Club News Sheet – No. 245        15th July 2007

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Mon 9th    N-S 1st  Jean-Charles & Paul K         58%         2nd Dave & Kenneth                  57%

                E-W 1st  Linda & John Fish…            65%         2nd Chris & Mike Bell                52%

Wed 11th          1st Paul Bisc.. & Sally                61%         2nd Gunn & Torbjorn                  61%

Fri  13th            1st  Jean-Charles & Sean O H    56%         2nd = Bob & Dave                     56%

2nd = Gunn & Torbjorn               56%  


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A RHO opens 1, what do you do?


AK106         AQ10654  

974              A108            With hand B you open 1 and partner bids 2NT (natural – 10-12

AJ105          A108            points and exactly 2344 distribution, partner does not play

A10              2                  Jacoby 2NT). What do you bid?


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C it’s favourable vulnerability. LHO opens 1NT in 3rd

seat and partner doubles. RHO bids 2 (natural and weak), what

1073             10842           do you do?            

Q10943        J84              

KQ9             QJ2            With Hand D partner opens 2, you respond 2, and partner

107              Q103           bids 2NT (23-24). What do you bid?


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E you are playing natural methods (no Jacoby 2NT).

Partner opens 1, what do you bid?

93                 Q2               

KJ4              K109763     

KQ64           754             With Hand F partner opens 1NT and you transfer with 2.

K1097         K8               Partner completes the transfer with 2, what do you do?



The Club Championships       The current standings are: -

Gold Cup = Best 30                 Silver plate = Best 10      Bronze medal = Best 5


1816.8  Janne Roos                  666.8  Janne Roos                    350.4  Janne Roos

1784.8  Jan v Koss                  650.5  Jan v Koss                    340.2  Jan v Koss

1759.4  Dave Cutler                 634.5  Lars Gustaffson             336.2  Bengt Malmgren

                                                630.9  Paul Savelkral                332.9  Paul Savelkral

627.2  Dave Cutler          325.6  Gunnar Barthel




A bit of a change this week from the never ending bidding fiascos; with no less than four play/defence articles…
… but we’ll kick off with the usual bidding disasters: -


This week’s silly double                                      Board 7 from Wednesday 11th


They keep on coming, week after week, and to compound the felony at Table B East showed his total lack of basic bidding knowledge when he subsequently passed 1 redoubled to gift the opposition 1520 on a partscore deal.


Dealer:             QJ                                              Table A

South               KQJ52                                       West          North         East(A)      South

both vul            K6                                              -                 -                 -                 pass

                        J875                                           pass           1              dbl     (1)    redbl  (2)

1      (3)    pass           pass           2      (3)

7543                  N             AK106                 pass           pass           2              3

83                   W    E          974                       all pass

743                     S             AJ105                  

9642                                  A10                      Table B

                        982                                             West          North         East(A)      South

A106                                          -                 -                 -                 pass

Q982                                          pass           1              dbl     (1)    redbl    (2)

KQ3                                          pass (4)      pass           pass   (5)


Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this East hand A in this week’s quiz? Actually, this is quite a tricky one. You have the values for a 1NT overcall but no stop. I don’t like double as you will be fixed over a 2 response. For me the only two decent options are pass or a 1 overcall. This is a good 16 points and I don’t like to pass, so with this nice suit I would bid 1.

(2)   9+ points.

(3)   And the bidding proceeded fairly sensibly from here on.

Table B:     (1)  This East also found the poor double.

(2)   And this South also decided to redouble.

(4)   This West decided to pass; with a 4 card suit I would bid it but then the result would not have been as amusing.

(5)  And East demonstrated his complete lack of comprehension as to what was going on with this idiotic pass.


And what happened? 1 redoubled made +2 for a score of 1520. 3 at Table A made exactly for a decent score, which would have been a better score if it were not for the ridiculous result at Table B.

The bottom lines: -

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

-         4-card overcalls are not generally recommended, but it’s sometimes the best bid (only at the one level) with 15 or so points and length but no stop in the suit opened.

-         The East at Table B clearly has no comprehension of the actions following a redouble and I suggest he reads up on the basics of take-out doubles. I have written a new page on the web: - (General Bridge Topics > after a redouble)


Opening 1NT out of range                                   Board 5 from Monday 9th


I received a complaint from one player because an opponent opened 1NT out-of-range and he claimed that he got a poor score as a result. I give my opinions below.


