Club News Sheet – No. 233        22nd April 2007

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My home phone is 038 422924 and my mobile number is 086 6089887

It is best to use my home number to contact me unless I am at the bridge club.

Mon 16th    1st Jeremy & Sally                              67%         2nd    Bev & Barbara                 60%

Wed 18th    1st Paul S & Ursula                             75%         2nd    Phil & Tomas                   65%

Fri  20th      1st  = (individual) Dave & Jan             60%        


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A partner opens 1NT, what do you bid?


A107432      Q8752                                 

54                 63                 With Hand B LHO opens 1 and partner doubles, what    

AQ103         K5                do you bid?

9                  AQ108


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C you open 2NT and partner transfers with 3,

what do you bid?

KJ63            J6

AK7             AQ832         With Hand D LHO opens 1NT and RHO transfers with 2,

AK4             54                 what do you do?

K74             8653


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E RHO opens 1 (could be short) what do you bid?


-                   J872          

KQJ1076     KQ42           With Hand F partner opens 1, what do you bid?

A10973        9

K4               A1073


Hand G           Hand H           With Hand G partner opens 2, what do you bid?


3                   AQ109                                

A832            AJ873          With Hand H you open 1 and partner responds 1, what

A10943        AQ10           do you bid?

Q62             9


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


AK2             A2

A                  976               With Hand K you are in 2nd seat, vul against not. RHO passes,

QJ762           KQJ9742      what do you open?

AK103         8






Bidding Sequences Quiz        All of these sequences occurred this week


L      1     pass   2NT                 How many points is the jump to 2NT?

M    1     2NT                           1 may be short; 2NT is the UNT – but which suits?

N     2     pass   2NT   pass       2 is strong and 2NT is 8-10 balanced (a terrible treatment).

3                                      What is 3 - is it natural or Stayman?

P      2     pass   2NT   pass       2 is strong and 2NT is 8-10 balanced (a terrible treatment).

3                                       What is 3 - i.e. how many ’s?

Q     1NT   pass   2     pass       What is the 3 bid? – weak or forcing? How many ’s and ’s?

2      pass   3                     

R     1NT   pass   2     pass       What is 2? Weak, invitational or forcing? How many ’s

2      pass   2                    and how many ’s?




Super accept                                                         Board 22 from Wednesday 18th 


When you open 2NT and partner transfers into a suit in which you hold 4 cards – then bid game. You need very little more than the 5 trumps promised to make game a good bet.

Dealer:             A104                                          Table A

East                  8653                                           West (C)    North         East          South

E-W vul           75                                               -                 -                 pass         pass

                        J1083                                         2NT           pass           3            pass

3    (1)      pass           pass (2)    pass

KJ63                 N             Q98752                   

AK7               W    E          109                       Table B

AK4                   S              983                        West(C)     North         East          South

K74                                   95                        -                 -                 pass         pass

                        -                                                 2NT           pass           3            pass

QJ42                                          4    (1)      all pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this West hand C in this week’s quiz? See table B.

(2)  With just two points East correctly passes – he has no reason to think that game is on.

Table B:     (1)  This West got it right – take the pressure off of partner. With a 2NT opener and 4 cards in partner’s transfer suit – bid game.


And what happened? The board was played just four times. Two bid 4 to share the top, one bid a rather silly 3NT but managed to make for less than average and the other stopped in 3.

The bottom lines: -

-     When you open 2NT, then super-accept a major suit transfer when holding four trumps.
South African
Texas transfers                            Board 1 from Monday 16th  


Texas transfers are fairly well known, but a less well known and more effective treatment is South African Texas transfers. It would have worked a treat on this deal.

Dealer:             KQ9                                           Table A

North               76                                               West(D)     North         East          South(A)

Love all            K862                                          -                 1NT           pass         2    (1)

                        AKJ2                                         dbl   (2)      2              3            4

all pass              

J6                      N             85                            

AQ832           W    E          KJ109                  ‘Expert Table’

54                       S              J97                       West          North         East          South(A)

8653                                  Q1074                 -                 1NT           pass         4    (2)

                        A107432                                    pass (3)      4              all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand A in this week’s quiz? Most players chose to transfer with 2♥.

