Our website is www.pattayabridge.com                             Club News Sheet – No. 288

Our blogsite is www.pattayabridge.wordpress.com                                 

My home phone is 038 422924 and my mobile number is 083 6066880                   18th May 2008

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

My e-mail is terry@pattayabridge.com or pattayabridge@yahoo.com

My MSN messenger ID is tj_quested@hotmail.com

Mon 12th    1st  Ian W & Terry                           63%       2nd    Sean & Terje                                62%

Wed 14th    1st  Sean & Terje                              64%       2nd    Ivy & Terry                                  61%

Fri 16th       1st  Bob & Jean-Francois                 68%       2nd    Sean & Terje = Harry & Philip     54%

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Bidding Quiz                   


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


KJ73            J                  

KQ974         J4                 With Hand B it’s favourable vulnerability. LHO opens 1NT

A2                109754         and RHO transfers with 2, what do you do?                        

J9                 AQ753


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C you are playing Benjamin twos. Do you open

2 (8-9 playing tricks) or 2?

AQJ              K7

AKQJ1042  KQ98           With Hand D it’s unfavourable vulnerability, you open 1NT and

K6                AJ8               partner transfers with 2, RHO then bids 3, what do you do?

Q                 K964


Hand E            Hand F            With Hand E you open 1 and partner bids 2, what do you do?        

J8743           K1076       

A94              864               With Hand F partner opens 1 (could be short) and you choose

4                   A7532          to bid 1. Partner raises to 2 and this is passed round to LHO

AKQJ          4                  who bids 3; this is passed round to you, what do you do?


Hand G           Hand H           With Hand G LHO opens 1 and partner overcalls 1, what

do you bid?     

A765            Q102                                    

J853             AQ9             With Hand H RHO opens 1 and you bid 1. Partner responds

94                 AJ1053         1NT, what do you bid?

K85             Q2                                      



Bidding Sequence Quiz


J      1      1      2                    What is 2? Is it (a) asking for a stop or

(b) showing a sound raise to 3 or better?

K     1     1     pass   1NT       How many points is 1NT?

L      1      pass   2     pass       Is 3 forcing?


Don’t Abuse Michaels and the UNT                  Board 2 from Monday 12th

I have said it dozens of times; Michaels and UNT are pre-empts (or else extremely strong). Dave, however, disagrees with this and will use them with a two suiter of any range. This, of course, leads to problems for partner as he has no idea how strong you are.


Dealer:             Q9862                                        Table A

East                  J6                                               West          North         East            South(A)

N-S vul            KQ                                            -                 -                 1              2    (1)

10762                                        3    (2)      3    (3)      pass           4    (4)

all pass

105                    N             A4                       

10852             W    E          A3                        Table B

10763                S              J9854                    West          North         East            South(A)

A43                                    KQ85                  -                 -                 1             1    (1)

                        KJ73                                         2    (5)     dbl   (6)      pass           3    (7)

KQ974                                      pass           pass (8)      pass




Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this South hand A in this week’s quiz? This was Dave’s partner and so she bid what Dave would expect. A Michaels cue bid showing both majors but any strength whatsoever.

                  (2)  There is no need to bid ’s when South has shown them and this weak pre-emptive raise to 3 is a good bid, especially when the opponents have no idea how strong the Michaels bid is.

(3)   North has to show is 5-card suit of course.

(4)   If N-S were playing Michaels sensibly then South would have either a very strong hand (so bid 4) or more likely a weak hand (pass). With this medium strength hand South has no idea whether to bid on or not and decided to bid. She has my total sympathy - there is no way of knowing what to do with this wide-ranging treatment of Michaels cue bids that this North insists upon..

Table B      (1)  This is the answer to question A – a simple 1 overcall. I don’t like to double with a 5-card major and also I don’t like to double with two-suited hands.

(5)   Again West should raise pre-emptively with 3 and make it difficult for N-S.

(6)   A responsive double. showing the two unbid suits and tolerance for partners suit, this hand is just about good enough. 2 is an alternative.

(7)   With a good overcall, South makes an effort.

