Club News Sheet – No. 157   5th Nov 2005  


Mon   31st N-S   1st    Bob Short/Phil        63%   2nd    Alan Purdy/Clive                      59%

                  E-W   1st    Chuck/Terry           61%   2nd    Gene/Richard = Bill/Dave         53%

Wed   2nd              1st    Bob P/Alan P         64%   2nd    Gene/Richard                           56%

Fri      4th    N-S   1st    Jan/Jim(Sco)           63%   2nd    Alan Purdy/John Gavens           53%

                  E-W   1st    Chuck/Terry           60%   2nd    Phil & Tomas                           58%


NEW. When I expect a Mitchell movement all of the hands will be pre-dealt. You can pick up a leaflet with the hands or else they are on the web-site in with the results.

The standings in the Gold Cup competition are close; currently we have (best 30): -


1st  Chuck   1876.6%        2nd Dave 1864.5%      3rd Bob 1849.4%    4th Clive  1799.3%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated


Hand A            Hand B            What do you open with Hand A?


KQ83           Q8                (a)  What do you open with Hand B?

AQ5             KQ2             (b)  Suppose you choose 1, then what is your rebid after

A764            KQ10754           partner responds 1?

94                Q3


Hand C            Hand D            With Hand C partner opens 1, what do you bid?


AJ1076         J                   With Hand D you open 1 and LHO overcalls 2 (Michaels).

K8643          K7                Partner passes and RHO bids 2, what do you do?

-                    AK10763    

J73               KJ32


Hand E             Hand F             With Hand E RHO opens 1. (a) what do you bid?

                                                (b) suppose you double, then what do you do if partner bids 2?

AQ63           Q9654       

8                   Q10842        With Hand F partner opens 1NT. Just for a change I won’t ask

AK10632     5                   what you bid (if you try Stayman you get 2 and if you transfer

KQ              A2                into either suit partner simply accepts). The question is do you

                                                consider the hand (a) weak, (b) invitational or (c) game forcing.


Hand G            Hand H            With Hand G LHO opens 1 which partner doubles, what

                                                do you bid?

J109542       54

Q10654        A85              With Hand H you open 1 and partner responds 1, what

-                    AK5             do you bid?

65                QJ753


Hand J             Hand K            What do you open with Hand J?


K10              KQ1072       Hand K, this is an interesting one, so have a good think before

K7                A104            you come up with the “obvious” answer. You open 1, LHO

AK43           A75              overcalls 2 and partner doubles (negative), what do you bid?

Q10753       65



Something new this week. I have compiled a comprehensive index to all of the news-sheets on the web. It is primarily for web use – searching for an item is so simple. But if you have no access to a computer and would like a print-out, let me know. Below is a sample of what you get – it’s this week’s index.



2          So what do those bids mean? – splinter and cue bid? – Dunno.

3          1NT or support with 3 cards? 1 - 1 -  ? , you have  54 A85 AK5 QJ753

4          A poor slam? for small slam you generally need about 33 points with no fit.

5          5-5 Come Alive – AJ1076 K8643 - J73 is worth a move opposite a 1 opener.

5          Strong vs Weak NT-1 –you get the 15/16 point rebid problem less playing a strong NT.

6          Don’t put Qx’s on table! – try to be declarer.

6          The 2/ and the 2/ overcall of 1NT using Cappelletti/Multi Landy.

7          Don’t bid 4/ if 3NT is a viable contract!

7          As an aside – when opponent bids Michaels over 1/, is a or bid asking or telling?

8          Michaels Again! – Michaels is (nearly always) a pre-empt.

8          A Word about Michaels and UNT – a few pointers on suit length.

9          Pick a major – bidding the opponent’s suit is not natural, even if they play a short .

10        Pick a major – 5-5 in the majors opposite 1NT.

9          Mobile phones – turn them off please!

10        Our ‘Friendly’ Club – everybody was asleep?

11        A negative double after partner pre-empts? – I don’t think so.

11        A weak two opener?   J109874 86 AQ7 K2

12        Responding to partner’s negative double – 1  2  dbl  pass 2NT  is a good hand.

13        Strong vs Weak NT-2. – sometimes it works best to have a NT rebid as 15-16.

13        Contacting Others – there’s a secure page on the web.


So what do those bids mean?                              Board 28 from Friday 4th   


North               South               North         South


KQ9             AJ1063         1             1

K643            A8                3  (1)        4    (2)

AK2             Q843            4              pass

A84              K6


N-S were asked what the bids meant; the explanations given were (1) dunno, and (2) dunno.


