Club News Sheet – No. 195        29th July 2006






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Mon 24th        1st Bob & Jo                                 64%       2nd    Mike Guinn & Dennis         63%

Wed 26th        1st Ian & Terry                              60%       2nd    Douwe & Kees                  59%

Fri    28th        1st Mike Guinn & Bill                     59%       2nd    Paul Kelly & Chuck            57%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


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


A10754        KJ109762    With Hand B it’s unfavourable vulnerability. RHO opens 1,

A2                10                 (a)  What do you bid?

AK102         985               (b)  Suppose you pass, LHO bids 2NT and partner, bless him,

K10             94                      comes in with 3 which RHO doubles. What do you do?


Hand C           Hand D           What do you open with Hand C?


K5                QJ108          With Hand D you open 1 and this is passed round to RHO who

KJ1052        AK84           bids 1. What do you do?

KJ52             A

K10             A1053


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E partner opens 1 and you bid 1. Partner then

bids 1, what do you do?

J8                 AQ42          

Q53              AK93           With Hand F you open 2NT and partner transfers to ’s by

KQJ53          AJ9               bidding 3. What do you bid?

K93             Q9


Hand G           Hand H           With Hand G partner opens 1, what do you bid?


95                 94                 With Hand H you open 1 and partner responds 1.

A832            92                 (a)  What do you bid?

Q2                AKJ92          (b)  Suppose you choose 3 and partner bids 3 (4th suit)

KJ1085        AKJ8                 then what do you bid?


Bidding Sequences Quiz


J      1     pass 2NT   3        What is the 3 bid?

K     1      pass   2   2       

2NT                                 How many points for the 2NT rebid?

L      1     pass   pass  1       

2NT                                 What is the 2NT bid?

There is no interference in the following sequences: -

M    1 - 2 - 2NT                  How many points for the 2NT rebid?

N     1 - 2 - 3 - 4             (a)  What is 4?  

(b)  Would your answer be any different if playing 2/1?

Not suitable for 1NT                                            Board 5 from Monday 24th  

Dealer:             86                                               Table A

West                974                                             West          North         East(A)    South

Love all            Q753                                          -                 pass           1NT (1)    pass

                        Q953                                         2             pass           2            pass

4              all pass      

KJ92                 N             A10754               

K53                W    E          A2                        Table B

96                       S              AK102                 West          North         East(A)    South

A764                                  K10                     -                 pass           1    (1)    pass

                        Q3                                              3              pass           4NT         pass

QJ1086                                      5              pass           6            all pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you open this East hand A in this week’s quiz? With 18 points, great top cards, three tens and good shape this hand is far too good for 1NT. 1, to be followed by some sort of jump, is correct.

Table B:     (1)  This was the bidding at most tables.


And what happened? Just about every pair made 13 tricks.

The bottom lines: -

-         Do not open 1NT with an excellent 18 count – you will miss games/slams.


Suitable for 1NT?                                                ‘North’ hand 25 from Monday 24th  


K5                What did you open with Hand C in this week’s quiz?          

KJ1052        I guess that most will open 1 with a 2 rebid in mind. But I am not “most”

KJ52             and opened a strong 1NT. With these tenaces I think it’s the best bid and,

K10             with decent shape and two tens, it easily has the values for 1NT.


And what happened? Partner raised to 3NT and a lead meant that 3NT made +1 for what should have been an excellent score.

But I said ‘should have been’. When the score was entered on the traveller it was noted that the North and East hands had been switched at the previous table; so the result was averaged. Luckily this was a Monday, with hand records, and so the mess was sorted out.

Now this sort of thing happens all too frequently. Two of the main reasons are that the board is removed from the table and then put back after play in an incorrect orientation. This is easily done at a ‘swizzle’ table where a pair swaps from N-S to E-W and are too lazy to change seats but simply swivel the movement card.

So what did I do? We all got an average but I adjusted the score from the previous table to give them 40%. Luckily for them, this was not a sufficient penalty to stop one of the pairs from winning the session, but they would have won with a much greater margin.

The bottom lines: -

-         The rules are very clear – the board should remain in the centre of the table during play. You do not need the whole stack but the board being played must stay in the centre of the table.

-         For those of you who think that I make up the ‘rules’ as I go along, please refer to News-sheet No 12 (so 2003). The rules about the board remaining in the centre of the table are clearly stated

-         The culprits of mis-boardings will receive adjusted (unfavourable) scores.