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand D in this week’s quiz? With these nice top ’s you want a led and double is best.

Table B:     (1)  Our experts play South African Texas Transfers and 4 is a transfer to 4 with no slam interest.

(3)   And West got no bid to double for a lead.


And what happened? At Table A East dutifully led the K and 4 made just +1 for a joint top to E-W. At other tables there was no double of ’s and East is then obviously not going to find a lead and so there are 12 tricks (two N-S’s actually bid and made 6)

The bottom lines: -

-         Play South African Texas Transfers! Playing SA Texas transfers South has three distinct ways of reaching 4. If he has weak ’s and fears a double of a 2 transfer then he can transfer with 4. If he had a tenace to protect he could bid 4 himself.

-         Note that South African Texas transfers are different from Texas Transfers. In my opinion they are far superior and are fully explained in the No Trump bidding book.

-         South African Texas transfers are briefly described on the web-site (Conventions>Section 1> South African Texas).



Dave’s Column                                               Boards 1 from Wednesday 18th


Here is this week’s Dave input involving the best play for the contract.

AKQ4                    You play in 7 as North.

KQJ7                     What is the best line for making the contract?


AJ3                        Answer next page.







And what happened at Pattaya Bridge Club? The board  was played a total of 5 times and just one pair bid the good 6, with everybody else stopping in game (3NT +2 twice; 4 = once and 4 + 2 once). Ivy was in 6 and made 13 tricks on a line exactly the same as Dave’s book suggests on the next page, well done. I understand that when Dave put this hand in a few weeks ago one ‘expert’ reached 7 but went one down and that everybody else again stopped in game.


Terry’s comments:  Not everybody at the Pattaya bridge club reached a slam. 7 is a poor contract, 6 is spot on and 6NT by North also makes. Bidding just game is simply pathetic. I cannot really see how four pairs (and even more last time Dave put it in) missed slam; here is our (Ivy/me) auction: -


Table A                                               

North               South(G)                     

2                   2    (1)                       

2NT (2)            3   (3)                       

3                    4NT (4)

5   (5)            6    (6)                       


(1)   What did you bid with this South hand G in this week’s quiz? 2 here was waiting. I hate bidding 2NT opposite a 2 opener – if the final contract is No Trumps it’s played by the wrong hand, and what is 3 in sequence N – Natural or Stayman?

(2)   And here we see one advantage of the waiting bid straight away – the strong hand has defined her hand nicely and will end up as declarer.

(3)   Sequence N is very murky, but this sequence is obviously Stayman unless you play Baron 3.

(4)   RKCB

(5)   3 keycards.

(6)   It’s not worth risking the grand and so there's no point in asking about the trump queen..      


Dave’s Column answer          Board 1 from Wednesday 18th

South ends up in 7. How do you play the hand on the J lead?

Dealer:             AKQ4                                  After North opens a balanced 23-24 points South

South               KQJ7                                   propels him into a poor 7 on this deal (6 and

E-W vul           K2                                        6NT are better contracts).

AJ3                                      After winning the J lead in North you have a

choice of lines. Which one do you think offers

7652                  N             J1098             the best chances?

10964             W    E          5                    

Q5                      S              J876                Hint: If suits break well you should survive. Do

1097                                  K854             you need to take the finesse at some stage?


A832                                    Tip: You cannot assume that the trumps break 3-2,

A10943                                sometimes other risks are worth taking instead.



Play: The correct line, by a small margin, is to cash the K and Q discarding ’s from South, ruff a with the 8, cash the A, cross to the A, ruff a , cross to the K, ruff another , cash the A and claim if you have survived this far.

