Club News Sheet – No. 212        20th Nov 2006


to news-sheet main page to Pattaya Bridge home page

Mon 20th      1st N-S     Eddie & Royd                  66%       2nd    Chris & Kees                 51%

                    1st E-W    Lars Gustafnon & Emil      59%       2nd    Derek & Gerard             55%

Wed 22nd     1st N-S     Alan & Lewis                   61%       2nd    Jean-Charles & Paul K   58%

                    1st E-W    Dave & Kenneth              62%       2nd    Emil & Terry                  60%      

Fri 24th         1st N-S     Ken & Richard M            61%       2nd    Alan & Lewis                 57%

                    1st E-W    Gunnar & Lars G              64%       2nd    Derek & Gerard             54%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A you choose to open 2 and partner bids 2. What

do you bid now?

AQ72           107

-                   8754             With Hand B partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 1. What

AKQ9          AK6             do you do?      

AQJ83         K986                                  


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


A108              Q53                                         

AKQJ10653  Q7642        (a)  What do you open with Hand D?                 

83                   AK             (b)  Suppose you open 1 and LHO overcall 1NT. This is passed

-                     A86                  round to you, what do you do?                  


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E LHO opens 1 which partner doubles. What do

you bid?

KQ105         KJ86         

74                 105               With Hand F LHO opens 1 and partner overcalls 1NT. You

1065             9743             pass this and LHO bids 2. Partner doubles, what do you do?

AK103         Q42


Hand G           Hand H           What do you open with Hand G?


AKJ              AK7                                    

  Q8              J1098           With Hand H RHO opens 3, what do you do?         

KJ6               J1063                                        

AKJ86         AQ


Hand J            Hand K           What do you open with Hand J?


AK9532       J974             With Hand K RHO opens 3 and this is passed round to   

6                   AQ652         partner who doubles. (a) What do you bid?

Q7632          86                 (b) Suppose you choose 3 and partner bids 3NT, what do

8                  K4                     you do now?

Bidding Sequences Quiz


L      1      pass   2NT                 What is 2NT assuming that you do not play Jacoby 2NT?

M    2      pass   3                   2 is weak. What is 3 - is it forcing?

N     1      1NT   pass   pass       What is dbl?

2      dbl


The Bridge Club Championship Races


The current standings for all competitions are in the results folder and on the web-site. There was not a lot of movement this week, just Lewis moving up a few notches in the silver and bronze competitions.


We currently have 7 people qualified for contention (30 results above 53%) in the Gold Cup:


1    Dave Cutler                  1865.6

2    Bob Pelletier                 1795.8

3    Bob Short                    1784.3

4    Phil Lovell                    1765.6

5    Michael Guin                1759.1

6    Bill Noe                        1747.5

7    Kenneth Johansson       1746.0


The top standings for the Silver Plate (best 10) and Bronze medal (best 5) are as follows. For clarity I have removed Dave, Bob P and Bob S who are currently in the top 3 positions of the Gold Cup. Considering how seldom he played, Clive is doing remarkably well still hanging on to top spot in both. He did not play enough to qualify for the Gold Cup.


Silver Plate                                                       Bronze Medal


4    Clive Bell                637.8                           2    Clive Bell                334.3

5    Phil Lovell              633.4                           5    Phil Lovell              328.5

6    Hans Bijvoet           624.2                           6    Lewis Berg             327.3

7    Derek & Gerard     623.7                           7    Ruth Ibler               327.2

8    Alan Purdy             620.3                           8    Jim Wallington        327.1

9    Lewis Berg             619.3                           9    Hans Bijvoet           325.1

10  Michael Guin          616.3                           10  Alan Purdy             322.7




Playing bridge against Hannibal Lector
In horror I called the director
   “ My partners being ate;
   off the bone, not the plate!”
But the laws of bridge couldn’t protect her.

