Readers' Bidding Forum with Brad Coles
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, Bob Jones,
Marshall Miles, Frank Stewart, Eddie Kantar, as well as many top
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Hand One - North deals, NS vul, IMPs. You are South.
Welcome back for another year of bidding
forum problems, and congratulations to our 2009 winners Tony Nunn and Peder
Linder. Peder will be joining the expert panel in the magazine for one year, so
you won't be seeing his answers here for a while. Who will take his place at the
top of the leaderboard for 2010? Let's find out...
Our first problem contains a feature
rarely seen in one of our forums: four card support for partner.
Hey, it was Christmas time when I set these problems, I was
Alvin P. Bluthman: 2. First,
show support. Then follow up if partner makes a game try. Would
not criticise 3 either. But the spade strength could be wasted
(if partner holds a red-suited monster and a singleton spade),
and you have no honour strength in your trump suit.
Ingerun Sjösvärd: 2. If p so much as sneezes I will bid game
Jarl Jönsson: 2. Shows
four hearts and 6-9 points. Gives the
possibility for 2 from partner.
Peter Swensson: 2. Will play 4
and would like to avoid 5.
2 is a timid start with such a fine
hand, and there are (at least) four more aggressive raises
available. Let's start with the preemptive jump:
Frank Campbell: 3. Although 7 losers I have only one quick
trick and I am wary of hands with low points and low losing
trick counts. Unless partner is sub minimum he will bid game.
Joe O'Flynn: 3.
Best to show heart fit.
Margaret Reid, Niek Van Vucht, Wilma Domjan, Margaret Reid: 3.
Limit raise with four hearts.
Fred Altstock: 3. Have found perfect fit so will let partner
decide on game or continue further if he has a big hand
Peter Riddy: 3. No wasted values.
Most of those intended 3 as a limit
raise. Of course, in the modern age this is not a common
treatment, as the LAW requires us to get to the three level on
any old hand with four trumps (which also helps partner decide
what to do when West bids 5):
Matheson: 3. Support with support... before it's too late.
Richard Morse: 3. Good problem.
This is probably my last bid
below the five level, given the vulnerability, so what is the
priority -- supporting partner with my anaemic hearts, or
introducing the spade suit? I prefer to indicate my heart
support because such values as I have (such as the single club)
should be more valuable in hearts than spades. All my points are
working, so I prefer 3 to 2.
If we do want to treat this hand as a
limit raise, this is the modern way to do it:
Joe Lentz: 3. The hand looks like an invitational raise of
hearts though short a few HCP. Forget the spades. Partner may be
looking at an opponent's 5 bid next.
Ron Landgraff: 3. 4 trumps and a singleton! 4 is also ok
but ignores slam possibilities with the Spades.
Ian A Smith: 3. A limit raise showing 10-12 TP.
Bridge Baron: 3. Bridge Baron really likes supporting partner's
major suit, so it doesn't really consider a spade bid. With
support, it's merely a question of strength and length. Bridge
Baron considers this hand to be well into the "limit raise or
better" range -- we'd need to take away a Queen to weaken it out
of that range -- and the hearts aren't long enough for Bridge
Baron to be tempted by a leap to 4.
Damo Nair: 3. I have just enough for a good raise with the
singleton club. If I bid 2 I may never be able to show
the heart support at a convenient level.
Zbych Bednarek: 3. who cares about spades:)
Jim Priebe: 3.
Would like to bid spades then hearts, but lack
Although the Law seems to suggest the
3-level on this hand, we are still not quite doing justice to
this hand yet. One of the best bridge tips I have ever received:
when you have four card support and a singleton, you want to be
in game after a major opening. Hence the top score goes
Duncan Roe: 4. We have a fit, so bid
the game (a la Meckwell(?))
Rainer Herrmann: 4. A typical overbid at IMPs. The spades can
wait until declarer sees the dummy or I lead them.
David Matthews, Pontus Silow: 4. What I think we can make.
Aake Sjoeberg: 4. 6½ losers in hearts when pard opens. I am
trying for a vulnerable game.
