not know if declarer has a 5 card major or not.

6-   Even if a 5-3 major suit exists, if partner is minimal 1NT is at a lower level.

7-   If the hand belongs to the opponents, they are less likely to compete over a strong NT opening.

8-   There is also the negative inference, that a major suit opening within our 1NT range is a good suit and/or unbalanced.



Let’s just check on when we should open 1NT with a 5 card major and when not: -


Hand 1             Hand 2             Hand 3             Hand 4             Hand 5            


AJ9               AJ9               Q97              AK9             AKJ74         

AQ984         Q10984        AKQ104      AQ984         Q98             

K7                AK7             A7                J7                  K73             

Q93             Q3               J93               Q93             K3



Hand 1:            Open 1NT

Hand 2:            Open 1NT

Hand 3:            Open 1, the ’s are top-heavy

Hand 4:            Open 1, the doubleton is not good enough.

Hand 5:            Open 1NT, the short suits are just good enough and the tenaces may need protecting.



So that’s fine, and we know when to open 1NT with a 5 card major and when not to. But does everybody know this? And do they know the criteria needed for 1NT? 5 card majors

                                                                        are fine if they are not top-heavy, the hand

Dealer:             J752                                     should be balanced (in shape and high card

West.               10985                                   distribution). Tenaces such as AQx, Kx, Qx

Love all            97                                         should encourage one to open 1NT and the

            A63                                      lack of such tenaces should be discouraging.

                                                            Consider this hand from a 2003 international

KQ1043            N                A6                competition. What do you open as West?

AK6             W    E              J43               At the first table, West chose 1 and eventually

J43                     S                 A10862        ended up in 3NT by East.

108                                      K97             This received a lead by south and the contract

            98                                         was made. I am ashamed to say that the English

Q72                                      West opened a weak 1NT, and after the 10

                        KQ5                                     opening lead from North, the final 3NT contract

                        QJ542                                  stood no chance. Was West unlucky? Indeed he

                                                                        was! If this book had been published before this event, he would have known that absolutely everything about the West hand is wrong for an opening 1NT. The points are concentrated in two suits, the doubleton is weak, the ’s are also very weak and the hand contains absolutely no tenaces; if NT is the best contract (as in this case), then the hand has to be played by East.



Let’s have a slightly more memorable example of an unsuitable 1NT opening. This time the hand is from the 1998 Macallan International Bridge pairs. You have to be a top class player to even be invited to this tournament, and these players were 4 of the world’s top.

The N-S pair were playing a strong NT.


Dealer:             1072                                     West          North         East            South

South               K2

Both vul            875                                       -                 -                 -                 1NT (1)    

            97654                                  dbl             pass           pass           pass 


6                         N               J983    

108                 W    E            AQJ973                   (1)  15-17

AKQ1096          S                2                  

AJ103                                  82                West cashed the first 6 ¨ tricks, followed

            AKQ54                                by the §A and then 6 © tricks took the                   

654                                      remainder. 7 down in a 1 level contract!

J43                                        Perhaps rather a graphic example, but the

                  KQ                                      South hand really is unsuitable for 1NT.






OK, let’s get on to some equally amusing stuff from our club: -
Ian shows his stuff                                                     Board 27 from Wednesday 12th


If you have looked at our web site recently you may have noticed that I have added a few light-hearted pages. The page ‘Bridge Jargon’ has an the following entry for Roman Keycard Blackwood: -


-         ‘An ingenious convention that allows you to get to a grand slam off the ace of trumps’.


True perhaps, but Ian can do far better – prompting partner to bid a grand missing two aces!


Dealer:             -                                                

South               AQ7543                                     West          North(me)  East          South(Ian)

Love all            KJ984                                         -                 -                 -               1   (1) 

                        97                                              pass           1    (2)      3    (3)    4   

pass (4)      4NT (5)      pass         5    (6)

Q9862               N             AKJ1043              6    (7)      7    (8)      dbl   (9)    all pass

92                   W    E          -                          

Q1032                S              A765                   

103                                    Q86                    






(1)   Ian found the best opening with this hand. How come? It was the last of a 3 board set and obviously you do not open a major and risk not being able to go out for a smoke.

(2)   This North hand is strong enough for a strong jump shift of 2, but I don’t like to jump shift with two-suiters, and I would like a bit more ‘body’ in the suit.

