Readers' Bidding Forum with Brad Coles Ė December 2007
The following comments were received from the readers of Australia's national bridge magazine, Australian Bridge, and other bridge enthusiasts. The same problems are also discussed in the magazine, by an international panel of Andrew Robson, Larry Cohen, Mike Lawrence, Phillip Alder, Bob Jones, Marshall Miles, Frank Stewart, Eddie Kantar, Eric Kokish and Zia Mahmood, as well as many top Australian players.
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Hand One - North deals, EW vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 864
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) KQ43
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 54
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) AQJ6


West North East South
  1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) pass 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)
pass 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) pass ?
Call Award %
3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 1005260
2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 804310
2NT 3006
2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 3003
4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 1007
2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 1001
Other 001

Welcome to our last forum for 2007. The leading scores were tightly packed with one round to go, but everyone knows that all the big swings happen in the last round. Let's see how last month's leaders fared on this set:

Paul Gipson: 3club. An underbid but hopefully partner has enough to bid 3NT. It seems a real gamble for me to bid it with the lead through partner's spades.

David Hester: 3club. An underbid, but I have to keep 3NT in view

David Matthews: 3club. If anybody is going to bid 3NT or 5club it needs to be partner to protect diamonds and spades. 3club must be a reasonable invitational hand in this sequence.

John Leenders: 3club. Denies stoppers in other suits but encourages partner to bid on.

OK, no swings so far; 100 points all round.

Leigh Matheson, Leon Slonim: 3club. Invitational.

Pat O'Connor: 3club. Ongoing.

Amiram Millet: 3club. Forcing.

I looked up "ongoing" in the encyclopedia, but I'm still not sure what it means exactly. I know what "forcing" means though; we'll give you the 100 points, but I'm not sure if it'll stand up on appeal.

3C is a great bidding forum bid, but would anyone really settle for an invitational bid in real life?

Dean Eidler: 3club. Devaluing some club honours. Not enough for game force.

Roger Yandle: 3club. if partner can't bid again then we're probably in the right spot

Piotr Madry: 3club. We are not vulnerable so if we miss the game it would be a little loss of points. In other hand 3club is the best description of our hand. QJ of clubs are non-playing values.

Boris Richter: 3club. With the minimum opening hand and no stoppers in either major this is a good compromise. Inviting to game but also pointing out that I don't have good stoppers for 3N.

Marion Carney: 3club. Should jump in second suit to show opening points, but no suit! Don't like NTs. Maybe should be 5club with my 13TP? Settle for cautious enquiring 3club!

Ron Lel: 3club. There is club wastage in this hand and it is not a true 12 count. No doubt there will be the usual plethora of 2spade bidders who in addition to showing a non existent suit promise five hearts.

No, not a plethora; more like a scattering:

Manuel Paulo: 2spade. I hope partner bids notrump; at least, he can't raise spades.

Josh Sher: 2spade. As we need to bid a new suit to force, and partner doesn't have 4 spades, and my spades are better than my diamonds 2spade seems clear without other agreements. In most of my partnerships I play cheapest new suit as an ART force after 1m-1M-2m. Being able to make the cheaper bid of 2diamond saves space and increases the likelihood that you can bid 3club next, so its a better agreement...

John Furedy: 2spade. Yes, I know this is a bit off beat, but I don't want to play NT with two open suits. If p has diamond stopper, 3n should be a good bet, especially if I can inhbit the spade lead. Otherwise p can bail out at 3club.



Alvin P. Bluthman: 3club. A sound limit raise. If partner is severely limited, this will be the last makable contract. However, if partner has say, S Kx H Ax D QJx C K10xxxx, 3NT should be easy to bid and make.

Paul Tranmer: 3club. As far as I can see, this is the only logical way to move forward. I als believe it should be treated as encouraging and forward going, otherwise 2club could be passed. If N bids again, we'll get to game somewhere.

Obviously the big problem on this hand is that we want to be in game, but we don't want to be declarer:

Fraser Rew: 3club. Good problem, but if you'd wanted to make it really tough you should have made it Matchpoints (then I bid 2NT). Playing 3NT from the right (partner's) side is important, but the HJ lead still won't be pleasant if P has a singleton. This is a bit top-heavy but does rightside (probably) NT and leaves 3club, 3NT, 5club and 4heart open.

Richard Morse: 3club. You have a reasonable hand but a lot of losers. NT is a wild gamble with two suits uncovered (and almost certainly better played from the other side). 4club is too committal on a hand where you know five is going to be a stretch. So the conservative 3club seems right.

Frank Campbell: 3club. I want to go forward without taking 3NT out of the frame, if partner can't bid it maybe game in clubs is on.

Sam Arber: 3club. 3NT should be played from partners hand if he passes probably canít make any game.

Barbara Whitmee, Rex Fox: 3club. Partner will bid 3NT with round stoppers.


mark russell: 3club. Close to describing what you have

peter klarie: 3club. shows club support and leaves plenty of space for further bidding into NT or possible 5club

Martin Eggins: 3club. With only 3 HCP in Clubs and reassured that we have a long suit for NT's, partner can now bid 3NT or more Clubs with a maximum hand.


