Club News Sheet Ė No. 172††† www.pattayabridge.com18th Feb 2006


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Winner†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† Runner-up


Mon†† 13th N-S 1st †† Eddie/Martin(Hol)††††††† 60%†† ††††††† 2nd††† Bill/Mike(Can)††††††††††††††† 54%

††††††††††††††† E-W†† 1st †† Chuck/Terry†††††††††††††††† 65%†† ††††††† 2nd††† John/Kenneth†††††††††††††††† 59%

Wed 15th N-S†† 1st †† Bill/Mike(Can)††††††††††††† 60%†† ††††††† 2nd††† Bob Short/Richard(Irl)††† 56%

††††††††††††††††† E-W†† 1st††† Chuck/Terry†††††††††††††††† 62%†† ††††††† 2nd †† Bob P/Eddie†††††††††††††††††† 60%

Fri17th N-S†† 1st †† Bill/Mike(Can)††††††††††††† 65%†† ††††††† 2nd††† Mr/Mrs Chauveau††††††††† 59%

††††††††††††††† E-W†† 1st††† Chuck/Terry†††††††††††††††† 61%†† ††††††† 2nd††† Bjorn/Knud††††††††††††††††††† 57%



Bidding Quiz†††††††††††††† †††† †††††† Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated


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


A7††††††††††††††† Q98††††††††††††† With Hand B LHO opens 1, partner overcalls 1NT (15-18) and

K104††††††††††† 7†††††††††††††††††† RHO bids 2. What do you do?

KJ654†††††††††† 1074††††††††††††††††††††††††

K92†††††††††††† AQJ964


Hand C††††††††††† Hand D††††††††††† With Hand C partner opens 1, what do you respond?


974†††††††††††††† A1086††††††††† With Hand D you open 1 and partner responds 1. RHO then

KQ8†††††††††††† 5†††††††††††††††††† bids 1, what do you do?

K97††††††††††††† AQ2††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

K874†††††††††† J10952


Hand E†††††††††††† Hand F†††††††††††† With Hand E RHO opens 1, what do you do?


KJ63††††††††††† 4†††††††††††††††††† (a)What do you open with Hand F?

1087†††††††††††† AKQ2††††††††† (b)Suppose you open 1 and partner bids 1, what do you bid?

KJ954†††††††††† J52†††††††††††††††

K†††††††††††††††† AKQ109†††††


Hand G††††††††††† Hand H††††††††††† With Hand G partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 2, what

do you do?

873†††††††††††††† AQ104††††††††

KQJ8†††††††††† 5††††††††††††††††††

A873††††††††††† 6†††††††††††††††††† With Hand H LHO opens 1, partner overcalls 2 and RHO

97††††††††††††††† AQJ9763†††† bids 2; what do you do?††††††††



Well done Chuck, I note that he achieved the triple despite the handicap of playing with the local beach bum whoís only just learning to count. And didnít Mike(Can)/Bill do well? Just missing the triple Ė not bad for a pair who only started up the game a year or two back. Good show chaps; I know itís difficult sometimes, but keep it up.



Bidding Sequences Quiz††††††††††††††††††† All of the following occurred this/last week.


This ĎSequence Quizí is a bit new and it seems to be quite popular. Let me know what you think, and if there are any sequences that you would like me to write up.


J†††† 1pass12††††††††††††††††††††††††††† What is the double?

††††† dbl

K†† 1pass22†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† What is the double?

††††† dbl

L††† 12dbl†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† This double is negative. But (a) how many points does it promise and (b) what suit(s) does it promise?

M†† 12dbl pass††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Does 3 here show a big hand?

††††† 3

N†† 12dbl3††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† What is 3? Is it strong?

††††† 3

There is no intervention in the following sequences: -


P††† 1 - 1 - 3††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† What is 3?

Q†† 1 - 1 - 4†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† What is 4?

R††† 1NT - 2 - 2 - 4††††††††††††††††††††††† What is 4?

