Club News Sheet – No. 214        9th Dec 2006

to news-sheet main page to Pattaya Bridge home page

Mon 4th        1st N-S     Jan & Kaare                     59%       2nd    Britta & Anna-Lisa         58%

                    1st E-W    Jo & Terry                       66%       2nd    Alan & Lewis                 55%

Wed 6th       1st N-S     Kenneth & Phil                 63%       2nd    Gaston & Ursula             55%

                    1st E-W    Lewis & Terry                  65%       2nd    Jelle & Janny                  57%      

Fri 8th           1st N-S     Gunnar & Lars                 60%       2nd    Gaston & Jean-Charles   59%

                    1st E-W    Lewis & Terry                  67%       2nd    John Pugh & Jim             54%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A you choose to open 1NT (that’s OK by me).

Partner transfers with 2 and RHO doubles. What do you do?

A7                AQ953                      

A8                1097             With Hand B partner opens 1NT and RHO overcalls 2. What

A7632          Q3                do you do?

QJ108          J63


Hand C           Hand D           Do you open with Hand C? And if so, what do you open?


AQJ52          A6542          With Hand D RHO opens 1. (a) What do you do?  

10                 A1054          (b)  Suppose you choose double and partner bids 2, what do

3                   A                        you do now?

K87652       AK7


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E partner opens , what do you bid?


Q94              A1076                                       

J7                 8                   With Hand F you open 1 and LHO overcalls 2 (weak).

J986              AK               Partner doubles (negative but not promising both majors) and

AJ43            KJ962          RHO bids 3, what do you do?


Hand G           Hand H           With Hand G you open 1 and partner responds 2, what do

you bid?

AK107532   K86                                                   

AK53           109               With Hand H RHO opens 1NT, what do you bid?     

3                   6

9                                          KQJ9653             


Bidding Sequences Quiz


J      1NT   2      dbl                   What is dbl?

K     1NT   2      2                    What is 2?

L      1NT   2      3                    What is 3?

M    1      pass   2                    How many ’s does the raise to 2 promise?

N     1     1      1                    How many ’s does the 1 bid promise?

P      1      pass   1NT   pass       What is dbl?

pass   dbl

The Bridge Club Championship Races


The current standings for all competitions are in the results folder and on the web-site. The main move of the week was Lewis leaping into top place in both the Silver and Bronze competitions (but of course one cannot win both). Unfortunately he has not played enough to qualify for the Gold Cup. Since Phil has now gone back to the UK for Christmas and Lewis is off to the States for a few months the winners are fairly certain unless Alan can get in a few good results; he needs about 10 points in either the silver or bronze to get the top spot. A couple of good results would see him get the silver and then Lewis would get the bronze to oust Clive who is hanging on despite not having played for ages. Either way Lewis is pretty much secured to win one competition.

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                            1779.2

5    Michael Guin                        1760.9

6    Alan Purdy                           1751.2

7    Bill Noe                                1747.5

8    Kenneth Johansson               1754.3


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 now pretty secure in the top 3 positions of the Gold Cup since Phil has gone home.


Silver Plate                                                       Bronze Medal


2    Lewis Berg                   644.5                     2    Lewis Berg             337.8

5    Clive Bell                      637.8                     3    Clive Bell                334.3

6    Phil Lovell                    633.8                     6    Phil Lovell              328.5

7    Alan Purdy                   628.6                     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                   618.4                     10  Hans Bijvoet           325.1


The triple


I note that a player achieved the elusive triple last week. The triple is winning on Monday, Wednesday and Friday all in the same week. According to my records this feat has only been achieved three other times this year (twice by this same individual):-  in Feb (news-sheet 172) and Jan (169). Quite how this beach bum manages it is a mystery, I guess he has good partners?


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.
That dreaded 4333 type shape again                  Board 3 from Monday 4th  


Three pairs got too high with these E-W cards.