The expert panel came very close to a majority vote for 2D, but we can't draw much of an inference from this. Half of them intended 2D as a systemic artificial forcing bid (Bourke relay), not in the AB system; while the other half chose the bid believing that it was the correct action even without systemic agreement. The readers were similarly split:

Eric Leong: 2diamond. You are simply too strong to just raise to 3club immediately.

Toby Weinstein: 2diamond. Some form of Bourke relay is needed.

Ron Nelken: 2diamond. Forcing. Your club support is so good, but you have no stoppers in the pointed suits. Possible club slam, but you are not ready at this point to go past 3NT.

So 3C and 2D are the two main options. I don't have much sympathy for this next choice, but it earns an award of 30 points courtesy of lone panelist Sartaj Hans:

Ken Berry: 3NT. I have got a good stopper in clubs, (and hearts). Partner the other two are yours! (Maybe since our opponents are quiet, they are flat as well?)

Dean Sole: 3NT. I'd prefer partner to bid NT. How to get him to do that is the problem.

chris turner: 3NT. p probably has just 3 of his/her hcp in clubs so there is a good chance the spades and diamonds are stopped - have a go!

Sydney Frish: 3NT. Partner must have about 10HCP outside Clubs so 3NT appears a safe contract. Would be better played from N hand but invitational 3club are likely to be passed.

david: 3NT. partner's opening points must be in spades and diamonds. If there's a problem, he'll correct to 4club and I'll bid game in clubs.

Helena Dawson: 3NT. Partner's points must be in unbid suits - they certainly aren't in clubs.

Barbara Hunter: 3NT. Perhaps a bit pushy but partner must have some points somewhere

Among the 3NT bidders was my old friend Bridge Baron. In the August forum I commented on the Baron's habit of referring to himself in the third person. He seems to have taken my comments to heart -- computers are such sensitive creatures!

Bridge Baron: 3NT. After reading your complaint about the constant use of the third person, I've decided to take matters into my own... address space. No amanuensis this time; I'll be personally justifying all of my unvarnished answers. Hand One is balanced. I'm not going to be able to give partner any more useful information without either making a nonforcing club raise or getting beyond 3NT, so I've decided to just bid notrump -- but 2NT or 3NT? I simulated 160 possible deals before the answer was clear to me. 3NT averaged +122.50; 2NT averaged +52.81. Sure, even 2NT is going down about half the time, but 3NT is worth so much more if I can make it. So I bid 3NT.

Amanuensis? Half the time I never know what that guy is talking about!

There were a few people who were torn between the desire to be in game and the fear of going down in 3NT -- so they went for a compromise:

Robert Fisher: 2NT. 4club passes the 3NT possibility and lets partner know I have a stronger than normal responding hand with just hearts.

Fred Altstock: 2NT. Invite game. Partner has weakish hand !

Margaret Reid: 2NT. looks like we can make 9 tricks but 11 would be doubtful

denis haynes: 2NT. Show partner 10-12 points

Bill Bennett: 2NT. With only Club King, N must have something in the unbid suits, and game in NT must be a possibility

I would think that if we can make 3NT, partner is equally likely to bid it over 3C as over 2NT. But 2NT suffers from the disadvantage of wrong-siding the hand, sharing all the same downside as the 3C bidders and none of the upside of the 3NT bidders.

Our final choice, including one reader who is having trouble bidding properly because he concentrating on what to have for dessert:

Nigel Guthrie: 4club. Paint a picture of a pudding for 100 marks.

Duncan Roe: 4club. N has plenty of clubs to rebid them missing AQJ. Where are his points - does he have stops in the 2 unbid suits? Otherwise NT is unattractive, so I bid 4club to show extra values.

Tim Trahair: 4club. The options seem to be 3NT or 4 or 5 Clubs. Most of N's HCP must be in Ss and Ds as we have all our HCP in Hs and Cs. Inclined to think 3NT is too risky. No doubt this is the bid that will attract the experts!

No, just one expert. There's a good reason why we have Sartaj on the panel, it adds some much-needed variety to the answers!

Hand Two - North deals, EW vul, Matchpoints. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) K73
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) KJ43
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) J8
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) K983


West North East South
  1images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) pass 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)
pass 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) pass ?

   * 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) = natural and forcing to game


Call Award %
4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 1004325
3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 60145
3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 50020
5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 3003

This next problem was intended as a companion to Problem One, although I guess they don't really have that much in common. On both hands we are torn between getting to 3NT when it's right, and finding the right level of clubs when it's not. When creating this problem, I thought this was the obvious answer: 

Eric Leong: 3diamond. Just a waiting bid to find out if partner has real clubs for his jump shift or a very long diamond suit too good to bid 3diamond.

Josh Sher: 3diamond. Waiting a saving space so partner can finish describing his hand. I plan on bidding 4club over 3heart or 3spade, but sitting for 3NT.

