Our website is www.pattayabridge.com                             Club News Sheet – No. 323

Our blogsite is www.pattayabridge.wordpress.com                                 

My home phone is 038 422924 and my mobile number is 083 6066880              18th Jan 2009

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

My e-mail is terry@pattayabridge.com or pattayabridge@yahoo.com

My MSN messenger ID is tj_quested@hotmail.com

Mon 12th      N-S     1st  Jean & Sally                   58%       2nd    Frode & Johan                 57%

                    E-W     1st   Hans & Janne                 70%       2nd    Gene & Paul                     60%

Wed 14th      N-S     1st  Bob S & Johan               62%       2nd    Paul Q & Lewis                57%

                    E-W     1st   Fjacce & Joello              68%       2nd    Tom & Terry                    58%

Fri 16th                     1st  Paul B & Phil                  66%       2nd    Alain & Jean-Charles        61%

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Bidding Quiz                    Standard American bidding is assumed unless otherwise stated.


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


10                 -

Q852            KQJ9           With Hand B partner opens 1, what do you bid?

AQ3             7542

K9865         KQ1052


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C everybody is vulnerable. You open 1 in 3rd seat

and LHO overcalls 1. This is passed to you, what do you do?

7                   AQJ8                                   

AQ643         K102            What do you open with Hand D?

A852            AJ8                                      

A76              854                                           


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E you open 1 and partner splinters with 3,

what do you bid?

AKQ5          AJ985                                  

KJ9743        A10762        With Hand F you ‘accidentally’ open 1 - presumably you 

4                   83                 had a mixed up with the ’s. Anyway, you open 1 and

J10               A                  partner splinters with 3, what do you bid?


Hand G           Hand H           With Hand G everybody is vulnerable. Partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 1, what do you do?

AQ1043       AJ1098432                                

102               QJ65                                   

K4                4                   What do you open with Hand H?     

Q1052         -



Bidding Sequence Quiz


J      1      pass   1      pass       How many ’s should the 2 bidder have?

        1NT   pass   2                                       

K     1      pass   1      pass       How many ’s should the 2 bidder have?

        2     pass   2               

Ron Klinger web site


A few of the club’s less experienced players are gradually getting used to splinters (two examples occured on Monday). But having got the hang of splinters, it’s necessary to know what to do next!


After a Splinter – part 1             Board 27 from Monday 12th   


Dealer:             10                                               Table A

South               Q852                                          West          North(A)    East          South(E)

Love all            AQ3                                          -                 -                 -               1

                        K9865                                       pass           3      (1)    pass         4    (2)

pass           5              pass         6   

J8732                 N               964                    all pass

10                   W    E            A6                    

J9                       S                K1087652          ‘Expert’ Table

A7432                                  Q                       West          North(A)    East          South(E)

                        AKQ5                                        -                 -                 -               1

KJ9743                                      pass           3    (1)      pass         4    (2)

4                                                all pass


Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this North hand A in this week’s quiz? A 3 splinter shows this hand exactly – opening values, 4 card support and shortage in the suit bid.

(2)   What did you bid with this South hand E in this week’s quiz? I’m not sure if they knew what they were doing, but no less than three pairs went zooming off to the hopeless slam

‘Expert’      (2)  This is the answer to question E – South has a nice hand and should be

 Table:              looking for slam when partner shows an opening hand with 4-card support. But this is the beauty of splinters, partner has shown shortage and the AKQ are virtually wasted. South should show dislike of the shortage opposite by settling for 4.


And what happened? Three pairs all went down in slam. Only two pairs found the optimum contract of 4.

The bottom lines: -

-     If partner splinters, then your hand improves if you have xxx or Axx etc. in the splinter suit but if you hold something like KQx or AKQ then your hand goes downhill and you should sign off without significant extra values.

After a Splinter – part 2             Board 5 from Monday 12th   


Dealer:             AJ985                                         Table A

North               A10762                                      West          North(F)    East          South(B)

N-S vul            83                                              -                 1    (1)      pass         3    (2) 

                        A                                                pass           4NT (3)      pass         5    (4)

pass           5              pass         6    (5)

KQ763               N               1042                  all pass

84                   W    E            53                     

AQ6                   S                KJ109                ‘Better’ Table

J76                                       9843                  West          North(F)    East          South(B)

                        -                                                 -                 1    (1)      pass         3    (2) 

KQJ9                                         pass           4   (6)      pass         4    (7)

7542                                          pass           5    (8)      all pass


Table A:     (1)  I assume that North had his hand mis-sorted when he opened 1 instead of 1.

                  (2)  What did you bid with this South hand B in this week’s quiz? A 3 splinter shows this hand exactly – opening values, 4 card support and shortage in the suit bid.