(3)   Nobody bothered to ask if this was strong or weak.

(4)   Maybe a bid here would have changed things?

(5)   I don’t like to bid 4NT with a void, but I’ve witnessed Ian’s reaction to cue bids before and did not want to risk playing in 4 with a void as trumps.

(6)   5 is one ace playing Standard Blackwood.

(7)   Finally a (rather large) spanner in the works…

(8)   …but it was too late! N-S had agreed to play Roman Key Card Blackwood, so South’s 5 bid at (6) showed one or four key cards. Since it seemed unlikely that South would have bid 4 with just one key card I assumed that it was 4 key cards.

(9)   South does not have 4 key cards!


And what happened?

There was nothing to the play and 7 doubled rolled home. Ian had quickly gone off for a smoke after laying down dummy at lighting speed. Upon his return he apologised for forgetting RKCB. I forgave him.

And at other tables? Obviously nobody else bid 7, just one pair did reach 6♥. 6 was a sound ‘advanced sacrifice’ and would have got a good score for E-W (3 down doubled so only 500) against N-S’s easy game which makes +4 and so scores 510!


The bottom lines:

-     What can I say? (except ‘sorry guys’ to the opponents).

Unauthorised information                                    Board 12 from Monday 10th


Just last week I gave an example of when I considered that I was unable to make what I considered to be the best lead because of my partner’s long pause and pass. A similar thing happened on Monday, except that the player concerned was not me and he did make an ‘unusual’ lead and the director was (quite correctly) called: -


Dealer:             Q432                                         

West                9762                                           West          North(N)    East          South

N-S vul            Q2                                              1NT           pass           pass         pass (1) 



AK5                  N             J107                     (1) After a long pause.

J53                 W    E          A10                     

954                     S              1087                    

AKJ3                                 109764               






What was you answer to this week’s lead problem from the North hand N? A card from a major suit is ‘obvious’. I would lead the 2 but any or seems reasonable.

This North found the Q lead? Why? His reasoning was that he knew his partner had points (since East passed then partner must have 13+ points). Quite why that indicates the Q lead I don’t know and don’t want to go into it.

Anyway, the point is a follows. South has made a long pause and finally produced a pass. He was clearly thinking of bidding. So either he has a long suit which he was considering bidding or he has 15+ points and was thinking of a double. So North knows this after the pause and the Q lead becomes fairly attractive.

Now onto my ruling. As it happens E-W make exactly 8 tricks on any lead and so there was no damage done. However, if South had had 6 ’s and the Q lead set the contract I most certainly would have adjusted the score to the most likely outcome on a non- lead.


The bottom lines: -

-         If you pause for a long time and then pass you are passing unauthorised information to partner.

-         Sometimes this is unavoidable, but partner IS NOT ALLOWED to take advantage of this.

-         In this particular case the Q lead was not obvious without partner’s pause. Whether North (as he maintains) would have led the Q anyway IS NOT RELEVANT. If your partner pauses and passes then you have to play it straight down the middle and play ‘normally’. And that means play like most people would had there been no pause.


More bottom lines: -

-     I direct the club. It is a friendly club, we do not play for master points nor money and I make the rulings. There is no appeals committee (we do not want a repeat of the Jan fiasco).

-     I do not include myself in the club championships and try to make fair and unbiased decisions.

-     I am not perfect but I do know more about the rules than most.

-     I do not appreciate snide remarks and innuendos about my decisions.

-     It is clearly written in the club’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy rules (reproduced in news sheet 178) that ‘disputing or arguing with a director’s ruling’ is UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR.

-     To his credit, the main perpetrator did later apologise for his behaviour, so no problem.

More ‘problems’ ?part 1                                         Board 17 from Monday 10th


Unfortunately, because of the ‘incident’ on the last page and the continual badgering that I was receiving throughout Monday’s session I felt that I had to make an announcement during the play about the repercussions of pausing and then passing. Apparently one other player misunderstood this(??!) and tried to blame me for his subsequent poor bid: -


Dealer:             103                                            

North               QJ96                                          West          North         East          South(B)

Love all            A43                                            -                 1   (1)      1            1   

                        AK108                                       pass           1NT           pass         pass (2)


J985                  N             K6                       

K                    W    E          A107532             

9872                   S              Q105                   

6543                                  J9                        






(1)  With two tens and great intermediates a 1NT opening is a very reasonable alternative and is what I would have opened. Note again that a weak doubleton should not deter one from opening 1NT.