Not a lot of support for that choice unfortunately, but I'm pleased to point out that the supporters were Mike Lawrence, Andrew Robson and our newest expert panelist Tim Cope. I'm happy to be included in that group anytime.

Half the readers went for this surprising option:

John Furedy: 3NT. At imps I might try for a club slam, but at mp 3n seems best.

Dean Sole: 3NT. Denying five hearts, four spades and a diamond fit... ergo, I have clubs. Also tends to deny interest in a slam against a flat 19HCPer.

Martin Eggins: 3NT. Expecting 18 HCP & a Spade or Club lead. Even with maximum HCP in Diamonds & Clubs, partner has some contributions to NT's. 5club wrong sides my major Kings.

Fred Altstock: 3NT. Game on.

Frank Campbell: 3NT. I will protect my major kings from the opening lead. If partner is seriously two suited he should pull 3NT and I'll go to 5club.

Tim Trahair: 3NT. N has reversed and has at least 5diamonds and possibly 5clubs as well. 3NT is probably on if N has a doubleton honour in Ss. With S bidding 3Nt our S king is protected for at least one round. So lets have a punt on 3NT

Dean Eidler: 3NT. Not a hand to get excited about.

Dean Eidler 2: 4club. Set suit ask for cues. GF.

Bridge Baron: 3NT. Partner forced me to bid. If I had K7 KJ43 J83 K983 or KJ3 KJ43 J8 K983, I'd be looking for the club slam. But I think the doubleton diamond in my actual holding of K73 KJ43 J8 K983 isn't worth much, so I'm just going to look for a game. I have a spade stopper, so I'm going to bid NT, and I certainly don't think there's a notrump slam, so I'm just bidding 3NT.

David Matthews: 3NT. Partner must have 17-20 so I will bid what I think we can make. I must admit I do have some good controls and 6club might be a possibility if partner has the right Aces so the other option is 3spade.

Duncan Roe: 3NT. Seeing this is Matchpoints I'll bid 3NT. We should be OK - in the absence of a Lightner double to come, W will likely lead a S to our K

Boris Richter: 3NT. The most logical move.

Roger Yandle: 3NT. this might be missing a club slam but at Matchpoints its hard to bypass NT

Richard Morse: 3NT. Two considerations here - are the spades well enough stopped and is settling for game too unambitious. I think partner needs relatively extreme shape for a slam to be on (he didn't open two) so settle for showing the spade stop, knowing he is likely to go on if very long in the minors.

Sydney Frish: 3NT. With 11 HCP and 8 losers would first suggest the cheapest game rather than opt for a minor game - with slam a remote possibility. But prepared to cooperate with partner if he goes on.

Alvin P. Bluthman: 3NT. You have spades stopped and partner has everything else. For partner to have a slam, he needs to hold something like S Ax H Qx D AKQxx C AQxx. Except that he has shown nearly all of it. If you rebid 3spade, say, and partner rebids anything but 3NT, it will be difficult to show your club support as well as as your heart control. So, I am giving up on slam.

But the expert majority (plurality) went with 4C:

Manuel Paulo: 4club. Natural and simple; this raise puts the captain's hat on partner's head.

Ron Nelken: 4club. Bidding 3nt would miss the almost cold club slam.

Paul Gipson: 4club. Close between 4club and 3diamond. A friend says that the lowest call should just be waiting in these auctions and it would work well here, but my standard partner will think I have real support. So I'll support him and hope to survive.

Henri de Jong: 4club. Did consider 3spade, but first need to show club support.

Helena Dawson: 4club. If I was tired 3NT would be my call. But really my hand is too good for that.

David Hester: 4club. Let's agree the suit

Bill Bennett: 4club. N is strong, and slam must be possible if he has 3 aces. I must show some of my strength to encourage N, but will pass 4heart since that would mean that the H fit was the reason for the jump

Fraser Rew: 4club. No aces but I'm sure that that DJ, major kings and CK98 will all be useful. P may be 3163 so 6diamond may still be the best spot.

Piotr Madry: 4club. Simple slam try with support.

Ron Lel: 4club. The D knave is an excellent card here. 3NT bidders are off with the faeries. By the way, why has Laos dropped off the list of countries from which to post?

ken berry: 4club. this partner is looking for slam (I have learnt from last month's problem).. we have set a trump suit.. what can be cue bid now..

Marion Carney: 5club. Straight there this time. Not vul. Partner is forcing, I have 12 TP. Should be OK.

chris turner: 6club. I have quite a lot more than minimum so slam is likely - just go there!

Oops, the level of bidding started gradually rising toward the end of that block of answers! With 3C specified as a game force, it's hard to justify any bid that takes up two rounds of bidding. Much better to start with 4C; any unilateral decision you want to make can be made equally effectively on the next round.

There was also some reader support for the ubiqui-cue:

Ian Smith: 3spade. 4th suit forcing seeking stopper assistance

Zbych Bednarek: 3spade. aceless hand.. lets try 3nt, maybe from 2nd Q sp from Prt hand? If Prt has nothing in sp 5club will be (maybe slam??)

