Club News Sheet – No. 208        28th Oct 2006

to news-sheet main page to Pattaya Bridge home page

Mon 23rd      1st N-S     Hugh & Sally              62%       2nd    Bob P & Mike                 57%

                    1st E-W    John & kenneth          57%       2nd    Ivy & Wolfgang                52%

Wed 25th      1st   Pal & Valm (Iceland)           68%       2nd    Tomas & Phil                   62%                

Fri    27th      1st  Albert & Knud                    61%       2nd    Lewis & Terry                  59%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A it’s both vulnerable. Partner opens 1 and RHO

doubles, what do you bid?

A1096          J73              

A98              Q107

K7543          103               With Hand B RHO opens 1. What do you bid?

10                AKQ65


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C RHO opens 1. What do you bid?


KQ               K10643                                     

108               986542         With Hand D it’s favourable vulnerability. LHO opens 1 and

AKJ1042      4                   RHO bids 2NT (11-12). What do you do?

QJ5              7


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E everybody is vulnerable and you are dealer. What

do you open?

A                  AJ72

K6                932            

A76              KQ6             What do you open with Hand F?

J1087543     AQ6



Bidding Sequences Quiz                                     


G     1NT   pass   4     pass       4 is Gerber and 4 is two aces. What is 4NT?

        4      pass   4NT

H     1     dbl     redbl                What is redouble?

J      1      pass   2NT   3          2NT is 11-12 with no 4-card major, what is 3?





The Championship Races


The current standings for all competitions are in the results folder and on the web.

Please inform me if you notice any errors.

There are currently 6 members qualified for the gold cup (30 results above 53%): -


1    Dave Cutler                        1859.4

2    Bob Pelletier                       1795.8

3    Michael Guin                      1759.1

4    Bill Noe                              1747.5

5    Phil Lovell                          1742.8

6    Kenneth Johansson             1734.8


Don’t double when you can overcall – part 1                       Board 11 from Monday 23rd 

If RHO opens and you have a 5 or 6 card suit, then overcall. A simple overcall at the two-level

shows about 11-17 points.


Dealer:             KQ                            

South               108                                             West          North(C)    East          South

Love all            AKJ1042                                    -                 -                 -               pass

                        QJ5                                            1              dbl   (1)      2            2    (2)

pass           3    (3)      pass         3    (4)

J76                    N             105                       pass           4    (5)      all pass

AQJ93           W    E          K76                     

63                       S              Q875                   

A96                                    K1072                






(1)   What did you bid with this North hand C in this week’s quiz? A two-level overcall describes

the hand perfectly and double will only get you into trouble when partner bids ’s.

(2)   This is easily enough for a free bid of 2.

(3)   North now mentions his suit one level higher than necessary if he had bid it before.

(4)   North has shown a very good hand and so South rebids his 6-card major.

(5)   And North overbids for the third time.


And what happened? 4 went two down for a bottom.

The bottom lines: -

-         With a single suited hand do not double but overcall.

-         Double followed by a new suit bid shows a hand too strong to overcall, so about 18+ points.

-         A 2-level overcall is about 11-17 points.

-         It if dangerous to double 1 without 4 ’s – you need a very good hand (much more than a

relatively balanced 16).

Don’t double when you can overcall – part 2                       Board 4 from Monday 23rd 

It’s the same dynamic North in action again – seems he does not mind continually going down?


Dealer:             J73                            

West                Q107                                          West          North(B)    East          South

Both vul            103                                             1              dbl   (1)      pass         2    (2)

                        AKQ65                                      pass           4    (3)      all pass


AK2                  N             10                        

AK9543         W    E          82                        

98                       S              KQJ54                 

J10                                     98432                 






(1)   What did you bid with this North hand B in this week’s quiz? A two-level overcall describes

the hand perfectly and double will only get you into trouble when partner bids ’s. I think I’ve

said that before.

(2)   A jump opposite a double shows about 8-10 points, With 6 ’s and a 4 card suit this hand is

worth it.

(3)   But this is just suicidal. It’s one trump and about 5 points light for the bid.


And what happened? This time 4 went three down for a bottom.

The bottom lines: -

-         With a single suited hand do not double but overcall.

-         A 2-level overcall is about 11-17 points.

-         It if dangerous to double 1 without 4 ’s – you need a very good hand (much more than a

relatively balanced 12).

-         I’m glad that my word processor has a copy/paste capability – I would get fed up typing the

same thing over and over again.


