Club News Sheet – No. 167   14th Jan 2006


                                    Winner                                           Runner-up


Mon  9th     N-S   1st    Bob P/Joe              64%         2nd    Chuck/Terry Ibbs               53%

                  E-W   1st    Dave/Ruth              66%         2nd    Gerard/Derek                     60%

Wed  11th   N-S   1st    Birger/Ole              60%         2nd    Bill/Mike(Can)                    57%

                  E-W   1st    Gerard/Derek         63%         2nd    Johm/Kenneth                    55%

Fri    13th    N-S   1st    Jim(Sco)/Ursula      58%         2nd    Chuck/Terry Ibbs               57%

                  E-W   1st    Peter(Lux)/Tom      72%         2nd    Lis/Finn                              55%


Please note. I am getting enormous amounts of junk spam, so I have changed my e-mail from to Other addresses (info, admin etc still work).


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated


Hand A            Hand B            With Hand A partner opens 1NT, what do you bid?


Q9                AK64          

AJ32            2                   With Hand B you open 1 and partner responds 1,

10652           AK86           what do you bid?

962              A1083


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


K1062          72                 With Hand D it’s love all and there are three passes to you.

AJ5              AK               (a)  What do you open?

AJ984           AQ10           (b)  Suppose you open 1 for some reason, LHO overcalls 1

10                AK9875             and that’s passed to you, what do you do?


Hand E             Hand F             What do you open vul in 2nd seat with Hand E?


6                   AKQJ1097                                

J85               A4                With Hand F you open 2 (or 2 playing Benji) and partner

864               AQ95           gives a waiting response. What do you bid now?

AKQ942      -


Hand G            Hand H            With Hand G partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 1, what do

                                                you bid?

AQJ84          8654          

1054             KQ               With Hand H you open 1, partner responds 1, you bid 1 and

852               K6                partner then bids 2, 4th suit forcing. What do you bid?

32                AQ753        


Bidding Sequences (no opposition bidding). Quite a few more interesting ones this week: -


Sequence J       1 - 1 - 3                3 is a splinter agreeing ’s, is it game forcing or not?

Sequence K     1 - 1 - 3♥ - 3♠        is3 weak or encouraging (slow arrival)?    

Sequence L      2 - 2 - 3- 4        3 is a solid suit and game forcing, what is 4?

Sequence M     1NT - 2 - 2♦ - 2     what does the 2 bid show?
Adjusted scores


I had to adjust two sets of scores on Friday. On board 9 E-W managed to virtually play out the hand before East discovered that he had 14 cards and West had twelve. Now the rules are very clear here, and it’s written on the club convention cards – count your cards face down (and then compare with the curtain card). E-W were awarded zero on the board and N-S got 65%. I have mentioned this many times in the news sheets and people who look at their cards before counting them and then discover that they have an incorrect number will be penalised in future.

And board 16 got a similar adjusted score: -


A ‘Short’ - or a psyche?                                   Board 16 from Wednesday 11th  


Dealer:             J743                                          

West                Q10                                            West(C)     North         East          South

E-W vul           Q632                                          1    (1)     pass           2           pass

                        A72                                            2NT           pass           3NT         all pass


K1062               N             95                        

AJ5                W    E          K42                     

AJ984                 S              105                      

10                                      KJ965                 






(1)   What did you open with this West hand C in this week’s quiz. Obviously 1♦. This E-W pair play a ‘short’ or ‘prepared’   - that means that when you are 4432 shape exactly then you open 1 so that a 1 opening then always guarantees 4 cards. But I have made it quite clear recently in the club rules that if you play this system then the 1 opening needs to be alerted.


Now this East player knew this and claims that he ‘alerted’ (with a tap on the table). Neither North nor South noticed this – when you want to alert you say ‘alert’ and place the alert card on the table.

Apart from all of the above, what can I say about opening 1 with this West hand. It is either ludicrous or psyching. If a partnership has a system that involves opening 1 with a singleton then they certainly need to fill out a convention card and pre-alert opponents (inform them before play that they play a freak system).

