Mon 14th N-S 1st Paul(Ire)/Henrik 63% 2nd Keith/Mike 56%
E-W 1st Alan/Gerry 64% 2nd Knud/Lars 59%
Wed 16th N-S 1st JohnGavens/Terry 55% 2nd Ursula/Bessy 54%
E-W 1st Chuck/Dave 63% 2nd Paul(Ire)/Henrik 62%
Fri 18th N-S 1st Alan/Bob 64% 2nd Jean-C/Thorlief 58%
E-W 1st Paul Kelly/Dave 62% 2nd Ian/Terry/Ron 56%
The strange entry of Ian/Terry/Ron is because Ian rudely walked out on his partner after just 4 boards. Seems he got one his better results when he did not actually play?
Bidding Quiz Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated
Hand A Hand B With Hand A it is unfavourable vulnerability: -
(a) What do you open in 1st seat?
♦ - ♦ A6542 With Hand B partner opens 1♥, what do you bid?
♣ 9842 ♣ A93
Hand C Hand D What do you open with Hand C?
♠ 96 ♠ 873
AKQ8 ♥ A874 With Hand D LHO opens 1♣, partner
overcalls 1♥ and
♣ AK75 ♣ 92
Hand E Hand F What do you open with Hand E?
♠ J10 ♠ J
♥ KJ92 ♥ 7 What do you open with Hand F?
♣ J42 ♣ AKQJ10532
Hand G Hand H With Hand G partner opens 1NT, what do you bid?
♠ K983 ♠ AK96
♥ A53 ♥ AKQ102 With Hand H partner opens a gambling 3NT – showing a
♣ 975 ♣ 87 What do you bid?
Pre-empt in 5th seat? Board 12 from Monday 14th
N-S vul ♦ - - pass (1) 1♦ (2) pass
♣ 9842 1♠ 3♥ (3) pass pass
dbl all pass
♠ QJ32 N ♠ 85
♥ 72 W E ♥ AJ653
- It’s too late later.
- Passing and subsequently ‘pre-empting’ is something totally new to me. 5th seat bidding?
- Actually, there is a situation where pre-empting later is sensible – that’s when you have an outside 4 card major and so should not normally open with a pre-empt.
No super-accept available? Board 23 from Wednesday 16th
Both vul ♦ 109 - - - 1NT (1)
♣ AJ54 pass 2♦ pass 2♥ (2)
pass pass (3) pass
♠ J853 N ♠ K762
♥ A8 W E ♥ 9
(1) Weak, so 12-14.
(2) If this South hand was about 4 points stronger and I was playing a strong NT, then I would super accept (I super-accept with a non-min and 4 trumps). But playing a weak NT super-accepting is unsound as partner has promised no points.
(3) Playing a weak NT you need about 11 points to invite. This hand is borderline – 6 ♥’s is great but the singleton Q is not. However, singleton honours are no so bad when partner has opened NT and 3♥ would be a reasonable gamble. But with just 12 points South would probably decline the invitation anyway.
And what happened? South made 11 tricks (the defence was not perfect) and scored a joint top. And at other tables? Two did bid 4♥ but they both went one down; two tables stopped in 3♥ but they both made +1and there were the usual spurious results.
The bottom lines: -
- When you open 1NT and partner transfers, then you can super-accept with 4 trumps. I prefer to be non-min (so 16-17) and I do not consider super-accepting to be sound when playing a weak NT.
A cold slam – but difficult to bid? Board 10 from Wednesday 16th
Both vul ♦ A6542 - - - 1♥
♣ A93 pass 4♥ (1) pass pass (2)
♠ KQ863 N ♠ AJ104
♥ 106 W E ♥ 5 ‘Table Expert’
♠ 952 pass 3♠ (1) pass 4NT (3)
♥ AQ9742 pass 5♣ (4) pass 6♥ (5)
♦ K8 all pass
‘Expert’ (1) This is the correct bid – a splinter. It sets ♥’s as trumps and shows ♠ shortage;
Table: it is a hand with values for a sound raise to 4♥ and slam aspirations.
(3) And now it’s as easy as pie. South only needs to know about aces and the king of trumps – so RKCB.
(4) Playing standard 0314 responses this shows 3 key cards.
(5) That’s all South needs to know.
