Club News Sheet – No. 202        16th Sept 2006






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Mon 11th 1st N-S Bob Short & Terry                  66%       2nd    Bill & Mike                        57%

                1st E-W =    Dave & Per-Ake =  Sims & Trond                                                    54%

Wed 13th  1st  Bob P & Ken                                 59%       2nd    Alan & Dave                      56%

Fri    15th 1st  Bob P & Ken                                 62%       2nd    Frode & Sims                     61%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A partner opens 1and RHO overcalls 1. What

do you do?

42                 KQJ6

8532             J9                 With Hand B (a) Partner opens 1, what do you bid?

Q93              KJ1075         (b) LHO opens 1 and partner overcalls 1, what would you

A832            94                bid now?


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C RHO opens 1, what do you do?


K2                3                  

K632            J642             With Hand D partner opens 1. (a) What do you respond.

2                   AK53           (b)  Suppose you choose 2 and partner bids 3, what now?

K107632     Q652


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E it’s love all. Partner opens 2 (weak) and RHO

overcalls 3. What do you do?

7654             9872                                    

72                 -                   With Hand F everybody is vulnerable. LHO opens 1, partner

42                 109753         overcalls 1 and RHO bids 2. What do you do?

A8654          AK87


Hand G           Hand H           With Hand G LHO opens 1 and partner overcalls 1. What do

you do?

J98762         AK            

K2                AK1095       With Hand H RHO opens 1NT. (a) What do you do?

K32              95                 (b)  Suppose you double and partner bids 2, what now?

A7                Q1054


Hand J            Hand K           With Hand J LHO opens 1 and this is passed round to you.

What do you do?

J82               J8653                                  

AK763         Q764            (a)  Do you open Hand K in 2nd seat?

J10                4                   (b)  Suppose you open 1, LHO overcalls 1NT and partner bids

J73               AK9                   2, what do you do?


Bidding Sequences Quiz        All of these sequences occurred this week.


L      1    pass   2    pass    

3                                    Is 3 forcing?

M    1    1NT   2                 Is 2 forcing or weak?

N     1   1     pass   2       What is 2?



All of the hands in the news-sheets are from actual club play. If you want to know the precise results for any particular deal then they are on the club website. For Monday and Friday boards there is also the Deep Finesse analysis of makeable contracts.



The Unassuming Cue Bid keeps you low           Board 4 from Monday 11th


 Virtually everybody got too high with these N-S cards: -


Dealer:             A109753                                    Table A

West                Q107                                          West          North         East(A)    South(B)

Both vul            4                                                 1             1    (1)      pass (2)    3    (3)

                        K75                                           all pass


8                        N             42                         Table B

AK64             W    E          8532                     West          North         East(A)    South(B)

A862                  S              Q93                      1             1              pass (2)    2 (3)

QJ106                                A832                    pass           2    (4)      all pass    






Table A:     (1)  I agree with the 1 overcall; it’s too good for a weak 2.

(2)  What did you do with this East hand A in this week’s quiz? I would negative double, showing 4 ’s and 6+ points in my style. With support this hand is easily worth a bid.

(3)  What did you bid with this South hand B(b) in this week’s quiz? Opposite a 1 opener 3 is fine, but an overcall does not promise opening values (it’s about 7-17) and so you cannot afford to leap to the 3-level. See Table B.

Table B:     (3)  This is the answer to question B(b). This N-S pair had recently read somewhere (oh yes – I remember – it was in the news-sheets) that a cue bid here shows a sound raise to the 3-level of partner’s overcall (if he has opening values).

(4)   But North does not have opening values and so he is happy to play at the 2-level. If he was pushed he would compete to the 3-level (The Law) but East’s failure to negative double meant that they did not find their fit and bid to 3.


And what happened? N-S got a total top at Table B. Two other N-S’s reached the dizzy heights of 4. Deep finesse says that 2 is the limit for N-S and that E-W can make 3.

The bottom lines: -

-         If partner opens 1/ and RHO overcalls 1 then double (negative) with 4 ’s and 6+ pts.

-         Play the Unassuming Cue Bid – it often stops you bidding too high.


A two-level overcall promises an opening hand       Board 1 from Monday 11th



Dealer:             Q76                                           

North               AQ1098                                     West          North         East(C)    South

Love all            AQ9                                           -                 1              2   (1)    pass (2)

                        J8                                               pass           dbl   (3)      pass         2    (4)

dbl   (5)      all pass

A1094               N             K2                       

J75                 W    E          K632                   

K842                  S              2                          

A9                                      K107632            






(1)   What did you bid with this East hand C in this week’s quiz? I don’t like this 2 bid chosen because the hand does not have the values for a two-level overcall. I personally would overcall with a weak 3, with pass being the other sensible option.