A simple play problem                                                 Board 23 from Friday 27th  


K8                N                  764                       West          North         East          South

A73          W    E              KQ52                   -                 -                 -               2

A1075          S                   K9632                  2NT           pass           3    (1)    pass      

AQJ6                                 10                        3NT           all pass      

(1) Stayman

You are West, declarer in 3NT.                       

North leads the Q which South ducks (playing an encouraging card). Obviously you have no

problem had South risen with the ace but now you have to win with the K and North still has a .

How do you continue?           

An amusing duck                                                  Board 23 from Friday 27th  

It is often correct to hold up; but not if you can win and then let partner take the next five tricks

against a 3NT contract…


Dealer:             Q5                                              West          North         East          South

South               J1086                                         -                 -                 pass         2

Both vul            84                                               2NT           pass           3    (1)    pass

K8543                                       3NT           all pass      


K8                     N             764                      

A73                W    E          KQ52             (1)  Stayman. Denying a stop playing Lebensohl.

A1075                S              K9632                 

AQJ6                                 10                  There’s nothing much to the bidding, with four

                        AJ10932                               out of 5 tables reaching the decent 3NT contract.

94                                         But what was your answer to the play problem on

                        QJ                                         the previous page? Declarer knows the position

972                                      exactly and cannot afford to take the finesse

unless it is absolutely necessary.

So declarer should first try the ’s. As it happens they split 2-2 and so there are 10 tricks

(1 , 3 ’s, 5’s and 1 ). If the ’s fail to split then the only hope is that the ’s split and the

finesse works (then 1 , 4 ’s, 2’s and 2 ’s).

One declarer went two down and so obviously took the unnecessary finesse. And Dave

told me the amazing tale of another declarer who also foolishly took the finesse but North ducked!!

Presumably North was waiting for declarer to finesse again(difficult)?? Declarer was then forced to play

sensibly and so undeservedly scored an outright top for 3NT+3.


Open 1NT with a balanced 15-17                        Board 11 from Monday 23rd 

I’ve said it on numerous occasions; you most certainly do not need a stop in every suit to open 1NT.


Dealer:             AJ72                                           West          North(F)    East          South

East                  932                                             -                 -                 pass         pass

Both vul            KQ6                                           pass           1   (1)      pass         1

                        AQ6                                           pass           3NT (2)      all pass


Q95                   N             K108              (1)  What did you open with this North hand F in

K8                  W    E          QJ104                  this week’s quiz? It’s a clear 1NT opener.

J9853                  S              A104                    If you do not open 1NT with a balanced

732                                    J109                     15-17 you will have a rebid problem.

                        643                                       (2)  But this North thought that he had no problem.

A765                                          2NT would be an overbid and he found 3NT!

                        72                                               And this 3NT bid is doubly bad as it inhibits

K854                                         finding a possible 4-4 fit.


And what happened? 3NT was bid at two tables, going two down.

The bottom lines: -

-         Always open 1NT with a balanced hand within your 1NT opening range, do not worry about

a weak suit (or two). If you do not open 1NT you will have a rebid problem.


Giving Count – part 1                                          Board 14 from Wednesday 25th  

There are various signalling systems in common use and many of them are mentioned on the

web-site in ‘general bridge topics®signals in defence’. As people are continually changing

partners in this club I try to encourage a uniform scheme. We generally give attitude on partner’s

lead and play Lavinthal discards. But one other often very important convention that I have not

yet emphasised in the news sheets is the need to give count.


Dealer:             QJ53                         

East                  873                                             West          North         East          South

Love all            A84                                            -                 -                 2NT         pass

                        A97                                            3NT           all pass      


J64                    N             AK87                  

64                   W    E          AKQ2                 

KQ1097             S              J5                         

K54                                   QJ3                     






The bidding is trivial with all but one reaching 3NT (one E-W pair were in a silly 4 going two down).

Everybody made 3NT but it should go one down! South leads the obvious J and declarer wins.

Declarer then leads the J and this is allowed to hold. The 5 followed and every North ducked in

order to ensure that dummy’s ’s do not score; but should he?

The answer is “which ’s did South play?” South played the 2 followed by the 3 and this

(a non-peter) indicates an odd number of ’s. So North should know that declarer has just two ’s

and should win the 2nd trick.

The bottom lines.

-         Most experienced players always give count (high-low shows an even number) when declarer

leads a suit. It is especially important when declarer is playing in No Trump and has a long suit

with no outside entry.