John Leenders: 3spade. Ask for a stopper, can still bid 4club showing stronger hand.

Amiram Millet: 3spade. Covering all bases. Preparing 3NT or a higher contract. It's MP and a slam probability isn't higher than 50%.

Paul Tranmer: 3spade. If N volunteers 3NT here, I'll press on with a natural 4NT. If N doesn't bid 3NT I'll offers C support on the way to 5 or 6 C.

Nigel Guthrie: 3spade. Lean on the pitiful crutch

Margaret Reid: 3spade. Let's find out more about this hand. I don't care for the jump - why? Surely change of suit is forcing

Yeah, sorry, I was hoping no one would notice that. I believe there are still a lot of oddballs who play 2C as non-forcing though.

sid kanter: 3spade. Right sides 3NT if partner bids 3NT; if not then I'll bid clubs.

David Monahan: 3spade. Supporting clubs if partner has no assist in stopping spades

Sam Arber: 3spade. Too good to bid 4club if partner bids 3NT then will bid 4club looking for 6club.

3S attracted not a single vote from the expert panel. In fact, only Eric Kokish even mentioned the possibility. This is because in a forcing auction, there is no need to make bids that don't describe your hand (unless you genuinely have nothing to describe). Here, you have plenty of natural forcing bids available.

Leigh Matheson: 3spade. Not much else I can bid without blasting past 3NT.

Which brings me back to where I started: 3D anyone?


Hand Three - East deals, nil vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) QJ743
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 97
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) A32
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) QJ8


West North East South
    1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) pass
2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) dbl pass ?


Call Award %
2NT 100 6219
Pass 90 3372
3club 80 53
3NT 30 06
Other 0 01

Amiram Millet: 2NT. 3NT cannot be correct and my spades are not tempting me to convert to punishment.

Eric Leong: 2NT. My spade intermediates are simply too feeble to pass 2spadex for penalties. It also looks like partner is 5-4-4-0. There is a good chance partner can bid a five card minor. Finally, who knows, the opponents might bid 3spade.

peter klarie: 2NT. partner has a void in spades and will therefore have possible 445 or even 553. game is possible given the void, so don't leave in the double. 2NT describes the situation admirably at the lowest level and spades are well stopped.

Marion Carney: 2NT. Partner has no spades. Maybe NT is right if he/she has the rest.

Helena Dawson: 2NT. The decision in pairs would be a lot easier - PASS

Alexander Cook: 2NT. The hand lacks intermediates, such as the 10 or 9. If you pass, you may soon be writing down -470. Let partner pick the minor.

Ron Smith: 2NT. Too big a risk to pass. Sometimes they bid again

Boris Richter: 2NT. Well, partner is probably void in spades and its probably holding a five card minor and since I have some wasted honors in spades and only three card support for each minor I feel pretty weak offensively at the moment. Still I don't feel much more comfortable in defending either, therefore giving partner a chance to speak is probably best.

David Matthews: 3club. Partner is void in Spades and if dummy has an honour then leaving it in could be disastrous so I would like to bid 2NT natural. 3NT is too much as partner may only have 12-13 points so I will bid my lowest suit.

Paul Gipson: 3club. Partner may be weak/distributional for his double, so I'll give him some leeway. In my opinion this should really be a Lebensohl situation where 3club shows some values.

Alvin P. Bluthman: 3club. Your methods do not allow a natural 2NT bid (spade stopper and strength, such as this hand). And passing does not appeal - partner is probably void in trumps, and I have only one quick trick.

Judging from these comments, it seems that all three of these readers saw the system note which said 2NT was for takeout, but chose 3C anyway. 3C receives an award of 80 points courtesy of lone panelist Ron Klinger. Ron did not see the system note, and I'm sure he would have bid 2NT if he had.


Richard Morse: 3NT. Good values, spades stopped no heart support. Pass is tempting, but (unlike 3NT) doesn't allow partner to adjust with an off-beat hand.

Anonymous: 3NT. I think we have game, I certainly have a spade stop, would be a shame to let them play 2spadeX

Anonymous? Well, what happened here is I implemented a new version of the web page, but initially forgot to make the Name field mandatory. One answer came in before I managed to get that fixed. So, if someone out there finds these answers familiar and would like to claim them, let me know at

Back to the answers, and the 72% of readers who scored minus 470:

Martin Eggins: 3NT. Partner has doubled for takeout AFTER the 2 opponents bid so we should be able to collect 9 tricks esp. if East has SA + SK.

Manuel Paulo: Pass. I have some defensive values; moreover I don't know which, if any, is our best strain.

Frank Campbell: Pass. 3NT looks like a bigger gamble than pass. I have at least 3 defensive tricks and pass could result in up to +500 unless the double is a very light balance which it should not be to go to the 3 level.

