†† ††††††††††††††††††††††††† Club News Sheet Ė No. 18†† ††††††††††††† ††††††††28/2/2003†††††††††††††

to news-sheet main page to Pattaya Bridge home page

Last weekís winners: †† Monday 17/2/03†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †† Friday††† 21/2/03


winners†††† Joe/Bengt††††††††††††††††††††††† 64%††††††† winners†† ††††† Mike/Ole††††††††††† 72%

2nd =††††††† John/Ralph; Hans/Bob ††† 61%††††††††† 2nd†††††††††† †††† Kaj/Margit†††††††† 59%


Take-Out Doubles


-†† A double of a Major opening always promises 4 cards in the other major (or a hand strong enough to cope with a jump in

the other major).

-†† A double of a Minor opening always promises both majors Ė one may possibly be 3 card (or a hand strong enough to

cope with a jump in either major).

-†† A double followed by a NoTrump bid shows a hand too strong to overcall 1NT directly (so 19+).

-†† A double followed by a new suit after partner has responded shows a hand too good to simply overcall.


Letís have some examples of take-out doubles (and not). In all cases, an opponent has opened 1 in front of you.

All these examples are for direct bids; bidding in the balancing seat is sometimes different.


Hand 1†††††††††††† Hand 2†††††††††††† Hand 3†††††††††††† Hand 4††††††††††††


QJ87††††††††††† A2††††††††††††††† QJ8††††††††††††† QJ8†††††††††††††

KQ87†††††††††† K864††††††††††† AQ764†††††††† K96†††††††††††††

4†††††††††††††††††† KJ7†††††††††††††† 4†††††††††††††††††† 85††††††††††††††††

AQ42†††††††††† Q974†††††††††† AQ42†††††††††† AQJ54††††††††


Hand 1:†† The classic take out double.


Hand 2:†† Pass. You cannot double with only 2 ís. You cannot overcall without a 5 card suit. You cannot overcall with

1NT as this shows 15-18 points. That just leaves pass!


Hand 3:†† With a 5 card suit, a 1 overcall is preferable to a double.


Hand 4:†† This hand is from a Dutch Magazine. In the article the hand doubled but there was no discussion of this bid.

Perhaps it is standard practice in Holland? I would never double with two 3 card majors (one three card is acceptable).

With this hand, overcall 2.

Hand 5†††††††††††† Hand 6†††††††††††† Hand 7†††††††††††† Hand 8


AJ9†††††††††††††† A2††††††††††††††† AJ†††††††††††††††† AQ

AQ95†††††††††† AJ64††††††††††† AJ64††††††††††† AQJ1064

5†††††††††††††††††† KJ7†††††††††††††† KJ7†††††††††††††† J7

Q8754†††††††† K974†††††††††† KQJ4†††††††††† KQ4


Hand 5:†† Double is acceptable with this hand.


Hand 6:†† You cannot double with 3 cards in the opponentís suit and with just a doubleton in one major. With this hand,

a 1NT overcall (15-18) is fine.


Hand 7:†† Double! This is the same as the previous hand except that it is too strong for 1NT. So you double first and

then bid NT over partnerís 1 or 2. Raise 1 to 3.


Hand 8:†† Double. And subsequently bid your suit. Too strong for an overcall.


One important point. I mention above that a 1NT overcall is 15-18. This is the case regardless of your opening

1NT range. Since an opponent has bid, you need a strong hand to intervene with 1NT. This 1NT overcall is less in the

balancing seat (11-14).†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Responses to Partnerís take-out Double.


Response: -†††††


- A non jump suit bid shows 0-9 pts††††††††††††††††††† *†† These 1st 4 responses are non-forcing.

- A jump suit bid shows 10-11 pts††††††††††††††††††††† *

- 1NT shows 6-10 pts, denies 4 card major††††††† *

- 2NT shows 11-12 pts, denies 4 card major††††† *

- A cue bid (bid of opponentís suit) makes the auction forcing (I prefer game forcing).

- 3 of an unbid major is game forcing showing a 5 card suit.