(2)   South does not quite have the values for a negative double (showing 4 ’s) and so chose to pass (knowing that partner would probably re-open with a double).

(3)   automatic”.

(4)   Weak with ’s.

(5)   And here’s where East’s unwise two-level overcall came into play. With 4 ’s and 12 points opposite a two-level overcall West thought that he had a pretty decent double.


And what happened? 2 doubled made and that was the only +ve score in the N-S column. The most popular contract was 3 by East making. Note that even if 2 doubled had gone one down then that’s only 100 and still a good score for N-S.

The bottom lines: -

-         Do not overcall at the two level with just 9 points.

-         With a 6 card suit you can make a weak jump overcall.


Pre-empt to the limit at once – part 1                 Board 9 from Monday 11th



Dealer:             KQ9832                                    

North               84                                               West          North         East          South(E)

Love all            QJ73                                           -                 2    (1)      3   (2)    4    (3)

                        K                                               pass (4)      pass           pass        


10                      N             AJ                        

KQ1053         W    E          AJ96                   

A10965              S              K8                       

Q10                                   J9732                  






(1)   On the upper end of a weak 2, but the singleton K is a poor card and I have no problem with my partner’s choice of a weak 2 opening.

(2)   But East has a problem! This is very tricky as he has three sensible options – double, 3 or 2NT. Double will work when partner has ’s but will be a problem if partner responds 3. I prefer 2NT but guess that the 3 bid chosen is reasonable (I would like a better suit).

(3)   What did you bid with this South hand E in this week’s quiz? Especially if non-vul I think that “The Law” applies and a pre-emptive 4 bid is best.

(4)   And West has problems of course. He could bid 5 and find partner with nothing in ’s. More experienced partnerships may like to toy with the idea of 4NT here showing the two other suits, but that’s probably beyond the scope of my news-sheets. Note that had South produced a miserable 3 bid then West would surely have bid 4 and the fit is found.


And what happened? 4 went just one down. Most E-W’s were in 4 or 5 making +650.

The bottom lines: -

-         Pre-emptively raise partner to the limit (of The Law) at the first opportunity.


Pre-empt to the limit at once – part 2                 Board 2 from Monday 11th



Dealer:             4                                                 Table A

East                  63                                               West          North         East(G)    South

N-S vul            Q8654                                        -                 -                 pass (1)    1

                        KJ543                                        1              pass           pass (2)    3   (3) 

pass           4             4    (4)    5

AKQ103           N             J98762                 pass           pass           5            dbl

1054               W    E          K2                        all pass

1097                   S              K32                     

86                                      A7                        Table B

                        5                                                 West          North         East(G)    South

AQJ987                                     -                 -                 2    (1)    3    (5)

                        AJ                                               4    (6)      pass           pass         pass (7) 



Table A:     (1)  I would open this hand; either 1 or 2.

(2)  What did you bid with this East hand G in this week’s quiz? I have no idea if this East expected partner to be left in peace to play in 1! Obviously South is going to bid again and East should simply bid 4.

(3)  Of course South has it easy now. Normally he would ‘automatically’ re-open with a double but with this hand and at this vulnerability he did not want to defend 1 doubled. So 3 here shows a big hand with shape.

(4)  It’s too late now.

Table B:     (1)  This East chose a weak 2 opener – reasonable.

(5)   And South has two reasonable options. Double or 3. I prefer to show this good 6-card suit.

(6)   This West knew all about raising partner’s pre-empt to the limit.

(7)   And South decided to pass. He is in a bit of a spot as West could well have a strong hand, but I would try 5 and apologise to partner if I go for 800.


And what happened? 5 doubled went minus 3 for a good score to N-S at Table A. 4 undoubled at Table B went three down but was a great score for E-W.

The bottom lines: -

-         Pre-emptively raise partner to the limit (of the Law) at the first opportunity.

-         Do not pass as dealer with a six card major and 10-11 points. If you don’t want to open one then open a weak two. There should be no ‘gap’.


Pre-empt to the limit at once – part 3                 Board 10 from Wednesday 13th



Dealer:             10                                              

East                  QJ843                                        West          North         East(F)     South

Both vul            AKQ8                                        -                 -                 pass         1

                        1092                                          1              2              4    (1)    dbl   (2) 

all pass

AQJ654             N             9872                    

10965             W    E          -                          

4                         S              109753                

63                                      AK87                  






(1)   What did you bid with this East hand F in this week’s quiz? You are vulnerable, but the “expectation” (The Law) is just one down if partner has only 5 ’s. But you expect the opponents to make 4 so bid 4 now and put them on a guess. One or two down doubled will be a good score against their vulnerable game, and who knows, 4 may even make!