And what happened? Only one table out of 7 found the slam.
The bottom lines: -
- Considering how many times I have written about splinters it is disappointing that only one pair found this ‘trivial’ slam. – It really is trivial playing splinters.
- And playing RKCB also helps.
- I keep on about how 31 points is not enough for slam without a fit or a long suit, and this deal shows just how important a fit and shape are. It’s a lay-down slam with just 26 combined points.
- Shortage with a fit for partner is excellent if partner has no wasted values in the suit, and the way to tell him is to splinter.
Obey the Law Board 8 from Friday 18th
Love all ♦ 10 pass 1♣ 1♥ 2♦
♣ KJ10543 pass (1) 3♣ all pass
♠ 873 N ♠ 1054 Table B
♥ A874 W E ♥ KJ652 West(D) North East South
Table B (1) Now actually I was West here but I did not bid 3♥ as my partner was not experienced and I assumed he would take it as a good hand. But I still had to bid, and so I chose 2♥ with the intention of bidding 3♥ later if necessary.
(2) This bid is probably unsound (one above the Law) but it’s reasonable; I would pass (you all know about me and the Law) but then West (the real me) would have bid 3♥ anyway.
And what happened? Only two E-W pairs competed to 3♥, making exactly for a shared top. At other tables N-S were usually down in ♣ or ♦ contracts but 50 or 100 to E-W did not beat 140 for 3♥ making.
The bottom lines: -
- Obey the Law – compete to the total number of trumps. In the above example it is West who knows that there are 9 trumps and it should be him (not East) who goes to the 3 level. Points are largely irrelevant in these competitive situations.
- A jump raise to 3 of partner’s 1♥/♠ overcall is best played as pre-emptive.
- With a sound limit raise or better, cue bid the opponent’s suit.
The Gambling 3NT Board 18 from Friday 18th
N-S vul ♦ KQ10542 - - 3NT (1) pass
♣ 9 6NT (2) all pass
♠ AK96 N ♠ J Expert Table
♥ AKQ102 W E ♥ 7 West(H) North East(E) South
‘Expert’ (1) Our experts have discussed it and play the best variation if the gambling 3NT
Table – absolutely guaranteeing no outside ace or king.
(2) And now it’s as easy as pie (for our experts). West knows that there are just two losers – in the minor that East does not have, so he bids 5♣ which is pass or correct.
Actually, there is a slight improvement on this bidding. 4♣ would be pass or correct and 4♦ is conventional – asking partner to bid a singleton/void if he has one as there would be slam opposite ♦ shortage but I won’t go into that here and it’s slightly complex when opener’s shortage is in the other minor and you need a conventional bid (4NT) with no shortage.
And what happened? A ♦ lead would be obvious from the North hand; and with this South hand I would lead the ♦A against this bidding. South at Table A chose something else and E-W scored a lucky 13 tricks. Other results were all over the place, with just 3NT going two down at one table.
The bottom lines: -
- Play the gambling 3NT
- And it’s best to play it with nothing outside.
- Lead an ace against 6NT when an opponent is known to have a long solid suit – if you don’t lead it you may not get it later; and who knows – maybe partner has the king.
a balanced hand, open 1NT – part 1 Board
We’ve seen this hand before (news-sheet 79) but it reappears for a couple of reasons.
recently appeared in my column in the Pattaya Mail and Henrik (a top-flight
In the article I said that I would open 1NT but that not a single person in the club agreed with me. Henrik is the first. Perhaps others will realize the wisdom of our ways when they review the bidding below and that of the next deal. I won’t mention any names, but the ‘laughable’ East (Henrik’s words, not mine) was somebody who is always criticizing others and lately continually trying to find fault with my bidding!
♠ QJ85 ♠ 96 - - - pass
♣ 10943 ♣ AK75 1♠ (4) pass 1NT (5) pass
2♣ (6) pass 3NT (7) all pass
I won’t bother to go into all of the bids again, the pertinent points are: -
(6) I don’t like NT
And how should the bidding go? Easy: 1NT - 2§ - 2© - 2NT - 3NT.
The bottom lines: -
- With a balanced hand within your opening 1NT range.
- Do not lie about your strength with your NT rebid.
- You do not guarantee honours in all suits when you open 1NT and, indeed, you may sometimes have two weak suits.