Margaret Reid: Pass. a plus is better than nothing - where else do we want to be

Fraser Rew: Pass. And lead a trump. I hate punishing partner here but we're highly likely to take them off regardless of what he has and we're likely off at the three level.

ken berry: Pass. can we make game.. I'm not sure.. if we can't then 2 down is enough.. if we can.. then 3 down is possible.. I notice that 2nt is not to play, I don't think I can push to 3nt.. Is partners 5 card suit a minor or hearts?. because I like to defend, I pass

Barbara Whitmee: Pass. Don't have support for partner's suits. Hoping partner's hand contains a few quick tricks.

Nigel Guthrie: Pass. Fraught if opps play five card majors.

Josh Sher: Pass. I rather gamble here as nothing else is all that appealing.

Elwynne Geraghty: Pass. I take my 300 or 500. Game unlikely

Barbara Hunter: Pass. I think we can make a better score this way than bidding 3NT

Piotr Madry: Pass. If partner doubled, he should be prepared for our pass. For me spades contract is the best.

Sam Arber: Pass. If we can make 3NT then 2spadex should be going off enough if we canít make 3NT 2spadex should still be off.

Tim Trahair: Pass. It is quite probable we will set 2spades assuming N has 13 or so HCP and probably no Ss. We are likely to have about 23 HCP but are only likely to make a part score if we win the bidding.

Bridge Baron: Pass. It's a two-level contract. I have five cards in the opponent's suit, including two honors, and at least a little strength outside. That's enough for a penalty pass in my book (and I do mean my book -- have seen how thick a stack of printouts of my flowcharts is?)

Ron Nelken: Pass. Let's defend. I will lead the heart 9. 3nt might not make, but should be plus 300 at least.

Fred Altstock: Pass. Lets see what penalties we can score

Paul Tranmer: Pass. Must be right to penalize here. On balance I expect 2spadex to go two off and game our way looks a long way back.

Bill Bennett: Pass. North's double cannot be based on many HCP, since both ops have bid, so game is unlikely. My hand is much more suited to defence than to attack

David Hester: Pass. Not fashionable but if I can make a game I think the penalty will be sufficient. I do not want to play 2NT which is the only alternative.

Dean Sole: Pass. Partner probably doesn't have a spade to lead. Oh well, I have a few and will lead a low one.

Sydney Frish: Pass. Partner won't like it (must have a Space void) - but a better plus score looks safer in defence.

John Furedy: Pass. surely this is straightforward with no 4 card suit and a pretty good 5 cards in trumps

sid kanter: Pass. takeout doubles are for takeout, so said Al Roth, but I'll sit and lead the club Q

chris turner: Pass. The law says 16 tricks - we would be foolish to go to 3 level

Roger Yandle: Pass. the only game that's a possibility is NT but with pard void in spades that looks difficult. The rule of 4 & 6 suggests defending.

Leigh Matheson: Pass. This hand has 3 or 4 tricks in defence but it's only worth 7 points (and a possible misfit) if you bid on. This is a defensive hand and screams out for a pass. (Further, West only has 3 card support for East's 5 card major and therefore should have 6+ points. Game is out of the question.)

John Leenders: Pass. This hand will play badly in NT as partner has no spades. Better to defend for a plus score

Zbych Bednarek: Pass. what can i do?? take your money.. (don't forget lead trump against Xed partscore..)

Nick Bailey: Pass. Why try for 9 tricks in some other strain when i can play in my longest suit and only need 6

Duncan Roe: Pass. Yes I'm disobeying a take-out. But I have 5 decent spades over E's likely also 5 spades - I expect to get this off. Wasn't there an AB article recently about 2spade doubled often being a good contract to defend?

This deal is from the recent Bermuda Bowl final in Shanghai.
spades ---
hearts AJQ2
diamonds J1074
clubs K10962
spades K86
hearts 543
diamonds KQ965
clubs 74
spades A10952
hearts K1086
diamonds 8
clubs A53
spades QJ743
hearts 97
diamonds A32
clubs QJ8

Zia, for USA1, passed out 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) doubled for minus 470. At the other table, Norway's Geir Helgemo bid 2NT, inviting partner to choose a suit. Helness bid 3clubs and played it there, going one down for -50 and 9 imps in.

Hand Four - East deals, both vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) KQ763
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) T8
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) Q62
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) T85


West North East South
    pass pass
pass 1images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) ?
Call Award %
2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 1003312
Pass 903330
Dbl 801019
2spades 702439

Richard Morse: 2diamond. it would be useful to play a double as showing values rather than shape, but that is not what it means! It is too feeble to say nothing and 2spade is asking for trouble. A shaded 2diamond seems the best compromise.

Nigel Guthrie: 2diamond. Robson says "Support with support".

So that's where that saying came from!

David Matthews: 2diamond. The only other choice would be pass.

Nice work David, you've picked both of the two equal-majority bids! The tie was split in favour of 2D, on the grounds that most of the panel chose to take some action.

Zbych Bednarek: 2spade. Bid what you can make. It's a partscore battle.

John Furedy: 2spade. Don't need 10+ in competition, and spades is the senior suit

gbgb: 2spade. expecting to play unless pd has a 16+ hcp hand.