Michael Burt: 4. 7 loser hand, so 4 is a reasonable chance
because of the fit. Makes it difficult for the opponents to find
the correct sacrifice.
won't find it terribly difficult, but at least our partner will
know we have some playing strength.
Lindsay Coker: 4. 7+3 = enough points for game with 4 trumps.
3 suggests better trumps, 2 is a free droppable bid, and 4
takes up their space.
Michael Smart: 4. Establishing fit and strength takes priority
over showing my spades.
Barbara Hunter: 4. I hope shows a fit with not a lot of points
Nigel Guthrie: 4. IMO 4 = 100, 3 = 90, 3 = 80, 2 = 60. A 3 fit
jump is the bookie's favourite and it would help partner to
evaluate his hand over a 5 sacrifice but you are vulnerable and
it may over-excite him. Also, you are on lead against 5, so you
don't need to direct the lead.
Roger Yandle: 4. Let pard know we've got a fit cos it looks
like the opps are going to be pre-empting in clubs. Not strong
enough for a fit showing jump to 3.
Maurice Buxton: 4. No guarantee of a spade fit, hard to find
out if the QT in diamonds are working, and although a
fit-showing jump would be nice I don't want to let West help out
East by doubling 3 for takeout or bidding 4.
John R. Mayne: 4. Other bids show more defense than I have. I
can honor partner's decision over 5 now.
Rex Fox: 4. Should make 9 or 10 tricks opposite a good min eg
Ax AQxxx xxx Kxx, if opps sac (they may make 5) then could be
Mikael Westerlund: 4.
Unbalanced hand with less points.
Should be a good chance in this contract.
Time to move on to the next problem? Of
course not! There are still more ways to show support:
Ken Berry: 4. I want to be in game.
will be disappointed when I show no key cards.
Paul Gipson: 4. I want to bid a fit-showing 3, but this does
not appear to be part of the system so will settle for the
splinter. Any bid that does not show heart support immediately
risks having to bid over 5 next.
The link to the AB Standard appears at
the top of the question page, although I understand that many
readers and a few experts have not noticed it. Fit-jumps are in
the system and a handful of readers did go that way, as did
Ron Klinger, Andrew Robson, Phillip Alder and Bob Jones.
We'll finish with those
who felt it was essential to show the spades, but didn't like
(or didn't notice) the fit showing jump:
Manuel Paulo: 2. My heart support allows to bid this fine suit
with a weak hand.
Denis Haynes: 2. 10 points with support for hearts, let partner
know of your spade holding.
Martyn Rew: 2. anything other than spade support from partner
will see my next bid in hearts
Christer Enkvist: 2. As soon as partner have a Ax/xxx or better
S-support 4 will most often be a good contract.
Jack Lai: 2. Do not want a
heart lead if partner is on lead.
Sam Arber: 2.
Forcing, show values before supporting hearts.
Ian Patterson, Hoi-Ming Chan, Tony Treloar, Marion Carney,
Ron Lel: 2. I will try to bid
hearts later if I can.
Peter Oakley: 2. Why not show the 6-cd suit? If partner doesn't
like Spades I'll support his hearts, even at the 4 level.
As previously mentioned by several of
the heart bidders, expecting to show support later at the
4-level may be optimistic.
Robert Black: 2. Happy to bid 4 next, unless I need to know
what to do over 5.
Paul Freeland: 2. I like being able to bid this as non-forcing
as I am forced up a level by the overcall. I know this won't be
to everyone's taste but it has worked well for me. Give partner
AK of hearts and an outside ace and 4 will have a reasonable
Paul Tranmer: 2. No reason to support
hearts now, better to show North
where our values lie. We can always offer delayed support later
is the auction pans out that way.
Emil Battista: 2. Only a bit of an overbid.
Tim Trahair: 2. Possibly a little light for 2 but 2 is too
weak and 3/3 too strong. Leaves the way open to play in 3
unless North can show extra strength.
Dan Baker: 2. Too much playing strength for a preemptive move
(give partner Ax AQJxx Axx xxx and slam depends only on the
heart finesse), but a cuebid or splinter hides the best feature
of the hand. Partner may expect more HCP, but if we have a
double fit this hand has enormous potential ... and if not, at
least 3 should be safe.
