Club News Sheet – No. 229        25th March 2007

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Mon 19th    1st N-S     Ivy & Wolfgang                  61%         2nd    Hugh & Sally                    60%

                  1st E-W    Derek & Gerard                 64%         2nd    Jan Roos & Per-Ake        63%

Wed 21st    1st N-S     Bob & Mike                       56%         2nd    Hugh & Sally                    55%

                  1st E-W    Derek & Gerard                 58%         2nd    Paul & Ursula                   56%

Fri  23rd      1st N-S     John MacI & Sean             60%         2nd    Hugh & Sally                    58%

                  1st E-W    Flurio & Pezzini                  75%         2nd    Derek & Gerard               62%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


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


K10985        -                                                

Q10932        KQ108543   With Hand B you open 3 (or 4 if you prefer) and partner 

6                   J953              bids 4NT, RKC Blackwood, what do you respond?  

54                Q10.                         


Hand C           Hand D           What do you open with Hand C (playing Benjamin twos).


AK               KQJ9

AK10943     K1064          With Hand D partner opens 1NT, what do you bid?

AQ8             J84             

Q10             Q8


Hand E            Hand F            What do you open with Hand E (playing Benjamin twos).


AKJ853        A107            (a)  What do you open with Hand F?

10                 AQJ3           (b)  Suppose you chose 1 and partner responds 1, what

4                   A3                      do you bid now?

AKQ106      K1095        


Bidding Sequences Quiz        All of these sequences occurred this week


G     3      pass   4NT   pass   What is this 5response to Roman Keycard Blackwood?


H     3      pass   4NT   pass   What is this 6response to Roman Keycard Blackwood?


I       1      pass   1      pass   What does this 3NT bid show?


J      1      pass   1      pass   4NT was Blackwood and the 5 response indicated that there

3NT   pass   4NT   pass   were two aces missing. What does responder do to play in 5NT?

5      pass   ?

K     1NT   pass   pass   2     2 was conventional, showing both minors, and 2 was simple

pass   2      dbl               preference. What does the double mean?

L      1     pass   1      pass   What is 4? Strong or pre-emptive?



I had to adjust the scores on two boards on Wednesday.

Board 5: The first problem was when a double of a 2 bid, in a sequence which I consider to be very clearly penalties (sequence K) was not alerted as a transfer by a regular partnership, and then when the pair were asked if all bids were natural one said ‘I think so’ (he bid 2 with a three card suit) and the other (dummy) said nothing. They clearly had an (absurd in my opinion) agreement that the double of 2 at this 2nd turn was a transfer. I adjusted the score to fall in line with the majority of the field who played in 3 or 4.

Board 12: The other problem involved the same N-S pair. After the play all 4 hands were placed in the incorrect slots. As a result the board was a waste of time for the rest of the field - four subsequent tables. All four players at the mis-boarding table were given 40% and those who played the incorrect board were awarded 60%.

We had some consistency in the results this week; with Derek & Gerard just missing the triple (tough luck not winning on Friday with 62%) and Hugh/Sally coming in a steady 2nd three times running.


Stopping in 5NT when there are two keycards missing               Board 15 from Monday 19th

An interesting Blackwood problem cropped up on this deal: -

Dealer:             J64                                            

South               105                                             West          North         East          South

N-S vul            1054                                           -                 -                 -               pass

                        108654                                      1              pass           1            pass

3NT (1)      pass           4NT (2)    pass

109                    N             AK75                   5    (3)      pass           5    (4)    pass

K98                W    E          Q7643                  all pass

AKQJ863           S              7                         

9                                        KQJ                    






(1)   I prefer this bid to 3; it shows a good hand with a good long solid suit.

(2)   Since West Has defined his hand quite clearly this must be Blackwood.

(3)   So West showed his ace.

(4)   But East did not know how to stop in 5NT (5NT is asking for kings). Did you get sequence J right? East should bid 5, the highest unbid suit, asking partner to bid 5NT.


And what happened? 5 went one down. 3NT (or 5NT if East asks about aces) is where you want to play and it makes 11 tricks comfortably.