A good hand for two-over-one                                 Board 7 from Monday 20th   


Everybody got too high with these E-W cards on Monday: -


Dealer:             AQ9                                           Table A

South               K874                                          West          North         East          South

Both vul            Q1076                                        -                 -                 -               pass

                        53                                              1              pass           2    (1)    pass      

3    (2)      pass           pass (3)    pass      

K10632             N             874                      

A65                W    E          Q109                    ‘Expert’ Table   

AK93                 S              854                      West          North         East          South

4                                        AQ87                   -                 -                 -               pass

                        J5                                               1              pass           1NT (1)    pass

J32                                             2    (4)      pass           2♠    (5)    pass

J2                                               pass (6)




Table A:     (1)  This 2 response is ‘standard’

(2)   With support opposite and a decent hand with a singleton most West’s tried for game. If you do choose to try then 3 is probably better.

(3)   With a flat hand and three poor trumps most East’s sensibly declined.

‘Expert’      (1)  Our experts play 2/1 of course. Playing 2/1 you can distinguish between a good

 Table:              2 raise and a poor one. With three miserable trumps and the dreaded 4333 type shape this East hand is definitely a poor one and the way to show a poor raise of a major suit opening is to go via the forcing No Trump.

(4)   West is obliged to bid and so bids 2.

(5)   East shows a poor raise to 2

(6)   And West now knows not to make a game try.


And what happened? Most West’s went anything from two to four down in 3 or 4.

The bottom lines: - 

-         Play 2/1. Playing 2/1 constructive raises, a direct 2 shows a decent hand.

-         I have copies of a book on 2/1 which I encourage all serious players to read.

-         Playing Standard American instead of 2/1 is like playing marbles instead of football.


Big Balanced Hands


Anybody who reads the news-sheet fairly regularly will know of one my pet hates

 the need to open 3NT (or rebid 3NT having opened 2 or 2) with a 25+ balanced hand.

My favourite solution is to play Benjamin twos, but apparently the original Benjamin has: - 2NT opening = 19-20; 2 - 2 - 2NT = 21-22; and 2 - 2 - 2NT = 23 -24; (or some variation) and with 25 + you still have to make the silly leap to 3NT.

So what’s the solution? It’s very nice to have precise two step intervals. But opening 2NT (directly or indirectly) with 19 points certainly is not my cup of tea; and I most certainly do not want to play a system where you have to bid 3NT with 25+ (partner does not know whether to pass or try Stayman/transfers when he is virtually bust – often the case).

My recommended solution is: -


Playing Benjamin twos                                         Playing Multi 2

18-19     1x - 1y - 2NT (a)                                     18-19         1x - 1y - 2NT (a)

20-21     2NT                                                         20-21         2NT

22-24     2 - 2 - 2NT                                         22-24         2 - 2 - 2NT

25+        2 - 2 - 2NT                                         25+            2 - 2 - 2NT


So you never need the silly leap to 3NT when playing my treatment of either of these systems. Thus with these two conventions we have: -

Playing Benjamin twos a 2 opening is absolutely game forcing and 2 is a strong hand, either 8-9 playing tricks in an unspecified suit or a balanced 22-24.

Playing Multi 2 then the 2opening is absolutely game forcing and 2 is whatever selection of meanings you choose including the 22-24 balanced hand.

With either system the 3NT opening is best played as the gambling 3NT promising a long (7+) solid minor with absolutely no ace or king outside.

Note that Benjamin (and Multi 2) both work perfectly well with Standard American or with Two-Over-One (2/1). It’s a shame that most Americans have not realised this yet.

The above structures work whether you play a strong NT or a weak NT (except that weak No Trump players may play 1x - 1y - 2NT as 17-19 if 1x -1y - 1NT is 15-16 as in basic Acol).

When the bidding starts with an effective 2NT opening (directly or 2 - 2 - 2NT or 2 - 2 - 2NT in either system) then responder can use both Stayman and transfers below the level of 3NT. This is the whole point.