Dealer:             6                                                 Table A

South               K8542                                        West          North         East(B)     South

E-W vul           1042                                           -                 -                 -               pass

                        KQ97                                        1NT (1)      2              3    (2)    pass

pass (3)      pass

KJ7                   N             AQ953                

Q63                W    E          1097                     Table B

KJ8                     S              Q3                       West          North         East          South

A542                                  J63                       -                 -                 -               pass

                        10842                                         1   (1)      1              1    (4)    pass

AJ                                              2    (5)      all pass





Table A:     (1)  What would you open with this West hand? Quite why this West opened a strong NoTrump is beyond me, maybe because of the balanced shape with a stopper in every suit? But you should deduct for 4333 type shape; this hand is only worth 13 points and is way short of a strong No Trump.

(2)   What was you answer to sequence L? This bid is game forcing.

(3)   But West thought that it was not and said that East should double with a strong hand. See my answers to sequences J, K and L. I have no idea if this incorrect statement was influenced by the fact that he had overbid with his opening.

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

(4)  Playing negative doubles this promises 5 ’s (sequence N).

(5)  And West has an easy bid to end the auction in the correct spot.


And what happened? Three pairs got too high with 3 and all went one down. Four East’s played in the sensible 2.

The bottom lines: -

-         E-W have a superb 5-3 fit and 23 points, so why does 3 go down? …

-         because of the dreaded 4333 type shape! This West hand is junk; change it slightly to

KJ3 63 KJ82 AQ42 and 3 makes easily.

-     How many times do I have to say it – knock off a point for the totally flat 4333 type shape. It is bad for both NoTrump and suit contracts.


Incidentally, Jo gave me a few Dutch bridge magazines, and what did I see in the very first one I started to read? – An article titled “4-3-3-3 hand slecht bezit

And the first paragraph said: ‘In deze aflevering komt de 4333 verdeling steeds terug. Het is een oud theme: trek gerust een point af met die verdeling’.

A translation is: “ The 4333 distribution is bad” ‘In this article we see the 4333 distribution yet again. It’s an old theme, contentedly deduct a point with this distribution.’


See – it’s not just me who has to keep on saying it.
An awkward overcall                                           Board 27 from Monday 4th 


I was asked about how to bid this West hand, just two pairs out of nine reached the easy 3NT:


Dealer:             K983                                          Table A

South               3                                                 West(D)     North         East          South

Love all            109872                                       -                 -                 -               1

                        984                                            1    (1)      all pass


A6542               N             7                           Table B

A1054            W    E          QJ7                      West(D)     North         East          South

A                        S              Q653                   -                 -                 -               1

AK7                                   J10653                 dbl   (1)      pass           2           pass

                        QJ10                                          2NT (2)      pass           3NT (3)    all pass






Table A:     (1)  What would you bid with this West hand D(a) in this week’s quiz? Nineteen points really is too strong for a simple 1 overcall. I accept that the suit is weak, but with good shape, nice ’s sitting over opener and excellent top cards one really has to do something more. I go along with table B.

Table B:     (1)  West has options but I think it’s way too good for 1 and also too good for 1NT. Double seems best to me, as long as you know what to do next…

(2)   what did you bid with this West hand D(b) in this week’s quiz? With these decent ’s I prefer 2NT. 2 and 3 are less good but reasonable alternatives.

(3)   And East has an easy raise opposite 19-20.


And what happened? 1 was passed out four times and made 9 or 10 tricks. Two pairs reached the good 3NT making +1 on any lead. I note that it was played by East once; after the initial 1 opening I suspect the bidding went: dbl - 2 - 3 - 3NT which is also a reasonable auction.

The bottom lines: -

-         19 points is too good for a simple overcall; the generally accepted maximum is 17.

-         A good 19 points is also too good for a 1NT overcall: double and then bid NoTrumps.

