Club News Sheet – No. 246        29th July 2007

My home phone is 038 422924 and my mobile number is 083 6066880

It is best to use my home number to contact me unless I am at the bridge club.

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Mon 23rd          1st  Frode & Kees P                   68%         2nd Paul K & Jean-Charles         58%

Wed 25th          1st Jean-Charles & Paul K         56%         2nd Eddie & Terry                      55%

Fri  27th            1st  Jan & Sally                           57%         2nd Kees P & Paul Sav           51%


Bidding Quiz                           Standard American is assumed unless otherwise stated.


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


QJ7              Q10942

1085             K63              With Hand B RHO opens a weak 2, what do you do?

J432              Q3

A108            A82


Hand C           Hand D           What do you open with Hand C?


A6                A63             

Q92              Q92              What do you open with Hand D?

AQ1043       AQ104        

QJ7              QJ7           


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


4                   A10742     

A                  82                 With Hand F partner opens 1NT and RHO doubles, what

Q964            J852              do you bid?

AKQJ1095  52


Bidding Sequences Quiz            All of these sequences occurred this week


G     1     pass   pass   dbl         Is 3 forcing?

2     2      pass   3                                   

H     1NT   dbl     2                    What is 2?


The Club Championships       The current standings are: -

Gold Cup = Best 30                 Silver plate = Best 10      Bronze medal = Best 5


1816.8  Janne Roos                  666.8  Janne Roos                    350.4  Janne Roos

1793.3  Jan v Koss                  650.5  Jan v Koss                    340.2  Jan v Koss

1763.4  Dave Cutler                 634.5  Lars Gustaffson             336.2  Bengt Malmgren

                                                631.9  Paul Savelkral                332.9  Paul Savelkral

627.2  Dave Cutler                    325.6  Gunnar Barthel

Please note


My mobile phone number has recently changed. It’s now 083 6066880.

That dreaded 4333 type shape again                  Board 4 from Monday 23rd  


Dealer:             8653                                           Table A

West                KQ3                                           West          North         East(A)      South

both vul            K86                                           1NT           pass           2NT   (1)    pass

                        643                                            3NT   (2)    all pass


K92                   N             QJ7                      Table B

AJ64              W    E          1085                     West          North         East(A)      South

A97                   S              J432                      1NT           pass           pass   (1)    pass

KQ2                                  A108                   

                        A104                                    It’s a 25 combined points with a double stop

972                                       in every suit – so why does 3NT not make?




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this East hand A in this week’s quiz? With a decent 8 points one should normally invite, but is this a decent 8 points? It’s totally flat (so knock off a point for the 4333 type shape) but it does have two tens. But considering that the only 4 card suit is J432 that really is a big minus and I would bid as Table B.

(2)  Dave considers this acceptance to be automatic – with a maximum 17 count. But I think it’s close – it’s that dreaded 4333 type shape again. Dave thinks that East should raise to 2NT ‘every time’ and that West has an automatic 3NT bid and you should consider yourself unlucky when you go down with a combined 25 count. I disagree, with a good understanding of hand evaluation you can often avoid being ‘unlucky’.

Table B:     (1)  This East (Kenneth and one other) got it right. This poor 3343 hand is not worth an invite, even if you have a partner of Dave’s undoubted declarer skills at the helm.


And what happened? Everybody made 8 tricks except one player who made just 7. Dave got a joint top at Table B thanks to Kenneth’s belief in what I write in the news-sheets. 

The bottom lines: -

-         4333 type shape is TERRIBLE. This is a totally classic example; both East and West are 4333 type shape and 3NT is hopeless even with the combined 25 count.

-         Deduct a point for the 4333 type shape.

-         Understand hand evaluation. There’s a document on the web (Hand Evaluation in the links column on the left).


A 1NT opener?                                                    West hand 12 from Monday 23rd


Hand C            Hand D            What did you open with this West hand C in this week’s quiz?

A6                A63              I understand that one West was criticized by his partner when he

Q92              Q92              opened 1NT, partner saying that he should de-value the hand.

AQ1043       AQ104         It looks like this is me being mis-quoted again; Hand C with

QJ7              QJ7              that excellent 5-card suit is a great 1NT opener. Hand D, however, should be devalued (4333 type shape) and I would open Hand D with 1 and rebid 1NT (12-14).