You will need to avoid an adverse ruff or over-ruff at any stage is 40%. Ruffing the high in dummy falls foul of 4-1 trump breaks and will also fail some of the time when trumps are 3-2 as West will discard from his shorter minor if he has only 3 ’s and it is about 37%.

Any line involving the finesse is also below 40% as you still need a ruff and 2 ruffs.

The worst line is to draw trumps and then rely on the ’s coming in – about 35%



Terry’s additional comments: Note what I said about the 2NT response to 2 being a lousy bid. What did you bid with this South hand G in this week’s quiz? If South does respond 2NT and subsequently ends up in 6NT he will go down on the obvious lead from West. Dave correctly says that 6NT is a ‘better contract’ – but only if played by North.

The bottom line: -

-         Do not respond 2NT to partner’s strong 2 opening.

-         If playing Benjamin then I always relay with 2.

-         If playing that 2 is the only strong opening then I play 2 waiting and 2 negative. There is a leaflet on this in the conventions folder and it’s up on the web (Conventions > Section 1> Responding to partner’s strong 2 opening).

-         If partner opens a strong 2 and shows 23-24 balanced, then bid slam with two aces and a queen – but only a small slam!

- . . This page seems to be all about complicated percentages; my advice is to bid sensibly (i.e. bid to 6 ) and you'll get an excellent score whatever.

Double of a minor does not promise both majors – part 1  


                                                                              Board 19 from Wednesday 18th 


Dealer:             J10964                                       Table A

South               9854                                           West(E)     North         East(B)     South

E-W vul           42                                               -                 -                 -               1

                        93                                              dbl   (1)      pass           4    (2)    pass (3)

3    (4)      pass (5)      pass

-                        N             Q8752                     

KQJ1076       W    E          63                         Table B

A10973              S              K5                       West(E)     North         East(B)     South

K4                                     AQ108                 -                 -                 pass         1

                        AK3                                           dbl   (1)      pass           2   (2)    pass

A                                                2              pass           2            pass

QJ86                                           3    (6)      pass           3NT (7)    pass

                        J7652                                         4    (8)      pass           4    (9)    all pass


Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this West hand E in this week’s quiz? If you play UNT/Michaels cue bids as either weak or very strong then this hand is good enough for 2NT followed by a bid, assuming that 2NT shows the lowest two unbid suits. This particular West played 2NT as natural (19+) and so West chose to double. 1, with the intention of jumping in ’s next go, is an alternative.

(2)   What did you bid with this East hand B in this week’s quiz? When partner doubles a minor he is generally playable in the other three suits – unless very strong. The double does not guarantee ’s (West is very strong) and East’s bidding at table B is best.

(3)   Obviously South is not doubling, he is happy defending ’s and does not want them to run into ’s.

(4)   West assumed that East had a solid suit.

(5)   North has two tricks but does not double for the same reason as South.

Table B:     (1)  This West also chose to double rather than a strong UNT.

(2)   But this East took the more prudent route of a game forcing cue bid.

(6)   East bids out his shape – it’s still game forcing,

(7)   Good stops

(8)   I prefer to play in a red suit.

(9)   OK.


And what happened? 4 went two down for a top to N-S. Two E-W’s stopped in partscores and just one bid 4 making +1.

The bottom lines: -

-         When you double a minor you do not guarantee both majors – you only guarantee support for all unbid suits if you hand is not very strong.

-          I like to play UNT and Michaels as either weak or very strong; if that is your agreement then West could bid 2NT – provided that it promises ’s and ’s over a possible short 1opening.


Double of a minor does not promise both majors – part 2  


                                                                              Board 3 from Friday 18th 


I’m not always writing negative things, this hand was very nicely bid by Dave/Phil: -


Dealer:             5                                                

South               J1032                                         West(J)      North         East          South

E-W vul           94                                               -                 -                 -               1

                        QJ9752                                      dbl   (1)      2   (2)      2    (3)    pass

2NT (4)      pass           3    (5)    pass

AK2                  N             Q10963                4              all pass      

A                    W    E          Q9865           

QJ762                 S              83                       

AK103                               8                         






(1) What did you bid with this West hand J in this week’s quiz? If you play 2NT as the UNT then you should double with the intention of bidding No trumps next go – this shows a hand too strong for an immediate 1NT overcall – so about 19-21 points.

