Club News Sheet – No. 213        2nd Dec 2006


to news-sheet main page to Pattaya Bridge home page

Mon 27th      1st N-S     Jan & Royd                      67%       2nd    Alan & Lewis                 65%

                    1st E-W    Derek & Gerard               57%       2nd    Bjorn & Knud                56%

Wed 29th     1st N-S     Alan & Lewis                   60%       2nd    Derek & Gerard             55%

                    1st E-W    Kenneth & Phil                 56%       2nd    Jan & Royd                    56%      

Fri 1st           1st N-S     = Dave & Mike G                          = Alan & Lewis                      57%      

                    1st E-W    Lard G & Gunnar             65%       2nd    Richard m & Margit        57%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A LHO opens 1NT and partner doubles. What do

you do?

9862             AK9

952               765               With Hand B RHO opens 1. (a) What do you bid?

AK93           KQ83           (b)  Suppose you pass and partner bids 1NT in the balancing seat,

75                642                    What do you bid now?


Hand C           Hand D           (a) What do you do as opener with Hand C?

(b)  and what do you plan to rebid if you decide to open?

KQJ106       A                                               

QJ7542        A103            With Hand D you open 1 and partner responds 1. What 

-                    KQJ632        do you bid now?

74                K103


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E LHO opens 1 and this is passed round to you.

What do you bid?

632               KJ54                                         

KQJ             10                 With Hand F you open 1 and LHO overcalls 3. Partner 

764               K72              doubles (negative but not guaranteeing both majors). What 

AK87           KQJ62         do you bid?


Bidding Sequences Quiz


G     1NT   dbl                             What is dbl?

H     1NT   dbl     pass   2         What is 2?

J      1      dbl     3                    What is 3?

K     1     1      dbl                   Dbl is negative, what does it promise in the majors?

L      1     2      dbl                   Dbl is negative, what does it promise in the majors?

M    1     3      dbl                   Dbl is negative, what does it promise in the majors?

N     1NT   pass   2     pass       What is 3NT? How many ’s?

2      pass   3NT

P      1NT   pass   2     pass       What is 3? Is it forcing? How many ’s? How many ’s?

2      pass   3

Q     1     pass   1      pass       What is 4NT – quantitative or Gerber?

2NT   pass   4NT                 (from board 8 on Wednesday)

The Bridge Club Championship Races


The current standings for all competitions are in the results folder and on the web-site. There the main move of the week was Alan getting his 30 qualifying results for the Gold Cup and moving into 6th place

We currently have 8 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                    1771.1

5    Michael Guin                1760.9

6    Alan Purdy                   1749.9

7    Bill Noe                        1747.5

8    Kenneth Johansson       1746.7


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.


Silver Plate                                                       Bronze Medal


4    Clive Bell                637.8                           2    Clive Bell                334.3

5    Phil Lovell              633.8                           3    Lewis Berg             331.6

6    Alan Purdy             628.6                           6    Phil Lovell              328.5

7    Lewis Berg             627.1                           7    Ruth Ibler               327.2

8    Hans Bijvoet           624.2                           8    Jim Wallington        327.1

9    Derek & Gerard     623.7                           9    Alan Purdy             325.8

10  Jan v Koss             617.2                           10  Hans Bijvoet           325.1


Basic 2/1


A couple of our more experienced players have finally decided to take the very sensible step of learning 2/1, so I have written a couple of pages on it. It is intended for anybody with a good understanding of Standard American to pick up the basics of 2/1. Copies are in the conventions folder and I will doubtless improve upon it when I get feedback/questions.

I will put it up on the internet when it’s finalised and after I have had some comments.
A double of a 1NT opening is penalties…                            Board 17 from Monday 27th   


… advancer (doubler’s partner) should only bid with a very weak hand (5 or less points). At least two (that I know of) players got this wrong on Monday. And as it’s an obvious 1NT opening and equally obvious double but as 1NT doubled was the final contract only twice I suspect that a number more got it wrong.