- Pass is for penalties


So, letís have a few examples. Partner has doubled a 1 opening in all cases:


Hand 9†††††††††††† Hand 10†††††††††† Hand 11†††††††††† Hand 12†††††††††††††††††††


954†††††††††††††† A92††††††††††††† Q98††††††††††††† QJ8

Q72††††††††††††† K864††††††††††† 764†††††††††††††† Q96

8742†††††††††††† KJ7†††††††††††††† KJ7†††††††††††††† KJ107†††††††††††††††††††

842††††††††††††† 974††††††††††††† Q742†††††††††† Q87


Hand 9:††††††††††† Oh dear! Bid 1, do not pass, do not bid 1NT (insufficient values).††††††††††††††††††

Hand 10:††††††††† Bid 2, do not bid NT with a major

Hand 11:††††††††† Bid 1NT††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Hand 12:††††††††† Bid 2NT


Hand 13†††††††††† Hand 14†††††††††† Hand 15†††††††††† Hand 16


Q852††††††††††† A2††††††††††††††† 72†††††††††††††††† Q8

KQ9†††††††††††† AQJ64†††††††† A6††††††††††††††† A96

K10††††††††††††† K7††††††††††††††† QJ1086†††††††† KJ107

KQ86††††††††† Q974†††††††††† A982††††††††††† AQ86


Hand 13:††††††††† Bid 2. A subsequent bid of 2 over a 2 reply would then show a 4 card suit and game forcing

values. Of course you raise a 2 bid to 4.


Hand 14:††††††††† Bid 3. Game forcing with 5 ís.†††††††††


Hand 15:††††††††† Pass. Declarer will have a tough time.


Hand 16:††††††††† Bid 3NT. Obviously where you want to play, and better played from your hand.


Next week we will have a look at a few specific types of doubles.

Bidding Quiz


Hand A††††††††††† Hand B †††††††††† You have Hand A and open 1. Partner responds 1. What

††††††††††† is your rebid? (you are playing a strong NT if that affects

6†††††††††††††††††† A7432††††††††† your decision). What do you open with Hand B?

AQ32†††††††††† 10†††††††††††††††† Plan your rebid if you choose 1 and partner responds 2.

K76††††††††††††† AQJ106†††††††

A10765††††††† 65††††††††††††††† Answers later in this news-sheet.


Penalty Double?†††††††††††††††† 1††† pass††† 1††† dbl†††
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2††† dbl


Hans asked my opinion on the meaning of the 2nd double. It is penalties. Partnerís double promised both rounded

suits, and so this falls into categories 8 (no unbid suit) and also 10 (doublerís partner has described his hand)

mentioned last week and is for penalties.


The No-trump rebid.


Hand C††††††††††† Hand D††††††††† Letís suppose you play a strong NT (15-17). Then you would

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† open Hand C with 1NT. With hand D you open 1 and rebid

QJ8††††††††††††† QJ8††††††††††† 1NT (12-14) over any one-level suit response. If you play a

KQ†††††††††††††† K8††††††††††††† weak NT, then it is the other way round. You would open

Q942††††††††††† Q942††††††††† Hand C with 1 (with a 1NT rebid in mind) and you open

AQ42†††††††††† AJ42††††††††† Hand D with a weak 1NT (12-14). Simple, níest pas?

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I always thought so, but it appears not? I had a very interesting time discussing two of

Mondayís hands with Hans:

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††

Letís start with the South hand from Board 6: -


QJ954††††††††† So, do you open? And if so, with what? I believe that most people (even

-†††††††††††††††††† Chuck?) would open. If you open 1 then you are fixed over a 1NT or 2

A9432††††††††† response. You cannot rebid 2 as that would be a reverse showing a much

A102††††††††††† stronger hand and more ís than ís and it would be difficult to convince

††††††††††††††††††††††† partner that you have 5 ís (the hand is not strong enough to open 1 and

subsequently bid ís twice). So we open 1 and partner (of course) replies 2. What now? I see no alternative to

bidding 2. 3 would show a much stronger hand. Hans suggested that I should rebid 2NT. At first I assumed he

was joking, but it turned out he was serious. Rebidding a 5 card major suit is not ideal, but I much prefer it to

bidding 2NT (this bid would never even cross my mind) with a void in partnerís suit! As it happens we were playing

Acol with 4 card majors, but I would bid the same playing Standard American. Hans said that he would not open

the hand playing 5 card majors because of the possible rebid problem - so what do you do if you have a similar

hand with a couple of more points? I feel that this hand has far too much playing strength to pass. Playing 2/1 there

is absolutely no problem; partnerís 2 is then game forcing and a 3 rebid does not show extra values. A good

hand for the 2/1 system, you never have a rebid problem.