S††† 1NT - 2 - 2 - 4†††††††††††††††††††††† What is 4?

T††† 1NT - 2 - 2 - 2NT††††††††††††††††††† 2NT is invitational. But does it guarantee 4 ís? Would your answer be different if you play 4-way transfers?

U†† 1NT - 2 - 2 - 2†††††††††††††††††††††† What is 2? Would your answer be different if you play 4-way transfers?

V†† 1 - 2 - 2NT†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† What is 2NT? Is it forcing?

W 1 - 2 - 2 - 3††††††††††††††††††††††††† What is 2? What is 3?




What sort of jump shift?††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††† Board 12 from Monday 13th Feb.


Dealer:†††††††††††† Q1095†††††††††††††††††††††††

West††††††††††††††† A652††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† West††††††††† North†††††††† East††††††††† South(A)

N-S vul††††††††††† A9††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††††††††† 1†††††††††††† pass†††††††† 2(1)

††††††††††††††††††††††† Q65†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††††††††† pass (2)††††† pass††††††††


842†††††††††††††† †††† N†††††††††††† KJ63†††††††††††††††††††

Q93††††††††††††† W††† E††††††††† J87††††††††††††††††††††††

Q103††††††††††††††††† S††††††††††††† 872††††††††††††††††††††††

A1073††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† J84††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† A7†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


††††††††††††††††††††††† KJ654††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† K92††††††††††††


(1)   What did you bid with this South hand A in this weekís quiz? 1 is obvious, but one player did actually produce a jump shift of 2. Now the days when one had to jump to show an opening opposite partnerís opening are long gone, and most players sensibly play that a jump shift is a good hand with a very good suit. This hand obviously does not qualify on either count and a 1 response is clear whether you play weak or strong jump shifts. I understand that South meant this as a strong jump shift.

(2)   But N-S has apparently agreed to play weak jump shifts and so North passed.


And what happened? 2 made +2 but scored a bottom as virtually everybody was in 3NT making or making with overtricks.

The bottom lines: -

-         Weak jump shifts are not standard, and they are alertable.

-         I do not really recommend weak jump shifts, but itís up to you.

-         A strong jump shift is a good hand and a very good suit.

-         A weak jump shift is a 6+ card suit and a hand too weak to respond (so 5 or less points).

If 3NT is an option Ė then bid it?††††††††††††††††††††††† Board 1 from Monday 13th Feb.


Dealer:†††††††††††† Q98†††††††††††††††††††††††††††

North†††††††††††††† 7†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† West††††††††† North(B)††† East††††††††† South

Love all††††††††††† 1074†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††††††† pass†††††††††† 1††† (1)††† 1NT (2)

††††††††††††††††††††††† AQJ964†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2††††††††††††† 3†† (3)††††† pass†††††††† pass (4)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3††† (5)††††† pass†††††††††† pass†††††††† 4

10642†††††††††† †††† N†††††††††††† 53†††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††††††††† 5†††††††††††† all pass

10984†††††††††† W††† E††††††††† AQJ32††††††††††††††††

K532††††††††††††††††† S††††††††††††† QJ98††††††††††††††††††††

5††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 87†††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† AKJ7†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


††††††††††††††††††††††† A6†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† K1032††††††††


(1)Would you open this East hand? Itís one short for the rule of 20 but all of the points in the long suits and reasonable intermediates make it close to an opener. Also, the hand has an easy 2 rebid and so I decided to open.

(2)A balanced 15-18 with a stop.

(3)What did you bid with this North hand B in this weekís quiz? I would simply bid 3NT Ė partner has promised a stop. I donít know if 3 was forcing here in this N-Sís system (Chuck and I play it as forcing as we play Lebensohl in this situation) but I think that 3NT is a better bid anyway.

(4)So presumably 3 was not forcing?

(5)Now the law of total tricks says that West can compete to the 3 level in competitive situations (9 combined trumps) but that only applies when the points are roughly equal. It is not clear whether West should compete here, but he does not know the situation (that North has a big hand) and reasonably assumed that East had a stronger hand.


