Club News Sheet – No. 227        11th March 2007

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Mon 5th     1st N-S     Alain & Gastone                 59%         2nd    Bob & Mike                     57%

                  1st E-W    Jan & Royd                        63%         2nd    Kenneth & Phyllis             57%

Wed 7th      1st N-S     Phil & Tomas                     59%         2nd    Claudia & Tony                56%

                  1st E-W    Jan & Gastone                    61%         2nd    Alan & Hans                    58%

Fri  9th        1st N-S     Per-Ake & Palil                  57%         2nd    Ivy & Wolfgang                54%

                  1st E-W    Paul K & R Watson           57%         2nd    Johann & Kjartan             51%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


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

do you do?

83                 KQ9

KQ9865       J1087           With Hand B LHO opens 1 and partner overcalls 1. RHO

K32              J6                  either doubles (negative) or passes (it makes no difference).  

108              KJ53            What do you bid?


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C partner opens 2, what do you do?


A                  J109                          

AK10932     KQJ974       With Hand D partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 1, what

K4                7                   do you bid?           

Q742           J87


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E partner opens 2, what do you do?


AQ10           AK4            

A932            962               With Hand F RHO opens 1, what do you bid?

K4                Q2               

Q1042          AJ962


Hand G           Hand H           With Hand G LHO opens 1♥ and RHO bids 1, what do you do?


9                   A9                                       

A965            AJ764          With Hand H RHO opens 1, what do you bid?

AQ876         -

AK5             AQ8643


Bidding Sequences Quiz        All of these sequences occurred this week


J      1     1      2                How many points for the 2 bid?

K     1      pass   1NT   dbl     What does the dbl mean?

L      1     pass   1                What does the 1 bid mean?




Leading Quiz

        West                    West          North         East            South

1064                 -                 -                 -                 1

        K763                pass           1              pass (1)      1

Q4                    all pass      


You are West, on lead against 1. (a) What do you lead?

(b)  What would you lead if partner, at (1), had asked ‘what does the 1 bid mean’.




An Unassuming cue bid                                       Board 28 from Wednesday 7th

What did you bid with Hand B in this week’s quiz? The Unassuming cue bid keeps you low.


Dealer:             KQ9                                           Table A

West                J1087                                         West          North(B)    East          South

N-S vul            J6                                                pass           pass           1            1   

                        KJ53                                          dbl     (1)    3    (2)      all pass


1064                  N             52                         Table B

Q953              W    E          AK6                     West          North(B)    East          South

AQ3                   S              K10974               pass           pass           1            1

1097                                  Q62                     pass  (1)     2    (2)      pass         2    (3)

                        AJ873                                         all pass





Table A:     (1)  A negative double, showing 4+ ’s.

(2)   What did you bid with this North hand B in this week’s quiz? 3 is fine if partner has a 12+ point overcall but is too high with a weakish overcall.

Table B:     (1)  This West chose to pass, but it makes no difference to North’s bid.

(2)   This is the answer to question B – the Unassuming cue bid. It shows a sound raise to 3 but enables N-S to stay low (2) if partner has just 7-11 points.

(3)   And with a bare 9 points South stays low.


And what happened? Two N-S’s bid too high and three stopped in 2. I don’t know how many actually used the Unassuming cue bid.

The bottom lines:

-         Unlike an opening, an overcall at the one level may be as few as 7 points, so with 11-12 points in support of partner’s overcall, cue bid.



A new-suit 2-level response is 10+ points          Board 29 from Wednesday 7th


Dealer:             Q1065                                        Table A

North               AJ                                              West          North         East          South(A)

both vul            976                                             -                 1             1            2    (1) 

                        KQ54                                        pass           2NT (2)      pass         3

pass           3NT (3)      all pass

K2                     N             AJ974                  

1074               W    E          32                         Table B

AJ84                   S              Q105                   West          North         East          South(A)

J963                                   A72                      -                 1             1            dbl   (1) 

                        83                                               pass           1NT (4)      pass         2    (5)

KQ9865                                     all pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand A in this week’s quiz? This 2 bid is forcing and promises 10+ points.

(2)   12-14 with a stop.

(3)   With useful ’s, North expected 3NT to have a good shot at making.

Table B:     (1)  A negative double, showing 4+ ’s, this is the answer to question A.

(4)   And here we see the advantage of South making a negative double – it’s one level lower.

(5)   And South now shows his weakish hand with 5+ ’s, perfect.


And what happened? 3NT was a disaster when E-W found near perfect defence, collecting the first 8 tricks for 300 and a joint top. Just one table stopped in 2 for a near top to N-S.