Dealer:             9862                                           Table A

North               952                                             West          North(A)    East          South

Love all            AK93                                         -                 pass           1NT         dbl   (1)

                        75                                              pass (2)      2    (3)      pass         2    (4)

all pass

103                    N             K5                       

863                 W    E          AK104                 Table B

8542                   S              1076                    West          North(A)    East          South

J862                                   KQ103                -                 pass           1NT         dbl   (1)

                        AQJ74                                        pass (2)      2   (5)      pass         pass (6)






Table A:     (1)  With a decent 17 points, a clear penalty double.

(2)   With such a weak hand West would run if there was somewhere to run to, but with no 5 card suit it’s best to pass and hope for the best.

(3)   What did you bid with this North hand A in this week’s quiz? Partner has made a penalty double of 1NT and with 7 good points you expect to defeat the contract. Of course you should pass. But see Table B for a really amazing bid!

(4)   With just a doubleton and a decent suit, South decided to bid 2.

Table B:     (5)  What is the most ridiculous two level bid that North can make? Anything but pass is silly, but 2!! It appears that North thought that this was some sort of Stayman? That’s a new one on me. North actually tried to justify this ludicrous bid by saying that 4 makes!

(6)  With three decent ’s pass is clearly best here.


And what happened? Deep finesse says that N-S can make 10 tricks in NoTrumps, but that’s double dummy. In practice 1NT goes one down on a lead. 100 for 2 minus two was the only +ve score in the E-W column.

The bottom lines: -

-         A double of 1NT is penalties – about 15-18 points.

-         Only remove partner’s double with a very weak hand (5 or less) and a long (5+) suit.


Balancing with 1NT – Part 1                               Board 25 from Monday 27th  


1NT in the balancing seat.  A 1NT overcall is 15-18, but that’s only in the direct seat. If it goes 1something  pass  pass 1NT  then this 1NT in the balancing seat is considerably less. Different partnerships have varying agreements. I like to play around 10-13; others play something like 12-14 and I note that Brian Senior (in “balancing after 1-level openings” which is in the club library) recommends a large range like 11-16 with a Crowhurst type 2 enquiry. I don’t like the Crowhurst convention but it may well be very useful in this particular scenario where there are simply not enough bids to show the large point spread.


Dealer:             Q105                                         

North               A10942                                      West(E)     North         East(B)     South

E-W vul           A92                                            -                 1              pass (1)    pass

                        K9                                             1NT (2)      pass           3NT (3)    all pass


632                    N             AK9                    

KQJ               W    E          765                      

764                     S              KQ83                 

AK87                                 642                     






(1)   What did you bid with this East hand B(a) in this week’s quiz? With no shortage (and with only 3 ’s) double is a poor choice. Pass is correct, if partner understands balancing you get another chance.

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand E in this week’s quiz? With a flat hand and good stops 1NT is correct. Note that this does not promise 15-18 as it does in the direct seat. Partner has values and you ‘borrow’ a king from him.

(3)   What did you bid with this East hand B(a) in this week’s quiz? Unfortunately East did not understand the theory of balancing and thought that partner had 15-18. The correct bid is 2NT which West would pass with his poor flat 12 count.



And what happened? Deep finesse says that E-W can make 8 tricks in No Trumps. I note that 1 was passed out 6 times (!) for 80 to N-S or 50 to E-W. With the other two pairs reaching 3NT it appears that nobody !! understands balancing as all the E-W pairs either underbid (passing out 1) or overbid to 3NT.

The bottom lines: -

-     Understanding balancing!

-     There are a couple of books on balancing in the library, let me know if you want to borrow one.

-     In particular, we have a couple of copies of the booklet “balancing after 1-level openings” by Brian senior.


Balancing with 1NT – Part 2                               Board 25 from Monday 27th  


Double followed by 1NT in the balancing seat. As we have just seen, everything is different in the balancing seat. A possible treatment is given at the bottom of this page.