At the end of the session, Hans gave me another hand - the West hand from Board 1: -


-†††††††††††††††††† You open 1 and of course partner responds 1. What is your rebid. To

K874††††††††††† me, 2 is obvious, especially as Hans/Bob play a prepared (could be 3

KQ86†††††††††† or 2 card). You cannot rebid a red suit as that would be a reverse, showing

AK653†††††††† a much stronger hand (your hand is not good enough, especially once

††††††††††††††††††††††† partner bids your void). Apparently Bob rebid 1NT (a bid with which Hans

is in total agreement). I am aghast! In my opinion, a NoTrump rebid should be similar to a 1NT opener (as indicated

at the start of this section) but the other point range. Very occasionally you may be fixed and have to respond 1NT

with a singleton in partnerís suit (specifically 1444), but never with a void. This is a total distortion. Hans disagrees,

stating that you cannot rebid a 5 card suit. I have another objection to rebidding 1NT with this hand; the bid shows

12-14 points; this hand is too strong. True, partnerís 1 bid has not improved the hand, but with an excellent suit

and decent ís it is still worth 15 points; too strong for a 1NT rebid. So, whoís right? Letís delve into the library, a

few quotes should suffice:


Paul Marstonís Introduction to Bridge: - †††† A 1NT rebid shows a balanced hand without a fit.


Zia Mahmood Ė Bridge for Beginners: -††††† Rebid NT with a balanced hand after a new suit response.


Max Hardy Ė Standard Bridge Bidding for the 21stCentury: -


††††††††††† When opener has rebid 1NT to show 12-14 HCP and a balanced handÖÖ


Note the key word balanced. So, a pretty comprehensive argument? But letís just put the icing on the cake and

quote Paul Thurston Ė 25 steps to learning 2/1. No embellishment, this is an exact quote: -


Ď There are some players (no-trump hogs) who think itís OK to rebid 1NT or 2NT with a singleton Ė

sometimes even with a void(!) Ė in partnerís suit. I believe you really should try to avoid doing this;

it makes the auction very difficult if you tell partner youíre balanced and then try to change the

message later on. Typically this comes up when you open 1 with something like


††††††††††† 6††† AQ32†† K76†† A10765


and partner is inconsiderate enough to respond 1. You lack the strength to reverse into 2, but rather

than rebid 1NT and promise a balanced hand, I would recommend you bid 2††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††

††††††††††† I could not have put it better myself (although I would never call a club member a no-trump hog).

I hate to think what this author would say about a similar hand with a void and a better ß suit rebidding 1NT

(such as West board 1)! I guess it would be unprintable?


Letís have a really silly bidding sequence: -


West †††††††††††††† East††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† West†††††††††††† North††††††††††† East†††††††††††††† South


-†††††††††††††††††† AKQ10876432††††††† 1††††††††††††††† pass††††††††††††† 1†††††††††††††††† pass

AJ54††††††††††† 8†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1NT†††† (1)†††† pass††††††††††††† 4††† (2)††††††† pass

A752††††††††††† J††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5††††††† (3)†††† pass††††††††††††† 7NT(4)††††††† all pass

A9642††††††††† 3


(1)silly, Ďnuff said†††††††††††

(2) Gerber, asking for aces†††††††††††

(3) 3 aces

(4)We have 13 top tricks, so No Trump scores more. What a great bid! And no danger of an initial ruff. Maybe

we will get a prize for the best bid hand?


I guess South can make 3NT, but 9 or 10 down is unlikely to be a good score for E-W when 7 is cold.


This example may be extreme, but the examples of the bidding going astray because partner assumes that you

probably have 2 of his suit are too numerous to mention. Indeed, it really is Ďdifficult to change the messageí.

Playing game/slam contracts with 6-0 or whatever fits takes a lot of skill. Even taking a simple finesse is difficult,

to say nothing about communication. Are you up to it?


Incidentally, if you and your partner still believe that it is OK to rebid NT with a void, then this is not standard

practice and is a partnership understanding. As such, it must be alerted. It misleads opponents if you show a

balanced hand when you have a void. Iím not even sure if itís allowed. Hate to think what Chuck would say,

he would most certainly (correctly) call the director if there was no alert. If you find that it is tedious to alert

every time your partner rebids NT, then play a sensible system. If you are unhappy rebidding a 5 card major,

then one excellent option is to play 2/1. It is not just chance that most experts play this Ė it is far superior to

Standard American. I have a few 2/1 books if anybody wants to borrow one.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A††††††††††† Hand B †††††††††† Hand A is the Paul Thurston example. You open 1 and if

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† partner responds 1 then your rebid is 2.