(8)   But North has already said enough.


And what happened? Just one pair stopped in 3 making exactly. One East somehow bid 3NT (!) and went two down, The other two N-S’s overbid to 4 but one North made it when the opponents set up the ’s for him.


The bottom lines: -

-         Michaels cue bids (and the UNT) are weak pre-emptive bids. If you use them to show any range from 6 to very strong then partner will have no idea what’s going on.

-         More experienced players play Michaels and UNT as either weak or very strong, this is what I played with Chuck and is what I play with Lewis.

-         With a two-suiter and intermediate strength, simply overcall in the longest suit.


An UNT                                                                Board 22 from Monday 12th

Dave usually gets on better with unfamiliar partner that I do, that’s because I assume that my partner bids correctly and also understands my bids. Dave is less trusting. Dave and I were both North on this deal and with the same partner (I was calling for dummies and Ivy came over).


Dealer:             J                                                 Table A

East                  J4                                               West          North(B)    East(D)      South

E-W vul           109754                                       -                 -                 1NT           pass

AQ753                                       2    (1)      3   (2)      pass (3)      pass (4)

3    (5)      all pass

Q98543             N             K7                       

A765              W    E          KQ98                   Table B

32                      S              AJ8                      West          North(B)    East(D)      South

8                                        K964                   -                 -                 1NT           pass

                        A1072                                       2    (1)      2NT (2)      3    (6)      4    (7)

1032                                          4    (8)      5    (9)      5              all pass




Table A:     (1)  It’s up to you if you transfer or bid Stayman with this hand type. I prefer Stayman and if I got a 2 response I would then bid 3 (a Quest Transfer showing an invitational hand or better with 5-6 ’s and 4 ’s).

                  (2)  What did you bid with this North hand B in this week’s quiz? This was Dave, he wanted to bid 2NT but did not trust his partner Ivy to understand the bid.

(3)   What did you bid with this East hand D in this week’s quiz? This pass is correct, there is no need to complete the transfer when RHO has overcalled and you should only do so with a hand worth a super accept (i.e. 4 trumps).

(4)   South has no idea that North also has ’s and so passes.

(5)   3 here would be forcing and so West settled for 3.

Table B      (1)  This West again chose to transfer.

(2)  But this time I was North and had complete confidence in my partner. 2NT is the answer to question B, an UNT showing both minors.

(6)   This seemed to confuse East. This is a similar situation to (3) above and East should pass. This 3 bid shows a maximum and 4 ’s the way I play it.

(7)   Ivy understood the 2NT (indeed she alerted it) and, with an eye on the vulnerability, bid 4.

(8)   West was under the illusion that partner was maximum with a fit and so showed his 2nd suit at the game level.

(9)   North thought that E-W knew what they were doing, and also with an eye on the vulnerability he bid 5.


And what happened? 3 made exactly for a top to E-W. 5 went -2 for a top to N-S.


The bottom lines: -

-         Trust your partner?


A Benjamin 2 or 2 Opener?                            Board 11 from Monday 12th

E-W missed an easy slam on this deal, who would you blame?


Dealer:             K85                                            Table A

South               98                                               West          North         East(C)      South

Love all            J82                                             -                 -                 -                 pass

J9753                                         pass           pass           2   (1)      pass

2    (2)      pass           3    (3)      pass

1043                  N             AQJ                      4    (4)      all pass

53                   W    E          AKQJ1042         

A95                   S              K6                        Expert” Table

A10864                              Q                         West          North         East(C)      South

                        9762                                          -                 -                 -                 pass

76                                              pass           pass           2    (1)      pass

Q10743                                      2    (5)      pass           4    (6)      pass

K2                                             5   (7)      pass           5    (7)      pass

6    (7)      pass           6    (8)      pass

pass (9)      all pass


Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this East hand C in this week’s quiz? This East evaluated the hand as 9 playing tricks and so opened 2 rather than the stronger 2. This is a poor choice, the hand is actually 10 playing tricks with the Q as an extra bonus if partner has something in ’s. The playing tricks of this hand are: ’s = 2˝, ’s = 7, ’s = ˝ and ’s = 0.