- Think about your rebid(s) before you open.
- Open 1NT and you never have a rebid problem.
With a balanced hand, open 1NT – part 2 Board 21 from Friday 18th
N-S vul ♦ 83 - pass pass pass
♣ KQ108 1♦ (1) pass 1♠ pass
2NT (2) pass 3NT (3) all pass
♠ J10 N ♠ K983
♥ KJ92 W E ♥ A53 Table B
♠ Q64 1NT (1) pass 2♣ (4) pass
♥ Q76 2♦ pass 2NT (4) pass
♦ 9742 all pass
Table A (1) What did you open with this West hand E in this week’s quiz? It’s much the same as Hand C – you should open 1NT as otherwise you have rebid problems.
(2) And, lo and behold, West has no rebid! 2NT here is 18-19 and is a gross overbid. 1NT would be 12-14 and is an underbid. The only remotely sensible bid is a reverse into 2♥ but I would like a stronger/more shapely hand and the reverse promises 5+ ♦’s in any case. No, there is no sensible rebid having failed to open 1NT. It’s a shame that this West had not noted my article in the Pattaya Mail – or maybe he simply disagrees with me?
(3) East obviously has game opposite 18-19 and 3NT is correct.
Table B (1) This West reads the news-sheets (well actually he writes them, ’twas I). Seems I do practice what I preach.
(4) What did you bid with this East hand G in this week’s quiz? 2♣ followed by 2NT is fine with 8 points, but this flat (4333) hand is not worth 8 points and I would pass.
And what happened? 3NT deservedly went two down. One pair stopped in 1NT and 2NT was usually made on the nail.
The bottom lines: -
- With a balanced hand within your opening 1NT range, open 1NT.
- Do not lie about your strength with your NT rebids.
- Downgrade a hand with 4333 type shape
Incidentally, what would you lead with this North hand? The ♣K looks right to me – top of a (near) sequence. This lead promises the queen and the jack or ten. South should overtake and push another ♣ through declarer. Note that South really should do this as if South plays the ♣5 or ♣3 on the first trick North will probably take it as discouraging, placing declarer with ♣AJ and will not continue the suit.
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 there is a ‘contact members’ link in the left column. When you click that you’ll be asked for a password. At the moment it contains 20+ entries, if you would like your details included then give them or e-mail them to me and I’ll include them and tell/e-mail you the password.
Bidding Quiz Answers
Hand A: (a) 2♥. With this nice shape 3♥ is possible, but at this vulnerability 2♥ must be best.
(b) pass or 3♥ or even 1♥ are possible. With no weak 2♥ available I guess that some may choose 3♥. And an aggressive player may choose 1♥ - it’s only 19 for the rule of 20 but 1098 in your long suit are worth a point. I would not argue with any of these options – but I would argue if you decided to pass and then ‘pre-empt’ later!
Hand B: 3♠. A splinter agreeing ♥’s and showing a sound raise to 4♥ with ♠ shortage.
If you do not play splinters, then bid 2♦ followed by 4♥ - this is a ‘delayed game raise’ and shows a sound raise to 4♥. A direct 4♥ bid here is pre-emptive.
Hand C: 1NT. Don’t worry about the weak suits. If you don’t open 1NT with a balanced hand smack in the middle of your 1NT opening range it will be impossible to find sensible bids later.
Hand D: 3♥. This is best played as pre-emptive. With a sound raise to 3♥ it’s best to cue bid with 3♦. If you/your partner do not play this scheme then you cannot pass with 4 card support – so bid 2♥ with the intention of bidding 3♥ later if necessary.
Hand E: 1NT. Same comments as Hand C.
Hand F: 3NT. The gambling 3NT. If you play this convention this hand is perfect – promising a long solid minor with absolutely nothing outside.
Hand G: Pass. With 8 points 2♣ followed by 2NT if partner does not bid ♠’s is fine. But this hand, with it’s totally flat 4333 shape, is not worth 8 points.
Hand H: 5♣, pass or correct. You know that there are just two losers in a minor and this bid asks partner to pass if his suit is ♣’s or else to correct to 5♦. There is actually a more precise bid here (4♦ to ask about partner’s shape in case there is a slam) but I won’t go into that now.