(3)   What did you bid with this North hand F in this week’s quiz? Now when you wish to investigate slam after a splinter then there are two main ways – cue bid or RKCB. But bidding RKCB with a weak doubleton in which partner has shown no values is bad practice – you may well end up in a small slam missing AK in the suit (as here).

(4)   1 keycard. The alternative bid is 6 which shows 1 or 3 keycards and a void.

(5)   With a void, South decided to over-rule the Blackwood bidder.

‘Better’      (1)  Let’s assume that this North also mistakenly opened 1.

 Table:        (6)  This is the answer to question F – a cue bid showing the A and asking partner to cue bid in return.

                  (7)  A cue bid, and a cue bid of a splinter promises a void. Also note that this cue bid denies the A.

(8)   Knowing that there could easily be 2 losers off the top, North signs off in 5.


And what happened? 6 rather luckily made +1 when East did not find a lead. The rest of the field were in 4 or 5 making anything from +1 to +3.

The bottom lines: -

-     If partner splinters and you want to continue, then cue bid if you hand is not suitable for RKCB.


A Defence problem                               Board 20 from Monday 12th


A95                    N                     West          North       East          South

43                   W    E                  pass           1NT         pass         3NT

Q9543                S                      all pass      


                        K107                  You are West, defending 3NT. Partner leads the 4 and

K92                    dummy plays the 10. You win with the A, declarer

76                       playing the 2. What do you lead to trick two?


Defence problem answer                Board 20 from Monday 12th


Dealer:             62                                               West          North         East            South  

North               AQJ6                                         pass           1NT           pass           3NT

E-W vul           AJ102                                        all pass



A95                    N             QJ843            This was the very reasonable bidding at ½ of

43                   W    E          10875             the tables and the 4 was led. Dummy played

Q9543                S              K8                  the 10 and West won with the A, declarer         

753                                    A10                playing the 2. How should West continue?     


K92              I saw three West’s switch to the 4, what do you think of   

76                 this play? Not much! Even if West can set up ’s, he has no     

QJ984          entry. No, the answer lies in the suit and specifically dummy’s play of the 10. That marks partner with the QJ! For if declarer had either of these cards he would not have played the 10 at trick one. So, return the 9.            


And what happened? The three declarers who received a switch all made the contract +1 (up with the A and play ’s – thus scoring 1 , 4 ’s, 1 and 4 ’s). Other results were the usual spurious ones, with many not in game.

The bottom lines: -

-         3NT is often a race – the defence must try to get their five tricks before declarer gets his nine; and this is a classic example. Given lots of time, declarer has 11 tricks (1 , 4 ’s, 2 ’s and 4 ’s) and the defence can develop 7 tricks (4 ’s, 2 ’s and 1 ). But here time is the major factor and both sides have to aim to get their required number of tricks before the opposition does.

-         In this actual example, West’s failure to return a lost a vital tempo and enabled declarer to set up 10 quick tricks after knocking out the A. Had declarer played the 10 at trick two (the usual play from this holding) then that would have been a fatal mistake, returning the tempo and enabling the defence to quickly get 6 tricks (4 ’s, 1 and 1 ).

-         Unless you have a good reason for a shift, it’s usually best to return partner’s lead.



Dave’s Column           Here is Dave’s first input on the play of the hand


North               South                             West        North         East            South

Q106            A83                            -               -                 -                 2

AKQ42        -                                 pass         2              pass           3

87                 AKQJ1065                pass         3              pass           6

864              AK3                           all pass


You are South, declarer in 6. West leads the Q. When you bid 6 you knew that there may be entry problems to dummy – and there are. Or are there? Plan the play.                

Dave’s Column answer                      Board 14 from Wednesday 14th


Dealer:             Q106                                          West          North         East            South

East                  AKQ42                                      -                 -                 -                 2

Love all            87                                              pass           2              pass           3

                        864                                            pass           3              pass           6

all pass

952                     N             KJ74                   

J986               W    E          10753             West leads the Q, plan the play.      

32                       S              94                       

QJ107                                952               






One line of play to get to dummy’s lovely ’s is to lead a low and hope that West has the K. Of course if you pull one round of trumps and the 9 is singleton, then the 8 is an entry. But why take these guesses when you have a 100% entry to dummy?

Lead a low at trick two to the 7 to force an entry with the 8 when somebody wins the 9. Unless there are some very bad breaks the contract is secure.

Incidentally, you would play 6NT the same way on the Q lead and that actually is a better contract as it makes when there is a bad split with ’s 3-1 or 4-0.


And what happened at the Pattaya Bridge Club? I don’t know if declarers found this play, but 6 made twice and 6NT made once. 7NT was bid twice and went down and there were a couple of pairs in 3NT.