Hand Two - North deals, nil vul, IMPs. You are South.
In keeping with my newfound generous
nature, our next problem offers a primary fit for not one but both of
partner's suits. Spoilt for choice, which way do we go? The largest reader vote,
by an overwhelming margin, went to "undecided":
Leigh Matheson: 3. 3 tends to show extras, so
slam is looking quite good now. If partner has no wasted values
(doesn't bid 3NT) then it will be time to press on.
Duncan Roe: 3. 4th suit forcing to game. If partner actually
has diamonds he might bid 3NT. Otherwise I'll raise his next
suit bid to game.
Lindsay Coker: 3. 4th suit. promises points with S+C support.
if pard bids 3, I'll bid 4. Slam is smelling good.
Daniel Dahlkvist: 3. Depending on partner's rebid, I'd guess
he'd say 3 with Ax in hearts,
or 3NT with good diamond stopper
which will be moved to 4. With 3 from partner, next bid would
be 4 and we might end up in 4/5 etc depending on
Henri de Jong,
Sam Arber: 3.
Find out more before committing yourself.
Tim Trahair: 3. Forcing. With a double fit in the black suits,
slam may be on.
Paul Freeland: 3. Fourth suit forcing. If opener doesn't have a
hold in diamonds then I will explore 6.
Frank Campbell, Margaret Reid: 3. Fourth suit forcing. We could have slam in
spades or clubs and North can now bid out his hand.
Niek Van Vucht: 3. Game forcing, will convert 3NT to 4.
Linda Lubeck: 3. I want to see if partner will bid NT with
wasted diamond honors.
Richard Morse: 3. Let's see what partner says next. I'm happy to
let him play 3NT if that comes next, raise hearts or get
enthusiastic if he repeats one of his black suits
Ken Berry: 3. one more enquiry.. will most likely end up at 4,
but why not have some fun on the way
Dan Baker: 3. Slam prospects are good, but trying to sort out
which suit to play in may be a nightmare. Tempted to just bash
6, but I'll try to get some more info out of partner. Expecting
to RKC over 3 or 4 (or 3 if partner is somehow 5=3=1=4), or
bid 4 (forcing) over 3NT.
Joe O'Flynn: 3. Try 4th suit forcing . Game in Spades or slam
Jacco Hop: 3. We had a similar problem in the Dutch bridge
magazine IMP (I send that one in actually). We didn't get a
clear resolution but in Holland more and more players start with
2 on those type of hands. 3 will provide some more info about
partners hand. Over 3 I would bid 3 but that might would get
me in trouble
Roger Yandle: 3. Fourth suit forcing.
We've got a double fit in the black suits so let's take it
Although consuming the least possible space
initially, 3 does not actually achieve the aim of "taking it
slowly". You still haven't shown any of your support, and the
bidding will still be at the 4-level when it gets back to you. A
more effective way to show support is to do it quickly:
Ingerun Sjösvärd: 3. 3 must be forcing to game. N has some
extras and I have an excellent minimum so I do not want to bid
4 right away.
David Monahan: 3. 3 promises another bid which will allow me
to show the double fit (confirming 3 card support for spades)
and/or slam interest next bid.
Nigel Guthrie: 3. 3 = 10, 4 = 9, 3 = 6. IMO with four clubs,
you should bid 3. With that understanding, 4 should promise a
double fit, in which case it would be the best bid, by far.
Aake Sjoeberg: 3. Could be 12 tricks in spades and 2 losers in
clubs, so I try spades.
Mats Hedström: 3. Forcing to game.
Ron Lel: 3. Lets wait and hear partner's reaction to this.
Rex Fox: 3. Set the suit first, inviting cue bidding
Michael Burt: 3. Slam could be on with the double fit. 3 gives
some room for partner to ask more if partner has a really good
Robert Black: 3. Slow arrival; we have a game force in place,
and slam prospects, but the black kings may be critical.