(2)   Apparently three out of five N-S’s doubled. I would never double with AKxx in partner’s 5+ card suit – it may well not even make a trick; and the K could well be waste paper. 5 or pass are the reasonable options with 4NT (assuming that partner takes it as natural) being a reasonable gamble (making on a lead).


And what happened? 4 doubled made exactly once and +1 twice. N-S were left to play in 4 at just two tables (making and -1).

The bottom lines: -

-     Pre-emptively raise partner to the limit (of the Law) at the first opportunity.

-     If you expect the opponents to make a vulnerable game, then pre-empt above ‘The Law’, especially if you have 4 trumps and a useful void.

-     Do not expect to make a lot of tricks in defence from AKxx in a suit that partner has promised 5+ cards in.


What is a 2 opening in 4th seat                          Board 11 from Wednesday 13th



Dealer:             Q8                                             

South               10875                                         West(D)     North         East          South

Love all            Q4                                              -                 -                 -               pass

                        K9874                                       pass           pass           1    (1)    pass

2   (2)      pass           3    (3)    pass

3                        N             AKJ9652              pass (4)

J642               W    E          A9                       

AK53                 S              97                        

Q652                                 A3                       






(1)   If you play strong twos in 4th seat then 2 is the bid, but E-W had not discussed this.

(2)   What did you respond with this West hand D(a) in this week’s quiz? 2 (or 2) is the best response (assuming that you do not play Drury). 2NT would be a poor bid as it denies 4 ’s.

(3)   100% forcing in Standard American (i.e. when playing a strong NT so that the two level response promises 10+ points).

(4)   What did you bid with this West hand D(b) in this week’s quiz? Even if 3 was not forcing West should bid with 10 points; I would bid 3NT with 4 as a sound alternative. With better ’s (say Qx) then I would “make a noise” with a cuebid of 4 (’s are set as trumps).


And what happened? 3 made + 2 for a near bottom. It only beat the E-W pair who bid 7NT(!) minus one. 3NT+2 was the top score with two pairs in 4+1.

The bottom lines: -

-         Sequence L, 1 - 2 - 3  is forcing when playing a strong NT.

-         And even if it was not forcing (playing Acol) responder should obviously bid with 10 points.

-         Your partnership should discuss what a 2/ opening in 4th seat means – it should not be a weak two because you can pass the hand out.

-         Two sensible options are: -

(a) A strong two, so 8-9 playing tricks.

(b) An “intermediate two”, say 9-12 points and a 6 card suit. You can make this a bit less if it’s the suit as it’s safer to compete when you hold ’s.


A Note on 1430


The 7NT mentioned above was apparently a mix-up about 1430. 1430 is a variation of Roman Keycard Blackwood whereby the first two responses to the 4NT ask are reversed.

I.e. 5 = 1/4 and 5 = 0/3. But this is only applicable to the 4NT responses and the responses to 5NT (king ask) are as normal (5= 0 etc). However, there are just three kings left and most experienced players no not reply with a count. There are options but one good method is to simply bid the suit of your cheapest king (a bid of 5 of the trump suit denying a king).

Don’t bid your hand twice                                    Board 27 from Friday 15th


If you double an opponent’s 1NT opening (showing about 15-18 pts) and partner pulls it, then he is weak with a long suit. Do not bid again.



Dealer:             QJ64                                         

South               832                                             West          North         East(H)    South

Love all            AKQ8                                        -                 -                 -               pass

                        K2                                             pass           1NT           dbl   (1)    pass (2)

2    (3)      pass           2    (4)    pass

982                    N             AK                       3    (5)      pass           pass (6)    pass (7)

75                   W    E          AK1095              

J107632              S              95                        

A9                                      Q1054                






(1)   What did you bid with this East hand H(a) in this week’s quiz. With 16 points and a decent lead (the 10) dbl is clearly the best bid. It’s too strong for 2 (’s + a minor).

(2)   With a flattish 4 count South has no reason to bid, 1NT may well make.

(3)   With this 5 count it’s borderline if West should pull the double, I would pass. But partner will doubtless not find a lead and the 2 bid chosen is reasonable.

(4)   What did you bid with this East hand H(b) in this week’s quiz. Pass is clear – partner has advertised a weak hand with long ’s.