Paul Tranmer: 2spade. Glad I'm a passed hand! In my view, 2spade now doesn't promise the earth as with a good hand you can X first and bid S later. There's also an inference that your hand could stand further D bids from N if there's no S fit.

Fraser Rew: 2spade. I actually prefer 2heart, transfer, but in the absence of system this will have to do. Happy to bid 3diamond next time.

Marion Carney: 2spade. Ignoring East's interference.

Amiram Millet: 2spade. Intending to pass 3diamond from partner.

David Hester: 2spade. Let's hope that fortune favours the brave!

chris turner: 2spade. My hand is limited - I need to bid because I don't want them to be in their fit at the 2 level so expect that p has 2+card support for sp

Ron Nelken: 2spade. Non forcing by a passed hand.

Sam Arber: 2spade. Originally passed hand. Partner marked with values if get another chance show diamond support.

Eric Leong: 2spade. Partner would not open in fourth seat unless he had something in spades or he was strong.

david: 2spade. partner's strength is unknown and we may have game on

Alvin P. Bluthman: 2spade. Perfectly good call by a passed hand (or, even an unpassed hand, if playing negative free bids). If partner cannot stand spades, he will take us out, and I will correct to 3diamond.

Henri de Jong: 2spade. Very close to Pass, but my hand is worth 1 bid and 2spade should imply D support.

Duncan Roe: 2spade. With only 7heartCP, should I limit myself to supporting partner's suit? Not strong enough for the "good raise in D" cuebid, so I just bid my 5-card major.

Paul Gipson: 2spade. Worth the overbid when I have diamond support. Unlikely to be six when I did not open.

Boris Richter: Dbl. Bidding now is not that safe when holding this hand. Still it must be a way of showing the five card major I am holding.

dean eidler 2: Dbl. Can bid 2spade over 2heart by partner.

John Leenders: Dbl. Cannot bid 2spade as hand is too weak. If partner bids 2heart I bid 2spade, showing 5 card but less than 10 pt.

ken berry: Dbl. I refuse to pass.. what do I bid if partner jumps to 4heart? probably wish I had passed.. (by bidding now it saves me time next round after partner's re-opener)

Roger Yandle: Dbl. not enough values to bid spades directly

Barbara Hunter: Dbl. See what partner bids if its H's then having limited your hand 2spade's could be alright.

Fred Altstock: Dbl. to show some points and either hearts or spades

Dean Sole: Dbl. Would like to bid the spades but that's showing a lot more than I have.

Manuel Paulo: Pass. Wait and see; any bid looks like an overbid.

Tim Francis-Wright: Pass. 2spade is just too high with these tram tickets.

Josh Sher: Pass. I hate life.

Paul Janicki: Pass. I hate making two passes in a row in a contest. How am I going to in this contest when bridge players like to bid, bid, bid!

Nick Bailey: Pass. If i double and partner bids 3heart, I may look like a chump

Helena Dawson: Pass. If my partner can double this 2spade is looking good. Maybe 2spade directly (negative free bid) might not be so bad

Ron Smith: Pass. If there is a re-opening double, I'll guess how many to bid and if not, partner is long clubs

Martin Eggins: Pass. My Hearts aren't good enough to double. If on the other hand partner doubles, I can bid my Spades.

Margaret Reid: Pass. Not enough points to bid Spades - hope to show them later

sid kanter: Pass. not strong enough for 2 spades, not enough diamonds for 2 diamonds. i'll get to bid again.

Tim Trahair: Pass. Not strong enough to venture 2spade. Let's see if N wants to bid again. If so we can show him we have some values. If he X we can show Ss, if he rebids Ds we can P. Perhaps he can even reverse into Hs or Ss - the latter seems pretty unlikely.

Sydney Frish: Pass. On bidding HCP about equally divided. Should N double for take-out - easy to bid 2spade. Would compete should Partner bid 2diamond.

Bridge Baron: Pass. Partner opened in fourth seat. If it were a first-seat or second-seat opener, or if I had a point more, I'd bid 2spade. As it is, I consider this hand too weak to bid, by the smallest of margins.

Leigh Matheson: Pass. Probably slightly too weak to bid this hand at the two-level.

toby weinstein: Pass. tempting to bid 2spade

Frank Campbell: Pass. Unless West bids partner will double and then I will bid my spades. Double could be OK but would like agreement that it shows unspecified values around 8 points.

Bill Bennett: Pass. What else?

Alexander Cook: Pass. You are not strong enough to do anything else.

Hand Five - West deals, both vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) AKQT
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 86
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) ---
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) KJ86543


West North East South
1images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) pass pass ?


Call Award %
2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 1006745
3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 702917
1spades 1001
2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 003

By the way, thank you to all the people who responded to my recent appeal for bidding forum problems. This one came from ...

Bill Bennett: 2club. Difficult to know if one should bid 2club or 3. It is not impossible that N has a Diamond suit. Also, if he should have a C honour and H Ace, game or even slam could be on.

Roger Yandle: 2club. does pard have a diamond stack and wants me to double?

Nigel Guthrie: 2club. Earn 100 points at the risk of diappointing partner.

