Our website is www.pattayabridge.com                             Club News Sheet – No. 296

Our blogsite is www.pattayabridge.wordpress.com                                 

My home phone is 038 422924 and my mobile number is 083 6066880              13th July 2008

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

Mon 7th        1st  Janne & Per-Ake           64%   2nd    Lewis & Terry = Jan & Jean-Charles      56%

Wed 9th        1st  George & Oli                 60%   2nd    Ivy & Robbie                                         56%

Fri 11th         1st  Jean-Francois & Lewis   69%   2nd    Derek & Gerard                                     63%

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Bidding Quiz                    Stand American bidding is assumed unless otherwise stated.


Hand A           Hand B           With Hand A everybody is vulnerable. Partner opens 1 and

RHO overcalls 2, what do you bid?

K94              J                  

K963            AJ                With Hand B you open 1 and partner bids 1, what do

KJ6               J854            you bid?

J96               AKQJ87     


Hand C           Hand D           With Hand C partner opens 2NT, what do you bid?


9764             J10862                                     

Q1075          J84               With Hand D everybody is vulnerable. You open 1 and          

K93              AQ2             LHO overcalls 2, passed to you. What do you do?            

54                AQ


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


Q108            Q108           

AQJ3           AQJ43

4                   -

AKJ109       AKJ109                              


Is it a psyche?


Hand G           The news-sheets come out on Mondays, and on 7th there was the usual

(last week)      gathering of people before the game. There was a discussion about Hand G

K106            (reproduced here). RHO opens 1 and what do you bid? I actually bid 1NT

KQ954         at the table and Jeremy said that it was a psyche. Dave sided with me, saying

-                   that a 1NT overcall guarantees 15-18 and a stop but may be unbalanced.

AKQJ8        Jeremy insisted that if unbalanced, then the shortage must be ace or king.


So who’s right? Well of course you know the answer. What did you bid with Hand E in this week’s quiz? It is from page 251 of Eric Crowhurst’s “Acol in Competition”.

Eric advocates a 1NT overcall. So a 1NT overcall does not guarantee a balanced hand nor an honour in the short suit, just a good stop. Move the 4 to the suit to get this week’s hand F (virtually the same as last week’s hand G) and it’s still a 1NT overcall in my opinion, as it would be if the 4 is moved to the suit. Never mind the void, show your values and stops.

Incidentally, apparently another player made a ‘trap pass’ with Hand G. On the same page and referring to the same hand, Eric Crowhurst says that “trap passes have become unfashionable in all the best circles”. Since the book was written 20 years ago, a ‘trap pass’ is now clearly unfashionable unless we’ve gone ‘full circle’.


Bid that slam                                                        Board 14 from Monday 7th 


Just one pair bid slam with these E-W cards on Monday, with 7 or 7NT cold.


Dealer:             KQ542                                       Table A

East                  1093                                           West          North         East(B)       South

Love all            K7                                             -                 -                 1             pass

1052                                          1              pass           3NT (1)      pass

6    (2)      pass           pass (3)      pass

A10987             N             J                    

KQ964           W    E          AJ                        Expert’ Table

A                       S              J854                     West          North         East(B)       South

43                                      AKQJ87              -                 -                 1             pass

                        63                                              1              pass           3NT (1)      pass

752                                            4   (4)      pass           4    (5)      pass

Q109632                                   4NT (6)      pass           5   (7)      pass

96                                              5    (8)      pass           5NT (9)      pass

7NT (10)


Hand A:   (1)  What did you bid with this East hand B in this week’s quiz? This 3NT rebid shows a good hand and a good long suit and is the best bid in my opinion.

                (2)  Showing a good hand and both majors.

(3)  East is a little short of room to investigate now. The choices are pass, 6 or 6NT. Having already shown his hand, he elected to play in the trump suit with AJ rather than J singleton. Good choice. He did not bid 6NT because the ’s may be wide open.

‘Expert’          Our Experts have to be a bit devious in order to reach the optimum 7NT.       

Table:     (4)  Setting ’s as trumps and usually looking for a slam.

(5)   A cue bid, showing the A.

(6)   RKCB for ’s

(7)   3 keycards

(8)   Do you have the trump queen?

(9)   Yes, but no other king.

(10)   West can hopefully count 6 ’s, 1 . 5 ’s and 1 ♠.


And what happened? 6 makes +1 easily enough for a clear top. Seems everybody else was chicken. 3NT+4 (three times) and 5+1.

The bottom lines: -

-         A 3NT rebid over a 1-level response generally shows a good hand with a good long suit or else 20+ with shortage in partner’s suit. With a balanced 18-19, rebid 2NT.

-         How many chickens make up a roost?