Dealer:             54                                               Table A

North               862                                             West          North         East(C)      South

N-S vul            10865                                         -                 pass           pass           1NT   (1)

                        J652                                           dbl             2   (2)      pass   (3)    pass


Q986                 N             1073                    

AKJ               W    E          Q10943                Table B

A43                    S              KQ9                     West          North         East            South

A98                                    107                      -                 pass           pass           1NT   (1)

                        AKJ2                                          dbl             pass (2)      pass           redbl 

75                                               pass           2   (4)      2      (5)    all pass




Table A:     (1)  This is a point light and has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I would never dream of opening 1NT in 3rd seat – vulnerable. It’s a terrible bid that is very likely to go for 800. Now ‘anything goes’ in 3rd seat – but not a 1NT opening! – in fact the reverse is true and a 1NT opening in 3rd seat should be very good as LHO is likely to have a good hand. Anyway, the laws do allow a 1NT opening to be +-1 outside the stated range so this bid is legal but lousy.

(2)   Natural – looking for the safest spot.

(3)   What did you bid with this East hand C in this week’s quiz? This is where E-W went wrong. West has promised 15+ points for the double and East should double for penalties. 2 is an alternative but the opponents are vulnerable and I would go for the vulnerable penalty.

Table B:     (1)  This South also opened 1NT, but they were playing a weak NT. Even so, I don’t like to open a weak NoTrump vulnerable in 3rd seat as I don’t like going for 800.

(3)   Demanding that partner redoubles.

(4)   Weak, promising ’s and another suit.

(5)  This East has more information (that North is very weak with only 4 ’s) and double seems very clear to me.


And what happened? At Table A 2 went just one down for a bottom to E-W and West complained to me about being ‘fixed’ by the NoTrump bid out-of-range. My ruling is: -

(a)    E-W’s bottom score is their own fault entirely, South’s poor choice of opening bid offered them a good score and East declined to take it. Double at (3) would have scored a near top and 2 would have scored above average.

(b)   A 1NT opening is allowed to be 1 point outside of the stated range. This particular one is a totally lousy bid in 3rd seat vulnerable but South got away with it at both tables – he would not have against good opposition.

At Table B 2 scored just a bit above average.

The bottom lines: -

-     A 1NT opening is allowed to be +-1 outside the stated range.

-     Opening a weak No Trump in 3rd seat, especially vulnerable, is very dangerous.

-     When you know you have the balance of power, East at (3) – don’t meekly pass!

The 2NT response                                               Board 17 from Monday 9th


There have been a few articles on this recently. In Standard American the bid is 10-12 and denies a 4-card major. As the bid takes up so much space it has to be very specific and I go into the expected shape below. But the main point on this deal is that the 2NT bidder has stated his hand exactly and so opener is captain – he cannot make a bid that partner may pass.


Dealer:             AQ10654                                  

North               A108                                          West          North(B)    East            South(E)

Love all            A108                                          -                 1              pass           2NT   (1)

                        2                                                pass           . 3    (2)      pass           pass   (3)


K72                   N             J8                        

Q2                  W    E          97653             (1)  What did you bid with this South hand E in

J9752                  S             3                           this week’s quiz? If not playing Jacoby 2NT,  

A65                                    QJ843                  2NT is spot on – 2344 shape and 10-12 points.

                        93                                         (2)  What did you bid with this North hand B in

KJ4                                            this week’s quiz? 3 is wrong here as it’s

KQ64                                         not forcing. Partner has defined his hand

K1097                                       exactly and 3 is a sign-off. With this excellent

suit and 14 points North should 4

                                                                        (3)  With poor ’s, South correctly passed.


And what happened? 3 + 1 scored a bottom. The bottom lines: -

-     When partner makes a limit bid, you are in charge – don’t make a weak bid with a strong hand.



The 2NT response – what is the distribution?


The 2NT response to a 1-level opening is 10-12 points unless you have another agreement. I much prefer to play Jacoby 2NT over a 1/ opening but that has to be agreed. Assuming that 2NT is natural (10-12) then it has to be very specific as it takes up a lot of bidding space. The bid should deny a 4 card major and also deny a 5 card suit. The allowable shapes for a 2NT response are: -


Over 1:          3334 or 3343; possibly 2344 or 3244. If responder would always bid a 4 card suit then the shape must be 3334 exactly.