Rainer Herrmann: 3. Splintering or raising clubs makes it
difficult to stop below six and partner is probably short in
hearts. If partner makes another slam try over 3 I will jump in
Toby Weinstein: 3. will continue with club support
Yes, 3 is game forcing; even though we are not playing a
2-over-1 system, a new suit at the three level sets up a game
force in any standard system.
But not everyone is
happy supporting the spades:
Manuel Paulo: 4. With
support for the black suits and slam ambition, I suggest the 4-4
Paul Lee: 4. 6 is more preferred than 6, therefore I choose
4 rather than 3.
Peter Swensson: 4. 6 is the most probable slam
Paul Tranmer: 4. A move towards a possible C slam. I
hope/expect N will either cuebid or try Blackwood.
Jim Priebe: 4. heading for slam for sure
Maurice Buxton: 4. Just show support and let partner start
cue-bidding for the moment; may want to bid 5NT pick-a-slam
Alvin P. Bluthman: 4. Partner is showing extras (except among a
small group of 3/1 players), and you are making a forcing bid.
Choose clubs (probably 4-4) over the spades (5-3?), because you
need to play in the less divided trump suit to take pitches on
John R. Mayne: 4. Set trumps; we're headed to slam. No reason
to prefer spades to clubs; partner would not fake a high
Mikael Westerlund: 4. trying for slam. there is a chance its
better to play the slam in SP, but I still have the chance to
change to SP later if it looks that way.
Christer Enkvist: 4. Natural slam try. Yes it is!
Yes it is. But if you are
planning to try for a club slam then I can't see why you wouldn't prefer the more
Damo Nair: 4. Hopefully North
thinks it's a splinter. I have a great hand given North's two
Tony Treloar: 4. Is this a splinter agreeing clubs? I think it
is a good time to show the stiff diamond, if partner can cue the
HA then we are off and racing
Pontus Silow: 4. Let's see if we can get partner going with a
diamond splinter. 6 is probably not better than 6, but 7 may
be the only grand.
Michael Smart: 4. Minimum, but shows my shape.
Ron Landgraff: 4. Must be a slam try somewhere! Maybe partner
will bid something descriptive. 4 should be a splinter (for
Spades? for Clubs?) or at least a control bid.
Peter Nuoristo: 4. Q with clubs
Stefan Bengtsson: 4. Cue bid (often splinter), accepting C as
trump. I will P 5 (lacking 4 aces out of 5), but otherwise be
very interested in slam.
Jack Lai: 4. slam is coming, 5 is safe
Dean Eidler: 4. Splinter and pass 5.
Joe Lentz: 4. Splinter, showing shape, overall strength, slam
interest and agreeing clubs. Should be unanimous (ha,ha,ha).
Paul Gipson: 4. The splinter will allow us to hear about a
heart control and then let us show a spade control. This is not
an auction where partner needs to invent a 3-card forcing bid,
so playing in clubs looks right for slam.
On to the minority votes, and a significant number of readers
chose 4, usually with a comment along the lines of "we have
enough points for game". Some of them expected partner to carry
on with a good hand, possibly unaware that 3 would have been
forcing. At the other extreme, a few readers opted to go
straight to Blackwood -- this option has many disadvantages, one
being that it forces you to the 5-level when there is plenty of
room to explore slam below 4.
Hand Three - North deals, EW vul, Matchpoints.
You are South.
Thanks to Peter Smith for
this gem that produced nine different answers in what started
out as a very straightforward auction. We have 13 HCP and
partner has opened in first seat -- in the old days that would
have meant we were going to game. Times have changed:
Margaret Reid: Pass. Pd can balance maybe (hopefully)
Leigh Matheson: Pass. This hand is playable in too many
contracts for me to make a unilateral decision. Sorry partner,
this problem is yours not mine.
Roger Yandle: Pass. Where are pard's points if opps are bidding
sensibly at adverse vul? Probably in clubs & diamonds. Not sure
what dbl would be in this situation so will pass and see what
pard can say.
all believe partner will bid again; not unreasonable given our
heart length, but if he does pass I wouldn't be confident we are
in the right spot. Even if he doesn't pass, I still wouldn't
necessarily be happy:
Barbara Hunter: 2. With a solid S suit you can
afford to show it you really don't want partner to rebid clubs
unless he has lots.