When the bidding starts with a 1x - 1y - 2NT (18-19) then I play that any bid by  responder is game forcing and more established pairs might also like to play New Minor Forcing or Checkback Stayman.

The sequence 1/ - 1something - 3NT (b) is best used to show a strong hand with a good long suit in the minor opened.

The sequence 1x- 2y (y lower ranking than x) - 3NT may be either hand type (a) or (b).


If, having read this, you still do not like to use 2 in one of these ways and prefer to struggle along with just 2 as your only strong bid, then have a look at the Kokish Relay; but Benjamin or the Multi 2 really is the best solution. You Americans should come out of your shell and realise that occasionally the Europeans have got it right (and just for a change I am not having a go at that idiot ‘mr.’ bush).

As I said just last week, the American invented the fantastic 2/1 but are still in the last century as regards strong balanced hand openings.

A basic end-play                                                   Board 14 from Monday 20th  


This cocky West counted his chickens before they were hatched (pun intended)…


Dealer:             AQ94                                        

West                A10                                            West          North(me)    East        South

N-S vul            AKQ8                                        pass           2    (1)        2          pass (2)

                        AQ2                                           pass           2NT (3)        pass       3NT (4)

all pass      

J1082                N             K65                     

J                     W    E          KQ9854                  

J10742                S              -                          

764                                    J1095                  






(1)   Game forcing playing Benjamin twos.

(2)   There is no need for South to bid when East has overcalled. Double here would be for penalties and pass is the best bid.

(3)   Here we see one of the advantages of playing Benjamin – this 2NT bid is still game forcing.

(4)   He may not like it too much, but South is obliged to bid the obvious 3NT. 3 would be Stayman and 3/ are transfers.


Now onto the play. East led the K which North ducked. The small continuation was taken perforce by the A. North obviously then led the A but when East showed out by discarding the 5 West commented “not so easy now is it, eh?” in his typical gloating arrogant  manner on the odd occasion when he thinks he’s getting a good board.

North (me) did not bother to reply verbally. The

Dealer:             AQ94                               best answer to people like this is to give them a

West                -                                       lesson in playing bridge.

N-S vul            8                                       There was only one entry to dummy and so I

♣ -                                       could not pick up four tricks. After a short

pause for reflection I ran off the other two ’s

J108                  N             K6              and the three ’s ending in dummy (South).

-                     W    E          Q98            I watched as East discarded his remaining ’s

J10                      S              -                  and then a good on the run of the minors.

-                                         -                 I now had a complete count of the hand and in

                        73                                     this position I exited with a . East got his three

76                                     more tricks but then had to lead up to my AQ;

9                                      the position of the K was irrelevant. My partner

♣ -                                       Paul Kelly simply said well played and shook my hand. That’s the best way to deal with these rude individuals.

And what happened? Everybody was in game but ˝ went down and 3NT making scored 70%. The bottom lines: -

-         Gloating when (you think that) you have a good score is not only bad manners, it is actually against the written rules of bridge.

-         Don’t count your chickens … especially against the cock of the roost?

Missing the 4-4 fit – part 1                                  Board 2 from Wednesday 22nd   


There were a lot of deals on Wednesday where players could/would not find the 4-4 major suit fit. This first example was particularly bad with the culprit supporting a minor suit opening (twice) with just three cards and at the same time denying a four card major: -


Dealer:             Q9854                                        Table A

East                  K62                                            West          North         East(B)     South

N-S vul            97                                               -                 -                 pass         pass

                        A32                                            1              1              2    (1)    2         

pass           pass           3    (2)    all pass  

A3                     N             107                      

AQJ3             W    E          8754                     Table B

10853                 S              AK6                    West          North         East(B)     South

J105                                   K986                   -                 -                 pass         pass

                        KJ63                                          1              1              dbl   (1)    2

109                                             3    (3)      pass (4)      pass         3    (5)

QJ42                                          all pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this East hand B in this weeks quiz? Double (negative and showing four ’s) is the only sensible bid. Raising 1 to 2 is a very poor bid, especially as it denies 4 ’s.

