Club News Sheet – No. 164   24th  Dec 2005


                                    Winner                                                   Runner-up


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

-                    42                 partner doubles. What do you do after RHO passes?

QJ                AJ52


Hand C            Hand D            With Hand C you open 1 and partner responds 2♦. What now?


A653            A98             

AK976         53                 With Hand D you open 1 and partner responds 1, what

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 RHO doubles, what do you do?

AQ9             KQJ72        

QJ53            62                 With Hand F partner opens 1 and you respond 1. Partner

AJ9               A2                then bids 1NT (12-14), what do you bid?

A32              KQ98       


Hand G            Hand H            With Hand G partner opens 1♠ and you decide to bid 1NT.

                                                Partner then bids 2, what do you do?

103               KJ742         

QJ9872        AK86           With Hand H RHO opens 2 and you double. Partner bids

J73                -                    2, what do you bid?     

J4                 J974            


Hand J             Hand K            With Hand J you open 1NT and partner transfers with 2,

                                                what do you bid?

AJ83             K54

J3                 A107432      With Hand K partner opens 1and RHO overcalls 1, what

KQ6             8                   do you do?

A983            872                                           



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                                            

West                J984                                           West          North         East          South

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                     

J9432                  S              AK106                

A7                                      54                       






(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                                            

South               Q9                                              West(B)     North         East          South

Love all            985                                             -                 -                 -               1

                        KQ1064                                    pass           1NT           dbl   (1)    pass

pass  (2)     pass

J943                  N             KQ72                  

1063               W    E          8754                    

42                       S              AK7                    

AJ52                                  87                       






(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                                  

North               AQ107                                       West          North(A)    East          South

Both vul            -                                                  -                 4    (1)      pass         pass

                        QJ                                              dbl    (2)     pass           pass         pass


A1063               N             -                          

52                   W    E          KJ63                   

A87                    S              Q1095432           

K953                                 42                       






(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.

(2)   Penalties.


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                                            

West                QJ9872                                      West        North(G)      East          South

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                   

Q862                  S              10954                  

Q876                                 952                     






(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      


Dealer:             A653                                          Table A

North               AK976                                       West          North(C)    East          South

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

Q4                      S              A852                   

10754                                Q8                       Table B

                        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: -


Dealer:             1043                                           Table A

North               KJ983                                        West(F)     North         East(D)    South

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

A2                      S              KQ64                   West          North         East          South

KQ98                                A642                    -                 pass           1   (1)    pass

                        65                                               1              pass           1NT (2)    pass

                        AQ107                                       2      (3)    pass           2    (4)    pass

                        10853                                         4              all pass



Table A           (1)  I prefer 1 to 1 when 4-4 in the minors.

(2)   But what did you rebid here with this East hand D in this week’s quiz?

With excellent 3 card support and a very weak doubleton (in a suit which partner has denied) I would most certainly bid 2. However, not everybody always agrees with me and a number of players chose 1NT.

(3)   So what should West do now? What did you bid with this West hand F in this week’s quiz? The problem is that neither 2 nor 3 are forcing in Standard American. The best solution is as our ‘more experienced pair’.

‘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


There were two very close decisions on this deal from Friday: -


Dealer:             109742                                       Table A

South               1094                                           West          North         East          South(J)

E-W vul           A102                                          -                 -                 -               1NT  

                        K6                                             pass           2              pass         2    (1)

                                                                                                        pass   (2)    pass

5                        N             KQ6                    

Q875              W    E          AK62                   ‘Expert’ Table

9854                   S              J73                        West         North         East          South(J)

10754                                QJ2                      -                 -                 -               1NT

                        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.

‘Expert’    (1)  Our experts play super-accepts of course. And what’s more they don’t simply

 Table              bid 3 of the trumps suit, but have an agreement about other bids. 3 here shows 4 ’s, a non minimum and a small doubleton .

(2)  With no wasted values in ’s north knows that it’s a superb fit and easily bids game.     


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! : -


Dealer:             AQ9                                           Table A

East                  QJ53                                          West(H)     North(E)    East          South

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

-                          S              8752                     -                 -                 pass         2

J974                                   K108                   dbl             pass (2)      2            pass

                        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

                                                                              dbl     (10)


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 …?

(7)   Penalties.

(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


Dealer:             K54                                           

East                  A107432                                    West          North(K)    East          South

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                        

2                         S              A9753                 

AQJ54                               K1096                






(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 2/2resp.

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.