Mon 19th N-S 1st Chuck/Jan 63% 2nd Bill/Mike(Can) 60%
E-W 1st Alan/Hans 62% 2nd Gerard/Derek 61%
Wed 21st N-S 1st Bjorn/Kees 60% 2nd John B/Ian 56%
E-W 1st Dave/Alan 62% 2nd Britta/Margit 59%
Fri 23rd N-S 1st Bill/Mike(Can) 62% 2nd Chuck/Jan 61%
E-W 1st Arne/Ruth 64% 2nd Alan/Tomas 57%
Bidding Quiz Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated
Hand A Hand B What do you open with Hand A?
♠ KQJ9874 ♠ J943
♥ AQ107 ♥ 1063 With Hand B RHO opens 1♦, you pass, LHO bids 1NT and
♣ QJ ♣ AJ52
Hand C Hand D With Hand C you open 1♥ and partner responds 2♦. What now?
♦ 6 ♦ KQ64 do you bid?
♣ A32 ♣ A642
Hand E Hand F With Hand E it is favourable
vulnerability and partner opens a weak 2♦ which
♦ AJ9 ♦ A2 then bids 1NT (12-14), what do you bid?
♣ A32 ♣ KQ98
♠ 103 ♠ KJ742
♥ QJ9872 ♥ AK86 With Hand H RHO opens 2♦ and you double. Partner bids
♠ AJ83 ♠ K54
A107432 With Hand K partner opens 1♦ and
A few things to say: -
1. Happy new year!
2. Club subscriptions are due in January. It’s 1000 bht a year or 150 bht a month. This bargain price allows you to play Monday, Wednesday and Friday for just 50 bht a session; with free news-sheets; copies of hands with makeable contracts shown; leaflets on conventions etc; free beginner or intermediate lessons upon request; magazines, books, DVD’s and Jack to borrow; and a web site to access with the results usually appearing that evening (subject to the TOT). What a bargain! The fee for non-members is 100 bht per session.
3. I was ‘asked’ how random the computer deals are. They are truly random but I do set a couple of parameters. Since we have Mitchell movements all the time now, I tell the computer to arrange it so that at the end of the day N-S and E-W have roughly the same number of high cards points. I also tell the computer to have at least one hand with 12+ points so that we do not get pass-outs. Also, I get 36 boards dealt and if there are any really wild distributions then I throw them out (people don’t like them) to end up with 32 boards.
4. One pair were kind enough to donate a timer for the Friday club. I set it up with 8 minutes a board (should be ample). Just one pair missed a board on Friday – still, if you are always last and have just started your 3rd board out of four when most players have already finished or else are well into the last board then I feel that most people will agree that you should not play the last board. This continual extremely slow play by one individual irritates others.
Now some people like to have a timer and others don’t; some player(s) are very slow, others are irritated by slow player(s); some like to have slow players so that they have time to go out for a smoke, some don’t like sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for the slow player(s). Even I can’t please all of the people all of the time and so we’ll have a timer just on Fridays.
5. ‘Experienced’ players should not ‘fiddle about’ in the bidding box, taking out a card, putting it back etc. This is acceptable for less experienced players but somebody who has been around for years should know better – make up your mind before you pull out a card. It will probably come as no surprise to know that this player is the same as the slow one in the paragraph above.
6. The Gold Cup is pretty much decided now, current standings are: -
1st Chuck 1915.7% 2nd Dave 1895.4% 3rd Bob 1859.8% 4th Clive 1799.3%
in the Silver Plate competition (best 10) we have 1st Clive 2nd Gerald/Derek
and in the Bronze Medal competition (best 5) we have 1st Gerald/Derek 2nd Paul K
A few sequences (no interference): -
What does the last bid in these sequences show, and is it weak, invitational or strong?
These have all come up recently and people have got them wrong. Answers on the back page.
1. 1♠ - 1NT - 2♣ - 2♥ ?
2. 1♦ - 1♥ - 2♥ - 3♣ ?
3. 1♥ - 2♣ - 2NT ?
4. 1♦ - 1♥ - 2♦ - 2NT ?
5. 1♣ - 1♠ - 1NT - 3♠ ?
6. 1♣ - 1♠ - 4♠ ?
7. 1♣ - 1♦ - 1♥ - 1♠ ?