(2)   It’s best to play 2 as an automatic relay opposite a Benjamin 2 opening.

(3)   Showing 9 playing tricks in ’s.

(4)   With two tricks opposite 9 that makes 11 and so West did not investigate slam.

“Expert”     (1)  Our Experts also play Benjamin twos and East correctly opened 2, the strongest

 Table:              bid in the system and game forcing.

(5)   It’s best to play 2 as an automatic relay opposite a Benjamin 2 opening.

(6)   This jump, in a game forcing auction, shows a self-sufficient solid suit and invites partner to cue bid.

(7)   A cue bid, showing the ace here.

(8)   East has nothing more.

(9)   West also has nothing more, with a king anywhere he would bid the grand.


And what happened? Just one pair bid 6. 13 tricks made at every table when the K was on-side.


The bottom lines: -

-         If you play Benjamin twos, then open 2 with 9˝ or more tricks.

-         Playing tricks are defined on the website: General bridge topics > Playing Tricks.

-         To answer the question, East was clearly to blame.

Don’t double with nothing in trumps                   Board 19 from Monday 12th


Dealer:             K1076                                        Table A

South               864                                             West          North(F)    East            South

E-W vul           A7532                                       -                 -                 -                 1   (1)

4                                                pass           1    (2)      pass           2   

pass           pass           3   (3)      pass

Q5                     N             A84                      pass           dbl   (4)      all pass

J9732             W    E          10                        

J84                     S              Q6                       Table B

K103                                 AQJ8762             West          North(F)    East            South

                        J932                                          -                 -                 -                 1   (1)

AKQ5                                       pass           1    (2)      pass           1   

K109                                         pass           1    (5)      2   (6)      2     

95                                              pass (7)      pass           3             pass

pass           3    (8)      all pass


Table A:     (1)  Playing a short .

                  (2)  It’s up to you  if you bid 1 or 1 here, I would bid 1 unless playing Walsh.

(3)   This is natural (2 last go would have been artificial).

(4)   What did you bid with this North hand F in this week’s quiz? I prefer the bid chosen at (8) at Table B. This North’s ‘excuse’ for the double is that partner had opened ’s. That does not hold water with me,

if partner has decent ’s then he would have doubled.

Table B      (1)  This pair also play a short .

(2)   But this North chose to bid his suit.

(5)   This is natural and forcing (2 would be 4th suit forcing).

(6)   Again, this is now natural.

(7)   With K10x I would raise partner, but perhaps this West did not totally believe his partner’s bid or else he was afraid of the vulnerability.

(8)   This is virtually the same as at (4) except that North knows that partner is 4-4 in the majors and so he is very likely to be 4432. This 3 bid is the answer to question 8, with 3 or pass being reasonable. Double with just one is very dangerous. The 3 bid is one above the Law but it looks like 3 is making and the N-S hands should play well in ’s especially with a probable 5-3 fit.


And what happened? 3 made +1 for a top to N-S; 3 doubled made for a top to E-W.  Other contracts were 3+2, and 4-1


The bottom lines: -

-         Doubling with a singleton in trumps is not usually a good idea, especially if partner has had a chance to make a penalty double.

The wrong slam                                                    Board 3 from Friday 16th


Dealer:             K962                                          Table A

South               J87                                             West(E)     North         East            South

E-W vul           765                                             -                 -                 -                 pass

872                                            1              pass           2             pass

5   (1)      pass           6   (2)      all pass

J8743                N             A10               

A94                W    E          KQ3                     “Expert” Table

4                         S              AKQ                    West(E)     North         East            South

AKQJ                                106543                -                 -                 -                 pass

                        Q5                                             1              pass           2             pass

10652                                        3    (1)      pass           4NT (3)      pass

J109832                                      5   (4)      pass           5    (5)      pass  

9                                                5NT (6)      pass           6NT (7)      all pass


Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this West hand E in this week’s quiz? This really is quite awkward unless you play 2/1. 3 is not forcing in some people’s style (certainly not in Acol) and a 4 splinter goes past 3NT which may be the best spot. This 5 bid is reasonable I suppose but it does demonstrate why 2/1 is such a good system (See Expert Table).