Playing sensibly, 3 would be a splinter agreeing ’s and showing shortage and 4 would be a cue bid showing the A.

And what happened? N-S scored a zero as all the other tables were in slam or else in 3NT.

And how should the hand be bid?


North             South           (3)  18-19 balanced

1                 1                (4)  NMF, some may prefer 3♣ CBS. Asks opener about his majors

2NT   (3)        3    (4)        (5)  4 ’s, may or may not have 3 ’s.

3♥      (5)        3    (6)        (6)  I have 5 ’s - forcing

4      (7)        4NT (8)        (7)  I have 3 ’s.

etc to 6♠  or 6NT               (8)  Whatever form of Blackwood you play.

Leading Quiz


Hand L             West                East                  With this hand L you are South with this bidding.

                                                                        What do you lead?

854               -                       1NT                

K763            4                   4                    Answer next page.             

Q74              6NT                 pass




1NT or support with 3 cards?                              Board 7 from Monday 31st   


Dealer:             A876                                         

South               107                                             West(H)     North         East          South

Both vul            J932                                            -                 -                 -               pass

                        1084                                          1             pass           1            pass  

                                                                                                        1NT  (1)     all pass

54                      N             1093                    

A85                W    E          QJ942                 

AK5                   S              1074                    

QJ753                                A4                       






(1)   What did you bid with this West hand H in this week’s quiz? With good 3-card support for partner and a weak doubleton I prefer 2 to 1NT. There are a few reasons why 2 is better than 1NT here: -


(a)    You will probably get a lead.

(b)   Partner may have 5 ’s

(c)    Even if it’s a Moysian fit it should play well as you get a ruff with the short trumps.


1093             (d)  East may have a hand like this – it’s only slightly different. Over a 1NT

QJ942                response (12-14) from partner, this hand should pass. But over a 2

Q74                    response it’s worth an effort (say a 3 game try) and the excellent 4 is

A4                      then easily reached.


And what happened? For some strange reason the defence did not lead a and so declarer made 13 tricks. This scored about average as 4 was bid at 3 tables.

The bottom lines:-

-         Support with support. I will always support with 3 decent trumps opposite possibly only 4 if I have a weak doubleton. Not everybody agrees with me and some will only do it with a singleton – different styles?

-         If you have 14 points it’s even more important to do so as 2 of partner’s major is more encouraging than 1NT.

-         This West hand has no tenaces and so it’s probably best for partner to be declarer (he may have something like Kx or KJx or similar).

-     There was a very similar article in news-sheet 65.

A Poor Slam?                                                       Board 10 from Monday 31st   


Dealer:             9763                                           Table A(Standard American)

East                  J852                                           West          North         East          South(L)

Both vul            1086                                           -                 -                 1NT (1)    pass

                        76                                              4    (2)     pass           4    (3)    pass

                                                                                                        6NT  (4)     all pass

Q102                 N             AKJ                     

A9                  W    E          Q104                    Table B(Acol)

A952                  S              KJ3                       West(C)     North         East(A)    South(L)

AQ82                                 J1094                   -                 -                 1   (1)    pass

                        854                                             1              pass           1NT (5)    pass

                        K763                                          4    (6)     pass           4            pass

                        Q74                                            6NT           all pass



Table A:     (1)  What would you open with this East hand? You know me, knock off a point for the totally flat shape. Also, all but one of the points in the ‘short’ suits is bad. But on the other hand the hand has two 10’s and the J109x combination is good. All-in-all it’s borderline so I won’t argue with 1NT this time.

