Club News Sheet – No. 177   25th  March 2006


                                    Winner                                             Runner-up


Mon 20th    N-S   1st    John/Kenneth                   59%       2nd  Mike(Can)/Bill                      56%

                  E-W   1st    Richard(Irl)/Ursula            59%       2nd  Clive/Dave                           57%

Wed 22nd   N-S   1st    Alan/Bob Short                62%       2nd  Mike(Can)/Bill                      54%

                  E-W   1st    Clive/Hans(Hol)                59%       2nd  John/Kenneth                       57%

Fri    24th    N-S   1st    Chuck/Paul Kelly              63%       2nd  Barbara/Bev Estes                56%

                  E-W   1st    Dave/Hans(Hol)               65%       2nd  Emil/Terry                            60%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated


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


A965            AQ75           With Hand B you open 1 (or 1 if you prefer), LHO overcalls

643               Q                  1 and partner bids 1. What do you bid?

AKQ6          K942           

Q2               AKQ2


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C partner opens 1. (a) What do you bid?

(b) Suppose you choose 2 and partner bids 2, what now?

AQJ6            AJ8              

A7                KJ4              (a) What do you open with Hand D?

82                 AKJ105        (b) Suppose you open 1 and partner bids 2, what do you bid?

J10642         Q9


Hand E            Hand F            Do you open with Hand E (2nd seat vul)?


KQJ32         AQJ9632      With Hand F partner opens 1. (a) What do you bid?

43                 AK7             (b) Suppose that you bid 1 and partner bids 2, what now?

Q75              105

K94             A


Bidding Sequences Quiz


G       1 - 1 - 2 - 3          3 is strong, but is it forcing?

H       2NT - 3 - 3 - 4      What is 4?

J         2NT - 3 - 3 - 4NT    What is 4NT?

K       1 - 2 - 2NT               How strong is 2NT?

L        1 1NT(overcall)            How strong is the 1NT overcall?


Lead Quiz


You are on lead against 3NT and partner has indicated that he wants a lead.

M   What do you lead from K85 ?

N   What do you lead from K105 ?
No psyches please

Because of the large number of inexperienced players in the club, psyching is not allowed. Let’s have a quote from the ACBL Official Encyclopaedia of Bridge: -

People who employ psychic calls against less experienced players may be guilty of unsportsmanlike psyching and thereby in violation of League regulations’. In this club there is no ‘may be’ about it – psyching is simply not allowed. Repeated offenders will be suspended/thrown out.


12 off the top                                                       Board 10 from Wednesday 22nd


What was your answer to sequence K (1 - 2 - 2NT) in this week’s quiz. South got it wrong at table A.


Dealer:             K6                                              Table A

East                  A85                                            West          North         East          South(D)

Both vul            64                                               -                 -                 pass         1    (1)

                        AK7643                                     pass           2             pass         2NT (2)

                                                                              pass           3NT (3)      pass         pass (4)

Q107432           N             95                         pass

63                   W    E          Q10972               

83                       S              Q972                    Table B

J102                                   85                        West          North         East          South(D)

                        AJ8                                             -                 -                 pass         2NT (1)

KJ4                                            pass           4   (5)      pass         4

                        AKJ105                                      pass           6NT           all pass



Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this South hand D(a) in this week’s quiz? 19 points, so 1 followed by a jump in NT seems superficially correct. But I prefer the opening at Table B.

(2)   This is sequence K. What did you bid with this South hand D(b) in this week’s quiz? South thought that he was showing 18-19 points. Unfortunately he is not. After a two level response 2NT is the cheapest NT bid available and shows 12-14. To show 18-19 you have to jump, so 3NT.

(3)   Opposite 12-14 North quite reasonably signed off in 3NT.

(4)   And South thought that North has the minimal 6-10 points.

Table B:     (1)  This South chose a 2NT opening. This suit makes it worth 2NT in my opinion.

(5)  Gerber.


And what happened?

Everybody made 13 tricks in NT, but 5 out of 7 pairs stopped in 3NT.

The bottom lines: -

-         Upgrade a AKJ10x holding, it is easily worth 9+ points

-     After a two level response from partner, 2NT is 12-14 and 3NT is the bid hand.