Piotr Madry: 2club. For me 2club is the only way to even partially describe this hand.

Margaret Reid: 2club. Hope to bid my spades later (maybe)

Fraser Rew: 2club. I bids what I gots. I'm not expecting it to go all pass, though if it does we're well placed.

Amiram Millet: 2club. I don't have a takeout double, am not strong enough for 3club and if I start with 1spade, there is no way to describe my hand later.

Josh Sher: 2club. I suspect that the auction is not ending here.

Helena Dawson: 2club. If my partner has enough to respond, we won't miss a spade fit.

Dean Sole: 2club. Might get a chance to mention the spades later directly or by implication.

Paul Tranmer: 2club. Must beware here. It's almost a given that N holds Ds and we don't want to go overboard. I hope to be able to introduce S on the next round, barring enthusiastic C support from N of course!

chris turner: 2club. Natural is best I think.

Henri de Jong: 2club. Need to hear from partner. Double is not an option and 3club may lose spades.

Dean Eidler: 2club. Not doubling. Will get another chance to bid (3spade next!).

Ron Smith: 2club. Partner is going to be upset, but they rate to escape into hearts and no one will know I'm 7-4

Martin Eggins: 2club. Partner may be itching to convert a takeout doulbe to penalties but why cut out the possibility of +600?

Frank Campbell: 2club. This hand will play much better in clubs as I don't really fancy ruffing diamonds with spade honours and then trying to set up the clubs. Will review my options when I see what everyone else does but really hope North can support clubs.

Duncan Roe: 2club. Too strong for a pre-empt, I feel I must bid my 7-carder before anything else

Richard Morse: 2club. Unlikely to die there and leves me with perfect rebid over partner's inevitable 2heart.

John Furedy: 2club. We may miss a spade game, but p's pass suggests not, and in competition can bid spades later at least to direct lead.

Bridge Baron: 2diamond. I don't consider this Michaels in the balancing seat. (Don't blame me; I don't write the algorithms, I just execute them.) Instead, I consider it a game-forcing cuebid. In my estimation, there are 3.5 playing tricks in spades and 4.5 playing tricks in clubs; that's 8, which is just enough in balancing seat for me to force to game.

Paul Janicki: 3club. Double is to dangerous as Partner might leave it in. Anyway, who is to say that they will not find hearts after a double?

David Matthews: 3club. Double might work if partner has spades but I don't really want to hear 1heart. I think 3club is better and might tempt West to go for 800+ if he rebids 3diamond and partner holds some. If partner does have a reasonable hand then we should reach game anyway.

Eric Leong: 3club. How high and where the partnership plays the hand depends on partner seeing that his club honor cards are hugh gold nuggets.

Ron Nelken: 3club. jump shifts in pass out seat are intermediate strength.

Marion Carney: 3club. Opening points, long suit, spade winners, Should be OK even without anything from partner!

sid kanter: 3club. partner most likely has diamonds and east has a very weak hand with 5 or 6 hearts. we may get them for a number if they come back into the auction. if it goes 3club-p-3diamond-p or 3heart, i'll bid 3 spades

Sam Arber: 3club. Seems most descriptive 10-14 with 6-7 clubs, may miss spade fit but might be awkward to play if partner may pass with diamond stack or they may find their heart fit.

Zbych Bednarek: 3club. two suiter 74 is one suit... over expected 3 in red from Prt hand 3spade from me ..

Boris Richter: 3club. Well, the king-jack holdings in the club suit are probably not well placed in case we find no fit in such a suit. Still we must not be overly pessimistic with this outstanding void, excellent spades and good shape. I vote for 3club here intended as strong obviously, hopefully we can still find a spade fit in case we have it. Say partner bids 3heart I can always bid 3spade, obviously showing I am holding 4spade also, otherwise the 5club contract may turn out to be a good game or slam our way or if nothing an obstacle for them in finding a good part-score or game if any.

Manuel Paulo: Dbl. If partner bids spades that's fine; if not, I'll bid clubs.

Leigh Matheson: Dbl. 3.5 quick tricks and only 4 losers. This hand is strong enough to double first and then bid clubs.

John Leenders: Dbl. All I need is Qx in clubs and K of H with partner. Bidding 2club is too weak for a 5 loser hand

Fred Altstock: Dbl. Double first and bring in clubs

Barbara Whitmee: Dbl. Double, and take out to clubs if partner bids hearts.

peter klarie: Dbl. game unlikely given points distribution,but the void gives strength as does the doubleton.give yourselves time and space to explore.

David Hester: Dbl. I don't like doubling off-shape but I can correct hearts to clubs.

gbgb: Dbl. I know pd will bid hearts..ts called bridge so i can then bid the clubs maybe twice.

ken berry: Dbl. I notice that 5club isn't a listed option. It's fun to always bid game with a 7-4 and see what happens (well maybe fun for me).. Let's hope that my next bid is easier than this one

leon slonim: Dbl. If partner bids hearts I will bid clubs but perchance partner will bid spades with 4 of them

Anonymous: Dbl. If partner says 1heart I'll say 2club. If partner says 1spade I'll say 3spade, with an ace or so she'll say 4. If I hear 2spade I'll go 4.