-         At a “swizzle” table, please physically move – this avoids all sorts of mistakes.

Restricted Choice                                                Board 13 from Wednesday 26th  


This “Dave special?” board from Wednesday generated considerable discussion: -.


Dealer:             J95                                             Table A

North               9832                                           West          North         East          South

Both vul            98                                               -                 pass           pass (1)    5   (2)

                        AQ75                                         dbl   (3)      all pass


A732                 N             K10865               

KQ106           W    E          A74                      Table B

AK1043             S              QJ652                   West          North         East          South(B)

-                                         -                           -                 pass           pass (1)    3

                        Q                                                dbl             4   (4)      4            pass

J5                                               4NT (5)      pass           5            pass

                        7                                                 6    (7)      all pass



Table A:     (1)  I would always open this hand (1). It conforms with the rule of 20 and with a 5 card suit and a void it’s well worth an opener in my style.

(2)   What would you open with this South hand - 3. 4, or 5? This South’s (Ian) decision to open 5worked out very well and opposite a passed partner I think it’s probably the best opening.

(3)   And West is fixed. Any bid at the 5-level is simply a gamble and so he doubled.

Table B:     (1)  Again a failure to open.

(4)   5 may make it more difficult but it’s probably too late now anyway.

(5)   Using Blackwood with a void is not recommended. If there turns out to be one keycard missing you don’t know if partner has the useless ace or the important other keycard. I would bid 5 (a cue bid showing first round control).

(6)   With just one key-card missing West bid the small slam.


And what happened? 5 doubled went just two down for a near top to N-S. 6 made +1 when declarer negotiated the suit correctly. At the two other tables it was 7 doubled -4 for 1100 away (a good save against the vul slam) and 7 going one down (see below for how to play this suit)


8 ever 9 never – but not when Restricted Choice applies!


(5)      KJ92  A10754                   How do you play these two suits (from the hand

(13)    A732  K10865                   above and one from the previous page)?


(5)      Missing just the queen and three small ‘8 ever 9 never’ applies. If there was no inference from the bidding the best play is to lead the K followed by the J and play the A if it is not covered. This is very slightly (2%) better than a 2nd round finesse.

(13)    But when you are missing 4 cards including the queen and jack it’s different and restricted choice applies. You should play the top card that is not in the hand containing the ten (so A here). If no honour appears then you simply play for the drop. If North drops an honour then you simply have to hope it’s QJ doubleton. But if South drops an honour you have a choice – play for the drop or finesse North for the other honour. It’s fairly complicated mathematics but in this situation ‘Restricted Choice’ takes precedence over ‘eight ever - nine never’ and you should finesse. See the associated web page for a slightly more detailed article.



An interesting Mis-fit                                          Board 2 from Monday 24th  


A couple of people asked me about this board.


Dealer:             4                                                 Table A

East                  AQJ8762                                   West          North         East          South(B)

N-S vul            742                                             -                 -                 1           2    (1)

                        A7                                              3   (2)      3    (3)      4   (4)    all pass


853                    N             AQ                      

K53                W    E          94                         Table B

AJ3                     S              KQ106                 West          North         East          South(B)

K863                                 QJ1052                -                 -                 1           pass (1)

                        KJ109762                                  2NT (5)      3    (6)      dbl           3    (7)

10                                               dbl             4    (8)      dbl           all pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand B(a) in this week’s quiz? At any other vulnerability 3 would be fine (although some may prefer just 2 when vulnerable). At this unfavourable vulnerability I think that 2 is probably enough.

(2)   And the weak 2 bid has prevented West form making his natural 2NT bid.

(3)   Whether North should come in now when South has pre-empted is debatable. Pass is prudent.

(4)   East has no reason to bid here – he should pass (and West would have doubled any / contract that N-S settled in).

Table B:     (1)  This South chose to pass; that would never enter my mind with a robust 7 card suit.

(5)   And now West has his natural 2NT bid.

(6)   This is the “sandwich” seat, and any action here needs a decent hand/suit – especially at unfavourable vulnerability. A suit bid here in the sandwich seat after LHO has opened and RHO has shown 11-12 points must be very robust indeed. This is a fairly robust 7-carder and perhaps acceptable.