Don’t deny a 4 card major                                  Board 22 from Monday 20th


A recurring theme in the news-sheets, but this time things went wrong not because a 4-4 fit was missed, but for another reason: -


Dealer:             843                                             Table A

East                  72                                               West(A)     North         East          South

E-W vul           3                                                 -                 -                 1            pass

                        J1098764                                   3NT (1)      all pass


A965                 N             KJ7                      Table B     

643                 W    E          AKQ105              West(A)     North         East          South

AKQ6                S              10942                   -                 -                 1            pass

Q2                                     3                          1    (1)      pass           2    (2)    pass

                        Q102                                          4    (3)      all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this West hand A in this week’s quiz? Opinion is divided when responder has 4 ’s and 5 ’s opposite a 1 opening. I generally always bid 1 but with a weak hand it may be best to bid 2. But with game going values and weak ’s I prefer 1 with west hand. This 3NT (‘showing the points’) was silly.

Table B:     (1)  This West got it right.

(2)   Even though the suit is great (and thus re-biddable) I still prefer to bid this ropey suit. It shows the shape of the hand.

(3)   And West now knows that East has at most 4 black cards and so 3NT will be very dicey indeed. Had East responded 3 then 3NT would be reasonable although many would still prefer the 5-3 fit.


And what happened?

North led the J. South correctly overtook, played a K and then the 5 and that was a deserved 3 down, so 300 for N-S . As this was the only negative score for any E-W it did not matter how many it went down.

The bottom lines: -

-         4-4 fits are ‘golden’. But 5-3 fits sometimes play better in NT especially if the trumps are poor. It’s not applicable in this actual deal, but 5-3 fits play very well even with poor trumps when the 3 card trump hand also has shortage elsewhere (so you get a ruff in the short hand).

-         Never deny a 4 card major. A natural bid of 1NT, 2NT or 3NT over partner’s opening denies a 4 card major.

-         The ‘I wanted to show my points’ excuse is not good enough. We all play natural systems, if you ‘want to show your points’ then take up Precision.


A splinter?                                                           Board 15 from Monday 20th


West at Table A asked me just how bad his 2nd bid(4) on this deal was. My answer was that it was slightly better than his partner’s 2nd bid(5): -


Dealer:             6                                                 Table A

South               AK753                                       West(B)     North         East          South

N-S vul            Q3                                              -                 -                 -               pass (1)

                        98653                                        1    (2)      1              1    (3)    pass

                                                                              4   (4)      pass           pass (5)    pass

AQ75                N             J98432                    

Q                    W    E          10862                   Table B

K942                  S              J                            West(B)     North         East          South

AKQ2                                J4                         -                 -                 -               pass (1)

                        K10                                            1   (2)      1              1    (3)    pass

J94                                             3    (4)      pass           4    (5)    all pass




Table A:     (1)  I would open a weak 2 so I guess that this pair do not play 2 as weak?

(2)   I prefer to open 1 when equal length (3-3 or 4-4) in the minors but that’s just my personal preferred style.

(3)   This 1 bid seemed to be popular. With no overcall I would bid 1 but with an overcall I would pass and bid ’s at the lowest level later (often it will go round to partner who doubles ‘automatically’ and you can then bid 1. Another treatment is to play negative free bids but I don’t really recommend them, especially to inexperienced players.

(4)   What did you bid with this West hand B in this week’s quiz? This 4 bid is obviously forcing but I don’t understand it. 3 is natural and forcing and so 4 should be a splinter. I would choose the bid at Table B.

(5)   Obviously East should not pass, I suppose he thought 4 was natural and did not want to get too high?

Table B:     (2)  This West chose 1, fine – that would be my choice.

(3)  And this East also decided to bid.

(4)   This is the answer to the Hand B quiz. A splinter agreeing ’s.

(5)   Now it depends upon how you play your splinters. I prefer to play them as game forcing, so 4 here is fast arrival and ‘shut up’.


And what happened?

The good 4 was the most popular spot, arrived at by various routes.

The bottom lines: -

-         One above the forcing natural bid is a splinter.

-         My personal style is to respond to partner’s 1/ opening with a weak hand and shortage in his suit, but there is no need to do this if RHO overcalls.


