Very similar to the previous problem, this one involves a minor suit and adds
an annoying opponent into the mix. With silent opponents we would have bid a
quick 3NT, but the threat of a running club suit forces us to look elsewhere.
Well, most of us anyway.
Tim Francis-Wright: 3NT. That's what the other table is bidding, right? If partner has her 3 call, then there are all sorts of ways to make and no good way to find out if they apply here.
Tim Trahair: 3NT. A bit risky but surely North has some values in
clubs as well as a diamond stack. Clearly he doesn't have 4 in either major.
Barbara Hunter: 3NT. Partner knows you haven't got many diamonds, might convert if short in clubs.
Christer Enkvist: 3NT. Partner shows a club stopper otherwise he should bid something else, most likely 3.
Emil Battista: 3NT. Has Roger Yandle been submitting more hands?
No, I have to confess that this hand is a work of pure
fiction, designed simply to torture you. Nothing so awful could
actually happen in real life.
Bridge Baron: 3NT. No unbid suits. No fit, not even a 4-3 fit. No rebiddable suits. 3NT by default -- this time with qualms aplenty, but no alternative.
Jim Thatcher: 3NT. One may as be in 3NT as 3 with a partial stopper in clubs and trust partner to save in 4 with nothing in clubs.
Erin Tewes: 3NT. No fit, but enough for game, just have to cross fingers.
I wish I had a full deal so that I could tell you 3NT was the
winning bid, but bravery will have to be its own reward.
Unwilling to risk 3NT, many people decided to look for a
Moysian major fit. The experts voted 3 to 1 in favour of spades,
while the readers were 7 to 1 in favour of hearts. Let's hear
Andrew Robson: 3. Because my slow values are
in spades I like 3 a little better than 3.
Tim Cope: 3. Prepared to play in a Moysian fit in Spades
where I have reasonable suit quality. Let's hope pard can bid 3NT
with their A10 of clubs and my 9 will carry some weight.
Patrick Huang: 3. I choose spades over hearts because it
looks more playable than hearts in a 4-3 fit.
David Davies: 3. 5 is a gamble, we could easily have
three club losers. A 4-3 major suit fit may be the best chance, spades in preference to hearts due to the slightly more solid intermediate. It also gives partner the chance to bid 3NT.
Michael Burt: 3. We look to have enough points for game and best bet looks to be a 4-3 fit in one of the majors.
Preferring to show the hearts first:
Manuel Paulo: 3. I don't give up, so far. Game is possible in a Moysian fit or in diamonds.
David Matthews: 3. 3NT cannot be right. Partner should read this as game going with 4 cards trying to seek the best strain.
Bill Bennett: 3. Dare not bid 3NT and it is difficult to see how 11 tricks can be made in
diamonds. If North is 3361 with solid
diamonds and a major honour or two a Moysian Game is just possible.
Frank Campbell: 3. Difficult. We have the values for game and there is no reason North may not have clubs stopped or a self sufficient diamond suit. My double could have shown as little as 8 points and I think I have to make an effort to get to the vul game.
Robert Black: 3. Game may be possible in a Moysian fit. If
partner hates hearts she may bid 3, or 4 (which I shall raise), or 3NT if he finds the club stopper he/she
couldn't see last time.
Margaret Reid, Michael Smart, Sam Arber: 3.
If partner raises hearts Moysian may be good spot. If partner bids 3NT, pass.
Ingerun Sjosvard: 3. Most flexible. Maybe we can play 4/ on 4-3, or 3NT. Will pass 4.
Rex Fox: 3. Pard might have Axx Kxx AKQJxx x. In which case a Moysian 4 or 4 might work, else with a club stopper 3NT. South should pass with a 5 card heart suit in a weak hand, so 3 is forward going.
Hoi-Ming Chan: 3. Temporising. If partner raises to 4 I'm happy to play there; if partner bids 3 I'll happily bid 4.
Leigh Matheson: 3. This hand is getting worse by the second. Pity itís not yet bad enough to pass. Maybe I can wait for some lengthy period of time and then pass. Is that an option?
That certainly an option, with or
without the hesitation. More on the pass later.
Henri de Jong: 3. This may help pard to 3NT with solid
diamonds and a club stopper.
Fred Altstock: 3. Partner might have a void in clubs so 3NT does not look good. He could have
four hearts also. Exploring other options and if he bids spades I could support him there.
Helena Canaris: 3. Presumably P has 5-6
diamonds and no major, however you have no idea how strong P is, so if given the most common scenario with P having (3352) you are know in a 7-card fit instead of a 6 card one.
Tony Treloar: 3. What can I do? I don't have the stopper and I can't support partner's suit. Seeing as I have already shown 4/4 in the majors I bid 3 to show partner I have interest in game but I don't know which game.
Paul Freeland: 3. 3NT and 5 seem a long way off, but if partner has a 3 card major then a
Moysian game seems reasonable. If 4 was 'pick a major' then I would vote for that, but it may be confused as being a cue agreeing diamonds.