And what happened? Even though N-S got pushed into game they shared the bottom spot as 3NT making 10 or 11 or 12 tricks scored more. Two pairs did bid 6 making but I donít know how they bid it Ė itís not easy if East opens.

The bottom lines: -

-         With an excellent 9 points opposite 1NT (either opener or overcall) force to game.

-         3NTusuallyscores more than 5/

-         With a long minor, think NT.

-         The 1NT overcall is 15-18 and guarantees a stop(s) in the suit bid.


Whatís Standard?


There were a series ofarticles under this title run in the ACBL magazine a couple of years ago. They all now appear on the web at I highly recommend these articles, they are about 40 pages in total and are easily printed.

For those without internet access Iíll let you have a copy for 20 bht.
Spot the sensible bidder!
Board 13 from Wednesday 15th Feb.


There are a number (4) of poor bids here, can you spot them all?


Dealer:†††††††††††† A1086†††††††††††††††††††††††

North†††††††††††††† 5†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† West††††††††† North(D)††† East††††††††† South(C)

Both vul††††††††††† AQ2†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††††††††† 1†††††††††††† pass†††††††† 1††† (1)

††††††††††††††††††††††† J10952†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1†††† (2)†††† 2††† (3)††††† pass (4)††† 2NT (5)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††††††††† pass†††††††††† 3††† (6)††† dbl

QJ5††††††††††††† †††† N†††††††††††† K32††††††††††††††††††††† all pass

AJ10643††††† W††† E††††††††† 972††††††††††††††††††††††

63†††††††††††††††††††††† S††††††††††††† J10854†††††††††††††††††

Q3†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A6†††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† 974††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


††††††††††††††††††††††† K97†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† K874††††††††††


(1)What did you bid with this South hand C in this weekís quiz? Itís 11 points, but totally flat. But it does have good intermediates and I think that itís smack in the middle of 1NT or 2NT and I would probably opt for 2NT (a balanced 11-12 with no 4 card major). But this brings up an interesting point about SAYC.

In SAYC the 2NT response to 1/ is defined as 13-15 and so with a hand like this that is 11-12 then I guess you have to bid a 3 card suit? Can any SAYC expert enlighten me?

I (and most of the club) play the direct 2NT response to 1/ as 11-12. I do not need the SAYCís 2NT bid as I play inverted minors with my preferred partners. Anyway, I guess that 1 here on a 3 card suit is acceptable (and not alertable?) if you play SAYC?

(2)A weak 2 is an alternative, but vulnerable in the sandwich position I think that 1 is fine. And when both opponents have bid, a pre-empt has less effect.

(3)But here we have a much more dubious bid. What did you bid with this North hand D? Now with a balanced 11-12 points there is no need to bid after the overcall and pass is reasonable to show a minimum hand. But the obvious (and far better bid) is to simply bid the suit, so 1. 1NT would be a poor bid as it has no stop, contains a suit and is minimum. But as for this 2 bid chosen Ė thatís just terrible (especially if partner may have just 3 ís in their style).

(4)With 3 ís opposite partnerís overcall (promising 5 ís) I can see absolutely no reason for not bidding the obvious 2 here.

(5)And South now shows his 11-12 points (with stoop(s)). Quite sensible if your system did not allow you to bid it at (1)

(6)Now this really is silly. East assumes that N-S have a 4-4 fit, but knows that they probably will only get 3 tricks there. Apparently he bid 3 because he Ďknewí that partner is void. I simply cannot see the logic here. E-W have to make 9 tricks and if West is indeed void in ís he will have to trump in the long trump hand Ė that does not generate tricks. Also, with values in the black suits it is very likely that 2NT will go down on a lead (which he would most certainly get had he correctly bid just 2 last go). 3 here is one above the ĎLawí and with all of the points outside ís the hand cries out to defend.