(2)  This is preposterous of course, it may well be a 3-3 fit.

Table B:     (1)  The correct bid of course.

(3)   It’s one above the Law but fine at this vulnerability.

(4)   With just 5 ’s North should not compete (The Law).

(5)   But with a known 9 card fit South should compete.


And what happened?  The silly 3 got near average when it went two down. Two E-W pairs were left to play in 2. 3 was bid and made just once but the top N-S score was for an amazing 4 minus four by West. Clearly that bidding must have been even more diabolical then that at Table A.

The bottom lines: -

-         Play negative doubles.

-         Playing negative doubles, a double of a major suit overcall guarantees four cards in the other major.

-         Do not raise a 1/ opening with just 3 card support.

-         Do not raise a 1/ opening twice with just 3 card support!

-         Do not deny a four card major.


Missing the 4-4 fit – part 2                                  Board 30 from Wednesday 22nd   


This time E-W found their 4-4 fit but then lost it to go five down in a 5 contract! : -


Dealer:             -                                

East                  AK9874                                     West          North         East(A)    South

N-S vul            J1094                                          -                 -                 2           pass

                        K96                                           2              pass           2    (1)    pass      

3    (2)      pass           4   (3)    pass

J964                  N             AQ72                   4              pass           pass         dbl

QJ65              W    E          -                           pass           pass           5   (4)    pass (5)

8632                   S              AKQ9                 pass           pass

7                                        AQJ83                







(1)   What did you bid with this East hand A in this weeks quiz? 2 here is a poor bid as it should be a good 5+ card suit. The best bid is 3.

(2)   4 (fast arrival) is the best bid here, but West did not trust partner’s bidding and so took it slowly.

(3)   This should be a cue bid looking for a slam. I assume that East thought it was natural.

(4)   Having found a nice spot, East let himself get bullied out of it.

(5)   South should double and lead a for partner to ruff.


And what happened?  250 away for a near top to N-S. The only N-S pair to do better were playing in 2 doubled +1 for 870. 4 was bid three times; making once (when doubled) and going two down twice.

The bottom lines: -

-         Don’t change horse in mid stream; if you have agreed a major suit and get doubled at the 4 level, don’t bid a new 5 card minor at the 5 level.

-         Bid a 5 card suit before a 4 card suit.


Missing the 4-4 fit – part 3                                  Board 12 from Wednesday 22nd   


Two East’s denied a four card suit on this deal and missed the good 4-4 fit: -


Dealer:             J9                                               Table A

West                Q95                                            West          North         East          South

N-S vul            Q1042                                        1              pass           1NT (1)    pass

                        A653                                          3    (2)      all pass      


K532                 N             Q1064                  Table B

AKJ1086       W    E          42                         West          North         East          South

5                         S              KJ93                     1              pass           1    (1)    pass

Q2                                     J84                       3    (3)      pass           4    (4)    all pass







Table A:     (1)  Obviously East should bid 1. Actually two East’s found this silly 1NT bid.

(2)  This West chose to bid 3. I was the other West whose partner also bid 1NT but I simply rebid 2. With no fit I don’t think it’s worth a try for game.

Table B:     (1)  The correct bid of course.

(3)   With a known 4-4 fit I think that the West hand may now be worth a try.

(4)   But with a near minimum and a poor holding in partner’s first bid suit I think that East should pass.


And what happened?  Two pairs bid 4 going one down. Two pairs stopped in 2 making exactly. ’s should score one trick less but with a bit of help from the defence 3 made exactly and 2 made +2. So a totally undeserved top for the 2 team and a good score for the 3 team. Perhaps I need to write a few articles on defending?

The bottom lines: -

-         Never deny a 4 card major.

-         A 4-4 fit plays better than 6-2 or 5-3.