-         It’s difficult to bid this hand to 6NT or 7NT – West does not know that East’s ’s are running and East does not know that partner has the A. The ‘Expert’ auction was realistic but West had to gamble on there being 5 tricks; it needs ’s 3-3 or partner with the J – but if there were not 5 tricks then maybe there were 5 tricks? Maybe I prefer Lewis’ 6 bid!




Go for the penalty?                                              Board 10 from Monday 7th 


Dealer:             K94                                            Table A

East                  K963                                          West          North(A)    East            South(D)

Both vul            KJ6                                             -                 -                 pass           1

J96                                             2              pass (1)      pass           pass (2)


AQ5                  N             73                         Table B

AQ1052        W    E          7                           West          North(A)    East            South

98                      S              107543                -                 -                 pass           1

1087                                  K5432                 2              2NT (1)      pass           3NT

                        J10862                                      all pass





Table A:     (1)  What did you bid with this North hand A in this week’s quiz? At equal vulnerability I think it’s best to look for game. These ’s are not really good enough to for the penalty.

(2)   What did you bid with this South hand D in this week’s quiz? It looks like an automatic re-opening double to me. Whether South forgot or considered that it was unlikely that North had a penalty hand when he held J84 I am not sure.

Table B:     (1)  West’s overcall has made it slightly difficult for North given that he does not want to go for the penalty, but he has two options. He can bid 3, showing a sound raise to 3 or better; or he can bid 2NT, showing +- 11 points and a good stop. It’s very close but with decent ’s, 3 probably just has the edge and gets my vote for the answer to question A.


And what happened? Nobody reached the best contract of 4. 3NT made +2 and 660 for the top, 2 went minus 2 for 200 and 2+3 also scored 200. Two others somehow failed to bid game (2NT+2 and 3=).

The bottom lines: -

-         At equal or unfavourable vulnerability, K963 is not good enough to go for the penalty.

-         Remember the re-opening double if you play negative doubles.








Dave’s Column   Here is this week’s Dave input involving the play of the hand.


North               South             You are North, declarer in 4♠, East leads the 9, plan the play.

QJ108          9764           You win with the K and play the Q to West’s K.     

AKJ             Q1075        West returns the J. You cover with the K but East wins with

AQ2             K93            the A and returns the 2 to the 8 and Q.      

KQ3            54              At trick 5 you lead the J which holds, East discarding a small .

How do you continue?

Dave’s Column answer          Board 5 from Wednesday 9th    


Dealer:             QJ108                                        Table A

North               AKJ                                           West          North         East          South(C)

N-S vul            AQ2                                           -                 2NT           pass         3NT   (1)

                        KQ3                                          all pass


K                        N             A532                    Table B

8643               W    E          92                         West         North         East          South(C)

J875                   S              1064                    -                 2NT           pass         3     (1)

J1098                                 A762                    pass           3              pass         4

                        9764                                          all pass


K93                         (1)  What did you bid with this South hand C in this

54                                  week’s quiz? It seems two South’s have apparently

not yet mastered Stayman.       


Anyway, just as last week, Eddie Kantar assumes that anybody reading his book knows about Stayman and will automatically be in the sensible contract of 4.

East leads the 9, plan the play.

As it is always safer to draw all of the opponents’ trumps if possible, you must ask yourself what can happen if you play a 3rd round of trumps?

For one thing, East can win and play a 4th round. Will that hurt you? Count your tricks. If East plays back a 4th trump you will have two tricks, four tricks, three tricks and one trick, that’s ten.

So why put this hand in the book?

Because many players panic when they run into a bad trump division and neglect to count tricks. For example, if declarer has decided to trump a before playing a 3rd round of trumps, he goes down! For now when East wins the A (with no trump remaining in dummy) he plays a 4th forcing declarer to ruff with his last trump and East’s last trump becomes the setting trick.

So why did Dave put this fairly simple hand in the boards for Wednesday?

To teach people to use Stayman! Last week two got away with it, not this week.


And what happened at the Pattaya Bridge Club? Two pairs were in the best contract of 4 and made exactly or made +1 (when East inexplicably popped up with the A on the first round of trumps). At the two other tables, where South made the totally hideous bid of 3NT at (1), they both quite deservedly went one down scoring what they deserved – a bottom.




Dave’s 2nd Column Here is this week’s Dave input involving the play of the hand.


West                East                You are West, declarer in 4♥.

763               KQJ           North leads the Q which South wins and returns the 7,

AJ9832        K54            plan the play.