Dealer:             KQ4                                          

East                  K863                                          West          North         East          South

N-S vul            A65                                            -                 -                 1            pass

                        A107                                          pass           dbl   (1)      pass         1    (2)

pass           1NT (3)      pass         2NT (4)

Q863                 N             A86                      pass           pass (5)      all pass

J107               W    E          Q54                     

1083                   S              KQ94                 

Q862                                 J93                      






(1)   What would you bid with this North hand? Double is correct as the hand is far too good for a balancing 1NT in most player’s style.

(2)   With a totally flat hand it’s not quite worth a jump.

(3)   This is fine.

(4)   But here we have the problem. Not many non-steady partnerships have agreed the range for a 1NT rebid in the balancing seat having doubled. South assumed it was around 14-17.

(5)   But North thought that he was minimal for his bidding, and with a totally flat hand and no agreement about the strength I think he’s probably right.


And what happened?

North made 10 tricks for a near top as only one pair bid the 3NT game.

Who was to blame for not bidding game? With no agreement about the exact point range I think that South should have bid 3NT rather than 2NT at (4).

The bottom lines.

-         Regular partnerships should agree the ranges for balancing NoTrump bids.

-     Since the 1NT bid in the balancing seat needs to include a fairly low point count (say 10 or 11) there really is not much room to be that precise. One possibility is: -


No Trump bids in the balancing seat


1NT                                   10-13

dbl followed by 1NT          14-17

dbl followed by 2NT          18-19

2NT                                   20-23


This assumes that partner has made a minimum response at the one-level. If partner makes a non-jump response at the two level then it’s even more problematic! Note that a pre-emptive Unusual 2NT is not needed in the balancing seat and so the 2NT overcall can be used to help to fill in the large point spread. It really is not a good idea to have a four point spread for any No Trump bid, but there really is no alternative unless you want to use Crowhurst.

In No Trumps, play on your longest suit            Board 11 from Monday 27th  


Very simple and obvious I know, basic beginner’s stuff; but I watched as one declarer went two down in 1NT when 3NT was made at another table – a difference of  four tricks with no bad breaks or long suits around!

West          North         East          South

Dealer:             AK3                                           -                 -                 -               pass

South               K1095                                        pass           1NT           all pass

Love all            AK4                                          

                        654                                            There’s nothing to the bidding, so onto the

play. You get the obvious lead and win the

Q94                   N             J8765                   2nd round. Which suit do you attack?

Q82                W    E          AJ74                    ’s is totally obvious.

Q1082                S              93                        Play on your longest suit.

1072                                  AK                       This declarer simply banged down the AK

                        102                                             and made just 5 tricks.

63                                               Everybody else managed at least 7 with 

J765                                            Phil/Tomas making 9. Deep finesse says 8.



The bottom line:

-         Whether declarer or defending No Trumps, it’s usually best to attack your longest suit.


With 12 points opposite a double – do something                Board 2 from Monday 27th  


Our same non-dynamic North did nothing but pass on this deal: -


Dealer:             1095                                           West          North         East          South

East                  KJ54                                          -                 -                 2    (1)    pass

N-S vul            AQ2                                           2    (2)      pass           pass (3)    dbl   (4)

                        Q52                                           2NT (5)      pass           3           pass (6)

pass           pass (7)

A7642               N             Q3                       

103                   W    E        AQ872           (1)  A multi bid with various meanings including

K95                    S              76                        weak with 5 ’s and a minor suit.

J107                                   9863              (2)  A relay showing a non-strong hand.

(3)   So weak with ’s and a minor.

                        KJ8                                      (4)  South has only 3 ’s but I think that     

96                                               double is the only sensible option.

J10843                                  (5)  Hoping to find a 5-3 minor suit fit.

AK4                                     (6)  South has already bid his hand

(7)  But unfortunately North refused to bid his, 3NT is obvious.

And What happened?

-     3 went minus three for 150 away. This was a near top for E-W as N-S have an easy 3NT. The bottom lines: -

-         With 12 points opposite a partner who has doubled – don’t pass!