(2)  Apparently South passed  ‘because he had no stop’ and ….


… What happened? 3NT is easy but only one pair out of six bid it!

This South then remarked to me that he passed because I had said that ‘he only had 5 seconds to think’. This is, of course, a total mis-quote.

What did you bid with this South hand B in this week’s quiz? First of all, I certainly would pause(!)… because there are a number of reasonable options. There are a few points: -

(1) Is the hand good enough for game or just an invitation?

(2)  Should you try to investigate a possible 5-3 fit? Although if you play negative doubles then the 1 bid shows 5 ’s in most player’s treatment playing negative doubles.

(3) Should you check that partner has a decent stop?

It is not a trivial problem. Pass and 2 (weak) are out but reasonable bids are 2NT, 3NT, 2 asking for a good stop(s), and 2 (Checkback Stayman) or 2 (New minor forcing).

I think that best is 2 asking for good ’s opposite with 2/ (whichever you play) showing at least invitational values and 5 ’s a close second. It is a very difficult problem.

The bottom lines: -

-     Please do not mis-quote me. Fortunately just about everything I say is written down.

-     Of course you can think – and anybody who can come up with the best bid with this South hand without thinking is far too good to be playing at this club.

-     And if you pause and then make a bid there is absolutely no problem whatsoever (see the next article!).

-     And, again, I do not appreciate snide remarks and innuendos about my statements/rulings.


Please bear in mind that running a bridge club in Pattaya is not a trivial task. Numbers are coming down now and it may sometimes be necessary to pair up people who are incompatible (there are a lot of incompatible people in Pattaya). One idea that I am toying with is to have a few more individual tournaments when we have a suitable number of players.
More ‘problems’ ? – part 2                                 Board 15 from Monday 10th


I was not called over this time, but one player did ask me if I thought that an opponent had used ‘unauthorised’ information: -


Dealer:             Q8                                             

South               654                                             West          North         East          South(D)

N-S vul            K98                                            -                 -                 -               1   

                        A9862                                        pass           1NT           pass         2

pass           2    (1)      pass         pass(2)  

1052                  N             K94                     

KQJ109         W    E          73                        

762                     S              Q103                   

105                                    KJ743                 






(1)  Apparently after a long pause

(2)  What did you bid with this South hand D in this week’s quiz? I was asked and I said pass. My inquisitor thought that the hand was worth a game try (I agree that it’s close but I would still pass because I don’t like the singleton Q and think that it’s more likely that 3 will fail when partner has a poor hand than 4 making when partner has a good hand). Anyway, the question arose as to whether South was given unauthorised information by North’s long pause (that North probably has only two ’s and so South did not try for game). Here is my response: -


North paused and then bid – no problem. And what’s more, in my opinion South has been given absolutely no unauthorised information whatsoever. He has no idea why North paused. Maybe North is maximum and was thinking of trying for game, maybe North has 3 ’s and was thinking of making a game try, maybe North has a load of junk and was thinking of passing 2. In my opinion there was absolutely no unauthorised information in this situation.


The bottom lines: -

-     If you pause and pass you are passing unauthorised information.

-     If you pause and bid you are rarely passing unauthorised information. You could have been thinking about passing or about making a stronger bid. It is rarely a problem and most certainly was not one in this scenario.

-     If you pause for a long time then it is best to bid – this avoids problems.



Incidentally, it is an established fact in competitions worldwide that the director is called about problems resulting from hesitations more than for any other reason. Revokes and leads out of turn are very distant 2nd and 3rd.

A splinter or reverse?                                          Board 22 from Monday 10th


Dealer:             Q6                                              Table A

East                  32                                               West          North         East(F)     South

E-W vul           AJ85                                           -                 -                 1           pass

                        AQJ83                                       1              pass           2    (1)    pass

                                                                              2              pass           4    (2)    pass

A109432           N             KJ85                    pass (3)      pass

J96                 W    E          AQ54                  

Q976                  S              -                            ‘Expert’ table

-                                         K10654               West          North         East(F)     South

                        7                                                 -                 -                 1           pass

K1087                                        1              pass           3    (1)    pass

                        K10432                                      4    (4)      pass           pass         pass



Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this East hand F in this week’s quiz? 2 here is a (forcing) reverse but I don’t like it as it promises 5+ ’s and implies no support.