When your Jacoby transfer is doubled               Board 29 from Monday 4th 


You do not need to complete the transfer if RHO doubles: -


Dealer:             A7                                             

North               A8                                              West          North(A)    East          South

Both vul            A7632                                        -                 1NT (1)      pass         2    (2)

                        QJ108                                        dbl   (3)      2    (4)      pass         3    (5)

pass           3NT           pass         4    (6)

J94                    N             Q108                    pass           pass (7)

K10932          W    E          5                          

J9                        S              KQ854               

965                                    A742                   







(1)   Open 1NT with two doubletons? When the 5-4 suits are the minors I have no problem with opening 1NT. If you open 1 you have rebid problems.

(2)   It’s up to your partnership understanding how you bid 5-5 in the major hands opposite 1NT. I transfer with 2 and then bid 3 guaranteeing 5-5 as with a 5-4 hand I always use Stayman.

(3)   This double shows ’s and asks for a lead.

(4)   What did you bid with this North hand A in this week’s quiz? You should pass! With this particular deal it would have worked a treat as South would have redoubled and scored an easy plus one for a clear top. I give the bids when RHO doubles Jacoby below.

(5)   Showing just 4 ’s in their methods.

(6)   Now showing 5-5.

(7)   But North went wrong again here. He should bid 4 because: -

(a)    West has shown good ’s

(b)   South may have 6 ’s and 5 ’s.


And what happened? 4 went minus one and minus two the two times it was bid. 4 was bid just once and made. 3NT was bid six times and went down on 5 occasions.

The bottom lines: -

-         When RHO doubles partner’s transfer bid the best treatment is to play: -


Pass                       =    two of partner’s suit

Redbl                     =    A good holding (4+) in the cipher suit.

2 of partner’s suit    =    three cards (or 4 but not good enough to super-accept) in partner’s suit.

other                      =    super accept.


Protect that Kx                                                     Board 12 from Monday 4th 


It is often essential to protect a tenace, especially in a suit bid by the opposition: -


Dealer:             K975                                         

West                AQJ3                                         West          North         East          South

N-S vul            Q8                                              1              dbl             redbl  (1)  pass

                        A42                                            pass           1              dbl     (2)  pass

3    (3)      pass           3      (4)  pass

Q3                     N             A872                    3NT (5)      all pass      

K10                W    E          8754                    

AKJ10752          S              9                         

65                                      KQ109               






(1)   9+ points and often a mis-fit with partner (as in this case).

(2)   Penalties.

(3)   West could pass, and normally should. But this hand is great in offence and may have very little in defence; the 3 bid shows just that.

(4)   East only wants to play in 3NT if partner has a stop (and is declarer).

(5)   I have a stop.


And what happened? Only two pairs reached the decent 3NT, but at the other table it was East who bid it and he went four down. At this table it made +2 for near a top. It was only beaten by 2 doubled minus three (800).

The bottom lines: -

-         You can ask partner for a stop by bidding the opponent’s suit.


The problem with Jacoby 2NT                            Board 17 from Wednesday 6th 


Most players who play the Jacoby 2NT convention play that it shows an opening hand + and is unlimited. However, this really is a poor treatment as opener does not know if responder has a minimal 12 points or a 16+ monster. This deal illustrates the problem nicely: -


Dealer:             962                                             Table A

North               964                                             West          North         East          South

Love all            J6                                                -                 pass           1            pass

                        Q8532                                       2NT (1)      pass           3   (2)    pass

3    (3)      pass           3    (2)    pass

Q85                   N             AJ10                     4   (4)      pass           4    (2)    pass

AK53             W    E          QJ1072                4    (5)      pass           4NT (6)    pass

8752                   S              AK93                  5    (7)      pass           7    (8)    all pass

K6                                     A                         

                        K743                                          ‘Expert’ Table

8                                                 West          North         East          South

Q104                                         -                 pass           1            pass

J10974                                       4    (1)      pass           4    (9)    pass

5   (10)    pass           5    (11)  pass

5    (12)    pass           6    (13)  all pass  


Table A:     (1)  The Jacoby 2NT convention; promising 4 card support and opening values.