(2)  Gerber             (3) 1 ace

(4)  Optimistic?

Table B:     (1)  Playing a weak NT …

(2)   … so this NT rebid shows 15-16 playing Acol

(3)   Gerber etc.


And what happened? With no established fit I think that 6NT is a very poor contract with a combined 31 points and no long suit. The same poor slam was bid at 6 out of the 7 tables on Monday. Does nobody realise that 31 points is not usually enough with no fit or long suit? But perhaps I have to eat my words? Because 12 tricks were made at 6 of the 7 tables!

How is that possible?  It does not look possible to me unless the defence find a poor lead. What did you lead in this week’s bidding quiz? At our table I was South and led the 8.

Why? Because I listened to the bidding and knew that partner had absolutely nothing – if the contract is to be set then the two tricks must come from my hand. In this situation you cannot afford to give a trick away on the opening lead and so lead from nothing.

So if 6NT is a poor contract, how should the bidding go? There are two possibilities (playing a strong NT):

(a)  1NT – 4NT – pass       Where 4NT is quantitative,

or   (b)  1NT – 3NT – pass       Where 3NT is perhaps a bit feeble.


The bottom lines: -

-         To make a small slam you generally need about 33 points unless you have a fit (and play in it as trumps) or have a long suit.

-     And the lead. Leading away from an honour is often the only way to set a contract – you hope to find partner with an honour in the suit. But if you know that partner is bust then don’t lead away from an honour!

5-5 Come Alive          This one’s left over from last week: -           Board 18 from Friday 28th  


Dealer:             92                                               Table A

East                  972                                             West(C)     North         East(A)    South

N-S vul            QJ105                                         -                 -                 1    (1)    pass

                        Q652                                         1     (2)     pass           1    (3)    pass

                                                                                                        3     (4)     pass           4            all pass

AJ1076              N             KQ83                  

K8643            W    E          AQ5                     Table B

-                          S              A764                    West(C)     North         East(A)    South

J73                                     94                        -                 -                 1    (1)    pass

                        54                                               1     (2)     pass           2    (5)    pass

                        J10                                             pass  (6)     pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this East hand A in this week’s quiz? A decent 15 count so 1NT looks obvious to me.

(4)   And what did you bid with this West hand C in this week’s quiz? I bid 1 here, see Table B.

(5)   Having not opened 1NT East can only really bid 1 here.

(6)   But luckily West has great support and an easy invite.

Table B:     (1)  It’s catching! I don’t understand what’s wrong with 1NT.

                  (2)  This West correctly bid 1, intending 2 over partner’s response.

                  (5)  With great support for ’s, it’s in between 2 and 3. I would not be in this predicament as I would have opened 1NT.

                  (6)  Pathetic. A 3 try is in order. I understand that West was ‘put off’ because he had a void in partner’s ‘suit’.     


And what happened? Everyone was in game except Table B, mostly making 11 or 12 tricks. At Table B West made all 13 tricks for a cold zero. I guess his play is better than his bidding?

The bottom lines: -

-         Open 1NT with a balanced hand within your opening 1NT range.

-         Open 1NT and you never have a rebid problem – and you make it easier for partner if he’s having an off day!

-         If you can describe your hand in one go – do so.

-         5-5 in the majors is good (and really good opposite a 1NT opening!).


102           East hand 7 from Friday 28th


KQ85       Incidentally, I know it was not the small doubleton that deterred East from opening

K8           1NT at Table B, for in the same session he opened 1NT with this East hand!    


Strong vs Weak NT – part 1.


And another incidentally: This deal demonstrates one of the advantages of the Strong NT over the weak NT. When you hold say 15-16 points and open one of a suit you are never quite sure whether to jump or not when you have a fit for responder’s suit. This problem occurs less frequently when you play a strong NT.


