Club News Sheet – No. 170   4th Feb 2006


                                    Winner                                           Runner-up


Mon 30th   N-S    1st    Jo/Bob                   61%         2nd    Dinie/Jacques                     57%

                  E-W   1st    Albert/Terry           69%         2nd    Britta/Gun                           56%

Wed  1st     N-S   1st    Alan/Hans(Hol)      66%         2nd    Albert/Tomas                     56%

                  E-W   1st    John/Kenneth         64%         2nd    Jim(Sco)/Jean-Charles        57%

Fri    3rd      N-S   1st    Jim(Can)/Tom        70%         2nd    Jim(Sco)/Richard(Irl)          59%

                  E-W   1st    Dave/Ruth              58%         2nd    Bjorn/Knud                        57%



Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated


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


98                 42                                        

Q32              5                   With Hand B RHO opens 1, what do you bid?

AJ1043         AK652        

A93              AKQ95


Hand C            Hand D            With Hand C it’s love all. Partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 2,

                                                what do you bid?

QJ6              5                

K5                Q8532          With Hand D partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 2

Q7652          KJ953           (a)  what do you do?

J75               Q6               (b)  suppose you pass and partner jumps to 3, what now?


Hand E             Hand F             (a)  What do you open with hand A?

(b)  Suppose you open 1 and partner responds 1, then what

AK9             AK53                 do you bid?

AQ62           AJ96

AJ                 K                  With Hand F you open 1, LHO overcalls 2 and this is passed

10863          K1086         back to you. What do you do?


Hand G            Hand H            With Hand G partner opens 1, what do you bid?


65                 43

KJ87            AQJ             With Hand H you open 1 and partner bids 1, what do you

Q9643          KQJ96          bid?

92                874


Hand J             Hand K            With Hand J you open 1 (because you do not play Benji) and

partner responds 1, what do you bid now?

543               A5             

KQJ10874   642              

AQ5             AQJ863        With Hand K partner opens 1, what do you bid?

-                   Q5

Bidding Sequences Quiz                    All of the following occurred this week


L    2 2NT(overcall)                          How many points would this 2NT bid typically show?

M   1  2(overcall) pass pass 3        Normally I would expect opener to re-open with a double, so what is this jump to 3? Weak, invitational or strong?

N   1 - 1 - 3                                  No opposition bidding. Is 3 invitational of forcing?

P    1 - 1 - 4                                  No opposition bidding. Is 4 strong or shut-out (fast arrival)?

Q   1 - 1 - 4                                  No opposition bidding. Is 4 strong or shut-out (fast arrival)?

R    1 - 2 - 2                                  What is 2? Is it forcing?

S    1 - 2- 3                                  What is 3?


Our Web-Site, - compliments are always nice


I am often complimented by members about the news-sheets, web-site and the general way that the club is run and that certainly spurs me on. As you probably realize, I spend a great deal of time on news-sheets, our web-site etc. But the web-site is not only for members, but for all bridge players world-wide who find it interesting. I received the following e-mail last week from an unexpected source (I presume the USA) and thought that some of you may like to know what outsiders think of our club and web-site; -


Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 10:51 PM


Subject: enjoy your column...

I've been reading your club news for so long now I thought I'd better send a note to thank-you for making/keeping it public...I love the format you've chosen.

I print them off as lessons from time to time...It's a treat to show some of our novices that even thousands of miles away, the same rules apply.

Keep them coming!!

If I'm ever in that neck of the woods I'm going to stop by...sounds like you have a very colorful club...


Greg Gilbert


Thanks Greg, knowing that people read and appreciate my writings makes it all worthwhile. I (and the club) have been called many things (as you doubtless know having read the news sheets). I take ‘colorful’ as a compliment. And I hope you don’t restrict your reading to the news-sheets; the conventions section (and others) is expanding all of the time and I’ve made it easy for anyone to print off copies.