(2)   Cue bid.

(3)   Denying a first round control (other than ’s).

(4)   2nd round control

(5)   I believe that this denies the K as otherwise West would cue bid 5. However, this is a moot point; some play that responder should not go past 4 of the major with a minimum for his Jacoby 2NT bid.

(6)   RKCB

(7)   Two keycards without the Q.

(8)   But here we see the problem, East has no idea if West has 12 points or 18! This is the problem with playing a wide-ranging Jacoby 2NT.

Table B:     (1)  Our experts solve the problem by playing Swiss as well as Jacoby 2NT.  This is all up on the web site under ‘Raising partner’s 1/ opening with a big hand’; it is also similar to what Max hardy suggests in his excellent book ‘Standard bridge bidding for the 21st century’. Anyway, 4 here is keycard Swiss, showing a sound raise to 4 with 4 trumps and 12-15 points but lacking the requirements for 4 (two keycards and a feature).

(9)   East can still cue bid in search of the grand if he wishes but he knows that West is limited. He could simply bid 6.

(10)   The K    (11)  The A     (12)  Nothing more outside of trumps.

(13)  And East knows to stop in the small slam.


And what happened? 5 pairs bid 6; two made and three went one down. There is a throw-in/end play to make 6 but obviously you cannot use that technique in a grand slam so East at table A tried the finesse and went two down.

The bottom lines: -

-         It is a good idea for experienced players to play (Keycard) Swiss in conjunction with Jacoby.

A 3-level weak jump overcall has to be a good suit if vul.           Board 6 from Wednesday 6th 


East was put off by some totally unnecessary (and illegal) chatter during this auction.


Dealer:             874                                            

East                  AK853                                       West(me)   North         East          South(C)

E-W vul           A10                                            -                 -                 pass         1   (1)

                        AJ3                                            3    (2)      dbl   (3)      pass         3    (4)

pass           3NT (5)      all pass

K109                 N             63                        

94                   W    E          QJ762                 

KQ987642         S              J5                        

-                                         Q1094                






(1)   What did you open with this South hand C in this week’s quiz? It’s 21 for the rule of 20 and I most certainly would open. But 1 or 1? I personally would open 1 but would not argue if you chose 1.

(2)   This is a great hand for a pre-empt, but at unfavourable vulnerability 4 is too much. I bid 3.

(3)   This apparently was penalties. It’s up to partnership understanding how high you play negative doubles. Anyway, on the assumption that West (i.e. me) knows what he is doing with a pre-empt at unfavourable vulnerability I would no go for the penalty but bid a (forcing) 3.

(4)   This seems pretty clear to me. Even if partner’s double is penalties this hand may be virtually useless in defence.

(5)   But North did not agree and verbally slated partner for pulling his double of the vulnerable opponents. Apart from being rude it is also very ignorant, not having seen partner’s hand. With just one stop I would bid 4 - partner has promised an unbalanced hand.


And what happened? When dummy came down North again slated partner– saying that he would not open. I disagree, but then I am not Italian. Obviously East should lead the J and 3NT is then going four down when declarer takes the losing finesse. However, North’s shenanigans convinced East that North had some sort of stack and he led a .

3NT then went just one down for an exact average. Other results were all over the place, with two N-S’s going down (2 or 3 tricks) in 6♠. Nobody found the very sensible 4 contract. Two East’s bid 4 and were doubled; going one or two down. In a ‘normal’ field most N-S’s would be in 4 making and 3 doubled would go just one down for a top to E-W.

The bottom lines: -

-         Lead partner’s suit; J from Jx is usually an excellent lead.

-         A pre-empt at unfavourable vulnerability guarantees a good suit.

-         Don’t talk (or criticize others!) during the auction.