Missing the 4-4 fit – part 4                                  Board 8 from Wednesday 22nd   


A good 4-4 fit was again missed on this deal: -


Dealer:             J974                                           Table A

West                AQ652                                       West          North(K)    East          South

Love all            86                                               3    (1)      pass           pass         dbl   (2)

                        K4                                             pass           3    (3)      pass         3NT (4) 

pass           pass (5)      dbl   (6)    pass

632                    N             A5                        pass           pass (7)

98                   W    E          KJ1043               

AK10742           S              53                                

75                                      J1032                  






(1)   With all the points in the suit this West tried a non-vul 3. I won’t argue, but then I was West.

(2)   With 4 ’s this looks fine to me.

(3)   What did you bid with this North hand K(a) in this week’s quiz? With both majors I would bid 4 - pick a major. 3 here is especially poor as it indicates just 0-8 points.

(4)   And this looks fine as (in my opinion) South has shown 4 ’s.

(5)   But North did not see it that way. What did you bid with this north hand K(b) in this week’s quiz? If you go along with my reasoning then 4 is automatic if you chose not to bid 4 at (3).

(6)   East knows that N-S have an 8 card fit (I would not pre-empt 3 with 4 ’s) and double here is very dangerous.

(7)   But North again failed to realise that partner had ’s. He said later that he thought that South had a 19 count. But with a 19 count without a 4 card major South would simply have bid 3NT at (2).


And what happened?  West led the 7 and 3NT doubled went 2 down for a very fortunate top to E-W. 3NT made at another table (presumably West led a foolish top ?). 4 was bid and made twice.

The bottom lines: -

-         Don’t double 3NT if the opponents have an 8 card fit.

-         Lead small from AKxxxx against 3NT (or duck/encourage if partner leads the suit).

Giving a lesson(?) during the play                          Board 16 from Wednesday 22nd   


East told a defender of his apparent ‘poor play’ during the play of the hand and then proceeded to go down in the cold 3NT contract himself. Obviously everybody at the table then told him of his own mistake, but he refused to accept that he had made one. So here’s Emil’s poor effort that I promised him I would write up for him: -


Dealer:             Q54                                           

West                QJ82                                          West          North         East          South

E-W vul           9843                                           pass           pass           1NT         pass

                        96                                              2             pass           2            pass

3NT           all pass

732                    N             A6                       

K765              W    E          A109                   

A102                  S              KJ65                            

A42                                    KJ103                 







South led the J which East ducked; East then won the 2nd round of ’s. Declarer has 7 tricks and will make his contract if he can find a minor suit queen without losing the lead. He decided to lead the 5 and when South apparently hesitated he finessed the 10. Nobody else noticed any hesitation but Emil (East) told South that he should not have hesitated. Anyway, declarer now has 9 tricks (1 , 2 ’s, 4 ’s and 2’s). You would think that having found one of the necessary queens and thus secured the contract he would be satisfied?  But what did the master Emil do? Why, he finessed the J and went one down!


And what happened elsewhere?  One other declarer failed and three made.

The bottom lines: -

-         Don’t tell the opponents how to play if you don’t have a clue yourself.

-         If you criticise the opponents and make a mess of it yourself then expect them to tell you exactly what a hash you made of it and expect to be written up with names.



Double having overcalled  with 1NT is penalties       Board 19 from Wednesday 22nd   


Emil decided to pull his partner’s penalty double here; I can see absolutely no reason to do so and the double is very obviously for penalties.


Dealer:             1093                                          

South               98                                               West          North         East(F)     South(D)

E-W vul           108652                                       -                 -                 -               1    (1)

                        J95                                             1NT (2)      pass           pass         2    (3)

dbl   (4)      pass           2    (5)    all pass

A74                   N             KJ86                   

AKJ3             W    E          105                      

QJ                       S              9743                            

K1073                               Q42                    






(1)   What did you open with this South hand D(a) in this week’s quiz? If you open 1 then you have no sensible rebid over a 1/2/2 response from partner. I would open 1NT; I certainly would not want to emphasise this miserable suit.