And what happened? Even though West had one more trump that he had promised, 3 was too high and went one down for a bottom to E-W. E-W would have got at least 6 tricks defending 2NT. East got what he deserved, N-S got more than they deserved but the scoring does not allow me to give three players a zero, even if thatís what they all deserve.

The bottom lines: -

-         Never deny a 4 card major.

-         If partner has overcalled and you have 3 card support, then raise at the two level.

-         Donít be in a rush to support partnerís minor suit, especially if it may be only 3 cards, and especially if you have only 3 cards!


The Sequence 1 - 1.


Does a 1 response guarantee 4+ ís? I guess that we need to say a few words here.


Hand W†††††††††† Iíll start off with SAYC. Now SAYC is a Ďstandardí Standard American system

††††††††††††††††† where the 2NT response to a 1/ opening is forcing and is 13-15 with no 4 card

974†††††††††††††† major. I do not pretend to be an expert in SAYC but I assume that with this

KQ8†††††††††††† hand one would have to respond 1 to a 1 opening? And if your convention

KJ7†††††††††††††† card says SAYC (so a direct 2NT is 13-15) then I guess that this possible 3 card

K874†††††††††† suit is not alertable. Please enlighten me if this is incorrect.††


Hand X††††††††††† Hand Y††††††††††† And there is another situation where some players may respond

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 to a 1 opening with just 3 ís. When partner opens 1 then

974†††††††††††††† 974†††††††††††††† a 1NT response is generally 6-9(10). But this is a large range

Q84††††††††††††† Q84 †††††††††††† and some players do choose to have the 1NT response as 8-10

KJ7†††††††††††††† Q73††††††††††††† and with a minimal hand they bid 1. So they bid 1NT with

K874†††††††††† K874†††††††††† Hand X and 1 (followed by 1NT over 1/) with Hand Y.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I am not sure, but I do not believe that this treatment needs alerting either. But there is actually a space for it on the ACBL convention card. There is a line that asks what the point range is for 1NT opposite a 1 opener, and if you fill in anything other than 6-9(10) then I guess that by inference a 1 response to a 1 opening may be 3 cards.


Hand Z†††††††††††† And here is a related problem. Partner opens 1, what do you bid? 3NT will

††††††††††††††††††††††† be right on many days but is not very Ďsophisticatedí; you do not mention your

Q74††††††††††††† excellent support and you may well miss a slam. So a sensible solution is

K98††††††††††††† to Ďlieí in the other minor and many players would bid 1 here (itís only a 2

K8††††††††††††††† card suit this time Ė but there really is no other sensible bid? as both 2 and 3

KQJ876†††††† are non-forcing). But actually there is a good solution Ė and that is to play

††††††††††††††††††††††† Inverted Minors.


The bottom lines: -

-         SAYC is not Ďstandardí. ĎStandardí is that a 2NT response to a 1/ opening is 11-12. If you do indeed play SAYC then I suggest that you pick up one of the pre-filled (yellow colour) SAYC convention cards. Then I wonít get a certain somebody wandering up to me complaining about people bidding 3 card suits and not being alerted.

-         I believe that the SAYC 13-15 2NT response exists because you often have no good bid if you have 13+ points and support for partnerís minor.

-         The best way to overcome this problem (and others) is to play Inverted Minors. This then allows for a natural invitational (11-12) 2NT response to 1/ and you never need to Ďdig upí a non-existent minor suit.

-         It really is simplest (and best) to play that 2NT bid by responder at any stage is virtually always 11-12 (except for the Jacoby 2NT over 1/).

A Splinter? Ė part 1††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Board 20 from Wednesday 15th Feb.