J                    AK74        

K65             432                              


Dave’s 2nd Column answer              Board 4 from Wednesday 9th   


Dealer:             982                                             West          North         East            South

West                Q1076                                        2              pass           2NT (1)      pass

both vul            Q98                                           3    (2)      pass           4              all pass


                                                                        (1)  Ogust – how good is your hand?

763                     N             KQJ               (2)  Max with points in the suit.

AJ9832          W    E          K54                     

J                         S              AK74            North leads the Q which South wins and

K65                                   432                returns the 7, plan the play.




A987                        .    


Things look pretty rosey. You can discard your losing on a top and you have only a and perhaps a trump loser.

But wait! When things look too good you ask yourself what can possibly go wrong? In this case the most likely thing that can go wrong is all four trumps in one hand.

So take out a little insurance. Remember, you can afford to lose one trump trick but not two.

The safety play is to win the K and play the A. If everybody follows cross to the K. Assuming ’s are 3-1 and the Q is outstanding, play off the top ’s, discarding a , conceding a and a trump to the opposition.

However, if somebody shows out on the A, you must proceed with a bit more caution. Say, for example, that North shows out. Fine, cross to the K, discard your losing on the top , and lead up to the J. You only lose one trump trick that way.

Say that South shows out – as in the diagram. Fine. Play the 8 which North must cover, win the K, discard the loser on the top and concede a to North’s Q.


Terry’s comment. This is a typical IMPs safety play. You give up the chance of an overtrick to ensure the contract. The odds of North having Q1076 are 4.78%. I put the hand into our suit play program and it played the K in pairs mode (as played at the Pattaya Bridge Club most of the time) and played the A at IMPs. Playing the A gains in just 4.78% of the cases and playing the K is far superior at pairs scoring.


And what happened at the Pattaya Bridge Club? Everybody was in 4, three went down and one made it, I believe by some sort of end-play.



Play Problem             Here’s another play problem that was randomly dealt.


West                East                You are West, declarer in 3NT against mediocre opponents,

A109            KJ873        how do you play the suit?

K53              AQ2          

KQ3             10976        

9765            A      

Play problem answer                          Board 21 from Monday 7th   


Dealer:             42                                               West          North         East            South

North               J96                                             -                 pass           1              pass

N-S vul            AJ4                                            2   (1)      pass           2              pass

                        QJ1043                                      2    (2)      pass           3   (3)      pass

3NT (4)      pass           pass (5)      pass

A109                N               KJ873                 

K53              W    E            AQ2               (1) game forcing playing two-over-one

KQ3                S                10976            (2)  showing 3-card support

9765                                  A                    (3)  A cue-bid, showing the A

                        Q65                                      (4)  I don’t like this bid at all. Partner has shown

10874                                         an unbalanced hand with 9+ cards in the

852                                            pointed suits and with no slam ambitions

K82                                           West should bid 4.

(5)   East assumed that West had 3 very poor ’s.


Anyway, onto the play in 3NT with East as dummy, how do you play the suit?

This is very similar to the play problem last week. You should play North for the Q as you can pick up Qxxx with North but not with South.

But there is an extra chance here. The J is exposed on table and the best play is to lead it – an inexperienced South may just cover! If South smoothly plays low you go with the percentages and overtake with the A and lead the 10 and let it run.


And what happened? South was an inexperienced player and he covered the J. 3NT thus made an overtrick but only scored an average as others were scoring more in the superior 4 contract. The bottom lines: -

-         Do not automatically cover an honour with an honour – you should only do so if it promotes a card in your hand or is likely to promote a card in partner’s hand.

-         In this particular case, when the J was played from table, and astute South should know West’s holding exactly. He is marked with A109 as with any other holding he would play a up to table and finesse the J. Also, it is very unlikely that an experienced declarer will play the J with the intention of running it – if he was going to finesse South he would fist cash the K to cope with a singleton Q with North.

-         Onto the bidding – A decent 5-3 fit is generally better than NoTrumps if either hand is unbalanced, here East has shown an unbalanced hand and the contract should be 4.


Bidding Quiz Answers


Hand A:     3, a sound raise to 3 or better. Another very good option is 2NT as this hand has 1½ ♥ stops. The third option is to go for the penalty and pass, and pass partner’s presumed re-opening double, but these trumps are not really good enough and this is my 3rd choice by a long way.

Hand B:    3NT. 2NT is 18-19 and 3NT is best used to show a good hand with a good long minor.

Hand C:    3, Stayman. Now I know that this is totally obvious with two 4-card majors and a very weak doubleton, but two out of four bid the totally ludicrous 3NT.

Hand D:    Double. Automatic when playing Negative Doubles.

Hand E:    1NT, 15-17 and a stop. A 1NT overcall does not promise a balanced hand.

Hand F:     1NT, 15-17 and a stop. As above but more so.