Giving Count – part 2                                          Board 15 from Wednesday 25th  

And this deal is virtually the same.


Dealer:             876                            

South               32                                               West          North         East          South

N-S vul            642                                             -                 -                 -               2

                        KQJ43                                       pass           2              pass         2NT (1)

pass           3NT           all pass

10943                N             J5                        

765                 W    E          QJ104                  (1)  22-24

QJ10                   S              9875                    

A97                                    862                     






The bidding is again trivial with all but one reaching 3NT (one N-S pair were in a silly 2).

This time everybody made 3NT except the pair up against Wolfgang/Malcolm. Wolfgang

(West) led the Q which declarer won with the A. South played the 10 and West

correctly ducked. South then tried the 5 but West rose with the A to restrict declarer

 to 8 tricks. Why did West rise with the A on the 2nd round? Because partners first was

the 2, promising an odd number, so one or three. If it’s a singleton then declarer has 4’s

and there is nothing to be done; but if it’s the (more likely) three card holding then West has

to take the A on the 2nd round.

Suppose that declarer had 1065 and East held 82. Then East would have played

the 8 on the first round (intending to peter to show an even number) and West would

have realised that this was high from a doubleton and would have held up until the 3rd round.

The bottom lines.

-         These two examples show the need for giving count; more experienced pairs virtually

always give count as this enables them to ‘get a count’ of declarer’s hand and establish

his distribution.



Redouble! Gets you into the thousands.                 Board 13 from Monday 23rd 


If partner opens and RHO doubles, then if you are short in opener’s suit with 9+ points

then redouble – go for the throat.


Dealer:             54                                               Table A

North               J4                                               West(A)     North         East          South

both vul            1098                                           -                 pass           1           dbl     (1)

                        QJ7654                                      1    (2)      pass           1NT         pass

3NT (3)      all pass

A1096               N             Q73                     

A98                W    E          K1073                  Table B

K7543                S              J2                          West (A)    North         East          South

10                                      AK98                   -                 pass           1           dbl   (1)

                        KJ82                                          redbl(2)      pass (4)      pass (5)    1    (6)

Q652                                          dbl   (7)      pass           pass         1   

                        AQ6                                           pass (8)      pass           dbl   (7)    1

                        32                                              dbl   (7)      2              pass (8)    pass

dbl   (7)      all pass


Table A:     (1)  A near classic take-out double; playable in all three unbid suits.

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand A in this week’s quiz? Now I am always

saying “do not deny a 4 card major” but this is an exception. With 9+ points and

shortage in partner’s suit you should double and try to get a substantial penalty.

Both 1 and 1 are far inferior alternatives to redouble.

(3)   This hand, with good shape and intermediates, is worth 3NT.

Table B:     (2)  This is the answer to question A. It is a really classic re-double. You can subsequently

double either ’s or ’s for penalties and if partner cannot double ’s then you can

try 3NT (or a more pessimistic 2NT).

(4)   With no 5 card suit (other than ’s!) North correctly passes.

(5)   And East just has to sit back and wait.

(6)   South decided to take the round-about route, but he’s a gonner whatever he does.

(7)   Penalties.

(8)   Forcing.



And what happened? 3NT at Table A went two down, but made +1 at two other tables. But

the +630 palls into insignificance compared to the +1100 that E-W got at Table B. And 1 by

South would be no better.

The bottom lines: -

-         Redouble with 9+ points opposite an opening when you are short in the partner’s suit.

-         When the opponents are vulnerable you only need to set them three (or two if you are non-vul)

to get a top.

-         Take the money with 11 points opposite an opener. In this situation with 11 points and no fit for

partner game is by no means certain – go for the penalty, even if it is only at the one level.

-         Even 1-level penalties can be lucrative when you have the balance of power.

4NT having bid 4 Gerber is to play                  Board 27 from Monday 23rd 

If partner bids 1 or 2 NoTrump (either opening or in the middle of an auction) then 4 asks for

aces. Having got a response then 4NT is to play and 5 asks for kings.


Dealer:             4                                                 Table A

South               J                                                 West          North         East          South

Love all            J75                                              -                 -                 -               1NT

                        AJ976543                                  pass           4   (1)      pass         4    (2)

pass           4NT (3)      pass         5    (4)

762                    N             K9853                  6             all pass

A9832            W    E          K1075                 

K84                    S              Q1063                  Table B

Q2                                     -                           West          North         East          South

                        AQJ10                                        -                 -                 -               1NT

Q64                                            pass           5   (1)      all pass




Table A:     (1)  This North is the club’s eternal optimist, 4 here was Gerber.