The bottom lines: -

-     Know how to stop in 5NT having invoked Blackwood (bid 5 of the highest unbid suit).
Responding to Blackwood with a void                    Board 8 from Monday 19th

Here’s another interesting Blackwood problem. It was in the news-sheets a few weeks back (News-sheet 218) and the pair at Table B did remember it, thus reaching an excellent slam: -

Dealer:             -                                                 Table A

West                KQ108543                                 West          North(B)    East          South

Love all            J953                                            pass           3    (1)      pass         4NT (2)

                        Q10                                           pass           5    (3)      pass         5    (4)

all pass

AJ75                  N             K10986               

J7                   W    E          6                           Table B

1084                   S              72                        West          North(B)    East          South

9876                                  KJ542                  pass           3    (1)      pass         4NT (2)

                        Q432                                          pass           6    (3)      pass         pass (5)

A92                                            pass




Table A:     (1)  A very sound 3♥ opener, with this nice shape some may prefer 4♥.

(2)   RKCB. Not elegant with these ’s but it should have worked.

(3)   North thought for a while before responding – obviously trying to think what to do with a void.

(4)   With just one keycard opposite and potentially two losers off the top, South signed off.

Table B:     (2)  This South also tried RKCB.

(3)  But fortunately they knew what to do with a void. 5NT would show 0 or 2 keycards with an undisclosed void but the response with 1 (or 3) keycards is more explicit. A six-level bid below the trump suit shows 1 or 3 keycards with a void in the suit bid and a bid of six of the trump suit shows 1 or 3 keycards with a void in a higher ranking suit. Since North has a keycard (which he has not promised) he should show the void.

(5)  With a known void opposite South is very happy. But he does not quite have enough to bid the grand as there could easily be a minor suit loser.


And what happened? Three pairs bid the cold 6; one went down in 7 and the other five settled for game. I don’t know how many of the 6/7 bidders knew what they were doing or if they simply gambled.

The bottom lines: -

-         There is no need to lie or gamble when you have a void and partner bids Blackwood; 5NT shows 0 or 2 and a six level bid shows 1or 3; simple eh?

-         But you should not use this scheme if you have 0 or 1 keycards and partner could reasonably expect more.

-         And don’t show a void in a suit that partner has bid – it’s probably not useful.







Totally illogical                                                     Board 5 from Wednesday 21st 

There was a bit of silly animosity (and a subsequent adjusted score) on this deal: -

Dealer:             QJ3                                           

North               K64                                            West          North         East          South(A)

N-S vul            J92                                              -                 1NT (1)      pass         pass (2)

                        AK106                                       2   (3)      pass           2            dbl   (4)

pass           2    (5)      pass (6)    all pass

A762                 N             4                          

5                     W    E          AJ87                   

AQ105               S              K8743                

Q982                                 J73                      






(1)   A bit light for 1NT with this totally flat shape.

(2)   What did you bid with this South hand A in this week’s quiz? Obviously you should try 2, Stayman. If partner has a 4 card major then you have found a 5-4 fit and if partner bids 2 then you bid 2. Standard ‘Garbage Stayman’.

(3)   Apparently showing both minors in this West’s system. Don’t ask me how he shows a two suited hand with a major and a minor.

(4)   What was you answer to this double in this weeks sequence quiz number K. South had a chance to transfer if he wished at (2) and so playing this as a transfer to ’s has no sense whatsoever, it is clearly penalties. There was no alert.

(5)   Neither was this alerted.

(6)   East was understandably unwilling to venture 3 when South had doubled 2. He specifically asked if all bids were natural and was given an affirmative reply.


And what happened? 2 made exactly. The director would have been summoned if he was not already at the table; he was East and made his objections very clear. At the time of the incident no action was taken as it was a good score for E-W as the one previous time it was 4 making by South. However, at all of the subsequent tables E-W played in ’s making 9 or 10 tricks and so the score was adjusted to 4 making by West. This sort of situation is very clear in the rules – adjust the score to the most favourable likely outcome.

The bottom lines: -

-         Straightforward transfers (i.e. 2 and 2 bids) do not need alerting at this club, but I do recommend simply announcing ‘transfer’.

-         If you play that a double of an overcall as a transfer then that needs alerting. A failure to do so may well lead to an adjusted score if a defender reasonably assumed that it was penalties.

-         If you play that a double of an overcall when you previously declined to transfer as a transfer then that is totally illogical and most certainly needs alerting.

-         If an opponent specifically asks ‘was everything natural?’ before his opening lead then both declarer and/or dummy should explain if a double was conventional.