Double and bid shows a strong hand                   Board 11 from Friday 27th


E-W missed game at table C, who would you blame?


Dealer:             64                                               Table A

South               10932                                         West          North         East            South

Love all            8742                                           -                 -                 -                 1

                        Q108                                         pass           pass           dbl   (1)      pass

1              pass           3    (2)      pass

Q1095               N             J82                       4    (3)      all pass

KJ4                W    E          AQ876                

J6                      S              AK93                   Table B

9753                                  A                          West          North         East            South

                        AK73                                         -                 -                 -                 1

5                                                 pass           pass           dbl   (1)      pass

Q105                                         1              pass           3NT (2)      all pass


Table C

West          North         East            South

-                 -                 -                 1

pass           pass           dbl   (1)      2   (4)

2    (5)      pass           3    (6)      pass

pass (7)      pass


Table A:     (1)  This hand really is a bit strong for a simple overcall – especially in the balancing seat, and double is best.

(2)   This now shows a very strong hand. Partner’s 2 bid promised zero points and so this jump to 3 must be very strong. This is about minimum for the bid.

(3)   With 6 points and excellent ’s, West has an easy raise to 4.

Table B:     (1)  This East also correctly doubled.

(2)  This is a very poor bid, with just a singleton stop,  as it precludes finding a possible 5-3 fit in either major, the 3 bid chosen at table A is far better, with 2 and 3 as reasonable alternatives.

Table C:     (1)  This East also correctly doubled…

(4)   but this south muddied the waters a little with a 2 bid.

(5)   This is a free bid (West would pass with 5 or less points) and shows about 6-9 pts.

(6)   But here is where East went wrong. This is a totally different scenario from the 3 bid at (2) on table A. West has already shown 6+ points and East knows that there are game values. He needs to know if partner has 3 ’s or 5 ’s but unfortunately 3 is not forcing here – it is highly invitational. The best bid is 3.

(7)   West has already shown his hand and pass here is correct as he certainly has no extras. He received some unjustified stick from his partner but I said that I agreed with the pass.


And what happened? 3NT went one down; so 3+2 scored an average and 4 making was the top. The bottom lines:

-         With game values, don’t make an invitational bid.

-         Double and bid (or jump bid) shows a strong hand but it is not forcing.

-         The only forcing bid having doubled is a cuebid of opener’s suit.

This week’s silly double                                      Board 24 from Friday 27th


Dealer:             Q10942                                      West          North(B)    East            South

West                K63                                            2              dbl   (1)      4    (2)      5    (3)

Love all            Q3                                             6    (4)      dbl   (5)      pass           6    (6)

A82                                            pass           6              all pass


3                        N             76                   (1)  What did you bid with this North hand B in

Q                    W    E          J842                     this week’s quiz? It seems I am saying the

AKJ964             S             10875                   same thing week after week in vain. Double

107643                              KJ5                      is a really stupid bid here and a 2 overcall

                        AKJ85                                        is totally obvious.

A10975                                (2)  A good bid – make it difficult for N-S to

2                                                 find their fit after the fatuous double.

Q9                                       (3)  This South knew the limitations of his bidding

partner. Double here is the best bid (responsive

- pick a suit) but South suspected that North may well pass.

(4) It’s not usually a good idea to bid again having pre-empted, especially at the 6-level! But this hand has great shape and it certainly looks like opponent’s have a slam. Come alive with six-five. Nice bid on this exceptional occasion after partner has jump supported (6 doubled went for just 300 at another table).

(5)  Penalties. It looks like North’s 5 card suit is not going to be mentioned – as I said – it was a ridiculous double.

(6)  But luckily for North, South came to the rescue.

(7)  I don’t know if North realized that South’s bidding promised both majors, but after some thought he reluctantly mentioned his 5 card suit for the first time at the six level.


And what happened? The play in 6 was quite interesting. A was led and West won with the K and returned a . Declarer rose with the ace and drew trumps in two rounds. He then led the K and noted the drop of the Q. How should declarer now play the suit? Should he play West for QJ doubleton or play East for J842? At another table declarer went down in 5 when he played for QJ doubleton, thus losing a and a in addition the A. Our 6 declarer, however, has a limited knowledge of restricted choice and played the finesse - 6 thus made exactly for a top. The bottom lines: -

-         Do not double when holding a 5 card major and just three (or less) in the other major.