Don’t put Qx’s on table!                    Board 2 from Monday 31st   


Dealer:             KJ6                                            Table A

East                  86                                               West          North         East          South(B)

N-S vul            A863                                          -                 -                 pass         1NT   (1)

                        KJ86                                          pass           3NT           all pass


A975                 N             1043                    

A75                W    E          J10943                

J2                        S              9                          

972                                    A1054                 






(1)   What did you open with this South hand B in this week’s quiz? This hand is easily worth a strong 1NT if you are happy with opening 1NT with two doubletons. I have no problem with it, provided that the doubletons are Qx or better. Actually, I have written about Qx a few times in the past – it is a holding that belongs in declarer’s hand (rather than dummy) because if partner has Axx then the suit is immune from an opening lead. With two Qx’s I most certainly want to be declarer.


And what happened? As I expected, NT played better from the South hand – but not because of either Qx but because of the ’s! If North is declarer then the obvious lead gives North problems.

3NT was bid three times and made +1 twice (going down once). Other contracts were 2, 3 and 4 (twice). Presumably the 4 bidders were not familiar with my frequently publicised doctrines about not bidding 4/ if 3NT is a viable contract?

The bottom lines: -

-         Strive to be declarer with Qx in a suit

-         If you have a ‘balanced’ hand within your opening 1NT range, then open 1NT.

-         In my opinion a 6 card minor is OK for 1NT if both of the doubletons are Qx or better.

-         If you open 1NT then you never have a rebid problem.

-         Don’t bid 4/ if 3NT is a viable contract.


The 2/ and the 2/ overcall of 1NT using Cappelletti/Multi Landy


107               On Friday I witnessed a player overcall a weak NT with 2 playing Multi- Landy.

Q10654        That shows a single suited hand. I said that I would bid 2 (’s and a minor),

AQJ8            he countered that 2 promises 5-5. Who’s right?

A10              All of the books that I could find simply said that 2  was ’s and a minor.

                        However, every reference to Cappelletti or Multy Landy said that the single-

suited bid (2/ resp) is a 6+ card suit. I found three fairly explicit references about 2 on the web. says it’s 5 ’s and a 4 card minor. Slopin says it’s 5 ’s and 5 (rarely4) of the minor. says - ‘2 shows hearts and a minor; should be 5-5 but just could be 5-4 with 5 hearts’. With these great ’s and miserable ’s I believe that 2 is the bid if you don’t like double. Nobody would seriously call this a single suited () hand and later try to defend the bid, would they?

Don’t bid 4/ if 3NT is a viable contract!         Board 8 from Monday 31st   


Dealer:             874                                            

West                A54                                            West          North         East(D)    South

Love all            QJ95                                           pass           pass           1            2  (1)

                        Q109                                         pass  (2)     2              4    (3)    pass

                                                                                                        5              all pass

AK94                N             J                          

Q1083            W    E          K7                       

42                       S              AK10763            

865                                    KJ32                   






(1)   A Micaels cue-bid. This is generally played as weak or very strong.  And I happen to know that this South means very strong when he says that (’twas I) - not some crappy 14-15 count. I play Michaels as weak or game forcing if I bid again – so it’s usually weak!

(2)   Now West really has to do something here. I would double and you can play that as you wish – I like to play it as having some values (say 6+) and being able to penalise at least one of RHO’s suits.

(3)   I’m not exactly sure what this 4bid meant. What did you bid with this East hand D in this week’s quiz? E-W were a casual partnership so it’s difficult, but assuming South has a weak hand then partner must have points. And what’s more, he must have ’s (presumably at least four). I would chance 3NT here – if 3NT is the contract then East should be declarer to protect his K. And in the (very unlikely) event that South actually has a rock crusher and doubles then East can happily retreat into the non-vul 4


And what happened? 5 was three down. 3NT made exactly at two other tables.

The bottom lines: -

-         Don’t bid 4/ if 3NT is a viable contract.


As an aside


What would bids of 2 or 3 by East at (3) mean? 3 would certainly be asking for a stop and since South is known to hold ’s and ’s then I suppose that 2 would be asking for a stop, or you could play it as showing a stop. But since East has to be declarer to protect his K (he does not know that North has the A) then I still think that East should gamble 3NT.