4-4 better than 5-4, even in slam? Board 4 from Monday 19th
Dealer: ♠ 107
Both vul ♦ 85 1♦ pass 1♠ pass
♣ QJ1092 3♠ (1) pass 4NT (2) pass
5♥ pass 6♠ all pass
♠ KQ85 N ♠ A432
♥ A7 W E ♥ K63
(1) A bit pushy, but with decent shape, excellent ♠’s and aces in the two other suits it is understandable.
(2) The ♠ suit is a bit short on intermediates but with good top cards and excellent support for partner’s first bid suit East decided to go for slam. 4NT here was normal Blackwood.
And what happened? The ♠’s behaved and the ♦’s behaved and so 13 tricks rolled in. Note that the 4-4 ♠ fit is superior to the 5-4 ♦ fit as a losing ♣ from the East hand is pitched on the long ♦. On a ♣ lead 6♠ only makes if you guess the ♦’s correctly, on any other lead 6♠ is there even if you get the ♦’s wrong. Most pairs were in 4♠, making +1, +2 or +3 and just one pair played in 5♦ making 12 tricks for a bottom
The bottom lines: -
- A jump like this (1♦ - 1♠ - 3♠) is strong but not forcing, generally around 15-16 with 4 card support. With this nice West hand I think it’s just about right, but not if the shape was say 4243. The 5th ♦ makes the hand much stronger.
- Don’t play in 5♦ when you have a 4-4 ♠ fit. Not just because a good 4-4 fit may get an extra trick, but because ♠’s scores more than ♦’s!
- There’s not much in it, but with 9 cards missing the queen it’s usually best to go for the 2-2 split. 8 ever (finesse) 9 never. This is especially true if the suit is not trumps, when a defender may well have led a singleton.
- As East here I would much prefer to be playing RKCB(1430) as you can back off and play in 5♠ if there is a key card and the ♠Q missing.
When a double of NT is take-out Board 11 from Monday 19th
Dealer: ♠ 865
Love all ♦ 985 - - - 1♦
♣ KQ1064 pass 1NT dbl (1) pass
pass (2) pass
♠ J943 N ♠ KQ72
♥ 1063 W E ♥ 8754
(1) Not particularly elegant and perhaps dangerous in this position, but this bid is for take out (of ♦’s) with the emphasis on the majors (as North’s 1NT usually hides a ♣ suit over a 1♦ opening).
(2) What did you bid with this West hand B in this week’s quiz? West thought that the double was for penalties and passed. With 4 ♠’s, West should bid 2♠.
And what happened? 1NT made exactly for 180 to N-S. This was an equal top for N-S, matching the pair who bid 1NT +3 also for 180. The top E-W score was +110 for 2♠ making (which is what this East was angling for).
The bottom lines: -
- A double of 1NT in this situation (1♣/♦/♥/♠ - pass - 1NT - dbl) is for take-out of the suit bid.
- If the opening bid was 1♦ then it’s really just for the majors as the NT bidder usually has ♣’s.
How high is double for take-out? Board 29 from Monday 19th
Dealer: ♠ KQJ9874
Both vul ♦ - - 4♠ (1) pass pass
♣ QJ dbl (2) pass pass pass
♠ A1063 N ♠ -
♥ 52 W E ♥ KJ63
(1) What did you open with this North hand A in this week’s quiz? It’s not really good enough for 2♣ and 1♠ seems obvious. 4♠ is a pre-emptive bid and is a particularly poor bid with this hand containing 4 excellent ♥’s. There may be a ♥ fit and partner will not need too much for slam and both of these possibilities are ruled out with a 4♠ opener.
And what happened? 4♠ was bid at 7 out of the 9 tables and went down four times. Basically it depends upon the lead. A ♣ or ♦ lead sets it and a ♥ lead lets it through. Now I do not pretend to be an expert at leads, but I would lead a ♦ as with a 7 card suit it’s less likely to give a trick away than leading from this ♥ holding.
The bottom lines: -
- It’s up to you/your partnership as to how high double is for take-out. One popular treatment is that double is for take-out up to and including 4♥ but a double of 4♠ is penalties (with 4NT as take-out). Obviously the higher the bid the more likely the partner of the doubler is likely to pass and convert it into penalties.
- Do not pre-empt (4♠ is a pre-empt) with a decent 4 card major outside.