6†††††††††††††††††† A7432††††††††† Hand B is from a Marty Bergen bidding book. You open 1.

AQ32†††††††††† 10†††††††††††††††† If partner responds 2 then bid 3 if this does not show

K76††††††††††††† AQJ106††††††† extra values (playing 2/1). He goes on to say that if 3

A10765††††††† 65††††††††††††††† shows extra values (e.g. if playing Standard American) then you have

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† to rebid 2. 2NT is out with a singleton in partnerís suit and a worthless doubleton.


And now onto Friday, a couple of interesting hands: -

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††

Friday Bidding Quiz


Hand E†††††††††††† Hand F ††††††††††† What do you open with Hand E? 21 points.


AK1084†††††† AK8†††††††††††† You have Hand F, what do you open?If you choose 1

KQ7†††††††††††† 109†††††††††††††† then what is your rebid over a 1 response? (you are

AJ92†††††††††††† KJ10943†††††† playing a strong NoTrump if that affects your decision).

A††††††††††††††††† A5†††††††††††††††††††††††††††


No Sensible Opening Bid?


Letís look at Hand E, South hand 6 from Friday. It looks a bit too strong for 1. Yet is too weak
for 2 followed by 2 which most people play as game forcing. So pass? (only joking). Obviously
a problem hand for all except Michael and his partner back in Germany (easy Ė open a precision 1!).
For those of us who play Standard American, Acol or any similar natural system with weak twos this hand
is a headache. The first time I saw it played it was 1 passed out (making +3). This is the problem with
opening 1, if partner has very little it is much more likely to be passed out than a lower ranking 1 level
bid (opponents need to compete at the two level and may not wish to.

So, a 2 opening then? I donít like this either. As mentioned above, the sequence is normally played

as game forcing and this hand is simply not good enough.

I did a poll of many present on Friday. It was 50-50. 4 people opened 1 and the other 4 that I asked

opened 2. What would be your choice? Nobody voted for my preferred bid; as I indicated, nothing is ideal,

but I would open 2NT (20-22). Not so nice with a singleton, but a singleton ace is certainly acceptable.

I believe that this is probably the best of a bad set of choices. If you donít like 2NT, then 1 is best, however Ö

If playing strong twos (either direct or Benjamin) then there is no problem. The hand qualifies for a strong 2

opening. A good advert for Benjamin twos? Hans plays them with me, as does Chris. So do Martin and

Rosemary and Gerry (and most Brits).

Die-hards like John Gavens play traditional Acol strong twos as do a few of the less experienced players.

All the rest who have Ďmoved oní to weak twos will have extreme difficulty with this hand!


Way too strong for a 1NT Rebid?


Hand F ††††††††††† Hand F is North hand 12 from Friday. Everybody opened 1.

††††††††††††††††††††††† The hand first caught my attention when held by Hans.

AK8†††††††††††† Partner responded 1 and Hans rebid 1NT, passed out.

109†††††††††††††† Before dummy hit the table, I asked Hans if he was happy with his 1NT

KJ10943†††††† rebid and he said yes. It made +2. Please check on the previous pages to

A5††††††††††††††† see if this hand qualifies for a 1NT rebid.

It is way too strong Ė 15 HCP with a decent 6 card suit and excellent intermediates. Everybody else I

asked would rebid 3. Joe commented that it was closer to a 2NT (18-19) rebid than 1NT but that 3 was

Ďobviousí. I believe that the hand is worth a 3 rebid but Hans disagrees. However, if the hand is not worth

a 3 rebid, you cannot rebid 1NT (12-14). If you wonít rebid 3 then there is no choice but to open an

off-beat 1NT. The hand is far too strong for a 2 or 1NT rebid after partner has responded. Hans claimed

that if game is on, partner will bid on over the 1NT rebid. Not true. The 1NT rebid is a limit bid. Partner

will normally need invitational values or better (11+) to bid on. You may well miss game (as in this case) if

he has 8-10.