Michaels Again!                                                   Board 12 from Monday 31st   


Dealer:             2                                                

West                A1072                                        West          North         East          South

N-S vul            Q1096                                        pass           pass           1            2      (1)

                        K1073                                       3     (2)     3NT (3)      pass         pass   (4)


A9765               N             K84                     

853                 W    E          KQJ96                

K54                    S              A82                     

Q6                                     85                       






(1)  A Micaels cue-bid, showing ’s and a minor.

(2)   An overbid, but South’s pre-empt has made it difficult for West.

(3)   Meant as asking partner to bid his minor. I am unsure about the wisdom of bidding here, partner’s pre-empt may have caused West difficulties and E-W may well get too high in ’s and this holding may be awkward for East. Also, 4 of a minor is one above ‘The Law’ (it’s only a 9 card minor suit fit) and unwise at this vulnerability.

(4)   But South also did not have his thinking cap on. Now if West had passed then 2NT from North would be asking for the minor. 3NT here must surely be to play – except that partner is a passed hand! He cannot have values for 3NT and so his 3NT bid must be asking for South’s minor.


And what happened? 3NT went 3 down for a bottom to N-S. At other tables 4 E-W pairs played in ’s, making 7 tricks twice and 9 tricks twice. We’ll never know if East would have pushed on to the miserable 4 if North had kept quiet – I bet he would have!

The bottom lines:-

-         Obey The Law. Be very wary of overtreading the Law when vulnerable – especially if the opponents are not in game or may well be defeated.

-         Now I can be quoted saying to raise partner’s pre-empt with 3 card support (so a 2 opening to 3 or a 3 opening to 4) but that does not mean raise to 4 when partner has only 5 cards.

-         Be aware that partner’s pre-empt may have made it difficult for the opponents.


A Word about Michaels and UNT


5-5 or is a 4-card suit permissible? This is up to you, my personal opinion is as follows: -

-     For 2/ over 1/ I only promise 5-4 or 4-5. Since partner only has to bid at the two level it is acceptable for one of the suits to be just 4-card.

-     If partner has to go to the three level then I guarantee 5 cards there. Thus I am always 5-5 for the UNT and 1 - 2 promises 5 ’s and a 5 card minor.

-     Thus 1 - 2 promises a 5 card minor but only 4 ’s (but if only 4 then they are good ones).

-     Incidentally, I have written quite a bit about two-suited overcalls (it’s on the web or ask me if you want a copy). Michaels/UNT are good but have problems; you cannot show all combinations (e.g. ’s and ’s over a 1 opening) and the minor suit is often ambiguous. These problems are solved with Questem or Ghestem whereby both suits are unambiguous but you have to utilise an artificial 3 bid. Look it up.

Pick a major – part 1                                            Board 22 from Wednesday 2nd (and Friday!) 


Dealer:             -                                                 Table A

East                  J97                                             West(E)     North         East(G)    South

E-W vul           QJ975                                         -                 -                 pass         1

                        J10987                                       2     (1)     pass           pass         pass   (2)


AQ63                N             J109542               Table B

8                     W    E          Q10654                West(E)     North         East(G)      South

AK10632           S              -                            -                 -                 pass         1

KQ                                    65                        dbl    (1)     pass (3)      2   (4)    pass

                        K87                                            4     (5)     all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this West hand E(a) in this week’s quiz? Even if you play strong jump overcalls I don’t like 2 here as it is passable and you may miss a fit. The hand is obviously too strong for a simple 1 overcall.

(2)  I would ‘automatically’ double here playing negative doubles.

Table B:     (1)  This hand really is too strong for a 1 overcall. So double and then bid ’s over partner’s expected response.

(3)   I would make it difficult for the opponents and bid 3 here.

(4)   What did you bid with this East hand G in this week’s quiz? Now partner’s double of 1 does not necessarily guarantee both majors;  so bid 2♣, which basically says ‘pick a major and I’m happy with at least the two level’.