4th suit forcing – part 1                                        Board 8 from Friday 24th 


If you have the 4th suit, then bid NT!: -


Dealer:             K954                                         

West                J9                                               West          North         East(C)    South

Love all            KJ10964                                     1              pass (1)      2   (2)    pass

                        8                                                2              pass           2    (3)    pass

                                                                              3   (4)      pass           pass (5)    pass

8                        N             AQJ6                       

KQ853           W    E          A7                       

A753                  S              82                        

AQ7                                   J10642                






(1)  A weak jump overcall of 3 is an alternative.

(2)   What did you bid with this East hand C(a) in this week’s quiz. You could bid 1 but most experiences players these days bid the minor and then ’s next go – showing the shape and game forcing.

(3)   But you have to change tack as a bid now is the 4th suit. What did you bid with this East hand C(b) in this week’s quiz? Now partner could just be 4540 shape but that’s unlikely. ’s is the 4th suit and a 2 bid here as 4th suit has little point. Simplest is to simply bid 3NT although 2 is technically correct (and bid 3NT later if partner does not ‘support’ ’s).

(4)   West has no stop, but 3 is fine as he considered the auction to be game forcing.

(5)   East missed his 2nd chance to bid 3NT.


And what happened?

3 made +2 and scored a near zero.

The bottom lines: -

-         A bid of the 4th suit is not natural.

-         If you have a good holding in the 4th suit, then NT is probably best.

-         There are various treatments for 4th suit forcing. It’s simplest to play it as game forcing by an unlimited bidder.

-         Some 4th suit sequences are tricky. One thing that you have to decide is what is a raise of the 4th suit? It’s probably best to play it as natural if it is possible for you to have the suit and it’s a major.

 4th suit forcing – part 2                                       Board 20 from Monday 20th 


If you don’t play strong jump shifts, then you have to understand 4th suit forcing: -


Dealer:             K54                                            Table A

West                4                                                 West          North         East          South(F)

Both vul            AKQ62                                      pass           1              pass         1    (1)

                        Q1074                                       pass           2             pass         4NT (2)

                                                                              pass           5              pass         6NT (3)

8                        N             107                       all pass

J96                 W    E          Q108532             

J983                    S              74                         Expert Table (playing weak jump shifts)

K9865                               J32                       West          North         East          South(F)

                        AQJ9632                                    pass           1              pass         1    (1)

AK7                                           pass           2             pass         2    (2)

                        105                                             pass           2    (4)      pass         4NT (5)

                        A                                                pass           5    (6)      pass         5NT (7)

pass           6              pass       7 or 7NT (8)


Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand F(a) in this week’s quiz? If you play strong jump shifts it’s easy - 2 is game forcing and sets ’s as trumps. If you play weak jump shifts then you have to bid 1.

(2)  What did you bid with this South hand F(b) in this week’s quiz? Neither 2 nor 3 are forcing and so you have to bid like the expert table. This 4NT bid was apparently normal Blackwood.

(3)   South could (perhaps should) have asked for kings but the answer of two would not show if the all-important K was present.

Expert        (1)  We’ll assume that our experts play weak jump shifts.

Table:         (2)  4th suit forcing. They play it as game forcing.

(4)   This denies a stop and probably shows 3 ’s or a good doubleton .

(5)   RKCB. South could equally well mess around with a bit of cue bidding first.

(6)   Two key cards (one ace and the K) and no Q.

(7)   Kings?

(8)   7 is sure (South knows that he can ruff a if necessary) but at pairs 7NT may be worth the gamble.


The bottom lines: -

-         It really is easy if you play strong jump shifts.

-         I do not recommend weak jump shift unless you are an experienced pair and completely happy with 4th suit forcing sequences.

-         If you choose to play weak jump shifts then it is often necessary to use the 4th suit to set up a game force.

-         There are various treatments for 4th suit forcing. It’s simplest to play it as game forcing by an unlimited bidder.

Would you open?                                                Board 9 from Monday 20th 


I was asked if I would open this East hand. I said yes – it was not hindsight, I was not shown the other hands.


Dealer:             54                              

North               Q1062                                        West          North         East(E)     South

E-W vul           962                                             -                 pass           pass (1)    2NT

                        Q1062                                       pass           3NT (2)      all pass    


1076                  N             KQJ32                

KJ875            W    E          43                        

843                     S              Q75                     

85                                      K94                    






(1)   Did you open with this East hand E in this week’s quiz? It’s only 19 for the rule of 20 but I would open because all of the points are outside the doubleton and the suit is excellent.

(2)   I would bid Stayman but the same 3NT contract will be reached anyway.