(7)   What was your answer to question B(b) in this week’s quiz? I don’t like this bid and would pass. The opponents have advertised 23+ points between them when North ventured a vulnerable 3 bid – he has a good long suit and almost certainly nothing in ’s. He was presumably expecting to be doubled in 3 and felt that he could cope with that. Bidding 3 now is inexcusable and inviting a huge unnecessary penalty; if you want to bid ’s, then pre-empt first go. Now it’s one level higher with opponents who know each other’s strength opposite a partner who presumably has nothing in ’s.

(8)   North had no idea what was going on. I would simply pass in despair but he has my sympathy.


And what happened? 4 doubled at Table B went for 500 and a joint bottom for N-S. 4 at Table A went two down for a near bottom for E-W. The bottom lines: -

-         If you decide not to pre-empt, don’t come in later. Trust Partner.

-         A suit bid in the sandwich seat is a very good/long suit, especially if RHO has bid 2NT.

-         Don’t bid 4 of a minor if the opponent’s are too high with a mis-fit.

What’s a jump to 2NT after partner passed?                       Board 16 from Wednesday 24th  


What was your answer to sequence L in this week’s sequence quiz? It doesn’t exist!


Dealer:             963                                            

West                Q1073                                        West(D)     North         East          South

E-W vul           962                                             1             pass           pass         1    (1) 

                        KQ9                                          2NT (2)      all pass


QJ108               N             54                        

AK84             W    E          J962                    

A                        S              J8743                   

A1053                                82                       






(1)   What would you bid here? Anything could be right, but partner could not muster up a bid over 1so I would pass; but 1, 1 or 1NT are all reasonable I guess.

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand D in this week’s quiz? If you play that double here is for take-out (that’s what is ‘standard’ and what I recommend) then obviously that’s the ideal bid. If double by you would be penalties then 1 is a reasonable bid. 1NT here shows a good hand (18-19, too good for a 1NT opening) with good stop(s) in the overcalled suit and with just the singleton ace I prefer one of the above options. This actual jump to 2NT is undefined and unnecessary.


And what happened? 2NT went two down for a shared bottom.


The bottom lines: -

-         If the bidding goes              1   pass 1    pass 2NT         then 2NT is 18-19.

-     but if the bidding goes         1   pass pass 1    1NT         then 1NT is 18-19 with stop(s). A jump to 2NT is unnecessary and undefined.

-     if the bidding goes               1   pass pass 1    dbl           then dbl is best played as take-out.

-     if the bidding goes               1   1    pass pass dbl           then dbl is ‘automatic’ when playing Negative Doubles.

-     if the bidding goes               1   pass 1    1    dbl           then dbl is penalties.

-     if the bidding goes               1   pass 1    1    dbl           then dbl is best played as showing 4 ’s

-     if the bidding goes               1   pass 1    1    dbl           then dbl is penalties unless you play Support Doubles.

Super-Accept!                                                      Board 4 from Wednesday 24th  


An easy slam was missed at Table A. Who’s ‘fault’?


Dealer:             108                                             Table A

West                10874                                         West(F)     North         East          South

Both vul            8654                                           2NT (1)      pass           3    (2)    pass

                        AJ6                                            3    (3)      pass           3NT (4)    pass

4              all pass

AQ42                N             K9653                 

AK93             W    E          QJ6                      Table B

AJ9                     S              K3                        West(F)     North         East          South

Q9                                     K74                     2NT (1)      pass           3    (2)    pass

                        J7                                               4    (3)      pass           4NT etc. to 6


                        Q1072                                        (1)  20-21.

                        108532                                      (2)  transfer.


Table A:     (3)  What did you bid with this West hand F in this week’s quiz? With 4 card support you should super-accept. Even if partner is virtually bust 4 stands a good chance of making with a known 5-4 fit.

(4)   Should East make an effort? It’s not clear with no super accept. Reverse opener’s black suits, giving him Q8 AK93 AJ9 AQ52, and slam is hopeless.

Table B:     (3)  This West correctly super-accepted, and off they went.


And what happened? Only the one pair missed the slam.

The bottom lines: -

-         When you open 2NT and partner transfers, then super-accept if holding 4 trumps.

No Trump promises a stop after 4th suit forcing                  Board 11 from Friday 26th  


N-S came under some unnecessary criticism from opponents on this deal. Was it justified?