(5)   What did you bid with this West hand E(b) in this week’s quiz? I simply bid 4 here – keep it simple.


And what happened? 2  went 3 down for a poor score. It looks like 4♠ has an obvious 11 tricks to me but one West managed to go two down in 5 doubled and another was doubled in 4 and made exactly. Why don’t people double me in these contracts?

The bottom lines:-

-         Bidding the opponent’s suit is not natural, even ’s when they play a short .

-         Do not simply overcall with a huge 18 count.

-         A double of 1 is playable in the other 3 suits unless the hand is strong enough to bid again.


Incidentally, the board was mistakenly not re-dealt on Friday and so played again. This was not noticed until the very last round when Chuck and I picked up the E-W cards and remembered it from Wednesday. As nobody else seemed to have recognised it we got an average and I let the other results stand. 2nd time round only one pair reached game (5 doubled making) and another two pairs managed to land in 2going down.


Mobile phones


Is it asking too much for people to switch off their mobile phones during the session? I note that one player on Friday, notorious for being the slowest player in the club, had a conversation on the phone and subsequently did not play a board as a result. Next time I’ll give him an adjusted (unfavourable) score? What do you think?

Pick a major – part 2                                      Board 30 from Friday 4th    


Dealer:           A83                                        West(F)       North           East(J)            South

East                AJ96                                      -                   -                   1NT     (1)      pass

Love all          J1072                                      3  (2)          pass             4  (3)            all pass


                                                                                        (1)  What did you open with this East hand J in

Q9654             N           K10                    this week’s quiz? With two tenaces to protect

Q10842        W    E        K7                      I totally agree with this 1NT opening.

5                       S            AK43           (2)  And what did you do with this West hand K in this

A2                                  Q10753             week’s quiz? I consider it to be worth game and we

                      J72                                         play 3 to show a game-forcing 5-5 major suit hand.

                      53                                     (3)  I would bid 4 here, not necessarily because East

                      Q986                                      is a better declarer than West, but because it’s

                      J864                                       usually better for the stronger hand to be declarer.

                                                                        Maybe East forgot the system?


And what happened? 4 squeaked home despite East’s poor major suit holdings.

The bottom lines: -

-     8 points is enough to insist upon game if you are 5-5 in the majors opposite a 1NT opener.

-     It’s up to you how you bid 5-5’s in the majors opposite a 1NT opener. I prefer transferring but I will usually go along with anything sensible that partner wants to play.


Our ‘Friendly’ Club                                        Board 10 from Wednesday 3rd


South                     There was an ‘incident’ on Wednesday, I did not get involved as I was

                              playing and Dave was in charge. This was the dummy and declarer was

QJ10xxx             playing in a contract. Declarer called for the A and then called for ‘queen’.

AQxxx                Apparently dummy played the Q, the next hand played a without

xx                        comment, declarer played a small (not noticing that dummy had played

-                         the wrong card – declarer’s ’s were solid) and the 4th hand quickly ‘over-ruffed’. I did not hear about the details until later in the day.


      This would be my ruling: -

(a)    When declarer asks for a card without specifying the suit, it is the last suit he asked for. Thus the Q was played from dummy. I assume that dummy (South) was asleep?

(b)   I really don’t care what the rules say here – West should have brought the irregularity to declarer’s attention. The Q was the card declarer asked for.

(c)    Obviously declarer was also asleep – but we all have our off days.

(d)   East contended that everything was in order and that he should get his trick.

(e)  The director (Dave) was summoned, there was general ill-feeling at the table and the board was averaged.


My ruling would have been as follows: -

-         Both defenders behaved badly, especially West.

-         The play should have been reset to declarer playing the Q from dummy.

-     If East did not like that ruling and feels he is entitled to the trick then he should play elsewhere, that kind of attitude is not tolerated at this club.