Assuming we can't make game, 2 is definitely where we want to
be, and that view is shared by the largest group of readers:
Ron Landgraff: 2. Ugh! Game appears not there but they may
make 2! At imps I would defend but not at pairs. I'll
double their 3.
Jim Priebe: 2. 13 points do not look attractive now
JC Clement: 2. 2x might be the winner... But also a terrible
Peter Riddy: 2. Can't let it stop here
Rex Fox: 2. If opp bidding is to be believed then 3NT or 4
could be difficult to play. NV it is anti percentage to try for
misfit games, get a plus
Peter Oakley: 2. It's either 2 or 3 - my innate conservatism
Denis Haynes: 2. Let partner know I have strength in spades (if
not length - my repeat shows 5 at least) - we may have a 7 card
Tim Trahair: 2. N may expect us to have 6s - but we have very
high quality in this suit. Seems most of N's HCP are in Cs and
Ds. Game in NT may be on if N has a reasonable H cover.
Lindsay Coker: 2. North sounds like a minimum, with C&D. If he
has enough he can bid NT.
Peter Swensson: 2. NT game on partners hand ... otherwise no
Robert Black: 2. Partner clearly has points in the opponents'
suits, and may just need to know I have good spades, for 2NT,
which I shall raise. If he cannot do so, or raise to 3 we
probably have not missed game.
Richard Morse: 2. Partner rates to have a weakish opener with
cards in the minors. Passing now is too feeble. I'll give it one
more shot and happily leave partner in 3 is he converts. The
quality of the spades makes up for the absence of a sixth
Michael Davy: 2. possibly an underbid but crosstrumping looks a
Linnea Edlund: 2. Solid suit, hoping to push opps to 3-level,
don't like X to risk getting more clubs from partner
Ron Lel: 2. To be honest, I have absolutely no idea. This seems
like a 50 point deck. I suppose double would be for penalty.
Whatever, I am going for the huge underbid of 2.
Michael Smart: 2. Too many red losers to force here.
Christer Enkvist: 2. We need the ops to bid once more.
Duncan Roe: 2. We seem to have the balance of strength, and
would quite like to defend a doubled contract. Bat maybe not at
the 2 level
That group have
mostly given up on game, but a few of the spade bidders were
Wilma Domjan: 4. 25
points between us. Top 4 spades. N does not know if S has 4 or
more spades or how many points and may have some spades so 4
cut off bid.
Michael Burt: 4. North's points look to be in clubs and
diamonds. We look to have enough points for game. Some of my
losers could go on North's clubs. North is behind West, so any
diamond finesses have a better chance of working. North and West
don't have many hearts and north can probably stop hearts
running by trumping. The bidding suggests there is a good chance
that north has two spades (and we may only need north to have
one spade). My spades are capable of taking out trumps because
they are strong. 4 looks a reasonable chance of making and
looks to be the only game on.
Fraser Rew: 4. P is 2236, they can run only 3 red tricks (I
hope), I draw trumps in 4 rounds and play on clubs.
Emil Battista: 3. As good as 6 spades. Partner should be short
in Hearts and have Diamond values
Ken Berry: 3. even if partner has 1 spade, they have points
somewhere.. let them bid NT if its right..
Joe O'Flynn: 3. I think we can make game probably in spades.
Damo Nair: 3. Its MP so 3. 3NT may still be an option for
Marion Carney: 3. shows an extra spade and opening points
Hoi-Ming Chan: 3. The spade suit looks like a 6 carder.
Dan Baker: 3. Yes, I know he doesn't have three-card support,
but this should be a fine trump suit for a 5-2 fit. With no
stoppers in either red suit, I don't want to suggest NT (though
I'll happily pass if partner bids it).
also several votes for stopper asks in each red suit, including
one each from the expert panel. But which suit do we ask for?