Dealer:             AKQ105                                   

South               K64                                            West          North         East          South(H)

Love all            Q94                                            -                 -                 -               1         

                        105                                            pass           1              pass         3   (1) 

pass           3    (2)      pass         3NT (3)

62                      N             J873                     pass           6NT           all pass

AJ1073          W    E          Q85                     

106                     S              753

7432                                  Q96                    






(1)   What did you bid with this South hand H(a) in this week’s quiz? I think that a game forcing 3 is an overbid (partner may well have an ill-fitting six count). The simple 2 is best; this is rarely passed and partner will often give preference to 2. You can then bid 2 (4th suit) to get partner to play in NoTrump if he has stop. This is a rare situation where 4th suit should not be game forcing as South has limited his hand with a simple 2 rebid and so the 4th suit here would show a very good hand in context (spot on for this hand in my view).

(2)   North assumed that South had the equivalent of about 19 points and so is obviously slamming. He could have bid 6NT straight away but there may be a grand (!) or one stop may not be enough. So he bid the 4th suit to await developments.

(3)   What did you bid with this South hand H(b) in this week’s quiz? Clearly there is some confusion here as I recall another ‘top’ club player bidding 3NT in a similar situation a few years back. Here South has shown a strong hand with 5 ’s and 4’s and so with a balanced hand he bid NoTrump. I consider this to be incorrect. 4th suit forcing asks you to describe your hand further – but bidding NoTrump guarantees a stop. With this actual hand South has to bid 4, 4 or 3; none are attractive but you cannot lie about a stop in the 4th suit.


And what happened?

The 6 was led. Declarer has 10 tricks and needs to set up two more. I am not an expert on play but declarer won with the A, came to hand with the A and immediately led a to the K. His reasoning being that the ’s were presumably not 3-3 and so there are 5 ’s, 3 ’s, 1 (if the A is onside) and 3 ’s (if the finesse works). Obviously he did not know that the 9 was dropping. I believe that it is reasonable to play this at trick three, as otherwise when the ’s do not split and the 9 does not drop you then have 11 tricks but it’s too late to see if the A is onside now because the holder is very likely to have a winning or .

Anyway, West ducked the and South then made 13 tricks when the 9 fell in three rounds. Obviously very lucky. Now this bidding was poor, the contract poor and the play may or may not be reasonable (who am I to judge) but I see no reason for an opponent to criticise declarer’s play. You sometimes get bad results when the opponents bid to a silly contract and luck out. That is part of the game and there is no need to criticise anybody. The bottom lines:

-         Do not criticise the opponents.

-         16 points and 5-4 is not enough for a game-forcing leap over a one-level response.

-          A NoTrump response to 4th suit forcing guarantees a stop.

An Overbid                                                           Board 26 from Friday 26th  


10 points opposite a 3rd seat opener is not worth game.


Dealer:             Q73                                           

East                  Q76                                            West          North         East(G)    South

Both vul            AKJ653                                      -                 -                 pass         pass (1) 

                        3                                                1    (2)      pass           4    (3)    all pass


AJ6                    N             95                        

KJ1095          W    E          A832                   

1097                   S              Q2                       

54                                      KJ1085






(1)   A clear 2 opener if you play Muiderberg. And with shortage and a 2nd 5 card suit it would be some people’s style to open a weak two (I certainly would not argue with the bid).

(2)   A clear 3rd seat opener.

(3)   What did you bid with this East hand G in this week’s quiz? 3 is quite sufficient, especially opposite a 3rd seat oipener. Playing Drury it’s even better as you can then stop in 2.


And what happened?

4 was two down and the resultant -200 was a bottom. 3 (one down so only 100 away) would have scored a near top as N-S have loads of tricks in ’s.

The bottom lines:

-         3rd seat openings may be light.

-         If partner is likely to open light in 3rd seat, then consider playing Drury.

-         10 points with 4 card support and two doubletons is not worth game opposite an opener in any seat.

An Underbid                                                         Board 27 from Friday 26th  


An invitation by responder is 11-12 – but upgrade a decent useful 5 card suit: -


Dealer:             9743                                          

South               AK7                                           West          North         East(E)     South

Love all            764                                             -                 -                 -               pass

                        A65                                            1   (1)      pass           1            pass

1              pass           2NT (2)    pass

AQ10                N             J8                         3NT (3)      all pass

J942               W    E          Q53                     

A92                    S              KQJ53                 

Q104                                 K93






(1)   I always open 1 when 3-3 in the minors (and cannot open 1NT).

(2)   What did you bid with this East hand E in this week’s quiz? 2NT here is invitational

(11-12) but with these great ’s and the K9x in partner’s suit I think it’s worth 3NT. But I would actually bid 2 (4th suit forcing) to check that partner has a stop (and it’s played from the right hand) and raise 2NT to 3NT.