That was not the end of the matter, however. I followed the hand around the room

(I was not playing) and saw some equally atrocious bidding! I spectate the hand 3 more times, each time it

was totally different with a multitude of bids that simply have to be commented upon. The other tables had

intervention, so itís best to see the complete deal:

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††

Friday board 12: -††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Table A:†††††† West††† North††††† East†††††††† South††††††††


Dealer:†††††††††††† AK8††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 1†††††††††† pass††††††† 1

West††††††††††††††† 109†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 1NT††††††† all pass

N-S vul††††††††††† KJ10943††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† A5

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Table B:†††††† West††† North††††† East†††††††† South††††††††

1097653†††††† ††††† N††††††††††† J4†††††††††††††

76†††††††††††††††† W††† E†††††††† KJ42†††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 1†††††††††† 1(1)†††† pass(2)††††

Q7††††††††††††††††††††† S†††††††††††† A85†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 2(3)†††† all pass

K73††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† QJ104††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† Q2†††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† AQ853†††††††††††††††††††† ††† Table C:†††††† West††† North††††† East†††††††† South

††††††††††††††††††††††† 62

††††††††††††††††††††††† 9862††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 1†††††††††† pass††††††† 1

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 (4)3(5)†††† pass††††††† 3

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 4(6)†††† all pass


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Table D:†††††† West††† North††††† East†††††††† South


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††† 1†††††††††† 1(1)†††† pass(2)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1††††††† 2(7)†††† pass††††††† pass

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2††††††† 3(8)†††† 3†††††††††† pass(9)


None of these auctions are anything to be proud of. Letís examine them all in detail.


Table A :††† This was the auction at Hansí table. West, East and South all bid sensibly,

††††††††††††††††† unfortunately Northís rebid of 1NT was appalling. Hans continues to say that

the bid is correct, funny how he can find nobody who thinks it is remotely sensible.



Table B:†††† What do you think of the 1 (1) overcall? (it was also chosen at table D).

††††††††††††††††† Appalling is an understatement, it deserve to go for 1100 or more, read on Ė

in fact it can go six down (see table C). Now south loved it and, (2) playing negative doubles, passed;

awaiting partnerís Ďautomaticí re-opening double. Unfortunately North either forgot how to play negative

doubles or has been listening to the wrong people (the penalty pass and re-opening double are explained

in news-sheet 10). Now the N-S pair at table C were Joe/Jeff, obviously not beginners. I think Joeís 2

bid (3) is a poor bid, so I checked with Hans. He would bid the same as Joe!! Hans maintains that a double

by opener shows strength. This is absolutely not true. It shows a fundamental mis-understanding of negative

doubles. The re-opening double is simply a courtesy bid just in case partner has a penalty pass (unable to

double for penalties because you play negative doubles) Ė it is not a penalty double. If partner does not have

a penalty pass (so a heap with less than 6 points) then he will pull this double and opener can then simply

convert to 2. The re-opening double costs absolutely nothing here. Either partner has a penalty pass (and

your hand is ideal for defending) or he has a heap (in which case you reach 2 anyway). There is absolutely

no % in bidding 2 rather than the Ďautomaticí double. A failure to penalise overcalls like this simply encourages

them. If Hans/Joe doubt the wisdom of my words, refer to ĎBieden met Berryí deel 2, page 249 Ė ĎAls hij

kort is in de kleur van de tegenpartij zal hij anticiperen op een strafpas en het openhouden met een doublet.

Gezien de hartenholding is een strafpas goed mogelijkí. And what about Southís (Jeff) bidding? The initial

pass (2) is fine playing negative doubles, and when opener simply rebids 2 (showing a weakish hand

unhappy to defend!) then Jeff can take no further action. His bidding was beyond reproach.


Table C:†††† The bidding here was more sensible. East passed (correct) and South bid the obvious 1.

West then entered the lists with a rather dubious 1 (4) and the rest of the auction was sensible.

I like the 3 rebid (5) although I would perhaps consider 3NT rather than 4 at (6) Ė but 4 turned out better.

The 4 contract made +2! Well played Ole! This result demonstrates the power of the North hand.

Only 23 HCPs, but game is a doddle. You have to up-grade with a good long suit and excellent intermediates.

Incidentally, a weak 2 opening at this vulnerability is not too bad (better than a 1 overcall). But it is not

everybodyís cup of tea with no honour (always pass playing with Chuck).


Table D:†††† Both East and West got carried away here. Opposite a passed hand, Northís

††††††††††††††††† bids (7&8) show a strong hand, so Southís final pass (9) was feeble.


I guess everybody is eagerly awaiting Chuckís return so that they are not in the spotlight quite so often?