And what happened? North led a smack into declarer’s suit and obviously the defence could not defend sensibly as declarer could not possibly have his actual distribution. 3NT ‘made’ but I adjusted the score to give N-S 65% and E-W 0%. The bottom lines: -

-     At this club psyching is not allowed – so you cannot open 1 of a suit that is a singleton.

-     If your 1 opening may occasionally be just 2 cards (when exactly 4432 shape) then the 1 opening needs alerting with the explanation ‘may be two cards’ if asked.

-     An alert involves placing the alert cards on the table, preferably also stating ‘alert’.

-     A 1 (or 1) opening that may be 3 cards (so better minor) needs no alert.

-     Opening 1 with just two ’s (or less) and any other distribution than 4432 is not allowed at this club unless you fill out a convention card and pre-alert opponents – for example if you play the Precision or some strange Nordic system or whatever.

-     If you play the ‘short’ and have say 4342 shape then open 1. That’s what the short is all about, a 1 opening guaranteeing 4 cards.

‘Afraid’ of the ‘short’ ?                                     Board 29 from Friday 13th


I was asked about the bid at (4) on this deal. Whether you play better minor or a ‘short’, when you/partner open 1 then you should assume that it is a real suit (mathematically it usually is). If it turns out not to be a real suit then this usually becomes apparent later and you should not distort your bidding because of the possibility of the bid not being real: -


Dealer:             8654                                          

North               KQ                                             West          North(H)    East          South

Both vul            K6                                              -                 1   (1)      pass         1

                        AQ753                                       pass           1    (2)      pass         2    (3)

                                                                              pass           3   (4)      and onto 5.

KJ109               N             Q72                     

A92                W    E          86543                  

107543               S              9                          

2                                        K1094                






(1)   This pair play a short club, so at this stage it could be a two card suit.

(2)   But a 1 opening with a two card suit is rare, and this bid confirms that opener has at least 3 ’s (a 1 opening on a two card suit can only be when opener is exactly 4432 and he would have rebid 1 here with that shape).

(3)   4th suit forcing.

(4)   What did you bid with this North hand H in this week’s quiz? This North thought that as he has only promised 3 ’s he should show his 5 card suit. This is incorrect, the top priority when replying to 4th suit is to bid NT with a stop; 3 here denies a stop.


And what happened? 5 went 3 down. 3NT was a popular contract at other tables and usually made.

The bottom lines: -

-     When partner bids 4th suit forcing he is asking you to describe your hand further, but the top priority is to bid NT with a stop in the 4th suit (and you should not bid NT without a stop).


Can I rebid a 5 card major?                                 FAQs – Frequently asked Questions


I was asked on Friday if you are ‘allowed’ to rebid a major which is just 5 cards when playing Standard American. Now I am often asked the same questions and so I have written a separate web page with them all (and answers of course). There are copies in the ‘convention’ folder if you have no internet access.


Hand N            Anyway, the answer to this question is that to rebid a major usually shows a

                        6 card suit, but not always – it depends upon the sequence.

9                   Consider this Hand N. You open 1 and partner responds 2, what do you bid?

AKJ92         2NT now shows 12-14 points but would be a distortion with a singleton

843               and so a 2♥ rebid is the only sensible option. If you play 2/1 and agree that a high

KQ82          reverse does not show extras then you can bid 3 with this hand.
A mis-understanding                          Board 11 from Wednesday 11th  


A bit of a shambles here, so what went wrong?


Dealer:             Q108732                                   

South               Q109                                          West          North         East          South(B)

Love all            97                                               -                 -                 -               1

                        J4                                               pass           1              pass         3    (1)

                                                                              dbl             3    (2)      pass         4

9                        N             J5                         dbl             4    (3)      pass         etc to 6           

AJ83              W    E          K7654                 

Q32                    S              J1054                   

KQ762                              95                       






(1)  What did you bid with this South hand B in this week’s quiz? A 3  splinter, agreeing ’s and showing shortage is the best bid. Now what was your answer to Sequence J in this week’s quiz? Basically, it’s up to partnership agreement. South thought that it was game forcing, North did not.