-         Believe partner’s bid rather than the chatter of an opponent who has no idea what he is talking about.

-         You are not allowed to talk or make gestures during the auction/play.

-         Even during the play declarer was muttering away to himself ‘seven ’s with West’ – it never occurred to him that at this vulnerability West may have eight ’s!

Bid 3NT or the 4-card major?                             Board 16 from Friday 8th  


This problem for West is very similar to the one with the same title in last week’s news sheet (Board 15 from Friday 27th). It was also question F in the quiz last week; and to show that I am indeed consistent, I chose the same bid again this time.


Dealer:             J542                                           West(F)     North         East          South

West                A107                                          1             2    (1)      dbl   (2)    3    (3)

E-W vul           Q109864                                    3NT (4)      all pass



A1076               N             KQ9                    

8                     W    E          K954                   

AK                     S              62                       

KJ962                                Q1053






(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)   A good bid – obeying The Law

(4)   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 these stops? I bid 3NT because: -

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

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

(c)    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 +2 for a near top.


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.

-     Virtually all of this page is simply copied from last week’s news sheet.


The help-suit slam try                                          Board 2 from Friday 8th  


A straightforward slam was missed by N-S on this deal. Gaston asked me to tell Jean-Charles that sequence N (1 - pass - 2) promises 4 card support.  I have no idea what system they play in Italy but I totally agree with Jean-Charles that supporting partner at the two level most certainly does not promise 4-card support in any system that I know of (even Acol).


Dealer:             Q94                                            Table A

East                  J7                                               West          North(E)    East          South

N-S vul            J986                                            -                 -                 pass         1

                        AJ43                                          pass (1)      1NT (2)      2           3   (3)

pass           3NT           pass         4

J6                      N             8                           all pass

1092               W    E          Q864                   

KQ10752           S              A4                       ‘Expert’ Table

106                                    KQ8752              West          North         East          South(G)

                        AK107532                                 -                 -                 pass         1

AK53                                         pass           2    (2)      pass (3)    3    (4)

3                                                 pass           4   (5)      pass         6    (6)

9                                                all pass


Table A:     (1)  A weak 3 is an alternative at this vulnerability.

(2)   What did you bid with this North hand E in this week’s quiz? 2 is pretty automatic; especially with the Q and a weak doubleton. Gaston (North) insists that 2 promises 4 card support. He is the only person that I have ever met who believes this. I would bid 2 with this North hand even if playing 4-card majors.

(3)   I would bid 3 here in case there is a 4-4 or better fit, Lewis said that he would bid 4; it not that important. I don’t really see the point of 3 but it does not really matter now as the slam will never be bid once North has denied support.

‘Expert’      (2)  The three level is too high for East to come in.

 Table:        (4)  What did you bid with this South hand G in this week’s quiz? 3 here is a help-suit game try (which also happens to be natural). This is a good example of a help-suit game try actually being a slam try.

(5)   This hand is good enough to accept; and if accepting it’s best to cue bid an ace if you have one just in case partner is looking for slam. The only exception is when you hold the A with ’s ‘agreed’ as a 4 bid is natural.

(6)   South could try RKCB, but there are only the values for a small slam and he knows that partner has the A.


And what happened? Most people just got to 4; some made +1 and some made +2. 6 should be easy to make; lead and continuation which you ruff; AK and ruff a ; play the Q; back to hand with the A; ruff another ; ruff a and draw the last trump.

Jean-Charles (South) said that he would have bid the slam had he known of support opposite; Gaston (North) simply criticised his partner’s bidding and tried to get me and Lewis to back him up. It was J-C who got our full support.

The bottom lines: -

-         Support partner’s major at the two level with Qxx, especially if you have a weak doubleton…

-         ... but direct support at the three level does indeed promise 4 card support.

-         A help-suit game try may actually be a slam try…

-     … so it is good policy to cue bid an ace if accepting.