(2)   15-18 with stop(s).

(3)   What did you bid with this South hand D(b) in this weeks quiz? LHO has advertised a good hand with ’s and to bid this anaemic suit again is sheer folly; especially as a double by LHO would now be for penalties. Pass is very clear.

(4)   Penalties.

(5)   What did you bid with this East hand F in this week’s quiz? You don’t even have to look at your hand; partner’s double is penalties and you should obviously pass. If partner wanted you to bid he would have made a take-out double on the first round.


And what happened?  South’s appalling bid was matched by East’s and 2 made to score about average; more than they both deserved. 2 by South went two down the two times it ended up as the final contract but it was not doubled.

The bottom lines: -

-         If you overcall with 1NT (15-18) then a subsequent double by you is penalties.




Responding to a take-out double                        Board 7 from Wednesday 22nd   


This is all bog standard. It’s up on the internet: - Basic Bidding ® Responding to partner’s take-out double (News sheet 133). I suggest Emil reads it rather than continually trying to give erroneous unsolicited advice during the game. Virtually everybody else managed to bid the easy game.


Dealer:             73                                               Table A

South               10985                                         West          North         East(E)     South

Both vul            983                                             -                 -                 -               1

                        J872                                           dbl             pass           1    (1)    pass

pass           pass          

A92                   N             KQ105                

K632              W    E          74                         Table B

KQJ7                  S              1065                     West          North         East(E)     South

Q5                                     AK103                 -                 -                 -               1

                        J864                                           dbl             pass           2    (1)    pass

AQJ                                           3   (2)      pass           3NT (3)    all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this East hand E in this week’s quiz? 1 is not correct.

Table B:     (1)  There are a number of reasonable bids. 2 is a bit of an underbid (it shows about 8-11); 3 or a 2 cue bid are better and with just 4 ’s I prefer the 2 cue bid.

(2)   Asking for a stop.

(3)   I have one.


And what happened?  Four pairs reached 3NT and one somehow ended up in 4 going one down.

The bottom lines: -

-         If partner makes a take-out double then you have to jump or cue bid if you have 8+ points (or 1NT shows 6-9).

-         This is absolutely basic and should be known by somebody who is continually trying to give others lessons in a somewhat abrupt/rude manner. I have already warned Emil about his manners; I suspect that he will be out very soon and he is certainly running out of partners anyway. His Friday partner will most certainly never play with him again.

-         If you continually (often incorrectly) criticise partner/opponents having already been warned, you will be asked to leave the club. Of course it will not be necessary for me to make that decision if nobody will partner you. I have already told Emil that I will no longer ask people to partner him and it’s up to him to find himself a partner.


If East chooses the 2 cue bid at (1) the bidding could go: -


1     dbl     pass   2 (1)

pass   2      pass   2

pass   3     pass   3NT


A good hand for Benjamin twos …                     Board11 from Wednesday 22nd   


well, it could have been!


Dealer:             762                                             Table A

South               982                                             West          North         East          South(C)

Love all            Q9                                              -                 -                 -               1    (1)

                        J10763                                       dbl   (2)      pass           3    (3)    4    (4)

dbl   (4)      all pass              

QJ95                 N             K43                     

74                   W    E          -                           Table B

J64                      S              AK10752             West          North         East          South(C)

AK82                                 Q954                   -                 -                 -               2   (1)

                        A108                                          pass           2    (6)      dbl           4    (7)

AKQJ10653                              pass (8)      all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this South hand C in this week’s quiz? I would simply open 4 (or 4showing a good 4 opener if playing Namyats).

(2)   It’s easy for West to enter the auction at the one level – that’s why South should open at the 4-level.

(3)   This is again an underbid by the same player who does not know how to respond to partner’s take-out double (Emil). 3 here shows about 8-11 points; this huge hand should be looking for slam and should start with a 2 cue bid followed by a bid. 3 here is not even forcing.