                                                                                                                        Regards, Terry


Go for the penalty                                                Board 8 from Monday 30th  


Dealer:             10742                                        

West                10874                                         West(C)     North         East(F)     South(A)

Love all            98                                               pass           pass           1           2    (1)

                        Q84                                           pass  (2)     pass           2    (3)    pass

                                                                              3NT  (4)     all pass

QJ6                   N             AK53                  

K5                  W    E          AJ96                   

Q7652                S              K                         

J75                                     K1086                






(1)   What did you bid with this South hand A in this week’s quiz? A 1 overcall seems obvious to me. South later explained that he ‘wanted to show his points’. I did not enquire further – the hand is nowhere near good enough for a strong or intermediate jump overcall and a weak jump overcall should be a weaker hand with 6 ’s.

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand C in this week’s quiz? Playing negative doubles pass is best – just sit back, await partner’s automatic re-opening double, and pass that for penalties.

(3)   What did you bid with this East hand F in this week’s quiz? Double is automatic, and is even more automatic with a hand short in trumps and with good top cards for defence.

(4)   West reluctantly had to pull out the 3NT card and promised to teach partner about negative doubles at the very first occasion.


And what happened? 3NT was not a success on the lead and when South returned the 3 West played him for a six card suit and went one down. E-W (or rather East) had converted their expected top (2 doubled) into a clear bottom.

I asked East what he would have bid if West had doubled the 2 bid, and he said that he would have bid 3NT. It appears that he has no mechanism for collecting the huge penalty on offer in this sort of situation.


The bottom lines: -

-         Playing negative doubles; if you open, LHO overcalls and partner passes then a double is almost automatic. There are very few hands where any other course of action is at all sensible and this hand is a perfect example of one that should most definitely double.

-     Re-read the above paragraph over again, and ask me if you do not totally understand. It is a very important integral part of playing negative doubles.


Incidentally. I was asked by a more experienced player who knows all about the ‘automatic’ re-opening double if the pass (with possibly a penalty hand) needs alerting. The answer is no. Negative doubles are ‘standard’ and the normal practices do not need alerting. And when opener does re-open with a double that does not need alerting either, although I usually do with less experienced opponents who may not know that it is ‘simply automatic’.

And another related point. Your partner opens, RHO overcalls and you bid a new suit. Standard is that this is forcing, if it is not (because you play negative free bids or it was a jump and you play that as weak) then that should be alerted by opener.

Don’t bid you hand twice, as for 3 times…         Board 11 from Monday 30th 


Dealer:             K4                                             

South               Q7                                              West          North         East          South

Love all            A1052                                        -                 -                 -               pass

                        QJ1052                                      pass           1             1    (1)    1

                                                                              2     (2)     pass           pass         2

Q862                 N             95                         pass  (3)     pass           3    (4)    pass (5) 

K3                  W    E          AJ652                  pass           3    (6)      4    (7)    dbl   (8)

QJ73                   S              84                         pass  (9)     all pass

876                                    AK94                  






(1)   A totally obvious bid that pretty much states the hand exactly.

(2)   Normally this would show 3 card support, but West bid it because (a) it may push the opponents up and (b) he wants a lead if defending.

(3)   Quite happy with the turn of events.

(4)   With just 5 ’s East has no reason to bid again – the Law. He has excellent defensive values and there is absolutely no reason to bid.

(5)   Double is worth considering here.

(6)   I would pass here. Perhaps North and East should form a partnership and bid slam on every deal?

(7)   Totally absurd. East has earlier passed 2 and now bids 4. Why not wave a flag around saying ‘please double me’?

(8)   South did not need a flag this time round.

(9)   Really unhappy with the turn of events.


And what happened? East turned a total top (for defeating 3) into a total (-1400) bottom. West was not amused.



The bottom lines: -

-         Do not bid your hand twice.

-         So definitely do not bid your hand three times

-         Obey the Law. If you have overcalled with a 5 card suit – then that’s it!