(2)   Two aces

(3)   Apparently meant as asking for kings; it is not. It is to play and 5 asks for kings

when using Gerber. Quite why North wants to ask for kings when there is an ace

missing is a complete mystery to me. Having decided upon slam he should simply bid 6.

(4)   South was unsure about the 4NT bid and ‘answered’ showing one king.

Table B:     (1)  Most North’s took the simple route to the best spot. If you play 4-way transfers

then 2 (transfer to ’s) followed by 5 is possible but this may allow the opponents

to find a cheap save in a major. If you play 2 as a weak hand with an unspecified

minor you can still use it to get to 5 but it’s probably best to bid 5 immediately.



And what happened? 5 made exactly at most tables. At Table A East led the 5 and after

some thought declarer put up the ace from dummy. He then played A,K and led the Q upon

which he ditched his loser. Declarer’s two losers then went away on the good ’s. Well played.

The bottom lines: -

-         After 4 Gerber, 5 asks for kings and 4NT is to play.

-         Only ask for kings if all the aces are present.


Don’t pass when 5-6 in the majors                      Board 3 from Monday 23rd 

Even if you are a bit short of points, a hand with 11 cards in the majors is worth a squeak.


Dealer:             QJ72                         

South               K10                                            West          North         East          South(D)

E-W vul           J853                                            -                 -                 -               pass

                        A103                                          1              pass           2NT         pass (1)

3NT           all pass

5                        N             A98                     

A3                  W    E          QJ7                     

KQ976               S              A102                   

KQ952                              J864                    






(1)   What did you bid with this South hand D in this week’s quiz? It looks (from the results) like

nearly everybody passed. With 11 cards in the majors I would not keep quiet and would

bid 3. This is still a Michaels cue bid and, as it’s in the sandwich seat and at the 3-level,

it shows a very shapely hand.


And what happened? 3NT was reached at 5 out of 6 tables with varying results (from -2 to +1).

Just one N-S pair bid to 4 but they somehow managed to go down.


The bottom lines: -

-         You can compete with 11 cards in the majors.

-         You can compete with minimal hands at favourable vulnerability.

-         Michaels cue bids still apply if RHO bids 2NT (or 1NT).


Minor suit slams – part 1                                        Board 24 from Wednesday 25th  

Bidding minor suit slams is difficult after a 1NT opening. Most people look for a major

suit fit (via Stayman) and if none exists they go for NoTrump. However, 6 or 6 making

scores a lot more than 6NT going one down!


Dealer:             862                                             Table A

West                QJ9                                            West          North         East          South

Love all            953                                             1NT           pass           2   (1)    pass

                        A754                                          2              pass           4NT (2)    pass

5    (3)      pass           6NT         all pass

KQ3                  N             AJ109                  

A32                W    E          K84                      ‘Expert’ Table

A874                  S              KQJ2                    West          North         East          South

K63                                   Q2                       1NT           pass           2   (1)    pass

                        754                                             2              pass           3   (4)    pass

10765                                         3    (5)      pass           6    (6)    all pass




Table A:     (1)  Pretty obvious, although I did note one player not bothering to look for any sort

of fit and bid an invitational 4NT straight away. I suppose that you can call that bidding.

(2)   Quantitative.

(3)   West was unsure (4 as Gerber is standard here) and so stated his number of aces.

I would pass as the hand is minimum for the 1NT opener.

Table B:     (1)  The obvious Stayman.

(4)  Our experts use 3 after Stayman to enquire about the minor suits; SARS –

Shape Asking Relays after Stayman.

(5)  Using SARS this shows 4 ’s and not 4 ’s. So 3343 shape exactly.

(6)  Without the values to safely bid 6NT East wisely goes for the slam in the known 4-4 fit.


And what happened? Just one pair bid the excellent 6 after West opened a Precision 1. Every

Standard American pair overbid to 6NT; two made and two went one down. 6NT is hopeless of

course but I did notice one West claim the contract pretty quickly after North found the opening lead

of the A. I guess that it’s a 1 in 13 chance, but any lead other than the A (even the poor lead of a

low ) and declarer goes down

The bottom lines: -

-         Do not lead an ace against 6NT unless the bidding has indicated that the opponents have a long

solid suit and can run 12 or 13 tricks off the top.