(2)   Weak or encouraging? What was your answer to Sequence K in this week’s quiz? Obviously this depends upon the previous answer. South thought that it was encouraging, North thought that it showed a weak hand.

(3)   I’m not sure what happened from here on, I believe that North bid 4 here because he may have thought that South was bidding ’s naturally, South took it as a cue bid showing the A and off they went to slam.


And what happened? A bottom.

The bottom lines: -

-         You and your partner need to decide upon sequences like this. I guess that you could play them either way, you simply have to agree.

Total Garbage                                                      Board 6 from Wednesday 11th  


Now I hope that we all know about Garbage Stayman by now (there were a couple of examples last week). The bidding on this deal was not Garbage Stayman, it was just garbage: -


Dealer:             108653                                      

East                  105                                             West(A)     North         East          South

E-W vul           Q43                                            -                 -                 1NT         pass

                        AK7                                           2    (1)     pass           2            pass

                                                                              2     (2)     all pass

Q9                     N             KJ2                     

AJ32              W    E          K64                     

10652                 S              AKJ87                 

962                                    85                       






(1)   What did you bid with this West hand A in this week’s quiz? Now I realise that this hardly deserves the name of a question as pass is so obvious, but this West did actually find a 2 bid!

(2)   What an amazing stroke of luck! Partner did not bid an unwelcome 2 and if West passes now then he is in an excellent 5-4 fit. Unfortunately West decided to bid 2. If you answered Sequence M correctly in this week’s quiz you will know that this bid promises 5 ’s and 4 ’s.


And what happened? Appalling bidding to a reasonable spot, 2 went one down for only just below average.

The bottom lines: -

-         You need invitational values or better to bid Stayman (so a decent 8+ playing a strong NT) unless you have the ‘garbage shape’.

-         ‘Garbage shape’ is 54xx or 45xx or 4441 or similar. It is not 2443, you will be fixed over a 2 response.

Wednesday’s Big hand                                        Board 10 from Wednesday 11th  


A lay-down 7, nobody bid it and only 3 tables out of 8 managed even a small slam. Dave was not playing on Wednesday and jotted down the bidding at a few tables. I was asked how to bid to a slam (hopefully a grand). Actually, it’s surprisingly easy using a bidding sequence that I mentioned only last week (news-sheet 166, Bidding Sequence N).


Dealer:             532                                             Table A

East                  Q10632                                      West(F)     North         East            South(E)

Both vul            32                                               -                 -                 pass           1     (1)

                        853                                            4     (2)     all pass


AKQJ1097        N             84                         Table B

A4                  W    E          K97                      West(F)     North         East            South(E)

AQ95                 S              KJ107                   -                 -                 pass           pass   (1)

-                                         J1076                   6     (3)     all pass


                        J85                                             Table C

864                                             West(F)     North         East            South(E)

                        AKQ942                                   -                 -                 pass           pass   (1)

                                                                              2    (3)     pass           3   (4)      pass   (5)

Table F                                                                  4     (6)     all pass

West(F)     North       East          South                  

-                 -               pass         pass                     Table D

2    (9)      pass         3 (10)    dbl                       West(F)     North         East            South

4    (11)    pass         pass         pass                     -                 -                 pass           pass

                                                                              2    (7)      pass           3             pass

Table G                                                                  4              all pass

West(F)     North       East          South                  

-                 -               pass         pass                     Table E

2    (12)    pass         2            pass                     West(F)     North         East            South

2              pass         3  (13)    pass                     -                 -                 pass           pass

3              pass         4            pass                     2             pass           2              3

5   (14)    pass         5  (15)    pass                     3              pass           3NT           pass

6   (16)    pass         6  (17)    pass                     pass (8)      pass

6    (18)    pass         6            all pass                   


Table A:     (1)  Did you open with this South hand D in this week’s quiz? I guess it’s partnership style. I would open 3 but I was playing with Chuck and I know what he thinks of a 3 opening with a 6 card suit, so I passed (I was at table F). I would not argue with this 1 if that’s your style.