Double of a major promises the other major                        Board 4 from Monday 30th 


Dealer:             AKQ1063                                 

West                AJ9                                            West          North         East(B)     South

Both vul            104                                             pass           1              dbl   (1)    pass

                        42                                              2     (2)     2              3   (3)    pass

                                                                              3     (4)     pass           4            all pass

J98                    N             42                        

Q10972          W    E          5                          

J9                        S              AK652                

863                                    AKQ95               






(1)   What did you bid with this East hand B in this week’s quiz? Double is a very poor choice as a take-out double generally shows a hand playable in the other 3 suits, and in particular the double of a major suit opening should promise the other major. Now there are alternatives; if you play the UNT then you can bid 2NT to show the minors and then bid again to show a big hand, but I personally would like a better hand but I would not argue if you chose this. I personally would simply overcall 2 and hope to get in a bid later.

(2)   With 5 ’s opposite a (presumed) 4 card suit West is prepared to compete to 3 if necessary (The Law) but a jump now would promise about 11 points.

(3)   This shows a big hand (but unfortunately it does not convey the singleton !). I guess he could have tried 3 and then 4 over partner’s 3 but I happen to know that this West would never take this East hand as a singleton .

(4)   I would not argue with 4 here.


And what happened? Just 400 away this time. West was not amused.



The bottom lines: -

-         When you double a 1/ opening this generally promises 4 cards in the other major. It is occasionally acceptable to do it with less with a big hand.

-         The UNT shows the minors. Bid 2NT unusual and then bid again shows a very strong hand (but this East hand is not quite good enough in my style).


Hold-up – part 1                                                   Board 26 from Monday 30th


I don’t often go into the play of the hand, but this is a deal where a basic knowledge of hold-up play would have converted a bottom into a top.


Dealer:             KQ9865                                    

East                  983                                             West          North         East          South

Both vul            KJ6             DUMMY                 -                 -                 1           pass

                        5                    ¯                          1              1              2            pass

                                                                              3NT           all pass

A42                   N             J                          

Q42                W    E          AKJ                    

Q985                  S              A743                   

Q82                                   K10973               I’m not sure if this was the exact bidding,

                        1073                                           but this deal is about the play.





North led a low won in dummy. So a rather pleasant start for declarer. He then played a to the Q and another back to the 9 which lost to the J.


                        KQ965                                       South returned the 7 in this position, what

                        83                                               should West do?

                        KJ6             DUMMY                 He should duck, the contract is then safe if

                        ♣ -                     ¯                          South continues with yet another as South

                                                                              has no more ’s when he gets in with his A.

A4                     N             -                          

Q42                W    E          AKJ                    

Q985                  S              A743                   

8                                        K107                  






And what happened? West jumped up with the A immediately and 3NT was three down as South had another to get to his partner’s suit. Just 300 away this time. 3NT making would have been an outright top. East was not amused.



The bottom lines: -

-         Understand hold-ups. This is especially important in NT contracts when you have the ace of the opponent’s suit, there is never any need to play it early.

-     It’s up to everybody at the table to ensure that North places the board on the table in the correct orientation. This particular board was placed up-side down and I have the strangest feeling that this East would have made the contract had he been playing the West cards.

Hold-up – part 2                                                   Board 7 from Monday 30th


A slightly more interesting and more subtle hold up occurred on this deal. Fortunately the board was placed correctly and I was West once again: -


Dealer:             1032                                          

South               Q987                                          West          North         East(K)    South

Both vul            954             DUMMY                 -                 -                 -               pass

                        K62               ¯                          1             pass           2  (1)      pass

                                                                              2NT   (2)    pass           3NT         all pass

QJ96                 N             A5                       

K103              W    E          642                      

K102                  S              AQJ863               

A109                                  Q5                 (1) What did you bid with this East hand K in this

                        K874                                          week’s quiz? I would bid just 1 as I prefer a

AJ5                                            better hand and suit for a strong jump shift.

                        7                                           (2)  12-14



North led the 9 which South won with the A. South returned the J, which card should declarer play in this position?


Dealer:             1032                                           South lead the J in this position: -

South               Q87                                            Now theoretically there is a rule here.