Sydney Frish: Dbl. Nothing ideal - would like to bid 2club but would also hate to miss a spade fit. Hope partner would not jump in Hearts.

Alvin P. Bluthman: Dbl. Partner has the best diamonds at the table, and I will let opener struggle for + 200 or + 500 (our way), more than I can make playing in my club partial, or + 800 or so if we can make game. This might be wrong only if partner has enough for a club slam, when + 800 or + 1100 won't be enough to compensate.

Barbara Hunter: Dbl. Partner may have 4 Spades or you can afford to bid clubs if you get the chance. Would open this hand 5club but no need to be that rash?

Paul Gipson: Dbl. Playing with fire, but I may miss too many games if I balance with 3club.

david: Dbl. see if partner bids spades . . .

Tim Trahair: Dbl. We have a 5 loser hand so must get into the action. What is the best way to do this? X followed by a rebid of Cs over whatever N bids seems the way to go. If he can manage 2spade, then game in Ss may be a good bet.

Alexander Cook: Dbl. You do not have enough HCP or playing tricks to cue bid 2diamond. if partner bids hearts, you can then bid your clubs.

The deal was supplied by Chris Woolley of Queensland:
spades 86
hearts AK75
diamonds K7643
clubs Q9
spades J92
hearts J9
diamonds AQ10982
clubs A7
spades 7543
hearts Q10432
diamonds J5
clubs 102
spades AKQ10
hearts 86
diamonds ---
clubs KJ86543

At the table South bid 3clubs and North 3NT. Chris pointed out that all other options would probably lead to the same contract. We'd be interested to hear if anyone has a good way to bid the slam.


The top scores for the month are listed below. Note that these scores will differ slightly from those published in the magazine. This is because several of the bids received from readers are not found by any members of the expert panel, and have a score of zero at the time of printing. Once all the reader's votes are in, including the occasional appeal, these responses are sometimes upgraded causing changes to the scores and rankings.

Top scores for October
1Fraser Rew490
1Manuel Paulo490
3Henri de Jong470
3Paul Gipson470
5Ivan Nanev460
5Joe Lentz460
5Sam Arber460
8Ian Erratt450
8Inga Hunt450
10Nick Bailey440
10Roger Yandle440
10Zbych Bednarek440
13Jeremy Kennard430
13Josh Sher430
13Paul Janicki430
16Leigh Matheson420
16Peter Klarie420
18Ivan Demeny410
19Bud Hinckley400
19Eric Leong400
19Larissa Cowlishaw400
19Nigel Guthrie400
19Paul Tranmer400
19Peter Tarlinton400
25Bastiaan Korner390
25Helena Dawson390
25Martyn Rew390
25Sid Kanter390
25Terry Dunne390
30Barbara Hunter380
30Fred Altstock380
30Michael Smith400
30Richard Morse380
30Rick Lu380
30Samuel Krikler380
36John Compton370
36Alexander Cook370
36Frank Campbell370
36Michael Smart370
36Mike Freeman370
36Paul Delaney370
36Tania Black370
36Trish Whitton370
36Xiaodong Zhang370
45Gary Lane360
45Ian Spight360
45David Matthews360
45Ian Smith360
45Ron Lel360
50David Hester350
50John Leenders350
50Bridge Baron350

Progress scores for 2007
1Paul Gipson2140
2Henri de Jong2130
3Joe Lentz2100
4Bastiaan Korner2080
5David Matthews2060
6David Hester2020
7John Leenders2010
7Manuel Paulo2010
9Nigel Guthrie2000
9Terry Dunne2000
11Gary Lane1990
12Mike Freeman1980
12Rex Fox1980
14Alexander Cook1940
14Eric Leong1940
16Sam Arber1930
17Ivan Demeny1880
18Emil Battista1850
19Tim Trahair1840
20Bridge Baron1830
20Steve Johnston1830
20Tania Black1830
23Roger Yandle1810
24Trish Whitton1790
25Arthur Porter1780
26Ian Erratt1770
27Ken Berry1760
28Fred Altstock1750
29Sydney Frish1740
30Richard Morse1730
30Sid Kanter1730
32Peter Nolan1710
33Paul Tranmer1700
33Peter Stride1700
35Barbara Whitmee1680
36Ian Smith1660
36Leon Slonim1660
36Martin Eggins1660
39Jeff Brokenshire1650
40Ian Spight1640
41Michael Davy1630
42Martyn Rew1620
42Rick Lu1620
44Dean Eidler1590
45Frank Campbell1560
46Ron Lel1550
47Julian Gauld1520
48Andrew MacAlister1510
48Kay O'Connor1510
50Duncan Roe1500
51Pat O'Connor1490


Thank you to all the readers and visitors who entered this month's forum. Click here to try your luck at the next set of problems, to be answered in the December issue of Australian Bridge. And don't forget to check out your October-November issue to see what the experts had to say about this month's hands.