Over 1:           3334; possibly 3343 or 2344 or 3244 but if playing a short so that 1 promises 4 ’s then it’s probably best to support ’s.

Over 1:          3244; there is no other suitable distribution.

Over 1:          2344; there is no other suitable distribution.              



Understanding the Multi – part 1                        Board 16 from Monday 9th


It seems that just about every N-S on Monday was playing the Multi 2.


Dealer:             4                                                 Table A

West                AJ8643                                      West          North         East            South

E-W vul           984                                             pass           2              pass           2NT   (1)

                        J102                                           pass           4    (2)      all pass


J6                      N             K108732              Table B

92                   W    E          K75                      West          North         East            South

A765                  S              1032                     pass           2              pass           2NT   (1)

AQ973                               4                          pass           3    (2)      all pass


Q10                                            Table C

KQJ                                            West          North         East            South

K865                                         pass           2              pass           2      (1)

  pass         pass (3)      pass   (4)

Table A:     (1)  Asking partner to define his hand.

(2)  But this was the first time that this North had played the Multi.

Table B:     (2)  The correct response – showing a weak hand and minimum (3 shows maximum).

Table C:     (1)  This South did not make an effort – I think it’s well worth a try with 2NT.

(4)   So this shows a weak hand.

(5)   East should compete with 2 here.


And what happened? Three out of six got too high in 4


Understanding the Multi – part 2                        Board 17 from Friday 13th 


It seems that a large proportion of the club play the Multi 2. Both pairs at this table play the convention but North displayed a complete lack of comprehension about defending against it!


Dealer:             J862                                          

North               1052                                           West          North         East            South

Love all            943                                             -                 pass           2    (1)      pass   (2)

                        AJ9                                            2      (3)    pass           2              dbl     (4)

pass   (5)    pass (6)

Q43                   N             K5                       

QJ9                W    E          A87643          (1)  Multi two diamonds.

K86                    S             J72                 (2)  With this hand it’s best to pass to start with.

10832                                Q6                 (3)  With both majors, 3 is an option.

                        A1097                                  (4)  A near perfect take-out double.               

K                                          (5)  West should bid 3 here…

AQ105                                 (6)  … but there’s no need to with this North at

K754                                         the table!


And what happened? 2* making was 470 and a clear top for E-W. N-S were making 3 at other tables. The bottom lines: -

-     If you really want to play the Multi two diamonds – then understand it!

-     The defense to the Multi is in the conventions folder and on the web.

-     I will play the Multi if that is my partner’s preference, but I much prefer Benjamin twos.

An Unfortunate Multi                                          Board 15 from Monday 9th


One pair got a bottom here when they opened a Multi when others were opening 2, but really they were a bit unlucky.


Dealer:             10842                                         Table A

South               J84                                             West          North(D)    East            South

N-S vul            QJ2                                             -                 -                 -                 2

                        Q103                                         pass           2    (1)      pass           2NT   (2)

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

Q75                   N             96                         pass           pass (5)      pass

1093               W    E          KQ752                

865                     S             10743                   Table B

K974                                 82                        West          North(D)    East            South

                        AKJ3                                          -                 -                 -                 2      (6)

A6                                              pass           2    (7)      dbl     (8)    2NT   (9)

AK9                                           pass           3NT (10)    all pass



Table A:     (1)  Waiting and game forcing.

(2)  23-24

(3)  What did you bid with this North hand D in this week’s quiz? Even though it’s totally flat with no honours in ’s and something in every other suit I would still bid 3, Stayman. This hand is totally flat, but that does not mean that partner’s hand is and if there’s a 4-4 fit then that’s where you want to play.

(4)  This South likes to play all of the gadgets and I believe he was playing 2 negative and 2 game forcing. But unfortunately this South does not even understand the basics of bridge bidding. This 4NT bid is preposterous, whatever it was meant to mean, I believe that he was aiming for 6 because he thought that his partner had a suit.

(5)  North knew that his partner was clueless.

Table B:     (6)  A Multi – either weak or 23-24 balanced.

(7)   3 (support for both majors) is an alternative.

(8)   The response let’s East in with a lead-directing double.

(9)   23-24.

(10)   After the double of the bid I think that North has even more reason to look for a 4-4 fit.


And what happened? 4NT made and 3NT made or made with overtricks at most tables. 3NT went down at table B on the 10 lead. Nobody found the cold 4contract.