Bid again after responding 1NT? Board 24 from Friday 21st
Dealer: ♠ 103
Love all ♦ J73 pass pass (1) pass 1♠
♣ J4 pass 1NT (2) pass 2♣
pass 2♠ (3) all pass
♠ KJ8 N ♠ AQ6
♥ K6 W E ♥ A103
(1) Would you open this hand with 2♥? I guess that 2♥ is not really that good a bid in 2nd seat, but I would open 2♥ in 1st or 3rd seat, this ♥ suit has great body.
(2) 1NT must be right here.
(3) What did you bid with this North hand G in this week’s quiz? Actually things have worked out quite well as you can now bid 2♥, weak, to play. In the post-mortem North was asked why he did not bid 2♥ and he said because his partner would not understand it and would bid on. So South was asked and he indeed said that he would have bid on!
And what happened? 2♠ was one down and scored about average. 2♥ would have made and scored a top.
The bottom lines: -
- If you respond 1NT and then bid a suit, it is weak and to play. This is true whether you play a forcing NT (i.e. the 2/1 system) or natural and is also applicable to a passed hand.
Worth a Reverse? Board 1 from Friday 23rd
Love all ♦ 6 - 1♥ pass 2♦
♣ A32 pass 2♠ (1) pass 3♣ (2)
pass 3NT pass 4NT (3)
♠ 8 N ♠ 109742 pass 5♠ pass 6♠
♥ Q105432 W E ♥ J8 all pass
♠ KQJ West North(C) East South
♥ - - 1♥ pass 2♦
♦ KJ10973 pass 2NT (1) pass 3NT (4)
♣ KJ96 all pass
Table A (1) What did you bid with this North hand C in this week’s quiz? 15 points is about the minimum for a reverse and a singleton in partner’s suit also downgrades the hand so I don’t think it’s worth a reverse and would bid 2NT (12-14).
(2) I don’t know if this was meant as 4th suit or natural.
(3) I guess that this was meant as Blackwood? (It ‘should’ be quantitative).
Table B (1) This North correctly chose not to reverse.
(4) And South easily arrived at the best spot.
And what happened? There was silly bidding at a couple of other tables (ending in 5NT and 3♦) but most tables managed to stop nicely in 3NT.
The bottom lines: -
- 15 points is the absolute minimum for a reverse, one normally needs more.
- A singleton in partner’s suit is not an asset.
- A 2NT rebid after a two level response from partner is 12-14. Some players will rebid a 5 card major rather than 2NT with a minimum (12-13) hand and play 2NT as 13-14 but that is by no means standard.
- 4NT after a natural 3NT is quantitative.
Play in the 5-3 fit with a (very!) weak outside suit Board 21 from Friday 23rd
I was asked how to find 4♠ (rather than a ‘poor’ 3NT) on this deal: -
N-S vul ♦ J97 - pass 1♣ (1) pass
♣ J3 1♠ pass 1NT (2) pass
3NT (3) all pass
♠ KQJ72 N ♠ A98
♥ 62 W E ♥ 53 The ‘More Experienced’ Table
♠ 65 1♠ pass 1NT (2) pass
♥ AQ107 2♦ (3) pass 2♠ (4) pass
♦ 10853 4♠ all pass
‘More (2) Now as I said, I would bid 2♠ here, so that’s why our experts have been
Experienced’ demoted to ‘more experienced’.
Table (3) And the solution to a ♠ bid being non-forcing is to play either Ckeckback Stayman or New Minor Forcing. This pair prefer NMF and so 2♦ asks partner to clarify his major suit holdings. It is totally artificial and says nothing about ♦’s.
(4) Showing 3 ♠’s (and denying 4 ♥’s).
And what happened? 4 out of 7 tables found the ‘miserable’ 3NT, but only one went down as three South’s decided not to lead ‘4th highest longest and strongest’.
The bottom lines: -
- Play either CBS or NMF to avoid silly NT contracts like this. I have written up CBS/NMF/Crowhurst on the web and I’ll write something about CBS and NMF individually soon.
- It’s perhaps a matter of style, but holding 4-4 in the minors I open 1♣, I am not keen of the philosophy of opening 1♦ with a 2♣ rebid in mind (that promises 5-4 in the minors).
- With hands like this East hand, 2♠ is a far better bid than 1NT at (2).