Be wary of a vulnerable pre-empt over a strong NoTrump               Board 13 from Friday 8th  


South got clobbered here when most E-W’s were going down in 3NT: -


Dealer:             J1097                                         West          North         East          South(H)

North               Q543                                          -                 pass           1NT         3   (1)

Both vul            Q875                                          dbl   (2)      all pass



Q53                   N             A42                     

KJ72              W    E          A86                     

KJ102                 S              A943                  

74                                      A108






(1)   What did you bid with this South hand H in this week’s quiz? Had East opened one of a suit then a 3 pre-empt would be automatic; but over 1NT, especially vulnerable, it is dangerous as LHO knows that partner has a strong balanced hand and you may get doubled for penalties. I would pass as this hand has excellent defence against either 3NT or 4 of a major.

(2)   Penalties. The pre-empt has robbed West of room to investigate a 4-4 fit and so he took the vulnerable money.


And what happened? 3 doubled went for 500 and a top for E-W as most E-W’s were going down in the obvious 3NT had South kept quiet.


The bottom lines: -

-     Pre-empts over a strong NoTrump are often not that effective.

-     With a long virtually solid minor and a probable entry it’s usually best to keep quiet and hope that they end up in 3NT.

Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    Pass. It’s best to pass with just two of partner’s suit, complete the transfer with three or four (min values) and super-accept with four and a maximum.

Hand B:    3, forcing. This bid is forcing whether you play Lebensohl or not and it shows five ’s, offering partner the choice of 4 or 3NT.

Hand C:    1 or 1. This shapely hand is 21 for the rule of 20 and is easily worth an opener. It’s probably up to your system and partnership style if you choose 1 or 1. Playing 2/1 I would certainly open 1 as a rebid of 3 over a two level response does not show extra values, just shape, in 2/1. Even in Standard American I prefer 1 as this is a very good suit and the hand really is not strong enough to open 1and then bid ’s twice (and there may well be interference so that partner will never know that you have 5 ’s).

Hand D:    (a)  Double. The hand is far too strong for a simple 1 and is also too strong for 1NT (15-18)

(b)  2NT, with 3 and 3 as a fairly reasonable alternatives. With these great ’s I definitely prefer 2NT showing 19-20 points and good stop(s).

Hand E:    2, obviously. 1NT is especially poor with these good ’s and a weak doubleton.

Hand F:     3NT. Partner probably has 4 ’s and may or may not have 4 ’s. Unfortunately if you try to find a fit you will go past 3NT. This is very similar to problem F last week – it’s usually best to bid 3NT in these situations.

Hand G:    3. Partner will think that this is a help-suit game try and if he accepts then you can try for slam. Note that if partner accepts with 4 then 4 is natural and you should go for the slam. If partner accepts with 4 or 4 then that is a cue bid showing the ace.

Hand H:    Pass. 3 vulnerable is sticking you neck out as it’s easy for the next hand to double for penalties. Also, this hand has great defence to 3NT if they end up there and will also be useful in defending a 4 or 4 contract. With a good long minor it’s often best to defend against No Trumps.


Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers


J      1NT   2      dbl                   dbl is penalties and opener is expected to pass

K     1NT   2      2                    2 is weak

L      1NT   2      3                    3 is absolutely forcing, showing 5 ’s.

M    1      pass   2                    2 promises only 3 ’s (in every country except Italy?).

N     1     1      1                    Playing negative doubles the 1 bid is best played as promising 5 ’s (negative double to show 4 ’s).

P      1      pass   1NT   pass       I was asked about this one and I guess it’s up to partnership

pass   dbl                             understanding, but I would play dbl here is take-out; a hand not strong enough for an initial double but good enough to bid in the balancing seat. I suppose that you could play it as penalties with a stack but that situation comes up less often than the balancing take-out scenario.

Having written the above I looked it up in Crowhurst’s “Acol in competition” and he says that it is for take-out.