-         Don’t be pushed around just because the opponent’s play strange muti two bids – simply listen to their explanations.

Be wary of raising a minor past 3NT                  Board 3 from Wednesday 27th  


Sometimes partner may have to ‘dig up’ a non-existent minor in order to find a forcing bid – so don’t raise it to the 4 level unless you have excellent support and slam ambitions: -


Dealer:             85                                               West          North         East          South(D)

South               KQ654                                       -                 -                 -               1    (1)

E-W vul           94                                               pass (2)      1              pass (3)    3   (4)

                        Q642                                         pass           4   (5)      pass         4NT (6)

pass           5   (7)      pass         pass (8)

QJ643               N             K10972                pass

83                   W    E          J97                      

A1075                S              8                         

95                                      AJ87                   






(1)   Clearly the best opening.

(2)   A 1 overcall is reasonable here.

(3)   But a 1 overcall in the sandwich seat would be very dangerous, this pass is best.

(4)   What did you bid with this South hand D in this week’s quiz? The problem is that 3 is not forcing and neither is 2. The hand is too good for 2NT and that’s not a good bid with good 3 card support and a singleton. I believe that the best bid is 3; game forcing. If partner bids 3 or 3 you can look for a slam there. If partner bids 3 you can bid 3NT and if partner bids 3NT you can either pass or raise quantitatively with 4NT. But…

(5)   … the only problem is if partner raises ’s! I would never raise to 4 with such a weak hand and weak support. Rebidding the good 5 card suit is clearly best.

(6)   South is in a mess now. He assumed that partner had only 4 ’s and had good support.

(7)   Zero (or 3) Key cards.

(8)   And another problem for South. He cannot retreat into 5 ’s even if he wanted to as that would be asking for the Q.


And what happened?

5 went one down. As it happens 5 (bid at one table) is also one down because of the bad position. Obviously 4 or 5 is the best contract. Two E-W pairs bid to 4 (clearly following the Law); one was doubled but it made for 790 and the top for E-W; the other went one down for an average as 4/5 makes. Three N-S pairs bid to 4/5 ’s for the top scores to N-S.


The bottom lines: -

-         Sometimes it is necessary to ‘dig up’ a forcing 3 or 3 bid.

-         Such a bid should rarely be supported at the four level.

5-6 in the majors is a great hand!                        Board 7 from Wednesday 27th  


5602 shape with 9 points in the majors is a great offensive hand – do not defend!


Dealer:             9543                                           West          North         East          South(C)

South               A103                                          -                 -                 -               1    (1)

Both vul            Q854                                          2              2    (2)      3   (3)    4    (4)

                        J8                                               5   (5)      pass           pass         5    (6)

pass           pass           dbl           all pass

872                    N             A                          pass

6                     W    E          K98                     

AKJ10962          S              73                       

Q5                                     AK109632          






(1)   What did you open with this South hand C(a) in this week’s quiz? I consider this hand to be huge and opened 1 with the intention of (b) reversing into ’s if necessary.

(2)   With a weak hand it’s usually best to support partner’s ’s rather than show 4 ’s (with a negative double in this case)

(3)   3NT is an alternative here which East later said he should have bid. However it makes no difference with this South (me)…

(4)   … as I am always bidding game once partner has made a noise in support of ’s. I most certainly would never defend 3NT (as three South’s did).

(5)   A good bid; partner must have excellent ’s. 5 is equally good.

(6)   As I said, I am not defending with this hand.


And what happened?

The three pairs in 3NT all made overtricks. 5 was bid (and doubled!) twice; it made +1 and -1. Nobody bid 5 which looks fairly secure as the cards lie. 5 doubled was reached by two South’s and went for just 500, so scoring very well.


The bottom lines: -

-     Do not defend with a hand like this South hand.

-     Upgrade a hand that is 5-6 in the majors, especially with a void and all the points in the major suits.