Both vul            954             DUMMY                 The rule of 7 says that you subtract the

                        K62               ¯                          number of cards that you/dummy have

                                                                              in the enemy suit from 7 and duck that many

QJ96                 N             A5                        times. So in this case declarer/dummy have 6

K10                W    E          64                         ’s and should duck only once.

K102                  S              AQJ863                The reasoning behind this is quite logical, if

A109                                  Q5                       the suit splits 5-2 then South will have no

                        K874                                          more to lead when he gets in and if it’s 4-3

J5                                               then there usually no problem.

                        7                                                 But I was West, and ducked….why?

                        J8743                                         I assumed that the ’s were probably 4-3 and

                                                                              that South would probably continue the suit.

The thing is that I win the 3rd round of ’s with the K and can then take a perfectly safe finesse of the Q into the South hand to give me a safe 10 tricks even when the finesse fails (6 ’s, 1 , 2’s and a ). Had I failed to hold up then I would have lost 3 tricks and the K.


And what happened? 3NT was bid by West 7 times, only two players made 10 tricks.



The bottom lines: -

-         Most of the ‘rules’ of bridge play are very sound, but there is always the odd hand when it’s best to play it another way.

-         If you have to take a finesse into a particular hand then, if possible, make that hand (h)armless.

-         Sorry for my feeble British (h)umour.

Hold-up – part 3                                                   Board 26 from Wednesday 1st Feb.


Here’s another example of when a hold up was necessary, this time in a suit contract: -


Dealer:             AK76                                        

East                  1062                                           West          North         East(H)    South

Both vul            1043           DUMMY                 -                 -                 1            pass

                        J106               ¯                          1              pass           2  (1)      pass

                                                                              4              all pass      

J92                    N             43                        

K985              W    E          AQJ                    

85                       S              KQJ96                 

AK52                                 874                     

                        Q1085                                  (1)  What did you bid with this East hand H in

743                                             this week’s quiz? I much prefer this 2 bid

                        A72                                            to rebidding the ’s or bidding 1NT.



Anyway, onto the play. North led 3 rounds of ’s. The 3rd round was ruffed in dummy leaving

this position. Declarer is in a bit of a spot now

7                                           as he had to use a trump from dummy and now

1062                                     has no entry if he sets up the ’s.

1043           DUMMY           Anyway, he tried the K in this position and

                        J106               ¯                    South popped up with the ace.

                                                                        Declarer then simply won the return, drew

-                        N             -                     trumps and tossed the losing ’s on the

K985              W    E          AQ                 established ’s (he still had a as an entry to

85                       S              KQJ96            dummy.

AK52                                 874                Had South held up the A for just one round

                        Q                                          then the contract would have failed.

743                                       Mind you, it’s not totally obvious for South to

                        A72                                      duck in situations like this (a trump contract as

Q93                                     opposed to NT) as declarer may have a singleton, but it’s playing with the odds.

So South ducks the first and sees partner play the 3. This is his lowest , North is giving count, indicating an odd number of ’s and so South knows that partner has 3 ’s and declarer exactly two. So South takes the 2nd ♦.


And what happened? 4 made exactly for a top. Most pairs were in 3NT going one or two down.


The bottom lines: -

-         Understand the hold-up.

-         Do not be afraid of supporting with 3 good trumps (and possibly being in a Moysian fit) if you have shortage and can ruff with the 3 trump hand. That was not significant here but I totally agree with East’s 2 bid at (1).


When partner doesn’t re-open with a double                       Board 9 from Monday 30th


N-S missed an easy 4 here, what do you think went wrong?


Dealer:             5                                                

North               Q8532                                        West          North(D)    East          South

E-W vul           KJ953                                         -                 pass           pass         1

                        Q6                                             2             pass (1)      pass         3    (2)

                                                                              pass           pass (3)      pass

J10                    N             8764                    

A97                W    E          J1062                  

Q108                  S              74                        

A9873                                1042                   






(1)   What did you bid with this North hand D(a) in this week’s quiz? It’s not strong enough for 2 but a negative double - promising 4+ ’s and 6+ points in my style is fine. And with 5 ’s and 5 ’s I think that this hand conforms with a negative double in just about all people’s style.