Dealer:†††††††††††† Q632††††††††††††††††††† †††††

West††††††††††††††† Q85††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† West††††††††† North†††††††† East††††††††† South

Both vul††††††††††† 963†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1NT†† (1)††† pass†††††††††† 2††††††††††† pass

††††††††††††††††††††††† 1065††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2††††††††††††† pass†††††††††† 4††† (2)††† pass††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4††††† (3)††† all pass††††††

75†††††††††††††††† †††† N†††††††††††† AK10984††††††††††††

K94††††††††††††† W††† E††††††††† A62†††††††††††††††††††††

AKJ74††††††††††††††† S††††††††††††† 10††††††††††††††††††††††††

AQ9†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 843†††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† J††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


††††††††††††††††††††††† Q852†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† KJ72†††††††††††


(1)   I guess that most people will open this West hand with 1NT. My slight reservation is that itmay be a trifle too good Ė a 5 card suit headed by the AK is a big plus. Anyway, 1NT was the popular opening and is quite acceptable.

(2)   And now we come to the question Ė what was you answer to sequence R in this weekís quiz? E-W had not discussed this, and so West assumed (apparently correctly) that it was a splinter, setting ís as trumps.

(3)   And with just two trumps and a singleton opposite his best suit West obviously backed off slamming.


And what happened? 4 + 2 scored well as nobody bid slam and many made only 11 tricks.


The bottom lines. But now itís time for a little chat about splinters after Transfers (and after Stayman has found a fit). Now West (correctly as it turned out) took the jump to 4 as a splinter, but is a splinter the best use of this bid? The Ďproblemí is that there is no way to show shortage (4 is ace/key card asking in this and the analogous Stayman sequence). So to me there is a problem Ė if you want to splinter then you really need to be able to splinter in all 3 suits.


The problem:††† After 1NT - 2 - 2, 4is Gerber or RKCB and so no splinter is available. After 1NT - 2 - 2, 4is Gerber or RKCB and so no splinter is available.

And you have the same problem when ís are trumps.


Is there a solution?


Of course there is! Itís all written up in the NT book on the web and Iíve written up a separate convention page for it. But itís probably best left for more experienced pairs.

A splinter? Ė part 2††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Board 8 from Wednesday 15th


Dealer:†††††††††††† Q53††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Table A

West††††††††††††††† 3†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† West(F)†††† North†††††††† East††††††††† South

Love all††††††††††† A1076††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1†† (1)††††† pass†††††††††† 1††† ††††††† pass

††††††††††††††††††††††† 87652††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4†† (2)††††† pass†††††††††† 5†† (3)††† pass

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6††† (4)††††† all pass

4†††††††††††††††††† †††† N†††††††††††† AK106††††††††††††††††

AKQ2††††††††† W††† E††††††††† J8754†††††††††††††††††† Table B

J52††††††††††††††††††††† S††††††††††††† Q4††††††††††††††††††††††† West(F)†††† North†††††††† East††††††† South

AKQ109††††††††††††††††††††††††††† J4†††††††††††††††††††††††† 1†† (1)††††† pass†††††††††† 1††††††††††† pass

††††††††††††††††††††††† J9872†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3††† (2)††††† pass†††††††††† 4††† (5)††† pass

1096†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass (6)††††† pass

††††††††††††††††††††††† K983†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† 3†††††††††††††††††


Table A:†††† (1)What did you open with this West hand F(a) in this weekís quiz? I personally donít think itís quite good enough for 2 and would (did at Table B) open 1.

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand F(b) in this weekís quiz? This 4 bid was meant as agreeing ís and showing the A. Iím not sure that 4 here has any defined meaning and I go into it when I answer sequence Q below.

(3)   East quite reasonably took it as a huge hand.

(4)   And West simply bid the slam.

Table B††††† (2)This is the correct answer to F(b). A splinter, showing shortage and agreeing ís. If you do not play splinters the 4 is the bid, showing a big hand with support.

(5)AK opposite shortage is not good (wasted K) and so East correctly signed off.


And what happened? 6 makes (+1) if N-S donít find the lead, but unfortunately for East South did find it at Table A.


The bottom lines: An unnecessary jump is a splinter agreeing partnerís last bid suit. It shows a singleton/void and does not show 1st round control. A cue bidding sequence often follows a splinter and 1st round controls are then shown.