-         Incidentally, I did mention sequence K to Dave and he said ‘obviously penalties’.



A good hand for 2/1                                              Board 3 from Monday 19th


Dealer:             J53                                             Table A

South               J75                                             West          North         East          South

N-S vul            K64                                            -                 -                 -               pass

                        AKQ8                                        1              pass           pass         pass


A8762               N             10                         Expert Table

A82                W    E          KQ10964             West          North         East          South

AJ82                   S              105                      -                 -                 -               pass

4                                        10952                  1              pass           1NT (1)    pass

                        KQ94                                         2              pass           2    (2)    all pass





Table A:     (1)  This hand is not good enough for 2. If you play weak jump shifts then 3 will work but without that agreement I guess 1NT is best and hope that partner does not pass.

‘Expert’      (1)  But our experts play 2/1 and East knows that partner cannot pass 1NT – it’s

 Table               forcing playing 2/1.

(2)  And this subsequent 2 bid shows a weak hand with a long suit.


And what happened? 1 was bid and made twice (Deep Finesse says it should go down), but 2 makes 10 tricks.

The bottom lines: -

-         Playing 2/1 has many advantages, including this situation with a weak single suited hand opposite partner’s 1/ opening.



Play Quiz

North:        AK10976               How do you play this trump suit in a 4 contract, given that

East has made a weak jump overcall of 2 and that you have

South:         J32                         plenty of entries to either hand?


Answer next page.


An interesting play hand                                          Board 8 from Wednesday 21st 

Three North’s failed to find the best line of play in 6 on this deal: -

Dealer:             A                                                West          North         East          South

West                AK10976                                   pass           1              2    (1)    3    (2)

Love all            752                                             pass           3NT (3)      pass         4NT (4)

                        1062                                          pass           5   (5)      pass         6

all pass

852                    N             Q97643               

854                 W    E          Q                    (1)  Weak  

K86                    S              J103                (2) Game forcing and showing a big hand.

J543                                   Q87               (3)  Showing a stop.

                        KJ10                                    (4)  Apparently RKCB for ’s

J32                                       (5)  Three keycards.


AK9                                     Onto the play, you get a lead, play the A and

draw trumps, but what do you then pitch on the K?

                        -                                           If you pitch a you still have two losers.

                        1097                                     The answer is to pitch a on the K whilst pulling

                        75                                         trumps and end up in this position having won the

                        1062                                    last trick in the North hand with the K.

You now try the finesse which loses but you

8                        N             Q9                  still make the contract as you can ruff the 3rd

-                     W    E          -                     round of ’s and pitch the 9 on the 13th as

K86                    S              J103                they split 3-3.

J543                                   Q87               The above all assumes that a is led. At this

                        J                                           table East was reluctant to lead a when North

-                                           had shown a stop and so he led the J.

AQ94                                   North cannot really go wrong now as either playing

AK9                                     for the ’s 3-3 as above or finessing the 9 both work. But declarer crossed to dummy and ran the J to ensure defeat when he can always pick up the ’s by playing the A first. 


And what happened? 7NT (!) went two down. 6 was bid three times and went one down on every occasion. Two pairs stopped in 4 or 5 and both made 12 tricks for the shared top, with 3NT+2 coming in third.

The bottom lines: -

-     Try to combine your chances and plan ahead.

-     On this deal, 6 makes if the finesse works or of the ’s split 3-3 – provided that you discard a on the K and that you correctly play the A first.

-     Don’t take a finesse on the first round if you can take it on the 2nd. The correct play in this

suit is to play the A first and if the Q does not drop then you normally play for the drop. But here East has shown 6 ’s and so it is correct to finesse ON THE 2nd ROUND rather than playing 8 ever 9 never.

-     Play Quiz Answer: To finesse or play for the drop with 9 cards missing the queen is very close and if the bidding indicates that one player has a long suit then play his partner for Qxx, but always play a high trump first in case there is a singleton queen.