(2)   Now you should all know me (and the way I play negative doubles) by now, and I usually insist that South should re-open with a double in this situation. However, I agree with South here that this is possibly one of the exceptions. With South holding KJx it is unlikely (but not impossible) that North has a penalty pass. At this vulnerability I would probably double (and then jump to 3 next go) but that really is not important, the point is that if South had bid 2 then that would show a shapely hand with no desire to defend 2 doubled. A jump to 3 here shows a very strong hand. A cue bid of 3 is an alternative but I think that that just muddies the waters.

(3)   What did you bid with this North hand D(b) in this week’s quiz? You have shown zero points to date and partner has shown a very good hand with a very good suit. With no room to ask about a stop (and presumably partner is not interested anyway having jumped to 3) I would simply bid 4.


And what happened? Virtually everybody reached 4, making 10, 11 or 12 tricks.



The bottom lines: -

-     You only need 6 points to negative double a one level overcall.

-         In this situation (2) one normally doubles (playing negative doubles). Any other bid shows a shapely hand and a jump shows a very strong hand.

-         8 points opposite a very strong hand usually makes game.


Respond up the line - or Walsh?                         Board 2 from Wednesday 1st Feb.


If partner opens 1 and you have a suit and a suit, then most people respond ‘up the line’. But there is a treatment (known as Walsh) whereby responder will by-pass a 4-card (or even a 5-card) suit in order to bid his 4 card major when he has a weak hand that is worth just one bid. Here is an example of when playing Walsh would have worked out very well.


Dealer:             AK9                                           Table A

South               AQ62                                         West          North(E)    East          South(G)

Love all            AJ                                               -                 -                 -               pass

                        10863                                        pass           1   (1)      pass         1    (2)

                                                                              pass           2NT (3)      pass         pass (4)

Q843                 N             J1072                   pass

543                 W    E          109                      

K108                  S              752                       ‘Walsh’ Table

A75                                    KQJ4                   West          North(E)    East          South(G)

                        65                                               -                 -                 -               pass

KJ87                                          pass           1             pass         1    (2)

                        Q9643                                        pass           4    (5)      all pass    



Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this North hand E(a) in this week’s quiz? Its too good for 1NT and 1 (with a view to jumping to 2NT over a 1 or 1 response) is correct.

(2)  What did you bid with this South hand G in this week’s quiz? Most people would bid 1, and that is not incorrect. But a 1 bid would have worked out much better on this deal.

(3)  What did you bid with this North hand E(b) in this week’s quiz? I much prefer this 2NT bid chosen here to bidding the ’s.

(4)   And here we see the problem. South is not really strong enough to bid again.

‘Walsh’      (2)  Playing Walsh, you by-pass a suit in order to bid a major with a hand that is

 Table               worth only one bid.

(5)  With a known fit, this North hand is worth a shot at game.


And what happened? Nobody found 4 and most played in NT. I note that 5 out of the 9 tables played in 1NT (so North presumably opened 1NT?). This North hand is far too good for a 15-17 1NT opening.

The bottom lines: -

-         A decent 18 count with a ten is too good for a 1NT opening.

-         A jump to 2NT shows a balanced 18-19 and may have an unbid major.

-         If your partnership is feeling enterprising then you can take up Walsh. There’s a lot more to it than just not bidding ’s and I’ll write it up if anybody is interested. As far as I know nobody in the club plays it and if you do play it then a 1/ response to a 1 opening is alertable (may conceal a suit). Walsh fits in nicely with Standard American or 2/1.



No need to think  (if you have a signalling system)             Board 10 from Monday 30th



Dealer:             AKJ976                                I don’t recall the bidding, it is not important.

East                  Q63                                      North ended up as declarer in 4.

both vul            J                                            East led the AK and then the A upon which

                        653                                      West played the 10. E-W had no previous

                                                                        agreement and so HELD is standard.

843                    N             102                 East then went into a deep think and finally

K102              W    E          AJ852            produced a low !