Sequence Q††††††††††††† 1 - 1 - 4.


Hand Q††††††††††† Iíve got room here to discuss sequence Q, 1 - 1 - 4.

††††††††††††††††††††††† The only reasonably logical reason that I can think of to leap off to 4 (past

2†††††††††††††††††† 3NT) is that opener likes responderís bid so much that he is certainly looking

KJ9††††††††††††† for a slam (in ís, ís or NT). It should be a hand something like this hand Q,

A7††††††††††††††† with greatís and excellent three card support.


A Competitative Double††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Board 1 from Friday 17th


Dealer:†††††††††††† 975††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

North†††††††††††††† AKJ632†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† West(H)†††† North†††††††† East(E)†††† South

Love all††††††††††† A82††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††††††††† 1††††††††††††† 2††† (1)††† 2

††††††††††††††††††††††† 10††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† dbl (2)††††††† 3††† (3)††††† 3††† (4)††† 4

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4(5)††††††† 5††††††††††††† pass†††††††† pass

AQ104†††††††† †††† N†††††††††††† KJ63††††††††††††††††††† 5(6)††††††† dbl†††††††††††† all pass

5†††††††††††††††††† W††† E††††††††† 1087††††††††††††††††††††

6†††††††††††††††††††††††† S††††††††††††† KJ954††††††††††††††††††

AQJ9763†††††††††††††††††††††††††† K††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† 82††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


††††††††††††††††††††††† Q1073††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† 8542†††††††††††


(1)   What did you bid with this East hand E in this weekís quiz? If the opening had been 1 then double would be correct, but with shortage a double of the 1 opening would be a very poor bid. This hand is (just about) good enough for a two level overcall and I think that 2 is reasonable (pass is the only other sensible alternative). Note that an overcall (a 5+ card suit) does not deny 4 cards in a by-passed major (i.e. the ís here).

(2)   What did you bid with this West hand H in this weekís quiz? I think that double (a co-operative double showing ís and ís) is better than 3 as partner may have 4 ís and then this hand becomes huge.

(3)With 6 ís this is fine (the Law).

(4)Also pretty clear.

(5)With ís opposite this hand is easily worth game.

(6)West has to guess here, but this hand may be virtually useless in defence and on a good day partner will have the K.


And what happened? It was a good day and 5 doubled made exactly. Other scores were all over the place with a number of E-W pairs playing in ís.


The bottom lines: -

-         An overcall at the two level should be close to an opening hand. It promises a 5(+) card suit but does not necessarily deny a by-passed 4 card major.

-         When the opponents have bid and agreed a suit at a low level, then double is for take-out.

-         Look for the 4-4 major suit fit!


A Negative Double††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Board 27 from Wednesday 15th


Dealer:†††††††††††† A10†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

South†††††††††††††† 953†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† West††† ††††† North†††††† East(G)††††† South

Love all††††††††††† 104†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††††††††† -†††††††††††††† -†††††††††††††††† pass

††††††††††††††††††††††† AQJ1042†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1(1)††††††† 2†††††††††† dbl†† (2)††††† 3

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3(3)††††††† pass†††††††† pass (4)††††† pass

KJ962††††††††† †††† N†††††††††††† 873††††††††††††††††††††††

1076†††††††††††† W††† E††††††††† KQJ8††††††††††††††††††

KQJ2††††††††††††††††† S††††††††††††† A873†††††††††††††††††††

5††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 97†††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† Q54†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


††††††††††††††††††††††† 965††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† K863††††††††††


(1)With nice shape and good intermediates this West hand is probably just about worth an opening if thatís your style. Itís one short for the rule of 20 but the sequence, decent intermediates and easy rebid are enough for me.

(2)What did you bid with this East hand G in this weekís quiz? Itís too good for 2 and this pair play 3 as weak. A forcing 2 is acceptable as is 3 (showing a limit raise or better in ís). But I much prefer the negative double chosen. Simply promising 4 ís for now (the way I play negative doubles).

