Club News Sheet – No. 188    10th  June 2006


Mon 5th     1st Bill & Mike            63%                             2nd    Bob Short & Terry             59%

Wed 7th      1st  Bill & Mike            58%                             2nd    Dave & Kenneth                58%

Fri    9th      1st  Jan & Phil               65%                             2nd    Jean-Marc & Michael         57%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


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


10965           A6542          With Hand B you open 1 and partner responds 2♠, what do you

A106            32                 bid?

J9                  A4               

K1072         AK73

With Hand C partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 2,     

Hand C           Hand D           what do you bid?   


Q98652        KJ107          With Hand D partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 2:

-                   J109             (a)  How many ‘points’ is this hand worth?

76                 10952           (b)  What do you bid?

K10754       A8                (c)  Suppose you choose 2 and partner bids 4, what now?


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E partner opens 1NT and RHO overcalls 2. What

do you do?

AQ95           -

J8                 AKJ106       With hand F you open 1, LHO overcalls 1, partner bids 2,

104               10965           and RHO bids 2. What do you bid?

QJ1075        AJ72




Manners at our club. I have tried to stress that our club is a friendly club – rudeness will not be tolerated. I have recently warned two players and on Wednesday another player was apparently very rude to two ladies. I only heard about it on Friday and contacted the two ladies. Fortunately the ladies did not make a big deal of it (otherwise the culprit would most certainly have been banned) and said that he was just ‘grumpy’. Note that this was a different person from ‘Grumpy’ who I had previously had a word with regarding another incident.

Please bear in mind that there a large number of  inexperienced players in the club and I have made a big effort in encouraging them. I expect other members to cope with them in a polite way. If you cannot be courteous and cannot adapt to less gifted players then that is no problem now – a club was recently set up expressly for rude people (Henrik, John Gavens, Alex etc…,) who have been expelled from or are not welcome at the Pattaya bridge Club. I understand that they need a few more members anyway and I am certainly happy to swell their ranks by ejecting rude players from our club.

And please note the club rules on revokes. I expect any player at the table to ask any other if he suspects that they may have have revoked. Then the matter can be sorted our immediately with no penalty. To sit back and claim extra trick(s) at the end is considered to be unsportsmanlike behaviour at this club.
Never deny a 4 card major
                                              Board 18 from Monday 5th


 Same old chestnut, and this time the 4-4 fit was missing the AKQ but was still superior to NT: -


Dealer:             J842                                           Table A

East                  97                                               West          North         East          South(A)

N-S vul            AK2                                           -                 -                 pass         pass

                        AQ53                                         pass           1             pass         1NT (1)

all pass

KQ3                  N             A7                       

Q42                W    E          KJ853                  Table B

Q764                  S              10853                   West          North         East          South(A)

J94                                     86                        -                 -                 pass         pass

                        10965                                         pass           1             pass         1    (1)

A106                                          pass           2              all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand A in this week’s quiz? Never deny a 4 card major, especially with a weak doubleton.

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


And what happened? 1NT went down for a poor score. Two tables bid as table B and made or made +1.


The bottom lines: -

-         Never deny a 4 card major

-         It is incorrect to think that NT scores more at pairs, the 4-4 major suit fit virtually always makes one trick more.

-         Suit quality is not important, just 4 cards. Here the 4-4 fit is missing the top 3 honours but is still a far superior strain to NT.


The Law (of total tricks) in action.                      Board 3 from Monday 5th


 You can sacrifice above ‘The Law’, especially at favourable vulnerability: -


Dealer:             A104                                         

South               76                                               West          North         East          South

E-W vul           K109543                                    -                 -                 -               1

                        42                                              dbl   (1)      1              1    (2)    2    (3)

4    (4)      5              dbl           all pass

KQJ32              N             9876                    

A10532          W    E          J98                      

-                          S              AQ82                  

A86                                    93                       







Table A:     (1)  This hand is good enough to double and then remove a bid from partner. 5-5 in the majors is a great shape.

(2)  A free bid (East does not have to bid with a poor hand once North has bid. This should be about 6-9 points and 4 + ’s, so spot on.

(3)  It is rarely correct to support partner’s minor suit opening with just 3 cards, but after West’s double South can be pretty sure that North has more than 4 ’s and the J74 should be very useful with a singleton. The alternative of 2 is also very reasonable and what most would bid.

(4)  Opposite a free bid this hand is now worth a shot at game.

(5)  North was expecting 4 ’s opposite so the 5 level is one above the Law. But at favourable vulnerability it’s fine to go even 3 down assuming that the opponents can make their vulnerable game.