A 2 opener? – part 1                                         Board 9 from Wednesday 21st  

Dealer:             82                                               Table A

North               Q72                                            West          North         East(C)    South

E-W vul           KJ1032                                       -                 pass           2   (1)    pass

                        J65                                             2    (2)      pass           2    (3)    pass

3   (4)      pass           3            pass

1094                  N             AK                       4              all pass

J                     W    E          AK10943            

964                     S              AQ8                    Table B

AK8432                             Q10                     West          North         East(C)    South

                        QJ7653                                      -                 pass           2   (1)    pass

865                                             3   (5)      pass           3    (6)    pass

75                                               4   (7)      pass           4NT (8)    pass

97                                              5    (9)      pass           5NT         pass

6   (10)    pass           6NT (11)  all pass


Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this East hand C in this week’s quiz? This pair play Benjamin twos and East decided to open 2 - showing an 8-9 playing trick hand.

(2)   Automatic playing Benjamin.

(3)   8 playing tricks in ’s. 3 (so 9 playing tricks) is an alternative.

(4)   Natural and forcing.

Table B:     (1)  This pair actually play inverted Benjamin (2 is 8-9 playing tricks) but this East considered the hand too good and opened a traditional 2, and that’s my answer to question C (I was this East).

(5)  Clearly worth a positive response.

(6)  Natural, showing a good suit.

(7)  This good 6-carder is worth repeating.

(8)  RKCB for ’s.

(9)  Two keycards without the Q.

(10)  No other king

(11)  East knows that there are 6+ running tricks and so opts for the NoTrump slam.


And what happened? Three pairs bid slam, the other four stopped in game. 6NT is cold on any lead.

The bottom lines: -

-         With 9 playing tricks and 22 points I prefer your strongest bid. So 2 if playing Benji.

-     It worked OK this time, but normal Roman Keycard Blackwood does not work well with minor suits as trumps. More experienced players may like to look at Kickback.



A 2 opener? – part 2                                         Board 20 from Wednesday 21st 

This deal is a little different; with the opener at Table A deciding upon a Benjamin two instead of his strongest opening but then going slamming when partner signed off in game.

Dealer:             Q2                                              Table A

North               Q753                                          West(E)     North         East          South

E-W vul           1053                                           -                 pass           pass (1)    pass

                        9853                                          2   (2)      pass           2    (3)    pass

2    (4)      pass           4    (5)    pass

AKJ853             N             96                         4NT (6)      pass           5            pass

10                   W    E          K42                      6              all pass

4                         S              AJ9876               

AKQ106                            74                        Table B

                        1074                                           West(E)     North         East          South

AJ986                                        -                 pass           pass (1)    pass

KQ2                                           2   (2)      pass           2    (7)    pass

J2                                               2              pass           3            pass

4             pass           4            pass

pass (8)


Table A:     (1)  East could not open a weak 2 as that’s a strong bid in their system.

                  (2)  What did you open with this West hand E in this week’s quiz? This pair play inverted Benjamin twos and West decided to open 2 - showing an 8-9 playing trick hand. This hand is far too good – it’s 10-11 playing tricks. With 17 hcp’s I think it’s worth your strongest bid but 1 (with a jump in ’s in mind) is an alternative.

(3)  Automatic relay playing inverted Benjamin.

(4)  8 playing tricks. A gross underbid and I do not even play the bid as forcing.

(5)  Saying that’s the place to play – with two probable playing tricks.

(6)  I’ve found two more playing tricks?


Table B:     (1)  This pair play standard and so 2 was the normal very big hand.

(7)  Waiting.

(8)  West has shown his huge two suiter and East has signed off – so West passes.


And what happened? At Table A West tried the technically correct play of finessing the Q and went minus one for the only negative score for E-W. Everybody else stopped in game apart from one pair who played in 2 when East fell asleep and passed his partner’s 2 opening.

The bottom lines: -

-         Do not distort the Benjamin two system. With 8-9 playing tricks open 2 (or 2 playing inverted Benjamin) and with a stronger hand with loads of points open your strongest bid.

-         And, most importantly, do not change horses in mid stream. If you decide to open a hand as 8-9 playing tricks then do not go slam hunting when partner signs off in game.


Dave’s Column

A strip and throw-in                                             Boards 27 (& 4) from Wednesday 21st

Here’s another Dave input involving stripping the hand and then an end-play.

Dealer:             KQ632                                       South opens 1 or 1NT and should reach 4

South               874                                             via a transfer if he opened 1NT.