A negative double after partner pre-empts?      Board 24 from Friday 4th    


I’ll usually go along with partner (so play jumps to 3/ showing 5-5 if he really wants to waste these otherwise useful bids when there are better methods) but I draw the line here: -


Dealer:             AQJ1032                                    West          North         East            South

West                1062                                           (me)           (Ian)           (Chuck)

Love all            2                                                 2              2             dbl   (1)      pass

                        A64                                            pass  (2)     pass (3)     


54                      N             K76          (1)  East intended this as a negative double

KQ9854         W    E          J3                   (showing the minors).

QJ4                     S              AK95       (2)  After some thought I passed – we certainly

K7                                     J1098             had not discussed this sequence and I think

                        98                                         that it has to be penalties.

                        A7                                  (3)  Ian was irate about my pause – he would have called

                        108763                                 the director if he was not present. But we all know

                        Q532                                   when to totally ignore Ian (most of the time).


So then – is dbl at (1) negative or penalties?

-     I say it’s penalties. West has described his hand and East is the captain. It should not be a negative double because when playing negative doubles you expect partner to re-open with a double when you have the penalty pass; he most certainly never will in this situation.

-         Chuck say it’s negative and with no 4-card minor I should simply revert to 3.


This is the 3rd time that Chuck and I have disagreed when there is obviously no book readily available to cover the particular sequence. So I have again written off to a Bridge magazine, does anybody want to lay any bets before the answer is public knowledge? What are the realistic odds of me being wrong? Having been proved to be correct twice it’s time I was wrong? Any bets on it snowing in Pattaya next week?


A weak two opener?                                            Board 8 from Friday 4th    


Dealer:             Q653                                          West          North         East          South

West                K754                                          (me)          

Love all            J108                                            2     (1)     pass           pass         3   (2)

                        65                                              all pass      


J109874            N             K              (1)  I did not bother to put this one in the quiz as I’m

86                   W    E          AJ32              pretty sure that there is only one person in the

AQ7                   S              K954              club who would not open this with 2.

K2                                     Q943             Fortunately he was sitting East.

                        A2                                  (2)  I cannot criticise this bid – it’s difficult – that’s

                        Q109                                    what pre-empting is all about.


                        AJ1087              And what happened? Most E-W pairs played in 2 or 3 making

                                                      9 tricks. 3 went 4 down for a good score to E-W. The top E-W score was when South doubled at (2) and North bid 3, doubled for 500 away.

Responding to partner’s negative double           Board 28 from Friday 4th   


Dealer:             KQ1072                                     Table A

West                A104                                          West          North         East          South

Love all            A75                                            pass           1              2    (1)    2    (2)

                        65                                              pass           3    (3)      pass         4

                                                                                                        all pass

864                    N             AJ9          

K976              W    E          52                         ‘Expert Table’

93                       S              KQ842                 West          North(K)    East          South

Q1072                               943                      pass           1              2    (1)    dbl   (2)

                        53                                               pass           2♥  (4)        pass         3♦    (5)

                        QJ83                                          pass           3NT (6)     all pass




Table A:     (1)  A shade light for a two-level overcall, but with these ’s sitting over opener and at this vulnerability I think it’s fine.

(2)   What would you bid with this South hand? It has the values for 2 but unfortunately that promises 5 ’s. See ‘Expert Table’.

(3)   This is why the 2 bid has to guarantee 5 cards – because it uses up bidding space and partner has to know if it’s safe to support with just 3 trumps.

‘Expert’      (2)  A Negative Double, promising 4+ ’s and 6+ points (in my style).

 Table         (4)  Now this bid is interesting. What did you bid with this North hand K in this week’s quiz? Partner has not responded at the two level and may possibly have as few as 6-7 points. 2NT would be incorrect here as it’s too high if partner is weak. With this 13 count North has only two options - 2 or 2.

                  (5)  And our expert South knows that partner may have just 3 ’s, so he takes it slowly with a cue bid of the enemy suit.

(6)   And this expert North also knows what he’s doing. Partner’s cue bid is forcing to game, with 4 ’s he would bid 4 but with just 3 ’s and a stop he bids 3NT. With just 3 ’s and no stop he would bid 3 and leave it up to partner or else bid 4 if the Moysian fit looked the best bet.