The bottom lines: -

-         Always consider the possibility of giving up an unnecessary trick for the greater good of getting to dummy.






Dave’s 2nd Column           Here is Dave’s 2nd input involving a defensive problem.


KQJ                 N                      

AJ10932      W    E                      West        North         East        South

KQ3                 S                         -               pass           2NT       pass                  

2                                                  4           pass           4NT       pass          

                        432                       7NT         all pass    


109                    You are South, on lead against 7NT.

107653              Hoping to find a safe lead, you choose the 10.

Declarer takes three tricks in the suit ending in dummy.

What do you discard (it looks like partner has 5 ’s)


Dave’s 2nd Column answer                      Board 13 from Wednesday 14th


Dealer:             8765                                           West          North         East            South

North               4                                                 -                 pass           2NT           pass

Both vul            J7654                                         4   (1)      pass           4NT (2)      pass

                        984                                            7NT           all pass


KQJ                 N               A109              (1)  Gerber

AJ10932      W    E            K87                (2)  3 aces

KQ3                 S                A82                     

2                                        AKQJ            You are South and lead the 10. Declarer cashes         

                        432                                       three rounds of ’s, ending in dummy.

Q65                                     What do you discard?        




Declarer has to find the Q to make his grand slam. Notice what happens if you (South) discard the useless 2. Declarer takes his black suit tricks, learning that you started with 3 ’s, 2 ’s and 5 ’s – hence three ’s. Playing the suit correctly (cash the K and then finesse) becomes automatic.

Go back and throw a at trick three. Then, after taking his other winners, declarer will not know if you started with 4225 or 3325 distribution. He has to guess.


And what happened at the Pattaya Bridge Club? Contracts and results were all over the place. 7NT was bid 3 times and everybody guessed wrong and went -1; and the two players in 6NT made exactly. Nobody made 13 tricks in any contract so I guess that every South threw a ?

The bottom line: -

-     Jean Besse’s quote from his 1994 Bols bridge tip: “Don’t play an idle card thoughtlessly. If played at the wrong time, an idle card may betray your whole hand”



Playing Negative Doubles                                   Board 13 from Monday 12th   


Dealer:             AQ1043                                     Table A

North               102                                             West          North(G)    East          South(C)

Both vul            K4                                             -                 pass (1)      pass         1

                        Q1052                                       1              pass (2)      pass         2    (3)

pass           2NT           all pass     6   

KJ982                N               65                     

KJ5                W    E            987                    ‘Expert’ Table

Q7                     S                J10963               West          North(G)    East          South(C)

K63                                     984                    -                 pass (1)      pass         1

                        7                                                 1              pass (2)      pass         dbl   (3)

AQ643                                       all pass



Table A:     (1)  A 1 opening is the alternative, the hand confirms with the rule of 20 and also has three tens. I would open 1, but then there would be no story to tell.

(2)   What did you bid with this North hand G in this week’s quiz? With this glorious stack and no fit with partner you obviously want to defend 1 doubled, so pass and pass partner’s ‘automatic' re-opening double.

(3)   What did you bid with this South hand C in this week’s quiz? I believe that this South is not a regular reader of the new-sheets, or else thinks that I write a load of rubbish. One of the excuses given in the postmortem was that partner was a passed hand – totally irrelevant. 2 is a terrible bid from an experienced player, double is ‘automatic’.

‘Expert’      (3)  Our Expert South understands Negative Doubles of course. This hand has

 Table:              excellent defence and double is the only sensible bid. In the unlikely event (where are the ’s and where are the points?) that partner does not have a penalty hand then he will bid and you do not mind what he bids.


And what happened? 2NT made +1 for an OK score, but 1100 would have been nicer. As no E-W pair were doubled in anything then I suspect that North opened at most tables. 3NT was a popular contract; it made twice and went -1 three times

The bottom lines: -

-         With vulnerable opponents, it’s usually best to take the vulnerable penalty rather than bid a risky 3NT.

-         If you play Negative Doubles, then you have to re-open double with a double at (3) with most hands or you will miss penalties. If you disagree and think that 2 is fine, then excavate a stone-age book and do not play negative doubles.

-         The (few) exceptions when you should not re-open with a double are given on the website.

That infamous 4333 type shape again                Board 30 from Wednesday 14th   


Dealer:             96                                               Table A

East                  963                                             West          North         East(D)    South

Love all            Q1032                                        -                 -                 1NT (1)    pass

                        A1097                                        2   (2)      pass           2            pass

1042                   N               AQJ8                 2NT           all pass

AQJ5             W    E            K102                

9765                   S                AJ8                     Table B

J3                                         854                    West          North         East(D)    South

                        K753                                          -                 -                 1   (1)    pass

874                                             1              pass           1            pass

K4                                             1NT           all pass


Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this East hand D in this week’s quiz? Six out of eight East’s simply added up to 15 and opened 1NT.