Eric Kokish chose 3, on the grounds that he thought hearts
was the more dangerous suit, while Ron Smith preferred
3, asking for a diamond stopper. (That's right, a bid of 3 or
3 shows a stopper in that suit, asking for a stopper in
the other suit -- a point that confused many of the
the top score went to not just one bid, but a collective known
as "Double". I'd like to see each type of double
scored separately, but we can't do that so the top award was a
Dean Eidler: Dbl. Penalties or takeout I don't care which. If
partner bids 3 I pass that.
Nigel Guthrie: Dbl. IMO _X = 10, 3 = 6, 4 = 5, 3 =4, 2 = 2.
Double is no thing of beauty but must be worth 100 marks.
Pontus Silow: Dbl. Dbl stands out - no second choice.
Jacco Hop: Dbl. this will get us to a sensible spot. Partner
might pass looking at the vulnerability since I could have made
a different bid.
Ian A Smith: Dbl. Hopefully showing extra strength than a 2
Paul Tranmer: Dbl. As far as I can see, this is about the only
positive way to proceed. If N fancies defending I'll be happy
and if very distributional I'll hear from him/her again.
Toby Weinstein: Dbl. would bid 2 at imps
Frank Campbell: Dbl. The only real option is 3 but this should show a
longer spade suit. Hopefully his pass shows heart and diamond
values and he will bid 2NT.
Mikael Westerlund: Dbl. If P bids on this its ok, and if he pass
I have no problems with that either. I don't think East will get
more then 6 H-tricks then. And if he gets another trick its
still 1 down and our side doesn't always make game here.
The majority of passers intended their
choice as penalty:
Bridge Baron: Dbl. Pure penalty. Bridge Baron smells blood. Its
guess here (based on relatively primitive computations) is a
Paul Freeland: Dbl. Going for the magical +200 with no game
making our way.
Manuel Paulo: Dbl. I hope to set our vulnerable opponents:
+200 versus our part-score or +500 if we have game.
Sam Arber: Dbl. too good for 2 go for 200 by double
John R. Mayne: Dbl. I'd like to have a higher heart card, but
there's too good a shot at +200 not to try for it. By the way,
these are atrocious methods. Since I've shown five spades (or
are we playing double as non-spades?), partner should be raising
routinely with three, and double should mean something else.
Barbara Whitmee: Dbl. A misfit, Double seems the best option.
Ian Patterson: Dbl. Lead A then switch to
Martyn Rew: Dbl. very hard to see 2 making. Opponents seem to
be rating not many HCP very highly.
Maurice Buxton: Dbl. Despite having plenty of HCP, this is
looking like a misfit on which game is uncertain, in which case
we probably want to leave the opponents holding the bag. Assume
double is penalty here since I didn't double 1, trying for a
potential +200 top.
There were also a few votes for a
Aake Sjoeberg: Dbl. In my opinion , D is a take out double. If
north bids 3, I will try 3.
Stephen Bartos: Dbl. ask partner for more information
Paul Gipson: Dbl. I also considered the massive underbid of 2,
but double seems to keep the notrump game in play otherwise I
fear we may be playing in one of our two 5-1 fits at the
David Matthews: Dbl. Not really sure where we are going on this
one but we need to be in game
You've got to love a problem where
people are making penalty doubles and takeout doubles on the
Hand Four - South deals,
Matchpoints. You are South.
* 1NT is Standard American, not a forcing
Two issues here: do we invite game, or do we
show our second suit? Why can't we do both? Because there are no invitational
bids that show diamonds. If we show the diamonds we have to choose between the
underbid of 2, or just force to game ourselves. The majority opted for the
Leigh Matheson: 3. Go on then. This answer must be wrong because it's a bidding
forum and I can't see any alternative.
John R. Mayne: 3. I keep looking at the problem to figure out if I drank too
much watching the US Super Bowl and missed something, but I still don't see it.
Anything else is severely misguided; this looks like a hand from a beginner's
Paul Freeland: 3. 3NT straight away may be successful, but
is unilateral. There is no reason why partner can't have long clubs, diamonds or
hearts in a weak hand, which will contribute to informing the final contract.