Bid 3NT or the 4-card major?                             Board 15 from Friday 27th  


When the level is so high that you cannot safely show both your stop for No Trumps and a four card major then you have to make a decision: -


Dealer:             Q2                                              West(F)     North         East          South

South               Q63                                            -                 -                 -               pass

Both vul            AQ109863                                 1             3    (1)      dbl   (2)    pass

                        5                                                3NT (3)      all pass


KJ54                 N             A98                     

10                   W    E          K853                   

K72                    S              J5                        

KQJ62                               A984






(1)   Weak

(2)   Negative. At this level it cannot show both majors. I think it’s best to play it as showing values and only guaranteeing one 4-card major.

(3)   What did you bid with this West hand F in this week’s quiz? Should you look for a 4-4 fit or bid 3NT with a stop? There was some discussion at the table with one experienced player adamant that West should bid 3. I agree with the 3NT bid because: -

(a)    You have a stop which may be worthless if partner ends up as declarer.

(b)   Partner almost certainly has ’s and so may well not have 4 ’s.

(c)    If you bid 3 then there is no chance of getting into 3NT if that’s the best spot.

(d)   If partner happens to have both majors then he will probably bid 4 (pick a major) and you can then bid 4♠.


And what happened?

3NT made twice for about average and went down once. 4 was bid once and made (Deep Finesse says it only makes 8 tricks) and there were the usual spurious results like 6 minus three.


The bottom lines: -

-     When you have no room to show both a 4-card major and a stop for NoTrump you have to make the decision. I think it’s usually best to opt for 3NT but it depends upon the exact hand.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    Pass. Partner’s double is for penalties (15-18) and you expect to set 1NT. Any bid by you would be weak (less than 5 points and a 5+ card suit).

Hand B:    (a)  Pass. You should not make a noise with a flat hand unless you have enough for 1NT (15-18). Double is especially bad with only 3 ’s.

(b)  2NT. Partner’s 1NT in the balancing seat is weaker than in the direct seat. Partnerships differ according to the exact range.

Hand C:    (a)  1. The hand complies with the rule of 20 and is well worth an opener. I prefer 1 to 1 because of my answer to (b) below. 2 (which one player did find) is a very poor opening as you could well have a game/slam opposite not very much from partner.

(b)  2. A reverse. A reverse is generally around 16 points but I think that this hand, with it’s great shape and all of the points working in the long suits is worth it. It will make game opposite very little from partner.

Hand D:    This is difficult and I bid 3. The problem is that the hand has improved when partner bids ’s and is now easily worth game. But it may only be a 4-3 fit and so you have to make a forcing bid to ensure that partner bids again. 2NT is not forcing and I don’t like the bid anyway with this shape. 3 and 3 are both also non-forcing. 3NT and 4 are too unilateral. The only sensible bid that I can find is 3; partner should know that this could be ‘dug up’ and should not raise to 4 without excellent support and if he has only 4 ’s.

Hand E:    1NT. The exact range of a balancing 1NT is up too partnership agreement. It should be around 10-13, 11-14 or whatever you agree.

Hand F:     3NT. You have a stop and I prefer 3NT to 4 as partner has not promised 4 ’s. Unfortunately there is no room to investigate a fit with 3NT as an alternative.



Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers


G     1NT   dbl                             Dbl is penalties. Partner should only bid with a weak hand.

H     1NT   dbl     pass   2         2 is weak (5 or less points) and natural.

J      1      dbl     3                    3 after a double is best played as pre-emptive.

K     1     1      dbl                   This double promises both majors.

L      1     2      dbl                   But this one may be just one major.

M    1     3      dbl                   And this one also only promises one major.

N     1NT   pass   2     pass       3NT here shows game values with 4 ’s.

2      pass   3NT

P      1NT   pass   2     pass       Playing traditional methods 3 shows 5 ’s and 4 ’s and is

2      pass   3                    forcing. Playing Quest transfers it shows 5 ’s and 4 ’s and is invitational or better

Q     1     pass   1      pass       4NT here is best played as quantitative with 4 as Gerber.

2NT   pass   4NT                 There is a sheet covering all of this in the conventions folder.