The bottom lines: -

-     Is it only me who believes in the power of the 4-4 fit? An (effective) 2NT opener may well have a 4 or even 5 card suit.

-     When a cipher bid has been doubled for a lead, it’s even more important to look for the major suit fit.


OK, enough of the bidding – let’s get onto four play deals: -


An ‘expert’ defence                                             Board 3 from Wednesday 11th


Lewis asked me to write this one up. Apparently he was very impressed by the ‘world-class’ defence he witnessed at this table.


Dealer:             AKQ109                                   

South               Q6                                              West          North         East            South

E-W vul           1064                                           -                 -                 -                 1

                        964                                            1              1              pass           1NT (1)

pass           pass (2)

6532                  N             J74                      

AJ8532          W    E          107                 (1)  Perhaps a bit feeble.

8                         S             J97532           (2)  Perhaps a bit feeble.

A10                                    K7                      

                        8                                           It would appear the N-S missed the boat, with two

K94                                      other South’s playing in 3NT with their combined

AKQ                                    26 count. But perhaps this N-S took the caliber of

QJ8532                                the defenders into account? …


… South ended up in a seemingly very comfortable 1NT (a couple of pairs were in 3NT making +1 or +2). West led the 5 and declarer played the Q from dummy. So the lead was with North and declarer, quite understandably, decided to lead a from dummy. East rose with the K !! and the return set the contract by one trick.

And what happened elsewhere? Everybody else bid higher with ½ of the field making game. This E-W score was only beaten when one N-S pair bid to 3 and somehow managed to go two down! (4 made at another table). Looks like a fairly automatic 9 or 10 tricks to me. My guess is that declarer took the risky finesse and suffered a ruff?

The bottom lines: -

-     2nd hand low is often right, but if you feel that you need to get in quickly (in order to return partner’s suit ASAP and/or prevent declarer finding a winning line – you know that the ’s run in this scenario) then 2nd hand high may well be best.





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


West                East                      You are East, playing in 3NT after South had made an opening

Q104            K65                  lead of the 3. When you play low from dummy, North wins

J62               A103                with the A and returns a . How will you play?

873               AK5          

9762            AQJ5


Dave’s Column answer                      Board 6 from Wednesday 11th



Dealer:             A7                                              West          North         East            South

East                  K984                                          -                 -                 2NT           pass

E-W vul           Q1062                                        3NT (1)      all pass              


This was the bidding at just one table, every

Q104                 N             K65                other West sensibly passed the 2NT opening    

J62                 W    E          A103              with this totally flat 3 count.

873                     S              AK5              

9762                                  AQJ5             Anyway, this time there actually was one pair

                        J9832                                   playing Dave’s predestined contract of 3NT,

Q75                                      so how do you play on the 3 lead?   




I didn’t like to give the answer away by asking you which card declarer should play on the first trick. The fact remains that unless you drop the K under North’s Ace you will go down (probably not at the Pattaya bridge club – as the statistics below show). To bring your total to nine you will need to score 4 tricks. Unless North started with a doubleton K, you will have to take two finesses against the K and will therefore need two entries to dummy.

Unblock the K at trick 1 and there is nothing the defenders can do. Suppose North switches to a . You win with the A , finesse the 10 and finesse the Q. You then return to dummy with the Q and repeat the finesse, making the game when the ’s break 3-2.How can you be sure that a finesse against the J would win? Nothing is certain but South’s 3 lead strongly suggested that he was leading from an honour. Also, if North held the A and the J he would have played the J at trick 1.                                                                


And what happened? The one pair who bid 3NT made it. Out of the other five in 2NT three made an overtrick but I have no idea if anybody actually unblocked the K.

The bottom lines: -

-         Sometimes you need to unblock to create an extra entry.



Eight ever nine never?                                        Board 21 from Wednesday 11th   


Q2                     N             KJ43                    Here we have another play problem. You

K109763        W    E          A82                      are East, declarer in 4, and get the 3 lead

754                     S             AK98                   which North wins with the A. North

K8                                     Q10                     switches to a which South wins with the A.

You win the ♠ continuation with the Q and lead the 3 to the A, upon which North plays the J and South the 4. You continue with the 2 and South plays the 5. Do you finesse the Q or play for them to be 2-2 and play for the queen to drop?


Restricted choice over-rules 8 ever 9 never      Board 21 from Friday 13th


Apparently just one declarer played this trump suit correctly.