Love all            A104                                         


Hint: If the king of clubs is with West you

8                        N             J5                         have a loser. Can you avoid the guess?

AK63             W    E          1052                    

Q632                  S              987                      Tip: When you have a guess in a side suit,

K943                                 J10872                 look for a possible end play to save yourself

                        A10974                                      a guess.





Play: A and K are led and after winning the 3rd , South should draw all of the trumps and then play A and then the Q. West has to win but then has to concede a ruff and discard or to play a ; in either case conceding the 10th trick. If East had the K he would be similarly end-played.


And what happened at Pattaya Bridge Club? Virtually everybody was in 4 (or 4 E-W on board 4) and only one player went down. Two pairs made an overtrick; I guess they had some helpful defence.

Look for the ‘Golden’ 4-4 fit                               Board 20 from Monday 19th

I keep on emphasising that a 4-4 major suit fit usually makes one more trick than NoTrumps, and I’m pleased to see that only one pair got it ‘wrong’ on Friday: -

Dealer:             84                                               Table A

West                95                                               West(F)     North         East(D)    South

Both vul            K1076                                        1NT (1)      pass           3NT (2)    all pass



A107                 N             KQJ9                   Table B

AQJ3             W    E          K1064                  West(F)     North         East(D)    South

A3                      S              J84                       1   (1)      pass           1            pass

K1095                               Q8                       4    (3)      pass           pass (4)    pass






Table A:     (1)  What did you open with this West hand F(a) in this week’s quiz? This is a good 18 points and with two tens and a working nine it’s far too good for 1NT.

(2)  What did you bid with this East hand F in this week’s quiz? You all know my opinions about the ‘golden’ 4-4 fit. Even a combined 27-29 points is not enough to opt for NoTrumps rather than looking for the major suit fit with two weak suits. With two weak suits and two great majors 2, Stayman, is clear.

Table B:     (1)  Most West’s correctly opened 1.

(3)   What did you bid with this West hand F(b) in this week’s quiz? 4 is correct here, this sequence L it is not a weak shut-out bid, but a strong bid showing about 19 points with no singleton (else splinter).

(4)   This is now a combined 31 points with a fit and slam is close, but pass is very reasonable.


And what happened? Most pairs stopped in 4♥, mostly making 12 tricks. One pair bid and made 6 and there was the usual spurious result, this time 7 minus two.

The bottom lines: -

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

-         You can elect to ignore a possible 4-4 major suit fit with a combined 27-29 points, but I only recommend that if the other three suits are well covered. There are a few pages on this topic in the No trump bidding book.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    2, Garbage Stayman. If partner bids 2 then bid 2, showing 5 ’s, 4+’s and a weak hand.

Hand B:    6. Showing one (or three) keycards and a void in a suit higher ranking than ’s (so ’s!).

Hand C:    2 (playing Benjamin - 2 playing standard). The hand is about 9 playing tricks and with 20 points + a couple of tens I think is too good for an 8-9 playing trick 2 opening. If you don’t play Benjamin then it’s a 2 opener.

Hand D:    2, Stayman. It’s a combined 27-29 points and that is enough to sometimes ignore a possible 4-4 major suit fit, but not when you have two very weak suits.

Hand E:    2. (playing Benjamin - 2 playing standard). The hand is 10 playing tricks and is far too good for an 8-9 playing trick 2 opening. If you don’t play Benjamin then it’s a 2 opener. I would not argue if you chose 1 with a view to jumping to 3 but I prefer 2 with this strong a hand.

Hand F:     (a)  1, with a decent 18 points and two tens it’s far too good for 1NT.

(b)  4, this shows a good 18-19 points with 4 card support and no singleton (or you would splinter).


Bidding Sequences Quiz Answers 


G     3      pass   4NT   pass       The 5response to RKCB is two keycards but not the Q.


H     3      pass   4NT   pass       The 6response to RKCB is 1 or 3 keycards with a void.


I       1      pass   1      pass       3NT here is best played as a strong hand with a good

3NT                                     long suit.

J      1      pass   1      pass       To play in 5NT, bid 5 – 5 of the highest unbid suit.

3NT   pass   4NT   pass  

5      pass   ?

K     1NT   pass   pass   2         Double here is clearly penalties.

pass   2      dbl              

L      1     pass   1      pass       This 4 is a strong hand, a good 18-19 with 4 card support

4                                        and no shortage (else splinter).