-         More experienced/established pairs may like to read up on SARS, it’s on the web and in the

No Trump bidding book.

-         If 6NT is borderline, look for the 4-4 minor suit fit for slam.

-         6NT only scores more than 6 if it makes.


Minor suit slams – part 2                                        Board 27 from Friday 27th  

And only one pair found the 4-4 fit for slam on this deal: -


Dealer:             Q43                                           

West                Q9752                                        West          North         East          South

Love all            J92                                              1              pass           2    (1)    pass

                        K64                                           3    (2)      pass           3    (3)    pass

3    (4)      pass           4            pass

A102                 N             K76                      4NT (5)      pass           5    (6)    pass

AQ864           W    E          KJ3                      6    (7)      pass           pass (8)    pass

K843                  S              AQ75                  

Q                                       873                     






(1)   This pair play 2/1 and so this bid is forcing to game.

(2)   And this is just one of the beauties of playing 2/1. West can simply support ’s without

needing to leap about.

(3)   Three card support.

(4)   A cue bid (the A). East’s initial 2 response and his 3 bid have improved West’s hand

immensely. With a double fit he is seriously looking for slam.

(5)   Roman Keycard Blackwood for ’s.

(6)   One key card.

(7)   This West knows all about 4-4 fits making an extra trick. There are insufficient values for

6 but the 4-4 fit indeed scores the vital extra trick.

(8)   After a little thought East also realised that 6 with the 4-4 fit was better than the

higher scoring” 5-3 fit in 6♥.


And what happened? Just one pair bid the excellent 6. Three pairs were in 4 +1 and one

pair managed to land in a silly 3NT going three down.

The bottom lines: -

-         A 4-4 fit is almost always better than a 5-3 fit. So if you are in the slam zone, think about

6/ with a 4-4 fit.

-         6 only scores more than 6 if it makes.

-         5/ are very often poor contracts (if 3NT makes) but a minor suit slam is usually better

than a thin 6NT or 5-3 major suit slam if there is a 4-4 minor suit fit.

-         It’s ‘only’ a combined 26 count but 6 is cold, that simply shows the power of the good

4-4 fit and having a double fit.




Too strong for a pre-empt                                   Board 20 from Friday 27th  

Don’t pre-empt at the three level with an opening hand.


Dealer:             KJ106                                       

West                Q10532                                      West(E)       North         East          South

Both vul            K32                                            3   (1)      dbl             5   (2)    pass

                        K                                               pass           dbl             all pass


A                       N             8543                    

K6                  W    E          A9                       

A76                    S              J1084                   

J1087543                           A96                     






(1)   What did you open with this West hand E in this week’s quiz? 3 is horrendous; apart

from the fact that all of the points are outside the long suit, it’s far too strong for a pre-empt.

1 is the obvious opening.

(2)   East obviously thinks that N-S have an easy game in ’s and so quite reasonably makes

it difficult for them.


And what happened? 5 went one down for the only minus score for E-W. One E-W pair

bid 3NT making +1 and others were in partscores making.

The bottom lines: -

-         It’s usually best to have points in a suit which you pre-empt.

-         12 points is far too good for a three-level pre-empt.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    Redouble. Look for the penalty. It is by no means certain that you can make game

so take the vulnerable penalty. You can subsequently double either ’s or ’s

for penalties and if partner cannot double ’s then you can try for the No Trump game.

Hand B:    2, showing 11-17 points and a suit. You will have problems if you double.

Hand C:    2, showing 11-17 points and a suit. You will have problems if you double.

Hand D:    3, Michaels. With this shape and especially at this vulnerability pass is a bit feeble.

Hand E:    1, far too strong for a 3 pre-empt. And a pre-empt is particularly bad with most

of the points outside of the long suit.

Hand F:     1NT, no catch. But somebody did get in a pickle when they did not open 1NT

because they had no stop”. You do not promise an honour in every suit when you

open 1NT – just a balanced hand shape wise.


Bidding Sequence Answers


G     1NT   pass   4     pass       4 is Gerber and 4 is two aces. 4NT is to play.

        4      pass   4NT

H     1     dbl     redbl                Redouble is 9+ points. Often with a misfit and looking for a

lucrative penalty.

J      1      pass   2NT   3          3 is Michaels; and in this position at least 5-5 in the majors.