(2)   With this West hand it’s pretty clear to bid Stayman and then invite.

Table B:     (1)  This was the auction at our table. My partner, Tom, correctly deducted a point for the 4333 shape and opened 1. The intermediates are not good enough to compensate for the lousy shape. If you play better minor (as opposed to short ) then I guess 1 is an alternative although I would open 1 playing either.


And what happened? Two players bid as table B and both made +1 due to inaccurate defence. Everybody else overbid to 2NT and three out of six went one down.

The bottom lines: -

-         Sensible defence should hold declarer to 7 tricks against 2NT. The defence should take 4 ’s, ending in the North hand, and then the obvious switch means that the defence get a and a and so six tricks before declarer gets his eight. Note that the switch against 2NT with bidding as Table A is clear as declarer has bid ’s.

-         Deduct a point for the totally flat 4333 shape. This applies equally well to NoTrump or suit openings despite what some so-called experts may say. 4333 simply sucks and don’t listen to anybody who tells you that 4333 is good for NoTrumps, they have no clue about hand evaluation – it is the worst possible shape for any contact.

-         This deal is totally typical; even with the kind division 2NT goes down.

-     Note that this deal is another example of the ‘race’ that I mentioned earlier on page 4 when playing/defending NoTrumps. Here it is imperative that the defence switch to ’s to get their trick before declarer gets his 8 tricks (3 ’s, 4 ’s and a ).

Better Minor?                                                      Board 30 from Wednesday 14th   


Hand H                       What did you open with this North hand H in this week’s quiz?

AJ1098432               4 looks pretty automatic to me, and this is yet another example     

QJ65                        of why I like to play Namyats. 4 shows a weak hand and does     

4                              not invite partner to go looking for slam.                 

-                               But what does this have to do with Better Minor? One player did actually open 1, in the belief that that was OK as it is the better of the minors!

That is totally unacceptable of course, an opening 1/ bid must be at least three cards when playing better minor. Two or less and it’s a psyche.


Hand L            Hand M          That brings me on to this hand L (North hand 9 from Wednesday).       

A65              A65              I was asked if a 1 opening was acceptable. Now the hand does

AQ87           AQ87           have 3 ’s but 1 is not acceptable in my view – it has no

953               AJ9               advantage over 1 except to deceive partner/the opponents and

AJ9              953              is clearly semi-psychic in nature (inhibit a lead).

Hand M is different however, it is very similar to Hand D from the previous page. When 3-3 in the minors most experts agree that you should open 1, although a 1 opening would be acceptable because this is clearly the better of the two minors and is not semi-psychic.

Hand N           Hand P            But when 4-4 in the minors things are different. Some experts  

A5                A5                always open 1, some always open 1, and some open the

AQ8             AQ8             better. I personally always open 1 when 4-4 and would open

9753             AJ96            1 with both of these hands but I have no problem with 1

AJ96            9753            with either if that is your style.

Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    3, a splinter agreeing ’s and showing shortage.

Hand B:    3, a splinter agreeing ’s and showing shortage.

Hand C:    Dbl. automatic. Where are the points and where are the ’s? The answer is – with partner. He is sitting there with around 8-11 points and a stack just waiting for you to double. The fact that partner is a passed hand is virtually irrelevant and you should double with this hand whatever. Note that I said ‘virtually irrelevant’, the fact that partner is a passed hand in fact makes it less likely that you have a vulnerable game and so you should be even more inclined to go for the vulnerable penalty.

Hand D:    1 (or 1 if you prefer). Knock off a point for the 4333 shape and the hand is not worth a 1NT opener.

Hand E:    4. Your hand was great but shortage opposite is of no use whatsoever, so sign off in game.

Hand F:     4, a cue bid. Do not bid RKC Blackwood with a wide open suit (’s). Pass is the reasonable alternative if you don’t want to look for slam.

Hand G:    Pass, and pass partner’s subsequent automatic re-opening double (assuming that you play Negative Doubles).

Hand H:    4. Pass is the only other option but 4 seems very clear to me. Note that this is an exception to the philosophy of not pre-empting with a 4-card major. You are already in game and if partner has ’s it’s probably still better to play in ’s with this hand.


Bidding Sequence Answers


J      1      pass   1      pass       Responder promises only 5 ’s for this sequence, the reason

        1NT   pass   2                    being that opener usually has 2 or 3 ’s for his 1NT rebid.

K     1      pass   1      pass       But things are different here. Opener has shown two suits and

2     pass   2                    is likely to be short in ’s. This 2 bid promises 6 ’s.



 Ron Klinger web site