Dean Eidler: 3. And 4 over partners 3. Lots of controls but little in the way
Joe Lentz: 3. Forcing to game, either 3NT or a minor depending on partner's
Niek Van Vucht: 3. Forcing, natural.
Mikael Westerlund: 3. As I play 2 is forcing here. But I assume that is not
the case in this problem. 3 is an easy bid then.
That is correct -- this auction is a serious gap in
standard bidding. A couple of Swedes propose some modern solutions:
Pontus Silow: 3. I do recommend playing 2 as two-way here (either natural or
any strong hand with spades). Lacking such an agreement, I see no reason not to
do what's natural.
Aake Sjoeberg: 3. In Sweden 2 in this situation is forcing. (Can be used
after 1 - 1, 1 - 1NT, 1 - 1NT ) This particular convention is called the
Outside Sweden it's called Gazilli, a convention
that all experienced partnerships should consider.
Bridge Baron: 3. Book bid. Unbalanced hand, lower-ranking four-card suit
available, near-maximum: jump-shift.
Emil Battista: 3.
Hopefully partner's 5+ card suit is not hearts.
Jacco Hop: 3. I am too simple minded to bid anything else.
Ron Lel: 3. I have seen this problem before and one of the suggested answers
was 3, so that you don't miss a club game or slam opposite long, good clubs in
the responding hand. That is a total "wide boy" response. Just make the normal
natural forcing 3 response and don't mastermind.
Ken Berry: 3. NT could be ridiculous.. my problem is what to bid over 3 from p
Ron Landgraff: 3. Tempting to bid 2 or 3NT but I choose to describe the hand
rather than mastermind it. The vulnerability argues for caution. Hopefully
partner will read me for club values if he needs them.
Ian Patterson: 3. Then 3NT over 3 from partner, 5 over 3NT
Joe O'Flynn: 3. This says what I've got. Can partner bid game?
Robert Black: 3. We have game somewhere, maybe 3NT.
Paul Tranmer: 3. We're going to be in game on this auction so far, so the only
question is where. If N bids 3 I'll try 3NT and if 4 emerges from N I'll raise
David Matthews: 3. What it's worth.
Damo Nair: 3. With such a control-rich I'll chance a jump-shift.
Henri de Jong: 3. Would like to bid NT, but partner does not need much for 6.
Fraser Rew: 3. I know, I know, terrible bid, just give me my +600.
doesn't recognise the hand -- he was in the less interesting North seat at
the time. He did get to be declarer though, and he did get his +600 after my
overbid of 3NT. Fortunately I did get a few supporters:
Jack Lai, Margaret Reid: 3NT. Best spot for MPs - should make if we are lucky
Denis Haynes: 3NT. I assume 6-9 points and given my hand partner must have some
points in hearts.
Nigel Guthrie: 3NT. IMO 3NT = 100, 3 = 90, 2NT = 80. With half your points in your
short suits, nothing is ideal.
Frank Campbell: 3NT. No logical way to explore his values so just bid game and
cross my fingers.
Barbara Hunter: 3NT. partner may have 6 pts which could make game, rather than
Fred Altstock: 3NT. Should have easy 3NT game. Partner may have 4 hearts and a
JC Clement: 3NT. Practical and simple, no ? :)
That's what I thought. Next, we have the players who believe the hand is worth an
invitation, and are willing to sacrifice the diamond suit in an attempt to reach
the correct level:
Toby Weinstein: 2NT. 3 a close 2nd.
Manuel Paulo: 2NT. With as little as xx Jxxx Kxx Qxxx in partner's hand, game is
Peter Swensson: 2NT. 2 or 2N, off shape is OK
Jim Priebe: 2NT. 3 is too much and 3NT could be totally wrong
Rex Fox: 2NT. 8 tricks could be hard to make, still most of the field will try
for game, so should be in good company; seems perverse to go against the field.
for game to make pard needs a very specific type of hand eg. Kx J109x Kxx xxx,
but even then could be difficult to raise to game. Simply not enough room
without artificial means.