And what happened? 5 went 3 down for 500 but E-W have an easy 620 in 4.


The bottom lines: -

-         Notice the importance if good intermediates in your trump suit. Swap the 8 with the 9 and 5 would probably be 4 down for a bottom.

-         5-5 in the majors is great shape, especially with a void in opponent’s suit.

-         When your partner makes a take-out double, a non-jump shows about 0-8 points. But if the next player bids then you no longer need to and a non-jump is now about 6-9. This is called a free bid (i.e. you made the bid freely as you were not forced to bid).

Walsh always finds the 4-4 major fit                   Board 17 from Wednesday 7th


 What is ‘Walsh’? It is a treatment whereby responder to a 1 opening will bid a 4 card major rather than a 4 or 5 card suit in response to partner’s 1 opening when he has a weak hand. There are numerous reasons why Walsh is better than standard ‘up-the-line’ but they really are too complex to go into here. However, all 4 tables missed the 4-4 fit on this deal and it would have been trivial playing Walsh: -


Dealer:             J985                                           Table A

North               J85                                             West          North         East          South

Love all            J10762                                        -                 pass           pass         1

                        2                                                pass           1    (1)      pass         2NT (2)

pass           pass (3)      pass

Q3                     N             K76                     

K63                W    E          Q94                      ‘Walsh’ Table

Q94                    S              K53                      West          North         East          South

J10843                               K765                   -                 pass           pass         1

                        A1042                                        pass           1    (1)      pass         4    (4)






Table A:     (1)  This is obviously what most players (those who do not play Walsh) would bid.

(2)  And this is again standard – your 2NT rebid shows a balanced 18-19 and may well hide a 4 card major (or two!). This is not considered denying a 4-card major as partner rarely passes and then a 4-4 major suit fit comes to light.

(3)  But unfortunately North is too weak to bid again on this occasion.

‘Walsh’      (1)  But playing Walsh one ignores a 4 or 5 card suit when holding a very weak

 Table               hand in order to ensure that a possible 4-4 major suit fit is located.

(4)  And South clearly bids game in the known 4-4 fit.


And what happened? 2NT went one down and 3NT at another table went 5 down. Nobody found the 4-4 fit at any level, 4 is probably making.


The bottom lines: -

-         Walsh is excellent, but few players apart from the experts seem to play it.

Applying the Law                                                 Board 25 from Wednesday 7th


 We all know by now about competing to the level of ‘the Law’. See how effective it was on this deal:” -


Dealer:             AK1074                                    

North               K10                                            West          North         East          South(C)

E-W vul           10842                                         -                 1              2            4    (1)

                        Q9                                             dbl   (2)      pass           pass (3)    pass


J3                      N             -                          

J8763             W    E          AQ9542              

KQ53                 S              AJ9                      

A8                                      J632                    







(1)  What did you bid with this South hand C in this week’s quiz? 4 is very clear – showing a weak hand with long ’s.

(2)  And West is in a fix. He has a known 5-5 fit but is 5 too high? After a bit of a huddle he decided to double as he has decent defensive cards.


And what happened? 4 doubled made exactly. 5 was bid and made at another table.


The bottom lines: -

-         Raise partner pre-emptively to the 4 level with 5+ trumps.



Worth a jump invite?                                           Board 27 from Wednesday 7th


Many bridge players consider 12-14 as minimal, 15-17 as good and 18+ as very good. If they open say 1 and get a 2 response, they will usually invite with the ‘good’ hand. Is this wise with just 15? I believe that the above is more prevalent with Acol players, as the 2 response usually guarantees 4 card support. But playing 5 card majors partner’s 2 response may be feeble, i.e. a hand that an Acol player would respond 1NT with: -


Dealer:             A6542                                        Table A

South               32                                               West          North(B)    East          South

Love all            A4                                              -                 -                 -               pass

                        AK73                                         pass           1              pass         2    (1)

pass           3 (2)        pass         3    (3)

J8                      N             KQ7                     all pass

Q106              W    E          AJ95                   

Q1063                S              J952                      Table B

J1082                                 Q6                       West          North(B)    East          South

                        1093                                           -                 -                 -               pass

K874                                          pass           1              pass         2

                        K87                                            pass           pass (2)




Table A:     (1)  2 here is correct playing 5-card majors, but an Acol player would respond 1NT. If you play 2/1 then a forcing 1NT followed by 2 is the way to show a poor raise. And note that playing the forcing NT has another advantage – if partner bids 2 then you can pass that and play in a superior 4-4 fit.

(2)  What did you bid with this North hand B in this week’s quiz? This actual 3 bid was a help-suit game try. The hand has nice shape and excellent top cards – but… look at the total lack if intermediates. This ‘empty’ hand is not worth an effort and table B got it right.