The bottom lines:

-         You need 10+ points to respond with a new suit at the two level.

-         If RHO has bid and it makes it awkward – then that’s exactly why negative doubles were invented


Worth an effort?                                                  Board 22 from Wednesday 7th

Many of you probably know that Hans and myself have totally opposite bidding ‘styles’ and have rarely agreed on anything over the past ten years. After dozens of articles I now make a point of never kibitzing his table when I am not playing, and not commenting upon his bidding. I do, however, respond when he comments upon a bid of mine: -


Dealer:             A                                               

East                  AK10932                                   West          North(C)    East          South

E-W vul           K4                                              -                 -                 pass         2   

                        Q742                                         pass           pass (1)      pass


Q7                     N             J1054                  

Q754              W    E          J86                      

A1032                S              Q95                    

A85                                    1096                   






(1)   What did you bid with this North hand A in this week’s quiz? I was North and don’t think that a 16 count with a singleton ace in partner’s suit is worth an effort. Hans (West), with whom I virtually never agree, offered the unsolicited advice that he thought it worth a try.

So, who’s right? Obviously I am biased here but this is my case for passing: -

(a)    A singleton in partner’s 6 card suit is not good, even if an ace.

(b)   There is no way of finding out if there is a better fit (and/or game) in ’s.

(c)    A 3 bid at (1) is forcing and if opener simply responds 3 (as he would in this case) then North is no better off and one level higher.

(d)   2NT (Ogust) would establish that South is maximum and presumably propel N-S into some sort of poor game.

(e)    Of course you can construct hands where 4 or 4 will make, but there are many more hands where 3 will go down opposite a minimum or game go down (as here) opposite a decent 2 opener.

(f)     East may balance (with a dbl) and you can clobber them (this would probably have happened if the E-W hands were reversed).

(g)    At pairs scoring it is best not to go for pushy games – take the + score. But I don’t consider this even worth a try at a push.

(h)    My partner is not renowned for his prowess as a declarer (having just failed to notice a 4333 split on a previous deal and ruffing the good 13th card from dummy instead of discarding a loser). The defenders, however, (Hans and Alan) are two of the best in the club; but this did not affect by decision either as I don’t even think it’s close.

Doubtless Hans has an equally impressive list of reasons why (and how) North should make an effort. I will, of course, be happy to publish any opinion from him.

And what happened? Two pairs did bid 4 and went one or two down. Had the A been offside it would have been a lot worse. 2 made +1 for an average score.

The bottom lines:

-         You need a good 16+ to make a move opposite a weak two, and a singleton in partner’s suit is not good!

Hand E                   But change the North hand slightly to this Hand E and it’s a different

story. This hand is actually a ‘point’ less but this one is well worth a

AQ10                 try for game. The difference is that it has three (good) card trump support.

A932                  An excellent fit and good shape are all important.

K4                      Put this opposite the South from the previous page and you’ll make 10

Q1042               or 11 tricks, depending upon the location of the A.


The bottom lines:

-         You need a good 16+ to make a move opposite a weak two. This Hand E, with AQx in trumps, two tens and excellent shape is worth a really good 16+.

-         Understand hand evaluation – if you don’t see that Hand E should make an effort but Hand C (with one ‘point’ more) should pass then read up on it. I have a couple of books in the library and there is a section on the web.

-         Bridge bidding is not simply a matter of “with a combined 25 points – bid game”. Fits and shape are just as important as points; points (excuse the pun) that it appears that many members do not fully understand.


Don’t ask unethical questions                                 Board 20 from Monday 9th

If RHO bids a suit in which you have length and strength, then it’s usually best to quietly pass. What you most certainly cannot do is ask ‘what does that bid mean?’.


Dealer:             1064                                          

West                K763                                          West          North         East          South

Both vul            Q4                                              1             pass           1            pass (1)

                        A852                                          1              all pass


J975                  N             A82                     

AQJ5             W    E          1098               (1)  At this point, South asked West what the   

2                         S              108753                1 bid meant.

KQ64                                109                     






And what happened? North led the Q! What was your answer to this week’s leading quiz question?


(a)    A or a small trump both seem fine, I would lead a small trump.

(b)   The Q would never occur to me unless I had been influenced by an illegal comment from partner. In this situation you should go out of your way NOT to lead the suit unless it is totally obvious.


The bottom lines:

-         If RHO bids your suit then it is illegal/cheating to ask what the bid means.

-         If partner does indeed ask what an obviously natural bid means then it is illegal/cheating to lead that suit unless the lead is totally obvious.