(2)   a bit feeble.

Table B:     (3)  Simple and fairly effective – it scored a joint top.

Table C:     (3)  But most players opened 2 and that’s obviously correct.

(4) I guess that this was a positive? Playing 2 waiting and 2 negative really is a far better scheme. 3 raises the level unnecessarily with a very poor suit.

(5)  I would double here.

(6)  The level is unnecessarily high and presumably it was not clear that this was forcing.

Table D:     (7)    Presumably a strong 2. I don’t know what system they were playing but it’s much too good for a strong 2 playing Acol. In Acol it’s a 2 opener.

Table E:      (8)    I would not pass 3NT with this West hand.

Table F:      (9)    This pair play a complex structure of opening two bids. 2 here was either a weak minor two suiter or a very strong hand with ’s.

(10)   East responds assuming it is a weak minor two suiter.

(11)   Obviously a strong hand but I am not familiar with the system and I do not know if this is forcing. In the equivalent Standard American (or Acol) system you are one level lower (see 2nd Expert table) and it’s obviously forcing.

Table G:     (12)  Benjamin, so game forcing. The 2 response is an automatic relay.

(13)  I guess 2NT is an alternative.

(14)  A cue bid (1st round control)

(15)   Denying the or ace.

(16)   A cue bid (2nd round control). Now this may have been the root cause of this pair missing the grand. One normally cue bids all 1st round controls before a 2nd round control and so I think that 6 here is probably better.

(17)  Cue bidding the K.

(18)   A cue bid, but is it showing the A or a singleton? The problem is that at (16) West cue bid a 2nd round control and so East presumably thought that this could not be the A. But then why is West cue bidding if there is an ace missing? I guess that East could have worked it out but West could have made life easier for him.


Now let’s see how our ‘experts’ do it. The 1st table is Chuck’s contribution and the 2nd table is mine. Either are fine.


1st  Expert Table                                                     2nd Expert Table

West(F)     North       East          South                   West(F)     North         East            South

-                 -               pass         pass                     -                 -                 pass           pass

2             pass         2            pass                     2             pass           2              pass

2              pass         2NT         pass                     3     (5)     pass           4    (6)      pass

5   (1)      pass         5    (2)    pass                     4     (7)     pass           5    (8)      pass

6   (3)      pass         6    (4)    pass                     7              all pass

7              all pass                                                


‘1st             (1)  Exclusion Blackwood, showing a void and asking for aces outside ’s.

 Expert       (2)  no ace outside ’s

 Table’       (3)  Kings? (outside ’s)

(4)  two

 ‘2nd           (5)  This is sequence N from last week. It shows a completely solid suit (and sets

 Expert             trumps) and asks partner to cue bid (either aces or kings).

 Table’       (6)  K (and denying the A or K)

(7)   A cue bid (A) and asking partner to continue cue bidding if he has another ace or king.

(8)   K

                                        The bottom lines: -

-         This deal is a perfect illustration of why 2 - 2 - 2 (or 3) cannot be passed.

-         2 - 2 - 3 shows a completely solid suit and asks partner to cue bid.

-         At (1) at the 1st expert table 4NT would be a quantitative raise of NT, 4 would be Gerber and so 5 is Exclusion Blackwood if you play that.

Incidentally, if  South had opened 3 then it would probably not have been quite so easy for our experts. West presumably starts with 4 (showing an enormous hand) instead of a mere double but I’m not sure that it’s that easy to reach 7 with confidence. I guess that the 1st expert would bid 5 if that’s still Exclusion Blackwood and Bob’s your uncle.



1 doubled down six?                                           Board 27 from Friday 13th  


Dealer:             10                                               Table A

South               J862                                           West(G)     North         East(D)    South

Love all            J9643                                          -                 -                 -               pass

                        J64                                             pass           pass           1           1

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

AQJ84               N             72                        

1054               W    E          AK                       ‘Expert’ table

852                     S              AQ10                   West(G)     North         East(D)    South

32                                      AK9875               -                 -                 -               pass

                        K9653                                        pass           pass           1   (3)    1

Q973                                          pass (4)      pass           dbl   (5)    pass

                        K7                                              pass           pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this West hand G in this week’s quiz? If you play negative doubles then you should pass and await partner’s ‘automatic’ re-opening double. This E-W pair do play negative doubles but West did not know what to do. You cannot double as that shows ’s, so if you are unsure the only other sensible alternative is 1NT.