                  (2)  East clearly has enough for slam. There’s no room to ask for aces/keycards and so this East simply bid 6.

“Expert”     (1)  Our experts play 2/1 and West has no problem whatsoever. In fact he has a choice

 Table:              of good bids. He can bid 3 which is forcing after partner has responded 2 which was game forcing. Also, playing 2/1, 2 is natural and forcing and so you can play that 3 is a splinter, which is what our expert chooses to do.

(3)   To keep it simple, let’s suppose that our experts play 4NT as RKCB here (I like to play 4 as RKCB – Kickback –  when ’s are trumps).

(4)   3 keycards

(5)   Do you have the trump queen?

(6)   Yes, but I do not have an outside king.

(7)   I can count exactly 12 tricks then.


And what happened? Nobody bid 6NT but one pair did manage to bid 6 which goes one down. The third table bid a modest 3NT+3. The bottom lines: -

-         Two-over-one works like a dream on big hands – there is so much bidding space and you do not have to thrash around trying to find a forcing bid as at (1) at Table A.

-         It’s best not to use 4NT as Blackwood with a minor suit as trumps as you may get too high (there was no problem with these two powerful hands). Many top players play 4 of the minor as RKCB and some others play Kickback.


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

North               South                     You are North, declarer in 3NT. East leads a low , you play

A2                Q3                      the Q and West produces the K. You win the 2nd round

J65               Q1072                of ’s, how do you continue?     

AKJ1098      2                                          

62                AKJ1043.

Dave’s Column answer                      Board 17 from Wednesday 14th   


Dealer:             A2                                              West          North         East            South

North               J65                                             -                 1NT           pass           3NT

Love all            AKJ1098                                   all pass



K1097                N             J8654             East leads a low and you play the Q. This

K98                W    E          A43                is covered by the K and you duck. A is 

Q65                    S              743                 continued and you win with the A perforce,

Q75                                   98                  how do you continue?






You have two powerful minor suits and if you can bring home either one for six tricks you make your contract. But which one should you try the finesse in?

Back to basics, when you are missing a queen in each of two suits and bringing in either suit will bring in you contract, play the A-K of the longer suit (’s) and if the queen has not dropped take the finesse in the shorter suit (’s).

Terry’s Comments. I do not consider this deal to be ‘basic’ at all and would like a mathematical explanation from the author, Eddie Kantar. I was North and at trick two I had a long think about how to play the minors (I was told off by Sean for this – apparently I should have played the A quickly and then had my long think) Anyway, my thoughts were that I need to find a queen onside. If the Q is onside then that’s no good if it is Qxxx (more likely that any other holding). However, if I try the finesse and the Q is onside I still have a entry to be able to pick up Qxxx with East. My line (and apparently everybody else’s line) was to finesse a at trick three. This works when the Q is onside as Q, Qx, Qxx, Qxxx. Eddie Kantar’s line is only better if the Q drops doubleton or singleton or the Q is onside as Q, Qx or Qxx. So basically the mathematics boils down to: -

(a)    Missing Qxxxxx is playing for Qxxx onside (The Pattaya bridge club line) better than

(b)   Missing Qxxxx  playing for the Q to drop in two rounds (Eddie Kantar’s line).

I cannot be bothered to work out the exact odds (and there was certainly no time at the table) but by gut feeling is that it’s quite close. Either way it is not ‘basic’. Eddie says that line (b) is ‘back to basics’, I strongly disagree with this statement unless he comes up with the mathematics to convincingly prove it.

In my opinion this whole deal is a piece of baloney, swap the E-W hands and the mighty Eddie Kantar will go down when all of the Pattaya bridge club is making, even if the Q is covered thee times. And what happened at the Pattaya Bridge Club? Everybody quite sensibly finessed ’s and gracefully went 3 down.