(2) Finally showing support, but it could easily be a doubleton in this sequence.

(3)  Fortunately West is minimal and so nothing was missed.

‘Expert’      (1)  A splinter. 2 would be a natural (forcing) reverse and so 3 is a splinter

 Table:              showing 4 card support and shortage. The splinter is game forcing.

(4)  West has 6 trumps, but with just 7 points and shortage in opener’s suit (not usually good) he jumps to 4 (fast arrival).


And what happened?

-         Most people reached 4 by various routes.


The bottom lines: -

-         Don’t abuse the reverse – a reverse promises more cards in the first bid suit.

-     With game going values, 4 card support for partner, and shortage; splinter!



With a good holding in RHO’s suit, pass!          Board 4 from Monday 10th


Dealer:             9643                                          

West                3                                                 West          North         East          South(E)

Both vul            K85                                            -                 -                 1            dbl   (1)

                        J9842                                         2    (2)      pass           2            pass

                                                                              3NT           all pass

-                        N             KJ875                 

A76                W    E          KQ1098              

AJ7643               S              102                      

AQ105                               7                         






(1)  What did you bid with this South hand E in this week’s quiz? With length and strength in RHO’s suit it is best to pass. This South doubled because he ‘wanted to show his suit’. Now I suppose that you could call this a suit, but doubling here is very dangerous with a flat hand and miserable suits outside ’s.

(2) I would redouble here and make South sweat.


And what happened?

-         North led a (partner must have that suit for his double) and E-W made 3NT +1 for a good score.

-         I later asked South what he would have done if LHO had redoubled and North bid 2? He said that he would have bid 2. Even non-vul that would have cost 1100 since the computer says that E-W can make 4.


The bottom lines: -

-     Be wary of biding with length and strength in RHO’s suit.

-     A take-out double should be short in the suit bid.

-     A take-out double with 4 good cards in the suit opened is just about ridiculous.

-     If partner opens, RHO doubles and you have a mis-fit with 10+ points then redouble!

-     With 15 points and a void in partner’s suit thump the redouble card on the table (only joking; Thorlief, Jeff and Alex don’t play here any more).


Open 2NT with a singleton?                                Board 11 from Monday 10th


Dealer:             J3                                               Table A

South               J107                                           West          North(H)    East          South(G)

Love all            J10854                                        -                 -                 -               2NT (1)

                        Q53                                           pass           3NT (2)      all pass


10852                N             Q9764                  Table B

832                 W    E          A5                        West          North(H)    East          South(G)

Q7                      S              K9632                  -                 -                 -               1  (1)

A842                                  10                        pass           pass (3)      pass


KQ964                                       Table C

                        A                                                West          North(H)    East          South(G)

KJ976                                        -                 -                 -               1    (1)

pass           2    (3)      pass         4    (4)


Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this South hand G in this week’s quiz? Now unlike with 1NT, you are allowed to open 2NT with a singleton, especially if it’s an ace; but I don’t like it with this hand because of the two short suits. It would be a better opening if you played Puppet Stayman (or Neimeijer) so that a 5-3 fit is located, but I still don’t like 2NT.

(2)   And what did you respond with this North hand H(a) in this week’s quiz? 3NT is virtually automatic unless you play Puppet Stayman (and who does at this club?)

Table B:     (1)  Most Souths chose the best 1 opening.

(3)   What did you respond with this North hand H(b) in this week’s quiz? 5 points, but those two tens (supported by jacks) and 3 card support and a doubleton make the hand easily worth a 2 response. If partner had opened 1 it would be closer (either 1NT or pass) but opposite a 1 opener a 2 response is clear.

Table C:     (3)  This North correctly responded 2.

(4)  Making a slam effort is an alternative, but South reasonably simply bid the cold game.


And what happened?

-         1 made 11 tricks, 3NT was one down, 3 pairs reached 4 making or making +1.


The bottom lines: -

-         Don’t open 2NT with a doubleton and a singleton.

-     This North hand is easily worth a 2 response to 1.



“Unrelenting criticism that makes your life hell…

are we talking abut your mother-in-law or your bridge partner?”