(2)  East has no stop, but since partner has promised values (6+) he presumably has something in ’s?

‘Expert’      (3)  What did you open with this East hand D(a) in this week’s quiz? I would open

 Table               2NT, but let’s suppose that our expert chose 1 for some reason. Maybe he doesn’t like to open 2NT with a weak doubleton (it would not worry me).

                  (4)  With these glorious ’s it must be best to go for the penalty, and so our West expert passes as he knows that is partner will re-open with a double.

(5) What did you bid with this East hand D(b) in this week’s quiz? Double is almost mandatory in this situation and very clear with this hand which has excellent defensive tricks if partner is going for the penalty. Note that re-opening with a double cannot cost, if partner bids then you bid on to show a very big hand.


And what happened? Virtually everybody ended up in 3NT, making anything from 9-12 tricks. The computer says that E-W can make 12 tricks in ’s and so 1 doubled would presumably have gone 6 down for 1400 away. Unfortunately I don’t know the bidding at other tables, I guess that many East’s opened 2NT with which I concur.

The bottom lines: -

-         Playing negative doubles, pass with a penalty double hand.

-         Playing negative doubles, re-open with a double if partner may have the penalty hand.

-         Don’t listen to people who say that you can’t get lucrative doubles at the one level, here South had a sound overcall but should have been taken to the cleaners.

Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     Pass. Not enough to invite and the wrong shape for any kind of ‘Garbage’ Stayman.

Hand B:      3. A splinter agreeing ’s (2 would be a forcing reverse and so 3 is a splinter).

Hand C:     1 of course. Silly question? Yes, but somebody did actually open 1!! On Friday.

Hand D:     (a)  2NT. Don’t worry about the small doubleton.

(b)   Double. Partner may have a stack and wish to defend 1 doubled (yes, despite

what some people say, you can often get a lucrative penalty at the one level). If partner has a weak hand without ’s then he will bid and you can then make a strong move. It would be wrong to make this strong move prematurely (instead of double) as you may miss a big penalty and with these top tricks this hand is great for defence.

Hand E:      3. At least that’s what I would open if I was playing with a partner who accepts that you can open 3 with a good 6 card suit. Note that in 2nd seat and vulnerable a pre-empt should be pretty decent. If your partnership does not ‘allow’ a pre-empt with a 6 card suit then I guess either pass or 1 are reasonable.

Hand F:      3. This shows a completely solid suit, sets trumps, and asks partner to start cue bidding (kings if he has no aces). You could bid a simple 2 if you are sure that your partnership has the methods to find out partner’s red king holding.

Hand G:     Pass. Assuming that you play negative doubles. You cannot double as that is negative – showing ’s. So you pass and await partner’s ‘automatic’ re-opening double which you then pass for penalties.

Hand H:     2NT. Partner’s 4th suit forcing asks you to describe your hand further and showing a stop in the 4th suit is always the top priority, this is more important than informing partner that you have a 5 card suit.



Bidding Sequences (no opposition bidding):  -


Sequence J       1 - 1 - 3                3 is a splinter agreeing ’s, is it game forcing or not?

                                                            It’s really up to your partnership, I prefer game forcing.

Sequence K     1 - 1 - 3- 3        is 3 weak or encouraging (slow arrival)? This carries on from the previous question. I play 3 as game forcing so 3 is encouraging (slow arrival).

Sequence L      2 - 2 - 3- 4        3 is a solid suit and game forcing, what is 4?

                                                            A cue bid. I could be the ace or else the king if responder has no ace.

Sequence M     1NT - 2 - 2♦ - 2     What does the 2 bid show? It’s weak with 5 ’s and 4 ’s. Standard Garbage Stayman.