743                     S              Q85                Of course North has various options to make the

10972                                AKJ               contract now. Probably best is to go up with the

                        Q5                                        A, lead the Q, ruff a , draw trumps and use the

97                                         Q which East has so kindly set up as an entry to

                        AK10962                             the ’s which will run if they split 4-2 or 3-3

                        Q84                                     wherever the Q is. Fortunately for East declarer

                                                                        did not see this line of play and went one down.


And what happened? E-W got an undeserved good score. East was very happy. West was totally unimpressed.

The bottom lines: -

You need some sort of signalling system when partner leads a suit. This is simply very basic bridge. It does not mater if you play HELD (High to Encourage, Low to Discourage), which is ‘standard’, or Upside-down attitude (low to encourage) but you simply have to play one or the other. With a holding like K102 any idiot can make it crystal clear provided that you have agreed a system or else play the standard (HELD). E-W (or rather East) certainly deserved a bottom on this board and it’s really a shame that North messed it up, 4 making would have been an absolute top.



Bidding Sequence Quiz Answers


L    2 2NT(overcall)                           2NT is much the same as a 1NT overcall over a 1level opening, so about 15-18 (with stop(s) of course.

M   1  2(overcall) pass pass 3        3 here is very strong.

N   1 - 1 - 3                                  3 is invitational. Typically around 17 points.

P    1 - 1 - 4                                  4 is very strong. It’s the equivalent of about 19 points counting distribution with a self-sufficient suit. It most certainly is not fast arrival.

Q   1 - 1 - 4                                  4 is very strong. It’s the equivalent of about 19 points and denies a singleton/void if you play splinters.

R    1 - 2 - 2                                  2 is a game try and is 100% forcing. It may or may not be a 4 card suit.

S    1 - 2- 3                                  3 is a splinter, looking for a slam. Opener has a very big hand with a singleton/void in ’s.

Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     1♦, of course. But one player chose 2 on Monday; whether he considered it as a weak jump overcall or too strong for a simple 1 I have no idea. Either is totally ridiculous and 1 is the only remotely sensible bid. A simple overcall is about 7-16 points and a 5 card suit. A weak jump overcall is similar to a weak opening two - 6 cards and about 6-9 points (but can be a bit more if partner is a passed hand). An intermediate jump overcall is around 15 points and a strong overcall even more. But most people play weak jump overcalls these days and any other type is alertable.

Hand B:      2♦ (with a view to bidding ’s later if you get a chance). The UNT (2NT) and bid again is a reasonable alternative but I would like a better hand. Double is a very poor bid with a singleton .

Hand C:     Pass (assuming you play negative doubles) and then pass partner’s automatic re-opening double.

Hand D:     (a)  Double. Negative promising 6+ points and 4+ ’s.

(b)   4. Partner has a very big hand with ’s and you have 8 more points than you have promised to date.

Hand E:      (a)  1. This is a good 18 count and too strong for 1NT.

(b)  2NT. Showing a balanced 18-19. This does not deny a 4 card major in the modern style as it is rarely passed and if there is a 4-4 major suit fit it will subsequently will come to light.

Hand F:      Double. Virtually automatic when playing negative doubles and absolutely correct with this hand. If you did not choose double then have a word with me and I’ll explain negative doubles to you.

Hand G:     1, of course, up-the-line. But actually there is a recognized alternative treatment called Walsh (which I highly recommend to experienced pairs) whereby a 4 (or 5) card suit is by-passed in preference to bid a major with a hand that is worth just one bid.

Hand H:     2 or 2? Either is acceptable but I much prefer 2. These are great ’s, it may be a Moysian fit but then you can ruff in the short trump hand. I do not like 1NT with these two weak black suits when I have such excellent support for partner.

Hand J:       4. Partner’s 1 bid has improved this hand and I think it’s now worth game. I guess an invitational 3 is OK but a bit timid for me. 4 here shows a very big hand and partner is invited to bid on, it is most definitely not fast arrival or shut-out.

Hand K:     1. In the modern style this hand/ suit is not good enough for a strong jump shift to 2.



The answers to the Bidding Sequences Quiz are on the previous page.