2320 really is too much to concede                     Board 26 from Monday 10th


Dealer:             1082                                          

East                  J432                                           West          North         East          South(J)

E-W vul           10                                               -                 -                 1            dbl   (1)

                        QJ653                                        redbl          pass (2)      pass         pass (3)


A95                   N             KQ763                

AQ9               W    E          6                          

J986                    S              AK43                  

K108                                 942                     






(1)  What did you bid with this South hand J in this week’s quiz? With a 5 card suit there is little point in a double, 2 is fine.

(2) Now that West has redoubled North is under no obligation to bid. 2 is reasonable but I guess that depends upon whether you normally expect partner to have 4 ’s for his double of 1. Anyway, pass is fine and probably best because you can pass if partner rescues to 2 and can correct 2 to 2.

(3)  What can I say? Partner’s pass is not an invitation to defend 1 redoubled! Obviously South should bid 2 here.


And what happened?

-         2320 is more than the 650 or so that most E-W’s got on the board.


The bottom lines: -

-     After 1 dbl redbl pass pass ? the opponents have you outgunned, so bid your best suit.

A perfect penalty pass?                                       Board 20 from Friday 14th


Dealer:             92                                               Table A

West                Q6432                                        West(K)     North         East(L)     South

Both vul            6532                                           pass           pass           1    (1)    1    (2)

                        97                                              pass (3)      pass           dbl   (4)    pass

                                                                              2   (5)      pass           2NT (6)    pass

KQ65                N             A10                      3NT           all pass

10                   W    E          A875                   

94                       S              AQ1087               Table B

A108642                            K5                       West(K)     North         East(L)     South

                        J8743                                         pass           pass           1    (1)    1    (2)

KJ9                                            pass (3)      pass           dbl   (4)    pass

                        KJ                                               pass (5)      pass



Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this East hand L in this week’s quiz? I was East here and did not open 1NT – not because the hand contains two doubletons (these two doubletons are fine for 1NT) but because I considered the hand too strong!

(2)  Purists may like a little more strength in the suit overcalled, but I think that a 1 overcall is OK. Double is a reasonable alternative as the ’s are so weak.

(3)   What did you bid with this West hand K in this week’s quiz? 2 is forcing but I prefer pass and then pass partner’s ‘automatic’ re-opening double. Game is by no means certain and the vulnerable penalty received for 1 doubled going down should be a good score.

(4)   Virtually automatic, and certainly so with this hand.

(5)   I have no idea what happened here. Perhaps West was dreaming? Pass is clear. 2 here is a very weak bid and certainly not forcing. If West wanted to bid his ’s then he should have last go.

(6)   Fortunately East also had a stopper and a big hand and so could bid NT.

Table B:     (5)  This West knew what he was doing.


And what happened?

-         3NT made +2 on a lead (declarer has to win the first trick with the A to preserve an entry to dummy) but this is not as good as setting 1 doubled by 4 tricks (1100).


I suggested to my partner at Table A that he could have passed 1 doubled and that his 2 bid was weak. At this juncture North (who I won’t bother to name but continually gives incorrect advise) said that my double was ‘negative’, showing 4 ’s. Now I won’t say that I have never heard such drivel in my life because I have on many occasions (from the same person); it is simply what I expect from somebody who has no comprehension of negative doubles whatsoever but acts as if he were an expert and continually offers unsolicited erroneous advise. Anyway, what was your answer to bidding sequence R this week? Dbl is simply ‘automatic’ showing a normal opener just in case partner has a penalty hand (as in this case).

The bottom lines: -

-         I think that KQxx is good enough for a penalty pass in a situation like this against vulnerable opponents.

-         The 2 bid at (5) is weak. 2 at (3) would have been forcing and correct if you did not want to defend 1 doubled.

Support with support                                            Board 6 from Friday 14th


N-S got way too high here, who’s fault?


Dealer:             KJ1094                     

East                  9743                                           West          North(M)   East          South

E-W vul           AK10                                         -                 -                 1           1    (1)

                        9                                                pass (2)      1    (3)      pass         1NT (4)

                                                                              pass (5)      4    (6)      pass (7)    pass

Q72                   N             A865                    pass (8)

K102              W    E          A                         

Q8543                S              J72                       

J10                                     A6542                 






(1)   Looks like a reasonable 1-level  overcall to me.