Dave’s 2nd Column   Here is Dave’s 2nd input involving the best play for the contract.


West                East                  You are East, declarer in 5 and South leads the A and shifts

J107             Q                  to J. Plan the play.       

K73              A54                                     

K1043          AQJ987     

A75              KJ2                                                   

Dave’s 2nd Column answer              Board 18 from Wednesday 14th


Dealer:             852                                             West          North         East            South

East                  Q962                                          -                 -                 1              1

N-S vul            62                                               3    (1)      pass           5              all pass


(1)  This is the bid in Dave’s book. Many would

J107                   N             Q                         play this bid as pre-emptive these days and

K73                W    E          A54                      bid 2 with this hand

K1043               S              AQJ987         

A75                                    KJ2                South leads the A and shifts to the J. Plan the play.







You have lost a trick and you have a loser and a possible loser. On the plus side you have the J10 in dummy with only one outstanding, the K.

If, after you draw trumps (ending in dummy) you lead the J and discard either a or a you will have then established the 10 for a discard of your other loser.

Instead of losing a , a and possibly a , you lose only two ’s.


And what happened at the Pattaya bridge Club? 3NT+2, 5= and 6-1.




Another play problem                 Board 26 from Friday 16th

This is a random deal that was generated by the computer for the Friday session.


North               South                     You are North, declarer in 4. The opponents cash the A,K

K9872          A1064                and continue with a 3rd round of ’s which you ruff. You

A8                KQ10432           decide to play up to the A and the 3 appears from West

AK7             8                         and the Q from East. You lead the 10 and West plays the

1074            Q8                     5, do you finesse or play for the drop? Are the odds roughly evens or is one line far superior to the other?



Another play problem answer            Board 26 from Friday 16th


Dealer:             K9872                                        West          North         East            South

East                  A8                                              -                 -                 pass           1

Both vul            AK7                                          pass           1              pass           2

                        1074                                          pass           4              all pass


J53                     N             Q                    East  leads a to West’s A,K and a 3rd that you   

J                     W    E          9765               ruff. The ’s are good for 6 tricks but how do you  

109432              S              QJ65               play the suit? You decide to play up to the A,

AK65                                 J932               East plays the Q and West plays the 3.

                        A1064                                  You lead the 10 from dummy and West plays the

KQ10432                             5, do you play to drop the Q or finesse? It’s pairs

8                                           so the overtrick is important.



You should finesse. This is a classic case of the theory of restricted choice. The odds are NOT the usual 52-48 that says shat you should play for the 2-2 split (eight ever nine never). The situation when you are missing QJxx and an honour appears on the first round is different and the mathematics state that the odds are 66-33 in favour of the finesse. One distinguished club member disputes this – saying that he once lost a teams match in the UK because he took the finesse and the suit was divided xx opposite QJ. Tough luck, you will indeed lose 33% of the time and that was just an unlucky day. As Scotty (Star Trek) would say, “ye canna argue with the laws of physics”.


And what happened at the Pattaya Bridge Club? 4 +1 twice and 4 +2 once.


The bottom line: -

-     Actually, this has all been written up on the web for a year or so:

General bridge Topics > Eight Ever Nine Never or Restricted Choice?


1NT opposite a 1-level overcall                          Board 21 from Monday 12th


I have mentioned this a few times, a bid of 1NT opposite a 1-level overcall is NOT 6-9, it is 10-12. Some players in the club refuse to believe this.


Dealer:             K43                                            West(H)     North         East(G)      South

North               76                                               -                 pass           pass           1

N-S vul            872                                            1             pass           1NT (1)      pass

J10743                                       3NT (2)      all pass


Q102                 N             A765              (1)  What did you bid with this East hand G in

AQ9               W    E          J853                     this week’s quiz? Pass is correct, this 1NT

AJ1053              S              94                         bid promises 10-12 points.

Q2                                     K85               (2)  What did you bid with this West hand H in

                        J98                                            this week’s quiz? 3NT is correct, it should

K1042                                        make even opposite a minimal 10 count

KQ6                                          because of the great intermediates.