-         It was lucky that this South knew enough about his bidding partner’s bidding incompetence that he was able to extract a bid out of him at the six level.

-         Declarer should play East for Jxxx when the Q falls. This is virtually the same as the situation when there are 4 cards out missing the QJ and an honour falls on the first round.

-         Have a look on the website (General Bridge Topics > 8-ever 9-never or Restricted Choice).


Dave’s Column     Here is this week’s Dave input involving the best play for the contract.


West                East                      You are East, playing in 7NT on the lead of the 10. Which

AJ4               KQ7                 suits do you play on first?     

AQ65           K93                                     

A74              KQ83        

AK3             Q107

Dave’s Column answer
                      Board 2 from Wednesday 25th



Dealer:             652                                             West          North         East            South

East                  10872                                         -                 -                 1NT (1)      pass

N-S vul            J1065                                          2             pass           2              pass    

                        84                                              7NT           all pass


AJ4                    N             KQ7               (1)  With this totally flat shape I would open 1

AQ65             W    E          K93                      and rebid 1NT (12-14).

A74                   S              KQ83            

AK3                                   Q107             I was later asked how to bid to 7NT if East did

                        10983                                   indeed downgrade to a 12-14 hand. It could go: -


92                                              West          North         East          South

                        J9652                                         -                 -                 1    (1)    pass

1              pass           1NT         pass

5NT (2)      pass           7NT         all pass


(2)  Standard here is that 4NT is quantitative and asks partner to bid 6NT if maximum, otherwise pass. But West wants a quantitative bid to 7NT. You could use the otherwise redundant bid of 4 as a quantitative bid (it’s explained in the No Trump bidding book) but you would have to agree that and also agree that it applies when the opening bid is not 1NT. This 5NT bid is probably the easiest bid – it is not an invitation to 6NT (that would be 4NT) and so it obviously asks partner to bid the grand if maximum, else 6NT.


Anyway. Onto the play in 7NT. South leads the 10, you win and see that you have 12 top tricks. A 3-3 split in either red suit will give you the 13th trick. Should you test these suits immediately?


Win the lead and play two more rounds of ’s. then continue with three rounds of ’s. North is then squeezed; on the last he must throw either a or a . When you play the two red suits in turn you will find that one of them is now good.

Terry’s comments: This analysis is obviously completely correct. Eddie found an equally good line when he tested just one red suit and then played out the black suits – North was squeezed exactly the same. Only Eddie found the squeeze play. One other made 13 tricks when he tried both red suits and North threw the wrong card at trick 12.       

And what happened? 7NT = twice, 7NT-1 once and 6NT = twice.

The bottom lines: -

-         These E-W hand have all the aces, all the kings and all of the queens – why is 7NT so difficult to make (it would not have made if South had 4 in one red suit and North had 4 in the other). The answer is that both East and West have the dreaded 4333 type shape!

-         This grand slam, with 37 points, is actually about 70%. It makes if either red suit splits (about 60%) and this increases to about 70% when adding the odds of one player holding both red suits – as long as you know how to execute the squeeze.

-         Dave thinks that this East hand is an automatic 1NT opener. I disagree and will always deduct a point for the totally flat 4333 type shape.



The jump cuebid overcall                                     Board 19 from Wednesday 25th 


Dealer:             852                                             Table A

West                J10875                                       West(E)     North         East            South

E-W vul           K8753                                        -                 -                 -                 1

                        -                                                 dbl     (1)    pass (2)      2              4

  pass   (3)    pass           pass

4                        N             Q93                     

A                    W    E          9643                     Table B

Q964                  S              AJ10                     West(E)     North         East            South

AKQJ1095                        732                      -                 -                 -                 1

                        AKJ1076                                    3      (1)    pass (4)      4    (5)      4

KQ2                                           5             pass           5    (6)      pass

2                                                 pass           dbl   (7)      pass (8)      pass

864                                            pass (9)


Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this West hand E in this week’s quiz? This is a very powerful hand and if you don’t have any methods then double is best, to be followed by a bid that hopefully does not go past 3NT if that is the best contract.

(2)   This hand is worth a raise after a double; 2 or 3 are fine.

(3)   Well I ask you – what is the point of doubling at (1) if you are not going to mention this suit? Maybe this West thought it not solid enough?