(2)   1NT seems obvious here.

(3)   And I simply cannot comprehend this. It is not forcing! Why on earth anybody would want to risk playing in a 5-2 fit or whatever with a known 5-4 fit is beyond me. Anyway, what did you bid with this North hand M in this week’s quiz? It is not worth a jump to game opposite a simple overcall and the best method is to cue bid 2, showing a limit raise to 3 (as opposed to a pre-emptive direct 3).

(4)   With ’s well stopped, this seems sensible to me.

(5)   West still did not think that he had enough to bid.

(6)   For some reason North thought that South was showing a strong hand and so jumped to game.

(7)   East has 3 tricks but assumed that partner was bust.

(8)   And West confirmed for the third time that he had zero points.


And what happened?

-         4 went 3 down for a bottom to N-S so it did not matter that West passed throughout.


The bottom lines: -

-         Unless you agree to the contrary, a change of suit over partner’s overcall is not forcing.

-         With 4 card support for partner’s overcall – support!

-         A direct raise to 3 by North is best played as pre-emptive…

... and with a sound raise to 3, cue bid the opener’s suit.

-     Note that this treatment (the cue bid to show a sound raise to 3 of partner’s overcall) really is needed as the overcall may be anywhere between 7 and 16 points and if at the lower end (as in this case) even 3 may be too high. This cue bid scheme enables you to stop at 2.

-         A 1NT bid after partner has changed suit after your overcall does not show a big hand, simply a stop in opener’s suit and a dislike for partner’s suit.


And to answer the question (who’s fault) – North (twice).
Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     1NT.

Hand B:      Pause: There is no obvious answer! 2NT, 3NT, 2 (checking that partner’s stop(s) are sound and 2/ (if you play Checkback or NMF) are all very reasonable and my answer would depend upon who I was playing with. 2 and pass are out.

Hand C:     1NT. I personally would open 1NT but 1 is perfectly acceptable (don’t ask me what your rebid is).

Hand D:     Pass. I don’t think that it’s quite good enough for a game try but I would not argue if you did make an effort.

Hand E:      Pass. With strength in RHO’s suit it’s usually best to pass unless you are strong enough for 1NT (15-18). Dbl is a very poor bid here as the hand is not short in ’s and the ’s are pathetic.

Hand F:      3. A game forcing splinter agreeing ’s and showing shortage. This hand is a moose once partner bids ’s.

Hand G:     1. I don’t like 2NT with two 5 card suits and 1 is unlikely to be passed out. And if it is then 2NT will not make!

Hand H:     (a)  3NT. If you play Puppet Stayman then 3 is a possibility but 3NT seems best anyway opposite a ‘proper’ 2NT opening.

(b)  2. This hand is easily worth a 2 response.

Hand J:       2. Double is silly as when partner responds 2 you are fixed. When you have a 5 card major it’s usually best to bid it.

Hand K:     Pass. You are playing negative doubles, so pass and await partner’s ‘automatic’ re-opening double and pass that. You may miss a vulnerable game but if you can make game then you will surely get 800+ for the penalty.

Hand L:      1NT or 1(with a 2NT rebid in mind). I personally consider this hand too strong for a 1NT opening and would (did) choose the latter course.

Hand M:     2. A cue bid showing a limit (3) raise or better. A direct 3 bid here is best played as pre-emptive. 2 is not enough (and also pre-emptive) and 1 is non-forcing and thus ridiculous.


Leading Quiz Answers (Hand N)


(a)    2

(b)   2        It would be unethical to lead an unorthodox Q after partner’s pause. I agree that with just 4 points you know that partner has points and so it is reasonable to try to find his suit, but the Q lead after partner has paused is simply over the top.


Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers


P      1      3   3♥     pass     3 was weak, what is 4? A cue bid showing 1st round control

4                                   of ’s (could be the ace or a void).

Q     1      1      p      1        Is 1 forcing? No. Unless you agree to the contrary it is standard to play a change of suit opposite partner’s overcall as constructive but not forcing.

R     1      1    p        p          What is dbl? Simply ‘automatic’. Saying that opener has 13 cards

dbl                                   and not a really shapely hand. He is prepared to defend 1 doubled if that is what partner has in mind. It is absolutely not showing 4 ♥’s as one ‘advanced(?)’ member stated.