(3)  Luckily for East, West bid the game. With a flat 13 count and 4333 type shape this hand is only worth accepting because of the great intermediates.


And what happened?

3NT makes 10 tricks easily on any lead. South actually led the 2 which North won and switched to the A. I cannot see the logic in this, but declarer won the next trick (a ) in hand and played J and then finessed the Q. With 10 tricks now pretty certain he tried the simple ruse of leading a low from dummy to steal a trick. North unwisely ducked and South claimed the rest (after all followed to the K) for 11 tricks and a clear top.

For a reason that I simply don’t understand, North (Grumpy) then laid into his partner, saying that he should have led a . I have a name for this – ‘doing a C....’ – immediately blaming partner for your mistake. I simply cannot understand why people do this. I would probably lead a from the South hand but the lead makes no difference; Mike and Dave both chose the 2 and I would not argue with that lead, especially if N-S play a short (they do). But then I rarely argue with anyone.


The bottom lines:

-         Do not continually criticise partner, especially if he has done nothing wrong. You will find that you run out of partners who are prepared to play with you. John Gavens was undoubtedly the master at this, both here and in the UK.

-         Do not blame partner for your mistakes.

-         KQJ53 is more than 6 points in a No Trump contract.

-         Do not make an invitational bid with game-going values.

-         Play 4th suit forcing if NoTrump is likely a better contract played by partner.

Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     1, and then make a noise next go. It’s much too good for 1NT.

Hand B:      (a)  2 (weak), or 3 if you feel it’s OK at this vulnerability. I think that either is acceptable. I would never dream of passing.

(b)  Pass. It’s too late to mention the ’s now.

Hand C:     1 or 1NT? Obviously you can open 1 and rebid 2 but that does not show the strength or balanced nature of the hand, and it’s wrong-sided if partner responds 1NT. With four(!!!!) tenaces to protect I would (did) open 1NT. The hand easily has the values for a strong NT and on a good day you will get a lead (it was a good day for me, getting a lead against an eventual 3NT).

Hand D:     Dbl. This is best played as take-out. INT is possible (it shows a balanced 18-19) but this hand is not balanced. 1 is an alternative but 2NT is an ‘impossible’ bid as 1NT shows the big hand.

Hand E:      2, 4th suit forcing. This hand is worth 3NT (too good for a feeble 2NT) but it’s best to check that partner has a stop and to get him to be declarer. If you don’t play 4th suit forcing then simply bid 3NT and hope.

Hand F:      4. With 4 card support you should always jump to game. It’s a known 5-4 fit and you should make game even if partner is virtually bust. And if partner has a decent hand this will make any decision by him about looking for slam easier.

Hand G:     3. textbook stuff, nowhere near good enough for 4 (via Jacoby or whatever) and the wrong shape/too strong for a weak direct 4 bid. If partner’s opening was 3rd seat then it’s best to play Drury (bid 2 to show a sound raise to 3 with 4 card support).

Hand H:     (a)  2. It’s not good enough for a (game forcing) 3. So bid 2 and then 2 (4th suit – to check on a stop) over partner’s likely preference bid of 2.

(b)  3 or 4 or 4. None are really attractive but the one bid that you cannot make is 3NT as that guarantees a stop.


Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers


J      1     pass 2NT   3        What is the 3 bid? It’s in the sandwich seat when RHO has shown 11-12 points and so shows a very good long suit, prepared to be doubled.

K     1      pass   2   2       

2NT                                 How many points for the 2NT rebid? 18-19.

L      1     pass   pass  1       

2NT                                 What is the 2NT bid? It doesn’t exist! 1NT would show 18-19.

There is no interference in the following sequences: -

M    1 - 2 - 2NT                  How many points for the 2NT rebid? 18-19.

N     1 - 2 - 3 - 4             (a)  What is 4? Interesting! At the table it was natural showing a red two-suiter. I would play it as a cue bid with ’s as trumps. I guess it’s up to individual partnerships.

(b)  Would your answer be any different if playing 2/1?

Since 2 is game forcing playing 2/1 then 3 is an unnecessary jump, setting ’s as trumps and showing a solid self-sufficient suit. So 4 is most definitely a cue bid. With a hand unsuitable for ’s responder should simply sign off in 4. I personally think that it should be the same playing Standard American.