(5)   I would pass on the assumption that partner knew what he was doing?

(6)   Amazingly East had a long think here; was he actually thinking of bidding again?

(7)   Has East bid again, South (me) was ready with the axe.


And what happened? 3 went minus one for a bottom. 2 making would have been about average.

The bottom lines: -

-         Do not bid your hand twice.

-         Do not think about bidding your hand 3 times.

-         When you double 1NT you have said it all. Do not pull partner’s rescue without a very good long (6 or 7 card) suit.

-         When the bidding goes 1NT dbl pass bid,   then responder knows the points situation and will double the opponents if he has something and they get too high.


A bid when RHO overcalls 1NT is weak            Board 23 from Friday 15th


If RHO overcalls partner’s opening with 1NT then any bid by you is weak and non-forcing. With a decent hand (9+ pts) you double.



Dealer:             AKQ10                                     

South               AJ109                                        West(K)     North         East          South

Both vul            KQ2                                           -                 -                 -               pass

                        J4                                               1    (1)      1NT (2)      2    (3)    pass

2    (4)      dbl             2            pass

J8653                N             942                       pass           dbl             all pass    

Q764              W    E          53                        

4                         S              AJ10985              

AK9                                   82                       






(1)   Did you open this West hand K(a) in this week’s quiz? I would pass, it would be a more reasonable opener if those honours were in the major suits.

(2)   Showing 15-18. With this actual 20 count one should double and then bid 2NT if partner does not respond in ’s.

(3)   East decided to show his weak hand with a 2 bid. This is a weak bid which opener is expected to pass. 2 is the more obvious bid.

(4)   What did you bid with this West hand K(b) in this week’s quiz? Presumably West did not realise that 2was weak and decided to bid again with this sub-minimal opener.


And what happened? 2♠ went minus one for a poor score to E-W (it should have gone far more down but the defence was not perfect). 2 would have been a good spot for E-W

The bottom lines: -

-         A 1NT overcall is 15-18.

-         With 19-20 then double followed by a NT bid if there is no major suit fit.

-         If you open and LHO overcalls 1NT, then any bid by partner is weak and should normally be passed.

-         If partner opens and RHO overcalls 1NT, then double is the only strong bid. All other bids are pre-emptive and to play. You can have partnership agreements on jumps (maybe a splinter) but a non-jump is most certainly weak.


Open 1NT with a balanced 15-17                        Board 15 from Friday 15th


There are a few reasons why you should do this. Most importantly you tell partner exactly what you have and avoid any rebid problems, but another off-shoot is that the strong hand usually ends up as declarer. This latter point was very important on this deal



Dealer:             75                                               Table A

South               K9                                              West          North         East          South

N-S vul            K9732                                        -                 -                 -               pass

                        A1087                                        1    (1)      pass           1            pass

2    (2)      pass           pass (3)    pass

AJ8                    N             Q10964               

Q876              W    E          A3                        Table B

AQ86                 S              J105                      West          North         East          South

QJ                                      K32                     -                -                 -               pass

                        K32                                            1NT (1)      pass           2            pass

J10542                                       2              pass           3NT (4)    pass

                        4                                                 4    (5)      all pass



Table A:     (1)  Obviously the wrong opening if playing a strong NT.

(2)  And West has the usual rebid problem having failed to open a strong 1NT. The hand is “in-between” a weakish 2 and an invitational 3 as is usually the case with a hand that could have opened a strong 1NT.

(3)  East does not know that West has a strong hand and (luckily? as it turns out) decided not to make an invitational move with 3.

Table B:     (1)  Most Wests opened the obvious 1NT.

(5)   Showing game values and 5 ’s.

(6)   With good 3 card support it’s usually best to play in the 5-3 fit.


And what happened? At table A South was on lead and asked how many cards the 1 opening promised. I cannot see the point in asking this question unless it is to convey the incorrect impression to declarer that you yourself hold length. Anyway, South then led his singleton 4 and declarer finessed. North obviously knew that it was a singleton and so South got two ruffs and the 2 contract just made. A Table B (three tables bid sensibly like this) 4 is made on any lead with West as declarer.


The bottom lines: -

-     With a balanced hand within your opening 1NT range, open 1NT.

-     One of the advantages of playing the strong NT (as opposed to a weak NT) is that you rarely have a rebid problem as with most hands that are “close to an invitation” you would have opened 1NT.

-     Another advantage of the strong NT is that the strong hand usually ends up as declarer, very important on this deal.