-         A lead from this hand is not totally obvious!

As it happened West got a good score and so I did not need to make an adjustment.

Dave’s Column


Play to ensure the contract        Board 27 (and 24) from Wednesday 7th

Dave set up two virtually identical hands (one E-W and one N-S). I (Terry) did not declare the hand and it went one down the two times it was played at my table. Here is the extract from Dave’s book: -


Dealer:             K63                                            West          North         East                South

South               764                                             -                 pass           pass               2NT

Love all            Q63                                            pass           3NT           all pass    


You are South in 3NT, what’s the best

QJ109               N             854                       line of play with the Q lead?

J953               W    E          Q8                       

75                       S              J1092                   Hint: You have 2 ’s, 2 ’s, 3 ’s and need

AQ2                                   8543                    only 2 tricks from ’s. 


AK102                                       Tip: Sometimes it is best not to take a finesse

AK84                                        when you don’t need it for the contract.



Play: You duck the first trick and win the continuation with the A. Then play the K. West wins with the A and continues with a 3rd . But you win and play another , West can win and cash a but you have the remainder.

It would be a mistake to win the first in dummy and to lead the J as West will win and you will not have the entries to set up your 9th trick in clubs.

On this hand you have to hope that ’s are 4-3 or if 5-2 that East has one of the honours.


And what happened at the Pattaya Bridge Club? The boards were played a total of 13 times with 3NT making 6 times, although I don’t know if anybody actually found Dave’s book’s line.


Don’t bid your hand 3 times                                Board 20 from Friday 9th


Dealer:             AKQ873                                   

West                6                                                 West          North         East(D)    South

both vul            J1098                                          1             1              dbl   (1)    pass

                        Q5                                             2    (2)      2    (3)      3    (4)    pass (5)

 pass                  3      (6)    dbl   (7)    all pass

6542                  N             J109                    

5                     W    E          KQJ974              

AQ53                 S              7                         

AK102                               J87                      






(1)   What did you bid with this East hand D in this week’s quiz? This has cropped up a few times in recent weeks. You do not have the values for a forcing 2 bid and so a negative double is best. I play this as only guaranteeing the other major.

(2)   Whether you consider this as a reverse or not is up to partnership agreement. I think it’s best played as not showing extra values.

(3)   This excellent suit is certainly worth bidding again.

(4)   Having not bid a forcing 2 at (1), this 3 bid now just shows a hand with long ’s and is simply competitive.

(5)   Double is a possibility – but South will be repeatedly end-played and 3 probably makes.

(6)   But bidding this hand 3 times is pushing it.

(7)   3 is not going to make.


And what happened? 3 doubled actually went four down for 1100 to E-W.

The bottom lines:

-         You need 11+ points to respond at the two level; if RHO has intervened then a negative double is often the solution.

-         Don’t bid your hand three times.


A bad double – part 1                                           Board 12 from Friday 9th


Dealer:             AK4                                           Table A

West                962                                             West          North(F)    East            South

N-S vul            Q2                                              1              dbl   (1)      redbl  (2)    pass

                        AJ1096                                      pass (3)      2             dbl     (4)    pass

pass (5)      pass

Q8                     N             J965                    

AKQ7543      W    E          10                         Table B

K83                    S              AJ4                      West          North(F)    East            South

7                                        KQ832                1              2   (1)      pass (6)      pass

                        10732                                         3    (7)      pass           3NT           all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this North hand F in this week’s quiz? With three cards in the suit opened and only three cards in the other major, double is a very poor bid.

(2)  9+ points and usually a mis-fit for partner – generally looking for a penalty.

(3)   West correctly passes – wait and see what happens.

(4)   Luvvly bubbly.

(5)   At any other vulnerability West may consider pulling the penalty double to 3, but at favourable vulnerability it must be best to take the penalty.

Table B:     (1)  This North got it right, a 2overcall is clear with this North hand F. This shows 11+ points and 5+ ’s, there is absolutely no point in the double chosen at table A.

(6)   E-W play negative doubles and so East passes, awaiting partner ‘automatic’ re-opening doubles.

(7)   But West holds one of those rare hands where you should not re-open with a double. He does not know for sure that partner has a good hand with ’s and this 3 bid is very reasonable.


Notice the difference between West’s decision at (5) and (7). At (5) West knows that partner is out for blood and does not have a fit – pass is clear. At (7) it is very reasonable for West to repeat his ’s. North’s silly double at (1) made it easy for the opponents at table A.

And what happened? 2 doubled went three down for 800 to E-W. Every other E-W pair were in 4, generally making exactly for 420.