Dealer:             9765                                          

North               J                                                 West(F)     North         East            South

N-S vul            J62                                              -                 pass           1NT           pass

                        A9752                                        2              pass           2              pass

3      (1)    pass           4      (2)    all pass

Q2                     N             KJ43                   

K109763        W    E          A82                (1)  What did you bid with this West hand F in

754                     S             AK98                  this week’s quiz? 8 points is normally just

K8                                     Q10                     an invitation but a decent 6 card suit with

                        A108                                          good intermediates make it worth 4.

Q54                                      (2)  With a maximum East bids game anyway.




Anyway, everybody was in 4, how did you play the suit in the problem posed on the previous page? Normally when there are 4 cards missing including the queen it’s marginally best to play for the drop. But when the jack is also missing and an honour appears on the first round then restricted choice takes precedence over 8 ever nine never and you should finesse the player who played low for the queen if that is still possible.

And what happened? Just one pair (Gunn & Torbjorn) got it right and made 4+1 for a top. At the table where I was kibitzing I am sure that this declarer would also have got it right but he got a (totally ridiculous in my opinion) opening lead of the 5. Of course he figured that no sane person would lead a trump from Qxx, especially into a strong NoTrump opener, and so he sensibly played North for the QJ doubleton. Unlucky.          

The bottom lines: -

-         Restricted choice takes precedence over 8-ever 9-never. There is an article about it on the web site (General bridge Topics > 8-ever 9-never or Restricted Choice?).

-         The lead of a small trump from Kxx is often quite effective, but from Qxx it is insane.







Combining your options                                                         Board 9 from Friday 13th


North               South                       You are South, declarer in 3NT. The contract is easy on

A108            92                         anything but a lead and West leads the 4. You duck and

AKQ85        76                         East wins with the Q. The 6 comes back upon which

10                 AQJ6542             West plays the J and you again duck. West leads the 2

KQ84          A2                        and dummy’s A wins, East following with the 8.

How do you plan to make the contract?




Combine your options - answer                                     Board 9 from Friday 13th



Dealer:             A108                                          West          North         East          South

North               AKQ85                                      -                 1              pass         1NT (1)

E-W vul           10                                               pass           3NT           all pass


(1)  I would bid 2.

KJ743               N             Q65                     

932                 W    E          J104              

K83                    S             97                       

J3                                       109765               






Everybody was in 3NT, how did you play the hand in the problem posed on the previous page? The opponents have got off to the only lead to make it difficult for you. You have 8 top tricks but if you try the finesse for your 9th trick you will go down if it fails (you can be sure that West started with 5 ’s).

The correct play, having ducked two rounds of ’s and winning the third is to try the ’s first. If they split then you do not need the finesse as you have 10 tricks (1 , 5 ’s, 1 and 3 ’s). If the ’s fail to split 3-3 you then need to take the finesse.


And what happened? 3NT +2 twice, 3NT +1 once and 3NT -1 twice.

The bottom lines: -

-         Combine your chances. If you can make your contract with either a suit splitting or a finesse, then try the suit splitting first and if it does not split then fall back on the finesse.

-         Do not respond 1NT if a two level bid describes your hand more accurately. Had South responded 2 then North would have bid 3NT and probably not got a lead; that looks like 12 tricks to me provided that North attacks ’s by overtaking the 10 with the J – it looks like nobody did.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    1 or pass. It’s usually best to have a 5 card suit for an overcall but with a good 16 points it’s probably best to say something and I would bid 1. 1NT is not possible as that guarantees a stop and dbl is a poor bid with just two ’s.

Hand B:    4, partner has specified his hand exactly and 3 would be a weak non-forcing bid.

Hand C:    Double. Partner has 15+ and you have a good 7 points with three tens and good intermediates. It looks like 2 is going down and at this vulnerability I would go for the penalty. 2 is the less aggressive but acceptable alternative, pass is simply feeble.

Hand D:    3, Stayman. Look for the 4-4 (or better) fit. But it looks like all of the club’s better players disagree with me as every North bid 3NT on Monday. There was a 4-4 fit and 4 is cold but 3NT goes down on a lead.

Hand E:    2NT. If not playing Jacoby 2NT then this bid is 10-12 points and exactly 2344 shape.

Hand F:     4. 8 points is usually only enough for an invite, but with a 6 card suit containing good intermediates this hand is worth a shot at game.