(3)Moysian fits play well when the 3 card trump hand has shortage in the opponentís suit and so West bid 3. What was your answer to sequence N in this weekís bidding quiz? If you play negative doubles the way I have repeatedly suggested (simply showing an unbid major and values to compete in that suit or openerís suit) then 3 is not a strong or forcing bid, it is simply supporting partnerís ís at the lowest level possible.

(4) East knew that his partner was just competing and would have made a different noise with a good hand, and so he correctly passed.


And what happened? 3 played very well (+1) and scored a joint top (one other pair also played in 3+1). Even though there is a 5-3 fit, 3 made only exactly when it was bid.

The bottom lines: -

-         Itís up to you exactly how you play negative doubles and, as I have said many times, every partnership plays them differently


My treatment for negative doubles


There was a silly discussion/argument on Friday, with somebody trying to tell me how I play negative doubles. My preferred method is very simple and extremely well documented. A negative double by me absolutely guarantees 4 cards in the unbid major if there is just one. I also only guarantee enough points to compete to the lowest level of either that major or partnerís opened suit. If I negative double a two level overcall (say sequence L, 1 2 dbl) then I do not promise 11+ points and I do not promise ís. So if it goes 1 2 dbl pass 3(or 2NT) then I would take opener to have a big hand. If I do not have the other major and have a long suit with insufficient points to make a forcing bid, then I pass and then bid my suit after partnerís Ďautomaticí re-opening double. You may or may not agree with this style, but thatís what I (and many experts) play and I have always done so. Itís all up on the web in the negative double section in conventions and also stated in numerous news-sheets.

What is 4?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Board 22 from Friday 17th


Dealer:†††††††††††† AKJ6†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

East††††††††††††††††† 10†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† West††††††††† North†††††††† East††††††††† South

E-W vul†††††††††† AJ2†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††††††††† -†††††††††††††††† pass†††††††† 1NT

††††††††††††††††††††††† KJ965††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††††††††† 2†††††††††††† pass†††††††† 2

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††††††††† 4†† (1)††††† pass†††††††† 5†† (2)

Q10942††††††† †††† N†††††††††††† 3†††††††††††††††††††††††††† pass†††††††††† 6†††††††††††† all pass

86542†††††††††† W††† E††††††††† KJ73†††††††††††††††††††

874†††††††††††††††††††† S††††††††††††† 10963††††††††††††††††††

-†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 8743†††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† 875††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


††††††††††††††††††††††† KQ5††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† AQ102††††††††


(1)What was your answer to Sequence S in this weekís Sequence Quiz? Now I have actually written about this a number of times and there is a separate sheet in the conventions file (please take a copy if you donít already have one). I believe itís best to play that 4 is always Gerber after partnerís last natural bid was NT. 2 was not a natural bid and so 4 is simple Gerber, asking for aces.

(2)This response does not exist of course (4 = 0 or 4). South thought that 4 was natural and strong. He was 50% right.


And what happened? 6 made but scored a near bottom as nearly everybody was in 6NT.

Bidding Sequence Answers


J†††† 1pass12††††††††††††† What is the double? It is penalties - saying that opener

††††† dbl†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† has a decent 4 card suit. If you play Support Doubles then this is not penalties but shows 3 ís.

K†† 1pass22†††††††††††††† What is the double? Penalties. Saying that you would have

††††† dbl†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† rebid 2 had RHO passed. Note that this is penalties even if you play Support Doubles as itís best to only play Support Doubles over major suit responses.

L††† 12dbl†††††††††††††††††††††† The double is negative. But (a) how many points does it promise and (b) what suit(s) does it promise?

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (a) This is up to how you/your partner play Negative Doubles. I only promise enough to compete to 2/ and so itís 6+.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (b) And again itís up to you. Some play that a negative double promises the two unbid suits, some play that it simply shows values, I play that it guarantees 4(+) cards in the unbid major, so 4 ís.