(2)   This is a weak bid after a double.

(3)   With two 5-card majors East is correct in making a free bid even though it’s only 4 ‘points’ – the hand has great shape and good intermediates.

(4)   So showing 19-21 with a stop.

(5)   East obviously wants to play in a major.

(6)   And as East has promised 5 ’s West has an easy 4 bid.


And what happened? 4 was bid only at this table and made exactly. At the other two tables E-W were in the inferior 3NT either making exactly or going down.

The bottom lines: -

-         When you double a minor you do not guarantee both majors – you only guarantee support for all unbid suits if your hand is not very strong.

-         And in this case West’s hand is very strong.

-         Good intermediates are sometimes very important – the 109 were key cards in making 4.

Splinter? – part 1                                                 Board 25 from Friday 20th  


Splinters are great – and they could have been used to good effect on a couple of deals from Friday: -

Table A

Dealer:             J4                                               West          North         East          South

North               932                                             -                 pass           1NT         pass

E-W vul           862                                             2             pass           2    (1)    pass

A10963                                      2    (2)      pass           4    (3)    pass

pass (4)

KQ82                N             A1093                     

10765             W    E          AKQ4                  ‘Expert’ Table

KQJ53                S              A4                       West          North         East          South

-                                         742                      -                 pass           1NT         pass

                        765                                             2             pass           2    (1)    pass

J8                                               3    (5)      pass           3NT (6)    pass

1097                                           4   (7)      pass           4    (8)    pass

                        KQJ85                                       5   (9)      pass           5NT (10)  pass

7    (11)    all pass


Table A:     (1)  With both majors, always bid ’s.

(2)   This is a strange bid (sequence R) – it has no generally defined meaning and, indeed, some play it as a weak bid.

(3)   Luckily East was max with a fit for both majors and so bid game.

(4)   Clearly West should be looking for slam as he too knows it’s a double fit.

‘Expert’      (1)  Our experts do actually have an alternative when maximum with both majors

 Table:              – a Stayman super-accept. These are described in the No Trump bidding book.

But this deal is interesting for another reason and so let’s assume that they had not agreed the Stayman super-accept convention.

(5)   And here’s the other gadget – an ambiguous splinter. After Stayman has found a fit it is possible to splinter. There is a chapter (2.9) allocated to splinters after Stayman and the best treatment is ambiguous splinters. A jump to three of the other major is an ambiguous splinter.

(6)   Where?

(7)   shortage.

(8)   That’s just what East wanted to hear, so he cue bids his A on the way to slam.

(9)   A cue bid – so denying the A and showing a void.

(10)   The Josaphine Grand Slam Force – asking partner to bid the grand with two of the top three honours.

(11)   In a simple version of Josaphine West simply bids the grand slam.


And what happened? The board was played just three times and everybody stopped in game. The bottom lines: -

-         Stayman super-accepts and ambiguous splinters after Stayman are discussed in detail in the No Trump bidding book.

-          It’s up to you how you play sequence R: 1NT - 2 - 2 - 2. If you play 4-way transfers then it is non-forcing and shows an invitational hand with 4 ’s.

Splinter? – part 2                                                 Board 12 from Friday 20th  


Either North or South could have splintered to reach the comfortable slam on this deal: -

Table A

Dealer:             AQ109                                       West          North(H)    East          South(F)

West                AJ873                                        pass           1              pass         1    (1)

N-S vul            AQ10                                         pass           3    (2)      pass         4    (3)

9                                                all pass


43                      N             K65                      ‘Expert’ Table 

1096               W    E          5                           West          North         East          South(F)

KJ32                   S              87654                  pass           1              pass         4    (1)

J854                                   KQ62                  pass           4    (4)      pass         4NT (5) 

                        J872                                           pass           5   (6)      pass         6

KQ42                                         all pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand F in this week’s quiz? There really is no point in mentioning these poor ’s when you have a great 5-4 fit. Even if there is a 4-4 fit ’s will play better as you can take ruffs in the South hand which has less trumps. One visitor suggested a Jacoby 2NT – showing 4 ’s and slam interest. It’s not good enough for Jacoby 2NT in my style and you should not bid Jacoby 2NT with a singleton in any case. I prefer our expert’s choice.