- Now the sequence 1♣ - 1♠ - 1NT - 3♠ is interesting. In Standard American is (highly) invitational but not forcing. In Acol it is usually played as forcing as the 1NT rebid is strong (15-16).
- It is often best to lead an unbid major against 3NT.
Who (if anybody) should make the effort? Board 19 from Friday 23rd
E-W vul ♦ A102 - - - 1NT
♣ K6 pass 2♥ pass 2♠ (1)
pass (2) pass
♠ 5 N ♠ KQ6
♥ Q875 W E ♥ AK62 ‘Expert’ Table
♠ AJ83 pass 2♥ pass 3♥ (1)
♥ J3 pass 4♠ (2) all pass
Table A (1) The first decision; should South make a move? What did you bid with this South hand J in this week’s quiz? Now I can be quoted as (often) saying to super-accept with 4 trumps and a non-minimum. But what constitutes a minimum? Actually, this deal is similar to Board 16 from Monday 5th which appeared in news-sheet 162. There I said to super-accept with ♠KQ105 ♥J64 ♦K92 ♣AQ10 because, although it’s only 15 points, the trumps are good. It’s similar here and I would super-accept because of the good ♠’s.
(2) The second decision, and this one is probably even closer. Should North make a effort (with 2NT)? It’s just ‘7’ points but three tens and two nines are very big. I would not argue with pass or 2NT.
And what happened? Just three N-S’s out of seven reached the good 4♠ game (and two were doubled). Now two N-S’s finished in 3♠ and I don’t really understand this; if one of them makes a try then surely the other should accept?
And to answer the question (who should make the effort?) – I think it’s South.
The bottom lines: -
- Two touching 10-9’s are easily worth a point (or more).
- Play super-accepts over a transfer.
- And if you’re a bit more ambitious, define the ‘spare’ bids. There is a reasonable scheme written up in the NT bidding book on the web.
Double and bid again? Board 6 from Friday 23rd
If you double and then bid again it shows a good hand. If you double and then cue bid it shows an absolute monster, 12 points hardly qualifies! Actually, this deal went down in my little black book because of the ‘interesting’ bidding at four tables! : -
E-W vul ♦ AJ9 - - pass 2♦
♣ A32 dbl 3NT (2) all pass
♠ KJ742 N ♠ 63 Table B
♥ AK86 W E ♥ 10972 West(H) North(E) East South
♠ 1085 3♦ (3) dbl 3NT (4) pass
♥ 4 4♥ dbl all pass
♣ Q65 Table C
Table D West North East South
West North East South - - pass pass (1)
- - pass pass (1) 1♠ 1NT pass pass (5)
1♠ 1NT pass pass (5) 2♥ (6) dbl (7) pass 3♦ (8)
pass pass 3NT (9) pass pass
Table A (2) What did you bid with this North hand E in this week’s quiz? Now you hope to make game, but what’s the rush – especially at this vulnerability. I prefer the pass at Table B
Table B (2) Especially at this vulnerability it’s best to wait and see if something really nice happens.
(3) What did you bid with this West hand H in this week’s quiz? Partner has promised absolutely nothing and you should pass. 3♦ is a gross overbid.
(4) I can’t see the ♦ stop but it makes no difference as West is clearly determined to give them a top whatever. Well, it is Christmas.
Table C (1) I guess that this N-S pair were not playing a weak 2♦.
(5) This South hand is worth an effort – see my comment on Table D.
(6) With a 12 point opener and a 15-18 point hand sitting over you, bidding again here is …?
(8) Right bid at the wrong time.
(9) Since partner has pulled the 200 that was due, North decided to go for 420.
(10) But West was not through yet and decided to give N-S 750.
Table D (5) South should make a move here. Playing 4-way transfers he can bid 2NT (transfer to ♦’s) but playing traditional methods I would bid 3♦ - showing a good ♦ suit and invitational to 3NT.
And what happened? 4♥ doubled by West was not a great success (-800). Most tables ended up in 3NT by North making or making +1 or +2. 3NT doubled made +2 for 750.
Fiddling about? Board 2 from Friday 23rd
N-S vul ♦ 8 - - pass 1♦
♣ 872 1♠ dbl (1) 1NT 2♦
3♣ 3♥ (2) 4♣ dbl (3)
♠ QJ1096 N ♠ 73 all pass
♥ K5 W E ♥ 98
(1) What did you bid with this North hand K in this week’s quiz? The hand is not strong enough to bid 2♥ and a negative double is absolutely correct.