M†† 12dblpass††††††††††††† Does 3 here show a big hand? That depends upon your answer

††††† 3†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† to L(b) above. In my style it shows a big hand, as would 2NT.

N†† 12dbl3††††††††††††††† What is 3? Is it strong? 3 is just competitive (weakish).

††††† 3††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Opener is just raising partnerís suit in a competitive auction.


P††† 1 - 1 - 3††††††††††††††††††† What is 3? A splinter, agreeing ís and showing a big hand with shortage.

Q†† 1 - 1 - 4†††††††††††††††††† What is 4? I take it as a very big hand with excellent ís and 3 decent ís. Iíve discussed this sequence a few pages back.

R††† 1NT - 2 - 2 - 4††††††††† What is 4? I guess itís a splinter, but that really is not that satisfactory as if you play 4 as a splinter then how do you splinter in ís? The answer is on the web and in the conventions file.

S††† 1NT - 2 - 2 - 4†††††††† What is 4? Gerber, openerís last natural bid was NT.

T††† 1NT - 2 - 2 - 2NT††††† 2NT is invitational. But does it guarantee 4 ís? Would your answer be different if you play 4-way transfers? In standard 2NT guarantees 4 ís. If you play 4-way transfers then this 2NT denies 4 ís and must be alerted (I agree with the ACBL here).

U†† 1NT - 2 - 2 - 2†††††††† What is 2? Would your answer be different if you play 4-way transfers? In standard this sequence is Ďspareí as you bid 2NT with an invitational hand with 4 ís. Playing 4-way transfers you need this bid to show an invitational hand with 4 ís.

V†† 1 - 2 - 2NT†††††††††††††††† What is 2NT? Is it forcing? It is a game try. Itís up to your partnership if responder can pass it with a minimum and just 3 ís.

W 1 - 2 - 2 - 3††††††††††† What is 2? What is 3? 2 is a help suit game try, it may or may not be a 4 card suit. 3 accepts the game try and shows a 4 card suit in case there is a 4-4 fit there.

Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:†††† 1, of course. But one player did bid a strong 2. This hand and suit is nowhere near worth a strong jump shift.

Hand B:††††† 3NT. Partner has promised a stop. If you play 3 as forcing here then thatís possible but I donít see the point Ė if 3NT is a viable option, then bid it!

Hand C:†††† 2NT, a balanced 11-12 with no 4 card major. Itís true that the 4333 shape is poor but the good intermediates make up for it, I would not argue with 1NT.

Hand D:†††† 1. Obvious I know. But one player did bid 2!

Hand E†††††† 2 or pass. The hand is just about good enough for a two level overcall in some peopleís style. Pass is the sensible alternative. Double would be a poor bid with a singleton .

Hand F:††††† (a)1. But one very experienced player suggested a 2 opening. Now, as I mentioned just last week, the modern style in Standard American is to open 2 with a hand that is one trick short of game, and I also added my personal stipulation that the hand should contain a decent number of points. Now this hand certainly has enough points, but does it have enough playing strength? If partner has ís then it certainly does but knowing nothing about partnerís holding I personally donít think itís quite good enough for 2, but I wonít argue if you did indeed choose 2. Perhaps a matter of style this time.

(b)   3. A splinter (singleton or void) agreeing ís and inviting slam. If you do not play splinters then you simply bid 4 (showing around18-19 points). A 4 bid here is pretty much undefined (it cannot be a splinter when you open 1) and I went into it (sequence Q) earlier.

Hand G:†††† Dbl. negative and showing 4 ís. 2 is a reasonable alternative and is what I would bid if not playing negative doubles. The hand is too good for 2 and 3 here is generally played as pre-emptive. 3 (showing a sound raise to 3) is not a good bid as there may be a better 4-4 fit and I like to have 4 trumps for the bid.

Hand H:†††† Dbl, A co-operative double, showing the two unbid suits. I prefer this to bidding 3 as partner may just have 4 ís and then this hand becomes enormous.




Bidding Sequence Answers are on the previous page.