(2)   What did you bid with this North hand H in this week’s quiz? With this great shape and good intermediates I think it’s worth game. I would bid 4 - a splinter showing game values, shortage and agreeing ’s. Slam should then be easily reached.

(3)   South could make an effort here.

‘Expert’      (1)  It’s only ten points, but with excellent 4-card trump support and a singleton

 Table:              this expert considered the hand to be worth going to game. So he bid 4 - a splinter showing game values, shortage and agreeing ’s.

(4)   A cue bid, showing the A and slam interest.

(5)   RKCB

(6)   3 keycards.


And what happened? The board was played just three times and one pair did bid 6, the other two stopped in game.

The bottom lines: -

-         Splinters are great fun – and get you to good slams (and avoid bad ones).

-          If partner splinters and you have slam interest, then cue bid.


Pre-empt to the limit? – part 1                            Board 18 from Friday 20th  


It’s usually best to pre-empt to the limit, but I don’t like natural 4/ pre-empts – especially if partner is not a passed hand (you have gone past 3NT if partner has a good hand).


Dealer:             Q73                                            Table A

East                  A108                                          West          North         East          South(K)

N-S vul            A5                                              -                 -                 pass         4    (1)

AJ1074                                      pass           5  (2)        all pass


9654                  N             KJ108                  Table B     

KQ43             W    E          J52                       West          North         East          South(K)

106                     S              83                        -                 -                 pass         1    (1)

K95                                   Q632                   pass           3NT (3)      all pass    






Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this South hand K in this week’s quiz? You need a good hand to pre-empt at adverse vulnerability, but this hand is simply too good for a pre-empt. This South presumably thought that it was a bit good for 3 so he opened 4!

(2)  And North has two losing options – pass or 5; 4NT would be Blackwood.

 Table B:    (1)  This South sensibly opened 1

(3)  3NT shows 13-15 with no 4-card major and is the simplest bid to get to the correct spot.


And what happened? 3NT was bid twice and made +2. 5 went one down but would have scored a bottom even if it had made.

The bottom lines: -

-         I personally do not like to open natural 4/ pre-empts – I open either 3 or 5 and use the 4/ opening as Namyats.

-          If you don’t like Namyats, then still don’t open 4 or 4 if partner is not a passed hand – you may well miss 3NT.


Pre-empt to the limit? – part 2                                Board 22 from Friday 20th  


Here West opened an off-beat pre-empt – but this time I like the bid as partner is a passed hand. But what I don’t like is the opener’s subsequent criticism of his partner’s bidding which I think is fine.

Dealer:             AQ1054                                    

East                  J                                                 West          North         East          South

E-W vul           AJ85                                           -                 -                 pass         pass

                        1054                                          3   (1)      3              pass         4

pass           pass           pass (2)

832                    N             J                              

K52                W    E          AQ763                

7                         S              Q106432            

AQJ632                             9                         






(1)   I personally have no problem with opening 3/ with a six card suit – provided that it’s a decent suit like this one. Opposite a passed hand I actually prefer this West’s choice of 3 to the alternatives of pass or a light 3rd seat 1 opening.

(2)   This pass seems pretty obvious to me.


And what happened? At the two other tables 3 made exactly and 4 went one down. At this table East led the 9 but West failed to give his partner a ruff. So West got it wrong -  what’s the story?