The bottom lines:

-         Do not double when an overcall is more descriptive.

-         An overcall at the two level promises 11+ points.

-         Do not make a take-out double with three cards in opener’s suit.

-         It’s usually bad to make a take-out double with just three cards in the other major.

-         The direct redouble is 10(or 9) + points and very often a mis-fit for opener. Responder has advertised the balance of power and opener/responder should cooperate in looking for a lucrative penalty.


A bad double – part 2                                           Board 8 from Monday 9th

If the last double was bad, this one is terrible.


Dealer:             10765432                                  

West                82                                               West          North         East          South(G)

Love all            K                                                1              pass (1)      1NT         dbl   (2)

                        QJ4                                            2              4    (3)      dbl           all pass


KQ                    N             AJ8                      

KQJ743         W    E          10                        

10                       S              J95432                

8732                                  1096                   






(1)  A weak 3 is reasonable.

(2)  What did you bid with this South hand G in this week’s quiz? This double should be a take-out double of ’s. So short in ’s with 4 ’s and playable in ’s, ’s and ’s. Pass or 2 are the only sensible bids.

(3)  Quite reasonable if South had had his bid.


And what happened? South won the lead and made the curious play of A followed by Q. E-W then scored their high trumps separately on a cross-ruff for two down and a joint top for E-W.

The bottom lines:

-         A double in the sandwich seat is dangerous.

-         A double of 1 (or 1 – pass – 1NT – dbl) is playable in ’s unless very strong.

-         Do not make a take-out double with four cards in opener’s suit.


A bad double – part 3                                           Board 16 from Monday 9th

If the last double was terrible, this one is horrendous.


Dealer:             Q86                                           

West                Q9                                              West          North         East(H)    South

E-W vul           AJ5                                             pass           1             dbl   (1)    1NT

                        K10975                                     3    (2)      pass           4    (3)    dbl

all pass

107542              N             A9                       

K83                W    E          AJ764                 

K7643                S              -                          

-                                         AQ8643              






(1)  What did you bid with this East hand H in this week’s quiz? A take out double here should be short in ’s and playable in the other three suits and deny a 5 card major. This simply has to be one of the most ridiculous doubles that I have ever seen. 1 is clear.

(2)  With a useful void this is well worth 3, I would not argue with 4.

(3)  And East never got round to mentioning his ’s.


And what happened? 4 doubled went minus two. 4 was reached at another table also going minus two. Three pairs found the good 4, making or making +1.

The bottom lines:

-         Do not double when an overcall is more descriptive.

-         A double should be short in the suit opened.

-         AQ8643 is not shortage.

-         Do not make a take-out double with six cards in opener’s suit.




Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    Dbl, negative. You should double, showing 4+ ’s and later bid ’s to show 5+ and insufficient values for an immediate 2 bid (which is forcing).

Hand B:    2. An Unassuming cue bid, showing around 11 points in support of ’s. A 3 bid is too much here as partner has only promised about 7-8 points for his 1-level overcall. Actually, 3 is best played as a pre-emptive bid, with the Unassuming Cue Bid used to show a sound raise to 3 or better.

Hand C:    Pass. 16 points is not enough for a try with a singleton in partner’s suit. If you make a try (with 2NT Ogust) or bid a forcing 3 you are asking to go negative.

Hand D:    Dbl, negative, and showing 4+ ’s. This hand is not good enough for a forcing 2. This is virtually the same problem as question A – it comes up a lot.

Hand E:    4, or else make a try with 2NT (Ogust). This hand is totally different from Hand C. You have excellent trump support and good shape. Whether you bid game or just a try (2NT) probably depends upon vulnerability, position at the table and how weak your partner opens with his pre-empts.

Hand F:     2, showing 5+ ’s and 11+ points, perfect. Double is pointless and silly.

Hand G:    Pass. 2 is reasonable I suppose but double is a very poor bid.

Hand H:    1. Double is absolutely appalling.



Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers 


J      1     1      2                2 here is forcing and shows a 5+ card suit with a good 10+ points. With only 4 ’s or less than 10 points then negative double.

K     1      pass   1NT   dbl     This dbl is best played as a take-out of ’s, so showing shortage and playable in the other three suits unless very strong/distributional.

L      1     pass   1                Obviously it’s natural, but one player did (unethically?) ask.



Leading Quiz Answer


(a)    A or a small trump both seem fine, I would lead a small trump.

(b)   The Q would never occur to me unless I had been influenced by an unethical comment from partner. In this situation you should go out of your way NOT to lead the suit unless it is totally obvious.