(4)   Finally finding the bid that he should have found at (1).

(5)   But now West knows that East has a good hand without 4 ’s so he doubles.

Table B:     (1)  This South chose a Benjamin two opening (8-9) playing tricks. Even if playing Benjamin I would still open 4 Namyats.

(6)   Automatic relay.

(7)   10 playing tricks?? I assume that he is now ‘pre-empting’. A 4 opener would have done the job much better

(8)   West should double since East has shown good values.


And what happened?  4 doubled went one down for a joint top to E-W. Nobody found the good 6; it should have been reached at table A had East found the 2 cue bid. Of course if South correctly opens 4 (or 4 playing Namyats) then E-W will not be able to find 6.

The bottom lines: -

-         With 9 playing tricks in a major, open at the 4-level.

-         And if you play Namyats, then open 4/.

-         If you have a good hand opposite partner’s double of a one-level opening, then cue bid.


What to do when you have no room?                  Board 26 from Friday 24th


Dealer:             Q5                                             

East                  A42                                            West          North         East          South(H)

Both vul            A97                                            -                 -                 3    (1)    dbl   (2)

                        K9842                                       4      (3)    all pass


6                        N             J1098432            

K763              W    E          Q5                 

KQ54                 S              82                        

7653                                  J10                      







(1)   A trifle weak for a vulnerable 3-level pre-empt, but as the suit is solid I have no problem with the bid although others may disagree. Anyway – it worked!

(2)   What did you bid with this South hand H in this week’s quiz? Now I have said a few times ‘never deny a 4-card major’ but here you do have a problem. If you double (showing 4 ’s) then you will go past 3NT and that’s bad if partner does not have 4 ’s. So you have to make a decision now – bid 3NT or try for a 4-4 fit – there is no room to do both. Either could work out best but with this solid double stop and AQ in the doubleton which may need protecting I much prefer 3NT.

(3)   North is a bit fixed and opted to play in the 4-3 fit rather than introduce his suit. He has my sympathies.


And what happened?  Virtually everybody was in 3NT but then I guess that most did not get the annoying 3 opening bid?

The bottom lines: -

-         When RHO opens 3/ and you have a good hand with four cards in the other major and stop(s) in his major then you cannot do everything (try for a 4-4 major suit fit or bid 3NT). Generally speaking, go for 3NT if you have two decent stops.


North suggested that South should pass. That would never even occur to me but then we do get a lot of people expressing a lot of strange opinions at the Pattaya Bridge Club!

Too good for 2NT                                                Board 15 from Friday 24th


N-S missed a comfortable slam at Table A – whose fault?


Dealer:             AKJ                                            Table A

South               Q8                                              West          North(G)    East          South

N-S vul            KJ6                                             -                 -                 -               pass

                        AKJ86                                       pass           2NT (1)    pass         3

pass           3              pass         3NT

8                        N             9742                     pass           pass   (2)    pass

J103               W    E          K7642           

Q10432              S              95                         Table B

9752                                  Q3                       West          North(G)    East          South

                        Q10653                                      -                 -                 -               pass

A95                                            pass           2   (1)      pass         2    (3)

A87                                           pass           3    (4)      pass         4NT (5)

104                                            pass           5   (6)      pass         5NT (7)

pass           6    (8)      pass         7    (9)

all pass


Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this North hand G in this week’s quiz? Even if you play 2NT as 20-22 I would still open 2. With this great suit this hand should be upgraded to a 23 count.

(2)  4 looks better to me.

Table B:     (1)  This North chose 2, 22-24 in their system I believe.

(3)  it’s a question of partnership style if you consider this good enough for a  positive response. Playing 2 waiting and 2 negative I would bid 2.

(4)   Clearly North supports as South has promised 5 ’s.