And what happened? West led a and 3NT made overtrick(s).

Had West led a then South would not have had such an easy time (Deep Finesse says that there are only 8 tricks for N-S in 3NT). The bottom lines: -

-         Upgrade a hand with a suit like KQJxx.

-         Upgrade a hand where the points are in the long(ish) suits.

                                                                                                        Bidding Sequence Answers


G     1 - 1 - 2 - 3          3 is strong, but is it forcing? No. If you want to make a forcing 3 bid then you have to bid the 4th suit (2 here) followed by a subsequent 3 bid.

H     2NT - 3 - 3 - 4      What is 4? This is a tricky one, and it really depends upon what 4NT would mean here. Since partner’s 2NT opening is very clearly defined (20-21) there really is no need for a quantitative 4NT. So playing 4 as natural and 4NT as (RKC) Blackwood seems logical to me.

J      2NT - 3 - 3 - 4NT    What is 4NT? RKCB if you go along with the above.

K     1 - 2 - 2NT               How strong is 2NT? 12-14. If you have the 18-19 point hand then you have to jump in NT.

L      1 1NT(overcall)            How strong is the direct 1NT overcall? 15-18 (or 15-17). Anybody who believes that it is 12-15 needs to learn some bridge basics or else has an ulterior motive for saying they play such a silly bid (perhaps to avoid being suspended again for repeated unsportsmanlike psyching?). Some may disagree, but I am not stupid; be aware – no psyching.

What do you lead from Kxx? And from K10x?     Board 19 from Friday 24th       

Dealer:             A1075                              It seems that – it depends?

West                J3                                    

Love all            10952                               I won’t go into the bidding (4 is a nice contract)

                        K105                               but West ended up as declarer in 3NT.

Don’t ask me why, but North decided to lead a ,

K3                     N             QJ642        that’s how to set the contract. But the question is

K10842          W    E          A76            which should North lead?

AQ6                   S              KJ8             She reasonably(?) led the 5 but the suit was then

843                                    AJ              blocked as it was not clear to throw the 10 on the

                        98                                     next round.

Q95                                  So should one lead the K or 10 from this holding?

                        743                                   I don’t know. But let’s have a similar problem from

                        Q9762                             Wednesday 15th. I don’t have the complete deal.


                        K85                                  West again ended up as declarer in 3NT and in the

bidding South had indicated that he wanted a lead.

                              N                                   North had no entry and in this situation it is

6                     W    E          Q1074        imperative that he leads a low so that N-S pick up

                              S                                    5 ’s off the top.



So what’s correct? What should one lead from Kxx (Quiz M) and from K10x (Quiz N)? Can anybody who is a better defender than me (yes, I know that that’s ½ of the club) help me out here. I guess it’s low from Kxx and either the K or 10 from K10x? Give me (or send by e-mail) your opinion. Or you can always post it on the web-site guest book which I have just installed.


Bidding Quiz Answers                  Bidding Sequence answers are on the previous page.


Hand A:     1. With a weak hand 2 may be best, but with game values it’s best to bid the suit.

Hand B:      3. A splinter showing shortage and agreeing ’s.

Hand C:     (a)  2. This is preferable to 1. Note that it is not denying a major as you intend to bid a (game forcing) 2 over a 1NT or 2 rebid from partner. This shows your shape. If you initially respond 1 and then bid 3 that implies 5 ’s.

(b)   3NT. Partner has thwarted your attempt to bid out your shape. A 2 bid now would be 4th suit forcing. It is technically correct but there is little point (unless partner is 4540 shape) and you have to agree what a raise of the 4th suit means.

Hand D:     (a)  2NT. AKJ10x is worth far more than 8 points and the hand is easily worth a 2NT (20-21) opener.

(b)  3NT. A 2NT rebid after partner responds at the two level shows 12-14 and so you have to jump in NT to show a hand too strong to open 1NT (18-19).

Hand E:      1. Of course you can pass if you prefer but I upgrade a hand with KQJxx.

Hand F:      (a)  2. A strong jump shift; setting trumps and game forcing. If you play weak jump shifts then you have to bid 1.

(b)   2. 4th suit forcing. If you play weak jump shifts then it really is important to understand 4th suit forcing as 3 here is not forcing. You have to bid 2 with the intention of bidding ’s next go as a forcing bid.