(3)  No help and minimum.

Table B:     (2)  This North correctly passed the 2 bid.


And what happened? 3 went one down. Every other table played in 2 making.


The bottom lines: -

-         Intermediates count.

-         You need a good hand to make an effort after 1 - 2. An empty 15 is not good enough.

-     But if you play 2/1 it’s different and many players play a direct 2 raise as constructive and go via the forcing NT with a poor raise like this one.

A dummy reversal                                                Board 3 from Friday 9th


Dealer:             AQ1094                                     Table A

South               943                                             West          North         East(F)     South

E-W vul           K72                                           

                        43                                              pass           pass           1            1

2              2  (1)        3    (2)    pass

642                    N             -                           pass           pass

Q75                W    E          AKJ106              

QJ8                     S              10965                   Table B

K985                                 AJ72                    West          North         East(F)     South

                        KJ873                                        -                 -                 -               pass

                        82                                               pass           pass           1            1

                        A43                                            2              2    (1)      3   (2)    pass

                        Q106                                         4   (3)      pass           4            all pass


Table A:     (1)  3 or 4, depending upon your agreements here, are also reasonable bids.

(2)  What did you bid with this East hand F in this week’s quiz? East meant this as a try for game – unfortunately it is not, it is simply competitive. In fact, any bid other than 3 is a game try!

Table B:     (2)  This South got it right, 3 is a help-suit-game try.

(3)  West is accepting of course, but it does no harm to show his support in case East is fishing for a slam.


And what happened? 4 should make, but everybody made just 9 tricks. I guess I’ll have to make one of my irregular diversions into the play. Here is what typically happened; declarer ruffed the opening lead, drew trumps, took a losing finesse, ruffed the return with his last trump and then lost the AK and 3 tricks.

Is there a way to make the 4 contract? Even if the Q was onside trippleton, thus giving you 4 tricks, you still only have 9 tricks and you again run out of trumps before you have time to set up a trick.

So what’s the solution? As always, count your tricks.

Q10                                      You do not have enough without setting up two

943                                       tricks. You should attack ’s at trick two, and

7                                           not pull trumps. The defence will presumably

                        43                                        continue leading ’s but that is no problem.

At trick 5 the defence lead a for the 3rd time

                           N             -                     and you ruffed with the J. And now you are in

Q75                W    E          AK                 this position. Having been able to take the force

Q                        S              109                 and set up your winners it is time to draw trumps.

K985                                 AJ72              You already have 3 tricks (3 trumps) so now cash

                        KJ                                        the AK, cross to dummy with the K and draw

                        82                                         the last trump with the Q. Note that declarer has

                        4                                           no tump left – this is called a dummy reversal –

Q106                                   getting ruffs in the long trump hand and then eventually drawing the last trump with the short

trump hand. So you now have 7 tricks (6 trumps and the K) and need 3 more. Do not be greedy (take an unnecessary finesse ) or you will go down. Cash the Q, cross to the A and cash the 10 for 10 tricks You made 6(!) trumps, 2’s and just 2 ♣’s. Any play that tried to set up trick(s) was doomed.

The bottom lines: -

-         Count you tricks.

-         Do not adopt a line that may make 8-9 tricks if there is a good alternative for 10 tricks.

-         Understand being forced.

-         And understand the dummy reversal (often the answer to being forced).

-         And in the bidding; in a competitive auction, bidding your suit at the 3 level is just competitive and not invitational. Use the HSGT to invite.

-         Note that a high trump in dummy is essential for this dummy reversal.

-     And note the power of intermediates, the 10,9 were real jewels.



The 4/ rebid is a big hand (18-19 pts)             Board 2 from Friday 9th


Dealer:             5                                                 Table A

East                  85                                               West          North         East(D)    South

N-S vul            KJ8743                                       -                 -                 pass         pass

                        QJ92                                          1              2              dbl   (1)    pass

4    (2)      pass           4    (3)    pass

AQ986              N             KJ107                  pass           pass

AKQ6            W    E          J109                    

A                        S              10952                   Table B

106                                    A8                        West          North         East(D)    South

                        42                                               -                 -                 pass         pass

                        7432                                           1              2              2    (1)    pass

                        Q6                                              4    (4)      pass           pass (5)    pass



Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this East hand D(b) in this week’s quiz? This double was negative (promising 4+’s). A very strange bid but it is forcing!

(2)   Absolutely correct, showing about 18-19 points and 4 ’s. A 4 splinter is a poor bid with a singleton ace.