The story is that West then went wandering all over the club trying to get people to side with his opinion that East should have doubled at (2) ‘because he had a singleton ’. Even if East could see through the back of the cards and knew that partner has the A he has no reason to believe that 4 will go down. For a vulnerable pre-empt East would normally have 7 or 8 ’s .4 only goes down because both North and South have three ’s each (with South holding the K) – so E-W effectively get 3 tricks - something that East could never foresee.

The bottom lines: -

-         If partner leads the 9 of your suit and you are missing the 10954 then it’s a singleton or a doubleton. It’s extremely unlikely to be from a 3 card suit (I would never lead the 9 from any of the possible 3-card combinations).

-         Don’t “do a Chuck” – immediately try to blame partner for your mistake.

-     As far as I am concerned (and, it appears, everybody else in the club), a double at (2) would show a decent hand with a good trump holding which expects to defeat 4, I do not call J singleton a good trump holding.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    2, obviously? But the problem is that the next player may double and you may have two losers off the top. If you play Texas transfers then 4 is better (showing no slam interest) but you still have the problem of a double for a lead. Best is to  play South African Texas Transfers then 4 is the bid and the opponents are unlikely to find two tricks off the top.

Hand B:    2. This hand is (just about) worth forcing to game opposite a double but the final denomination is not clear. It’s probably ’s but partner has not guaranteed a suit – he may have a big hand for example. So the final contract could be 3NT, 4 or possibly 4, so take it slowly and let partner describe his hand. A rather more cautious 3 is also reasonable as it’s not certain that there is game.

Hand C:    4 (or 4 if you play that as a cue bid agreeing ’s). With four decent ’s you want to be in game opposite virtually any hand with 5 ’s.

Hand D:    Double, for a lead.

Hand E:    2NT – the Unusual 2NT – provided that (a) you play that it can be weak or very strong (as this hand) and (b) that it shows the lowest two unbid suits even if a 1 opening may be short (that’s the way I play it). If you do not play the UNT, or do not play it in this manner, then you can double. A simple 1 overcall (with the intention of jumping in ’s next go) is also very reasonable as you know that 1 will not get passed out when you have a void.

Hand F:     4. A splinter agreeing ’s and showing shortage. With good shape and excellent trumps this hand is worth more than an invitational 3 which is a more pessimistic alternative. There is no point in bidding 1 as you want to play the hand in ’s.

Hand G:    2, waiting. 2NT is a terrible bid for two reasons: - (a) If  the final contract is 6NT then the wrong hand is declarer, and (b) What is 3♣/♥ in sequences N/P ?

Hand H:    4. A splinter agreeing ’s and showing shortage. With this good shape and excellent trumps it’s worth game and an invitational 3 is far too pessimistic for me.

Hand J:     Double, with the intention of bidding NoTrumps next go to show 19-21 points with a stop. If you play a 2NT overcall as natural then that’s obviously fine.

Hand K:    1. 3 is just about reasonable I suppose but 4 is not as it goes past 3NT.


Bidding Sequence Quiz Answers 


L      1     pass   2NT                 2NT is 11-12. In SAYC it’s 13-15 but nobody plays that.

M    1     2NT                           I play that the UNT is the two lowest unbid suits regardless of whether the 1 opening may be short – so it’s ’s and ’s.

N     2     pass   2NT   pass       I’ve no idea – I never bid 2NT.


P      2     pass   2NT   pass       I’ve no idea – I never bid 2NT. If you think that it should be

3                                       5+ (very reasonable) then I guess sequence N is Stayman?

Q     1NT   pass   2     pass       In standard this is forcing, 4 ’s and 5+ ’s. If you play 4-way

2      pass   3                    transfers then the sequence is usually played as weak.      The best treatment is to play 4-way transfers and Quest transfers. Then 3 shows 5’s, 4’s and is invitational to game.

R     1NT   pass   2     pass       There is no standard meaning for this sequence. If you play

2      pass   2                    4-way transfers then it shows an invitational hand with 4 ’s

and an undefined (3 or less) number of ’s.