And what happened? 4 was bid 3 times and went two or three down. 3NT was bid 3 times;

 -2, -1 or making. 3NT is not easy, but I suppose our experts would have made it?

The bottom lines: -

-         A 2 bid over partner’s 1 opening promises 5 ’s and 11+ points, whether or not there is an intervening overcall.

-         With just 4 ’s it’s different if there is an overcall or not: -

.     If there is no overcall then bid 2/ (can be 4-card) – if partner has 4 ’s he will bid them and if he does not then there’s no need to mention yours.

.     If there is an overcall, then negative double to show 4 ’s.

-         A negative double is unlimited in strength but only promises values to compete to cheapest level of the suit shown or to two of opener’s suit (so 2♥/♠ here).

-         If you have a 5 card suit but less than 11 points then it’s not enough to bid a forcing 2 and so you have to negative double.


Strong vs Weak NT – part 2.


The sequence 1  2  dbl  pass 2NT is interesting. As I said above it’s a problem playing a strong NT. But playing Acol there’s no problem as a NT rebid would be 15-16 and so 2NT to deny 4 ’s and show a stop would usually be OK.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     1NT. A balanced 15-17. Quite why at least two people chose 1 is beyond me.

Hand B:      (a)  1NT. This hand is well worth a strong 1NT and these Qx’s belong in declarer’s hand (not dummy).

(b)  2♦, I suppose, but it’s a bit feeble. It’s too good for 1NT (12-14). That’s why I open 1NT – you don’t have to worry about your rebid!

Hand C:     1. Bid 5-5’s from the top down. If partner responds 1NT or 2 then bid 2, (or maybe 3 over 1NT).

Hand D:     3NT. Now partner has not made it easy for you (it would have been nice to hear a reassuring double from him to say that he has something) but you have to assume that LHO’s Michaels is weak. 3NT is a possible final contract and with the Kx that presumably needs protecting you simply have to gamble that partner has something in ’s (he surely has – as otherwise where are they all?).

Hand E:      (a)  dbl. It’s far too strong for a 1 overcall.

(b)   4. Anything else is not forcing.

Hand F:      (c) , game forcing, is correct in my opinion. 8 points is usually just invitational, but with two 5-card major suits I consider it worth a game force.

Hand G:     2. This is not natural. It asks partner to pick a (major) suit and promises values to compete to at least the two level.

Hand H:     2. With a weak doubleton I prefer the possible 4-3 fit to 1NT, and partner may well have 5 ’s. Also, 2 is preferable as it’s more encouraging than 1NT and if partner has say 9-10 points you want him to make a move – he will not over 1NT.

Hand J:       1NT. With two tenaces to protect 1NT is best. 1 is also fine as you have a good rebid of 2 (a reverse) but with these major suit tenaces I prefer 1NT. With less points in the majors or one of them worse than Qx then I would go the reverse route.

Hand K:     2. Yes, 2 and not the “obvious’ 2NT. Why is that?

                  I suppose that it depends upon how you play your negative doubles, but I do not promise 11 points with the double of 2♦, only enough to compete to 2or 2♠, and so 2NT may be too high. Partner must also realise that this may easily be a weakish hand with just 3 ’s and should not leap off to 4 on the assumption that you also have 4 ’s.


Leading     A . Partner is totally bust and so to set the contract you must get two tricks with no

Quiz           help from partner. Leading away from an honour will probably cost a trick

Answer      (as partner is bust) so lead from nothing – it cannot give anything away.


Contacting Others


We now have a list of some member’s/guest’s telephone/e-mail details on the web-site. When you open the main page, click on ‘contact us’ and then at the very bottom of that page you’ll see a ‘contact members’ link. When you click that you’ll be asked for a password. At the moment it contains 20 or so entries, if you would like your details included then give them or e-mail them to me (if I don’t already have them) and I’ll include them and tell/e-mail you the password.