Hoi-Ming Chan: 2NT. Close between 3 and 2NT. Since it's Matchpoints I'll go with
Paul Gipson: 2NT. I'll put a diamond in with my hearts.
Paul Lee: 2NT. Luckily my singleton heart is an honour, which gives me an excuse
for bidding 2NT.
Michael Burt: 2NT. On the bidding 3NT is the only likely game and we have
roughly the right amount of points. The hearts are a worry and bidding another
suit is only likely to encourage a heart lead. The 2NT bid is a compromise. If
partner is towards the top of the range then the chances of a heart stop or
being able to run the minors improves and 3NT is a reasonable chance. If partner
is a the lower end then we might make with 3NT going off one.
Richard Morse: 2NT. Our best strain, I expect, but allowing partner to suggest
something else at the 3 level if he wants. If we get to 3NT, I hope pard has
some hearts.....or that they lead the wrong suit. The trouble with 3 is that it
may pinpoint the heart lead for them.
Sam Arber: 2NT. prefer this to 3, may even try 3nt
And lastly, here is some support for applying our partnership's 25 points to a
minor-suit matchpoint partscore:
Alvin P. Bluthman: 2. Almost worth 3, whether or not
1NT is forcing.
Roger Yandle: 2. Bit of an underbid but not sure HQ is full values
Daniel Dahlkvist: 2. Depending on agreements, however usually north bids 1 more
time unless he has a really crappy hand with decent support. 3 would indicate
better holding in spades/diamonds and might lead to a bad 3N Other choices are
2 if conventional, or gambling for 2N/3N, however it doesn't seem like the
right game in this hand.
Maurice Buxton: 2. If that's a Standard American 1NT it's likely to be a
desperation move on short spades and a few points. With that singleton HQ of
unknown value I don't want to force to game, so just make the simple natural
Kjell Staffas: 2. No need to rush, 2 is still forcing. A jump to 3 shows
5-5 and max.
Dan Baker: 2. Not quite worth a jump, though it's close - I'd bid 3 with
AJT54, 8, AQ72, AK3. Problem is that the stiff QH isn't a "real" value. If
partner can't scrape up a response to this, we won't be missing a game (though
if he has a heart stop, NT may score more).
Lindsay Coker: 2. Partner either has H, C, or D - or even a couple of spades.
We play 2 here as forcing. Let's see the response.
Tim Trahair: 2. Shows our 2nd suit. If N can now venture a H bid we will
quickly be in 3NT.
Tony Treloar: 2. While this isn't forcing, it generally expects another bid
unless partner has a particularly poor hand. Looks enough for now.
Hand Five - East deals, EW vul,
Matchpoints. You are South.
Regular readers of this feature will
have noticed I have greatly reduced the number of preemptive
problems over the past year, and I think this has been a good
move. I still like to slip in one wild hand per issue though,
which some have referred to as the "goofy problem of the month".
Here's the latest one:
Hoi-Ming Chan: 4. Close between pass and 4. Hopefully 4 is
better than 4, or partner will read this as diamonds and
Sam Arber: 4. hearts likely to break badly, partner may have 4
h and 4,if he bids 5 then pass
Margaret Reid: 4. Hope pd has 3 or 4 - she will know I am big
Ingerun Sjösvärd: 4. I am taking a chance this shows Sp+D. If
it doesn't why dint I bid 4 instead of dbl?
Leigh Matheson: 4. Partner will know this is a 2-suiter.
Otherwise why would I double first?
Alvin P. Bluthman: 4. Partner would bid 4 with four cards in
each major, so this is simply a correction to (I hope) a better
trump suit). No, he has not shown values; that might come on the
Joe Lentz: 4. This should show two places to play. Partner may
be 44 or (45) in the majors.
Dan Baker: 4. Wouldn't have doubled first if I didn't have a
second place to play, so this should get across the
spades-or-diamonds choice (should also indicate primary
diamonds, since I'd just overcall 4 with 5-4 the other way).
Partner shouldn't have a whole lot extra, so I'm not too
interested in slam. If partner has six hearts and a yarborough,
nice preempt, East.
Nigel Guthrie: 4. Pass = 100, 4