(3)   East simply corrected, but this hand is enormous once partner has shown 18+ points with ’s and ’s and East should look for slam. A 5 cue bid is probably best although Blackwood would also work and RKCB would show that partner has the K and so make 6 a near certainty.

Table B:     (1)  This East correctly chose to support ’s, and 2 is 6-10. However, this hand has greatly improved with partner opening ’s and RHO showing length and the hand is really worth 3 (assuming you play that as 11-12).

(4)  18-19, spot on

(5)  What did you bid with this east hand D(c) in this week’s quiz? East should look for slam and I would bid 5 showing the A although Blackwood is a reasonable alternative if you are not happy with cuebidding.


And what happened? Just two out of 5 pairs bid 6, with 13 tricks off the top.


The bottom lines: -

-         When opener jumps to 4 of a major, it shows 18+ points.

When your NoTrump opening is interfered with                  Board 7 from Friday 9th


If your partner opens 1NT and the next hand overcalls, say 2, then you have lost an awful lot of bidding space. There is not enough room to show all types if hand (weak, invitational and forcing) and bidding Stayman and/or showing/asking for stops in the overcalled suit is obviously very difficult:


Dealer:             K843                                          Table A

South               AK10973                                   West          North         East(E)     South

Both vul            83                                               -                 -                 -               pass

                        4                                                1NT           2              3   (1)    all pass


J62                    N             AQ95                  

Q52                W    E          J8                         ‘Expert’ Table

AKQ97              S              104                       West          North         East(E)     South

A3                                      QJ1075                -                 -                 -               pass

                        107                                             1NT           2              3    (1)    pass

                        64                                               3NT   (2)    all pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this East hand E in this week’s quiz? This is clearly a problem. Is 3 forcing? What is the Stayman bid? Etc. See ‘expert’ table for the real solution. This East chose 3 which they had agreed is weak and to play. It’s far too good for a weak bid of course.

‘Expert’      (1)  Playing Lebensohl this bid is Stayman (so showing 4 ’s) and is also denying

 Table               a stop. What a great convention!

(2)  Partner has shown game values and Qxx should be a good enough stop.


And what happened? With the black kings well placed 3NT is a doddle.


The bottom lines: -

-     Lebensohl is a really great convention that, for some reason, is not as popular as it should be.

-     I have written up Lebensohl on the web and I also have a booklet by Mike Lawrence if anybody is interested.

-     For those of you who do play Lebensohl, remember ‘slow shows’. So:

1NT 2 2NT p 3 p 3is Stayman with a ♥ stop.

Slow arrival                                                          Board 5 from Friday 9th


Dealer:             K6                                             

North               KJ85                                          West          North         East          South

N-S vul            962                                             -                 pass           2           pass

                        Q964                                         2              pass           2            pass

2NT (1)      pass           3    (2)    pass

108                    N             AQJ43                  4    (3)      pass           5    (4)    all pass

107642           W    E          A                         

AQ74                 S              KJ108                  

72                                      AK5                    






(1)   This is probably better than 3 with no honours in the suit, especially as 3 takes up so much space.

(2)   2nd suit, the auction is game forcing.

(3)   Agreeing ’s, and showing slam interest. Note that 5 here would be weak (say a similar hand without the A) and 4 here shows just this type of hand.

(4)   East should look for slam, Blackwood is the obvious bid but I would simply bid 6 as it should make regardless of whether partner has the A or not.


And what happened? Only one pair bid slam, but 5+2 scored badly as it was beaten by the 3NT bidders.


The bottom lines: -

-         When you go past 3NT in a minor suit and game forcing auction, then you are looking for slam.

-         If your side has loads of points then it’s usually bad to play in 5/. You will score badly against those in 3NT, so bid the minor suit slam!




Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     1. Never deny a 4 card major, even xxxx. Finding the 4-4 major suit fit is what bridge bidding is all about! 1NT (‘to show your points’) is a very poor bid.

Hand B:      Pass. Not quite good enough for a game try in my opinion; close if you play Acol.

Hand C:     4. And be prepared to go to 5 if pushed – The Law.

Hand D:     (a)  11-12. This hand is not 9 points. KJ10x in partner’s major is excellent; 4 small cards in the opponent’s suit is excellent (no wasted values and partner is likely to be short); the hand has good shape and great intermediates.

(b)   3, assuming that you play that as 11-12.

(c)    5, a cue bid showing the A and looking for slam.

Hand E:      3. A cuebid of the opponent’s suit is (game forcing) Stayman. If you play Lebensohl this also denies a stop.

Hand F:      3. A help-suit-game try. 3 is not inviting partner but is simply competing. I would not argue if you simply bid 4.