-         Do not ask totally unnecessary questions. South here has an obvious lead and as he will see dummy there is absolutely no need to ask about the length. A more outspoken person than me (I was East) may call this question from a very experienced player unethical.

-         If you do so (ask an unnecessary question) in order to mislead an opponent or give information to partner then that certainly is cheating.

Balancing                                                              Board 12 from Friday 15th


There have been complete books written on bidding in the pass-out seat (indeed, the Pattaya Bridge Club library has a couple if you want to borrow one). Anyway, it is generally best to balance with 7+ points if you do not have length/strength in the suit opened.



Dealer:             AK7                                           Table A

West                982                                             West          North         East          South(J)

N-S vul            873                                             1              pass (1)      pass         pass (2)


Expert Table

Q1053               N             964                       West          North         East          South(J)

QJ                  W    E          1054                     1              pass           pass         1    (2)

AK42                 S              Q965                    1              2    (3)      all pass

Q54                                   1096                   






Table A:     (1)  This North most certainly does not “double to show an opening hand”.

(2)  What did you bid with this South hand J in this week’s quiz? South passed on the assumption that partner had ‘nothing’ and that opener had a big hand. This is incorrect, as partner may well have up to about 15 points but no suitable call to make.

‘Expert       (2)  With a good 5 card major, South chooses the obvious 1 overcall.

 Table’       (3)  Our experts know all about balancing and when partner balances one should ‘deduct a king’ for your response. With a flat hand and just three poor ’s, 2 is quite sufficient with this hand.


And what happened? 1 went just one down for a good score to E-W. N-S should make 9 tricks in ’s.


The bottom lines: -

-     If you do not understand balancing, then have a word with me or read up on it.

-     You should balance in 4th seat with about 7+ points; with 10 and an excellent suit it is very clear.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     Dbl. Promising 4 ’s and 6+ pts. Don’t worry about “bidding” an eight-high suit – never deny a 4-card major. 2 is a very inferior alternative for this reason. If you feel that 2 is a better bid than showing the suit, then do not play 5-card majors.

Hand B:      (a)  3. Or maybe 2 followed by 4 next go. Opposite an opener this hand is easily worth an invitation and probably worth game.

(b)   2. An Unassuming Cue Bid. Opposite an opener this hand may well be worth game, but opposite an overcall even 3 may be too high. This is where the Unassuming Cue Bid comes in – it shows about 11-12 points in support of partner (or more) and enables you to stop low if partner has overcalled on a miserable 7 points or so.

Hand C:     3 (weak). If you do not play weak jump overcalls then you should pass – this hand is not strong enough for a 2 overcall which promises about opening values.

Hand D:     (a)  2 (or 2). You need 5 ’s to bid 2 and 2NT denies a 4 card suit.

(b)   3NT, with 4 as a reasonable alternative. You must bid, especially as partner’s 3 bid is forcing playing Standard American.

Hand E:      4. Obey ‘The Law’ and pre-empt to the limit. One or two down doubled should be fine and it may even make.

Hand F:      4. Obey ‘The Law’ and pre-empt to the limit. You ‘expect’ one down but that’s fine with a void as 4 may possibly make and if it goes more than 1 down the opponents can surely make 4.

Hand G:     4♠. Obey ‘The Law’ and bid to the limit. With 5 ’s it’s not suitable for a 2 Unassuming Cue Bid as that allows the opposition to compete cheaply and maybe find a sound sacrifice over your later 4 bid..

Hand H:     (a)  Dbl, showing 15-18 points. It’s too good for a 2 bid (whatever you play that as).

(b)   Pass. Partner has a weak hand with long ’s. You need another to bid 2.

Hand J:       1. Seems obvious I know, but one player did pass on the assumption that partner was weak and that opener had a big hand. This is incorrect reasoning as partner could easily have up to 14 or 15 points but no suitable bid. It is your duty to ‘protect’ him by bidding, even if you had as little as 7 points.

Hand K:     (a)  Pass. It would be a reasonable opening in 3rd seat. In 1st or 2nd seat I would open a hand like this only if those honours were in the major suits.

(b)   Pass. After LHO has overcalled 1NT a non-jump bid by partner is weak and to play.


Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers


L      1    pass   2    pass     Is 3 forcing? Playing a strong NT – yes, as the 2 response

3                                    promises 10+ points. It is not absolutely forcing in Acol.

M    1    1NT   2                 Is 2 forcing or weak? It is weak and opener should normally pass. With a good hand responder would double.

N     1   1     pass   2       What is 2? An unassuming Cue Bid, showing a sound raise to 3 or better if partner has opening values.