(2) But what does 3♥ mean now? Actually, it’s totally logical – North did not bid 2♥ at (1) but can come in now at the 3 level – that can only be because he has a decent 6 card ♥ suit but insufficient points for 2♥ at (1).
(3) South had a long think, dithered around in the bidding box, pulled out the dbl card, attempted to put it back … when his partner finally said ‘enough is enough’ – play the card! Whether that comment is legal I won’t go into but he has my total sympathy. Why on earth South would even think of doubling with a singleton ♣ is a complete mystery to me. He has said his strength and the QJx are superb support for partner’s 6 carder. What’s more, a side suit like KQJ10xx will likely make zero tricks in defence but 5 tricks in offence. With a great hand like this you don’t even need to ‘think’ – bid 4♥ in tempo. Pass is the only remotely sensible alternative.
And what happened? 4♣ went one down but 4♥ is an easy make (+1) for N-S.
The bottom lines: -
- If partner negative doubles and later bids his suit, then that is because he has a long suit (6 cards) but insufficient points for an initial two level response.
- Can players with years of ‘experience’ please refrain from dithering around in the bidding box, it is against the rules.
Bidding Quiz Answers
Hand A: 1♠. It’s not quite good enough for 2♣ and anything else is ‘silly’. Playing strong two’s or Benji you can open 2♠/2♣ resp.
Hand B: 1♠. Partner’s double is for take-out (with the emphasis on the majors).
Hand C: 2NT. Partner’s ♦ suit has not improved this hand and it is not worth a reverse into 2♠. Playing 2/1 I would bid 2♠ as that does not show extra values playing 2/1.
Hand D: 2♠. With good 3 card support and a doubleton in a suit which partner has denied I definitely prefer this to 1NT.
Hand E: Pass. You can probably make 3NT, but what’s the hurry, especially at this vulnerability? So pass and wait for the Christmas present.
Hand F: You cannot bid this one sensibly unless you play CBS (2♣) or NMF(2♦) to find out if partner had 3 ♠’s. The problem is that 2♠ or 3♠ now are not forcing and 4♠ is a bit unilateral opposite a possible doubleton (or even a singleton).
Hand G: 2♥. This is a weak bid , showing a weak hand with 6 ♥’s and partner is expected to pass.
Hand H: Pass. Partner’s 2♥ bid has promised nothing, 0-8 points and (hopefully) 4 ♥’s. 3♥ now would be an overbid but perhaps not too bad. Anything else is a gross overbid.
Hand J: 3♠ (or whatever your super-accept bid is with this hand). With 4 decent trumps and a poor doubleton (so a often a good holding in a suit contract) I think it’s worth a super-accept. Of course if you play a bid of a new suit to show a worthless doubleton (yes, there is a pair who actually have agreed this in the club) then 3♥ defines this hand pretty exactly.
Hand K: Dbl. A negative double showing ♥’s. In this case it has more than 4 ♥’s but as it is not strong enough for a two level bid then a negative double is correct. If you later bid ♥’s then that shows this hand type (long ♥’s but insufficient values for a two level response).
A few sequences: - Answers
1. 1♠ - 1NT - 2♣ - 2♥ ? Weak, to play (a 6 card suit).
2. 1♦ - 1♥ - 2♥ - 3♣ ? Forcing. A new suit at the 3 level by an unlimited responder is forcing.
3. 1♥ - 2♣ - 2NT ? 12-14. It is responder who has pushed the bidding up to the two level and opener’s 2NT rebid is just the minimum NT response.
4. 1♦ - 1♥ - 2♦ - 2NT ? 11-12. 2NT by responder is virtually always an invitational 11-12.
5. 1♣ - 1♠ - 1NT - 3♠ ? Invitational. The best way to effectively make a forcing ♠ bid is to play NMF or CBS.
6. 1♣ - 1♠ - 4♠ ? Strong. It is not shut-out or fast arrival. It simply shows a hand with 4 ♠’s, about 18-20, points and no shortage to splinter. Partner is invited to bid on with a good hand.
7. 1♣ - 1♦ - 1♥ - 1♠ ? Natural (and forcing). You can play this a 4th suit forcing if you wish and it’s all written up in that leaflet.