(5)   RKCB   (6) 3 keycards  (7) RKCB   (8)Two kings

(9)   With a king missing and a partner who has shown no more than 22 points I would settle for 6♠.


And what happened?  7is a poor contract but made when declarer found the Q; 6 making +1 would have scored an outright top anyway. Just one other pair bid the good 6 slam and made exactly. The rest of the field were in 3NT or 4 making 12 or 13 tricks.

The bottom lines: -

-         Add on a point for AKJxx in a big balanced hand.

-         It’s best to play the 2NT opening as 20-21, with 2 - 2 - 2NT as 22-24.

-         Don’t bid a grand with 10 opposite 22-24 with a king missing – if you make 13 tricks you will get a good score anyway for bidding the small slam.


Bidding Sequence Answers


L      1      pass   2NT                 With no conventional agreement, 2NT is 11-12, non-forcing and denying 4 ’s.

M    2      pass   3                   3 opposite partner’s weak 2 is natural and forcing.

N     1      1NT   pass   pass       Double, having overcalled 1NT is 100% for penalties.

2      dbl

A new suit opposite a pre-empt is forcing                    Board 11 from Friday 24th


Dealer:             86                                               Table A

South               2                                                 West          North         East          South(J)

Love all            AJ104                                         -                 -                 -               2    (1) 

                        AQ10953                                   pass           3   (2)      pass         pass (3)


J10                    N             Q74                     

AKQ43          W    E          J109875               Table B

85                       S              K9                        West          North         East          South(J)

K764                                 J2                         -                 -                 -               1    (1)

                        AK9532                                     2              dbl             4            4   

6                                                 pass           pass           5            dbl

Q7632                                       all pass



Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this South hand J in this week’s quiz? This is very similar to Hand G from last week but it’s a lot stronger. As I said last week, do not pre-empt with a good two-suiter as a fit in the 2nd suit may get lost.

(2)   Opposite a ‘normal’ weak two opener I would pass or bid 3.

(3)   To compound the felony, South did not know that North’s bid was forcing although this is absolutely standard (RONF – raise only non-forcing).

Table B:     (1)  This South hand J conforms with the rule of 20 and I too would open 1. Pass (and come in later to show the hand type) is the only other reasonable alternative.

And what happened?  3 went one down for a bottom. 4 or 5 make for N-S but 5 goes 3 down for a bottom to E-W when doubled (it was the final contract 4 times but only doubled once).

The bottom lines: -

-         Do not open with a 2/ pre-empt when you have another 5 card suit (I said that last week).

-         A new suit opposite a two level pre-empt is forcing (RONF).

-     Open hands at the one level when they conform with the rule of 20.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    3, pretty obvious. But one player did choose 2; this is a poor bid because it promises a 5+ card suit.

Hand B:    Double. Negative, showing 4 ’s. 2 is ridiculous.

Hand C:    4. Do not allow the opponents in cheaply. If you play Namyats then 4 is perfect.

Hand D:    (a)  1NT. If you open 1 you will have rebid problems.

(b) Pass. To rebid this motley suit is foolhardy in the extreme.

Hand E:    2. Cue bid the opponent’s suit to show a good hand. 3 is a not-so-good alternative which implies a 5 card suit. 2 is a gross underbid which shows 0-8 points.

Hand F:     Pass. Partner’s double is penalties; he has a good hand with good ’s. If he wanted you to bid a suit he would have doubled 1st go rather than bid 1NT.

Hand G:    2. Even if you play the 2NT opening as 20-22 I would open 2 as with this great suit this hand is easily worth a balanced 23. So open 2with a 2NT rebid in mind.

Hand H:    3NT. With this double stop and good honours in the doubleton I much prefer this to the other reasonable option of double.

Hand J:     1 (or pass). Do not open 2 with a two suited hand.

Hand K:    (a)  4, asking partner to bid his best major. 3 is not enough and 4 is too unilateral.

(b)  4. Partner must have 4 ’s or he would not have doubled to start with.