Is 4 pick-a-major? I wouldn't have thought so, but there was
Dean Pokorny: 4. As "pick a Moysian game".
Roger Yandle: 4. I'd like to think 9864 is a stopper but I'm not overconfident. I'm hoping pard will read 4 as "pick a major" (not a cuebid agreeing diamonds) so we can play in a
Moysian fit. I can then ruff clubs in dummy. If pard is 2272 then he'll bid 4 and we'll end up in 5.
Fraser Rew: 4. Pass any bid of a major (and hope partner's on the same wavelength), as a Moysian will play well here. And 5 should be OK too.
Eric Leong: 4. Since partner didn't bid 3NT, I don't expect him to have a long running diamond suit and a club stopper. If 3NT is out and I want to be in game, I bid 4 to get partner to decide if game is better in a 4-3 major suit fit or in diamonds.
John R. Mayne: 4. This is the perfect end to a tough set; 3 and 3 might not be forcing; 3NT, if right, is wrong-siding; and diamond support's a little thin. I'd like 4 to be strain-finding, but it isn't. Maybe I should just put a club in with my hearts and bid 3, but I'll punk out with the solvers-club permanent answer of the cue-bid.
If we rule out notrumps and a dodgy 4-3 fit, at some point we
need to consider actually playing in a minor. There was some
debate about the meaning of 4, but the readers mostly thought
it was invitational:
Malcolm Ewashkiw: 4. Is this forcing? I hope it's invitational and that
4 would have created a force.
Joe Lentz: 4. Aiming at a final contract of 4, 5 or 6 depending on partnerís next action giving up on 3NT or a major-suit contract. Partner should have something like Axx-Qx-AKQxxx-xx up to a max of Axx-Kxx-AKQJxx-x. If partner next bids 4 showing interest in slam then I will try a 5 cuebid suggesting that partner bid six with the K.
Ron Landgraff: 4. I hate it but there are too many values to pass at imps vul. If he has a
club stop I may need another partner!! 5 could be off
two clubs plus more.
Paul Gipson: 4. I need a real stop here given that partner has not bid 3.
Pontus Silow: 4. If partner appreciates me not having a stopper or a control in clubs -- then I really like my hand.
Alvin P. Bluthman: 4. Giving partner the chance to make the final mistake.
Aake Sjoeberg: 4. Invitational.
The panel did not agree:
Marshall Miles: 4. I think most
people play 4 forcing, and that a 5 is an invitation to slam
if partner has a club control. I don't think I am strong enough
Sartaj Hans: Pass. I would like to bid 4 as an
invitational bid but unfortunately that's forcing.
Roger Watts: 5. Partner has 17
HCP and didn't bid NT so can't have K - probably has a 3262 with A, K, and all the
diamond honours. Now I can count 11 tricks. 4 would be stronger showing slam interest, and 3NT loses first 6 tricks.
Having looked at bids in every possible denomination, now is
the time to point out that none of them gets the top score.
At the start of this column I referred to the
tiny voice that says "maybe we should just pass and stay out of
trouble". Well, now is finally the right time to start
listening to that voice. Congratulations to the 29%
of readers who found the top-scoring pass with a combined 26-count.
David Hester: Pass. Here the point-count is misleading; we have no fit and no club stop.
Alan Jones: Pass. I have told partner about my hand. Since he denies a 4-card major and ought to be short in clubs, diamonds should be safe.
Dean Eidler: Pass. No diamond filler and partner
didn't bid NT themselves so I can;t see 3NT and 5 seems a long way off.
Barbara Whitmee: Pass. Partner knows I have the majors and he still could not bid no trumps. There are no stoppers in my club holding.
denis haynes: Pass. Partner obviously has lots of diamonds and a part score in diamonds looks the best option. The clubs look too weak for NT.
Damo Nair: Pass. This is just too hopeless for 3NT. 3 & 3 has to show 5-card suits & not trying for 3NT.
Duncan Roe: Pass. Why did I double? I didn't in Q2 for this very reason. Partner has jumped in my singleton suit and now I have nowhere to go
That's just a little bit more
paranoia than is healthy, IMO.
Peter Oakley: Pass. My first double said it all. Partner should be content in 3.
Boris Richter: Pass. Not again. Can we have a fit please. :-)
Rainer Herrmann: Pass. With something useful in clubs North might have bid differently.
Playing in a 26-point 3
is a hard way to earn a top score in a bidding forum, and
the points are well deserved. Not surprisingly, no one achieved
a full score on this set of problems. Larissa Cowlishaw scored
full marks on each of the first four problems, but fell at the
last hurdle to score an impressive 480. Also finishing on 480:
John Furedy: Pass. Game looks too risky even at IMPs.
Peder Linder: Pass. We have more or less a minimum hand. My only option would be 4 given that it means
to the readers and the experts for all your interesting comments
and for your continued support of this forum, one of the
cornerstones of our magazine (which will be arriving in your
homes this week by the way).