Table B:     (1)  This East-West pair are rather more experienced and there is an established(?) (25+ years) way to show exactly this hand type. With a long solid minor and (hopefully) the other two suits stopped, the jump cuebid asks partner to bid 3NT if he has a stop in the suit opened.

(4)   At this point North asked what the 3 bid meant and East said that he did not know. A few moments later East said that he thought it showed a strong hand with ’s and a minor.

(5)   So East supported partner’s supposed ’s.

(6)   East still thought that West had ’s.

(7)   Rather foolish – it is usually unwise to double the opponents in a silly contract when thy can run to a making slam!

(8)   Unfortunately East still did not work out what was going on. 6 would have worked.

(9)   And West was in an ethical dilemma. He knew that partner expected him to have ’s but is not allowed to use this information. Whether it would be justified for West to bid 6 now (after the double) is a moot point and I would not like to rule on it. But as it happens I was West and so I had to be totally ethical as I might be accused of cheating?


And what happened? 5* went for 2000. 6 would have made for 920 or more (it would presumably have been doubled). The bottom lines: -

-         I was East and I thought that the jump cuebid overcall to ask partner to bid 3NT with a stop was standard. But Eddie, Bob and Paul Kelly did not know what it meant. Kenneth and Dave both did.

-         In Crowhurst’s ‘Acol in Competition’ (written 1980) he explains the need for the bid on page 275.

-         I could not find the sequence in an American book but I e-mailed Lewis and he said: -

-         “It seems very clear that it is saying 3NT is our spot - if u have a stopper bid 3NT. What else could it mean?  example 2 would announce a great hand unless you are playing Michaels. It can’t be a hand. I don’t see any other choice other than bid 3NT with a stop in ’s.”

So what should East have bid at (5) had he understood the bid? The partial stop is very dicey, he could risk 3NT but 5 (pass or correct – although East knows that West’s suit is ’s) is probably best. 5 is a good contract and 6 only makes with the K luckily onside.

As I said, I thought that this jump cuebid overcall was standard but the sequence is not mentioned in either of the Max Hardy books nor in Lawrence’s “The Complete Book on Overcalls”. So I had a rummage around on the internet and searched Google for ‘bridge jump cuebid overcall’. To my surprise there was nothing at all apart from an article on “Anderson’s cuebids” which suggest that a normal cuebid and jump cuebid both show hands with a long solid minor. I cannot see that anybody would want to play that as everybody plays Michael’s cue bids these days, don’t they?

So – there’s nothing on the web!! As soon as it gets indexed by Google the search for (bridge) Jump Cuebid Overcall should deliver the page I have just written on our website and maybe also a reference to this news-sheet. It will be interesting to see how soon new stuff gets recognised by Google and other search engines – I’ll keep you posted.


Systems off after 1NT is doubled.                      West hand board 8 from Friday 27th 


A10742             Partner opens 1NT and RHO doubles. What did you bid with this Hand F 

82                       in this week’s quiz? 

J852                    You should bid 2 - standard is that systems are off after interference. Chuck,

52                      Lewis, Eddie, Dave and myself all play this; as do most experts. Best is to

also play Lebensohl but that is perhaps a little complex for beginners.

You can choose to play transfers etc. if you wish but it has little sense and has to be agreed (and alerted) and I would never agree to play it myself. Please bear this in mind if Dave or myself are calling for dummies. I usually play whatever my partner wishes, but I refuse to play systems on after intervention and I’m pretty sure that Dave feels the same.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:    Pass. Deduct a point for the totally flat 3343 shape. It’s true that the hand does have two tens, but the only ‘long’ suit is J432 and it’s not worth a raise.

Hand B:    2, obviously. Double is a very poor bid with a mediocre hand with 5 ’s and just 3 ’s and ’s.

Hand C:    1NT, this hand is well worth a 15-17 1NT. 2353 shape is good.

Hand D:    1 (with a 12-14 1NT rebid in mind). 3343 shape is bad.

Hand E:    3, a jump cuebid overcall, asking partner to bid 3NT with a stop. You will probably find it very difficult to get to 3NT if partner has a stop if you start off with a double.

Hand F:     2, natural. Systems are off after 1NT gets doubled.



Bidding Sequences Answers    


G     1     pass   pass   dbl         3 is strong but not forcing. The only forcing bid is 3.

2     2      pass   3                                   

H     1NT   dbl     2                    2 is natural, to play. Systems are off after a 1NT opening is doubled.