And what happened? 3NT went -1 for a joint bottom.

The bottom lines: -

-         1NT opposite partner’s 1-level overcall is not 6-9, it is 10-12.   

-         One prominent club member disputes this, saying ‘back in the UK I always played 1NT as 6-9 opposite an overcall’.


So, what did they play in the UK 20 years ago? Eric Crowhurst’s “Acol in Competition” was (and probably still is) the bible for competitive bidding in Acol. On page 227 Crowhurst clearly states: -


The fact that a simple overcall is essentially limited means that there is no longer any need to use a 1NT response as a ‘courtesy’ bid, designed purely to grant partner another chance if he has a strong hand. This in turn allows any No Trump response to be a constructive maneuver and preliminary analysis suggests the following basic table of responses to an overcall at the one-level.

1NT           10-12

2NT           13-14

3NT           15+


This was all written up on the web a long time ago,

General bridge Topics > Responding with No trumps to partner's overcall.


A director call                                                       Board 2 from Friday 16th


Dealer:             76                                               West          North         East            South

East                  KJ98654                                    -                 -                 pass           1NT

N-S vul            A                                               2   (1)      4    (2)      all pass


                                                (1)  Showing both majors in their system.

QJ3                   N             8542                    3 is of course the correct bid.

10                   W    E          732                 (2)  North asked East what 2 was and was    

KJ8                    S              96542                  told ‘both majors’ so he settled for 4.

K108764                           J                    

                        AK109                                 At the end of the hand the director was called.

AQ                                       North said that without the incorrect call he

Q1073                                 would have asked for aces and bid 6.        



The rules are very clear here (please look then up if you don’t believe me). If the call was correct but the explanation incorrect then N-S would be entitled to an adjusted score. If the call is incorrect but the explanation is correct (as here) then there is, unfortunately, no penalty unless the director considers that the perpetrator purposely psyched.


And what happened? 4 made +2 for an average. Had Dave (North) bid 6 then he actually would still have got an average as one pair bid 6NT+1. Dave said that he would have appealed has he got a bad score, but rules are rules!

The bottom lines: -

-     Incorrect bids are not penalized (unless partner suspects/knows that it is incorrect and acts accordingly or if the culprit is doing it intentionally, i.e.psyching). Incorrect explanations may well be penalized.

Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     1. Double is not a good bid with a doubleton . A Michaels cue-bid is incorrect as it’s about 5 points above the upper limit for the bid. If you play that Michaels is either weak or very strong then this hand is nowhere near the very strong variety.

Hand B:    2NT, unusual showing a pre-emptive hand with both minors.

Hand C:    2, this hand is 10 playing tricks and is much too strong for 2 followed by 3.

Hand D:    Pass. RHO’s overcall means that you no longer need to complete the transfer. You should only do so with a hand that would super-accept.

Hand E:    3, provided you agree that it is forcing. I cannot see a good bid if it is not forcing (as when playing Acol). I guess that a 4 splinter is possible but it’s a bit of an overbid and goes past 3NT. 5 and 4 have the same problems. If you play 2/1 then there is no problem whatsoever and a forcing 3 (or 3 if you play that as a splinter) are options.

Hand F:     3. It’s looking like LHO has a good suit and partner may well be 4432, in which case 3 may well be making and 3 should play well. Pass is the reasonable alternative but double is very speculative (partner would have doubled if he had ’s).

Hand G:    Pass. You have reasonable ’s and not enough points to bid 1NT.

Hand H:    3NT. Should be an easy make opposite partner’s promised 10-12 points.


Bidding Sequence Answers              


J      1      1      2                      2 is normally used by more experienced players to show a

          sound raise to 3 or better

K     1     1      pass   1NT         1NT opposite a 1-level overcall is 10-12.

L      1      pass   2     pass         This is an interesting one. In Acol it is not forcing. Playing

        3                                         Standard American it’s probably best to play it as forcing –

most SA players play that responder promises another bid after giving a two-level response (except over 2NT) but this needs to be agreed. Playing 2/1 it’s game forcing of course.