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Readers' Bidding Forum with Brad Coles May 2005
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 including Andrew Robson, Larry Cohen, Mike Lawrence and Ron Klinger.
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Hand One East deals, NS vul, IMPs. You are South.
spadesm.gif (111 bytes) AT97
heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 92
diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) KJ92
clubsm.gif (113 bytes) JT5


West North East South
    3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) pass
pass dbl pass pass
3heartsm.gif (112 bytes) pass pass ?


Call Award %
3spadesm.gif (111 bytes)100 7443
Pass 90137
Double 40 935
3NT30 47
4spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 10 08

When I first saw this problem I was concerned about a unanimous panel, and in fact 74% of experts voted for the obvious (but not necessarily correct) 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes) bid.

Jameson Cole: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Partner shouldn't be doubling 3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) lacking major support, so if he can't hit 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes), he must have spade support. 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes) keeps 3NT option open.

Tim Trahair: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Hope partner realises this is only showing 4 spades as would have bid 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes) after the X if I had 5 and hope also that he realises I have good Ds and Ws bid is a rescue attempt. Other possibility is X allowing P to leave it in with good Hs or correct to 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes) if not.

David Hester: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). I assume that partner is strong enough to double after my penalty pass. He has three hearts and/or five spades.

Sam Arber: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). partner could have x 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes), so unlikely to have good hearts, bid 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes) partner likely to have 4 and should raise to game if better than minimum as doubled in pass out seat which may be minimum

Henri de Jong: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Not enough tricks for NT

Fraser Rew: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). In a good system here a double by partner would be for penalties and on my side would be 'action' (Kxx-ish of hearts). His bidding is consistent with a weak 4324. Would double for penalties at pairs.

Mark LaForge: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). I am a coward

Andrew Gordon: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Partner will have spades and my hand is improving after passing twice.

Duncan Roe: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Partner's X promised support, now that W has pulled my penalty pass

However, the problem does raise three interesting questions. First, a favourite of mine: how strong is partner's double?

Rex Fox: Dbl. Shows values, Pard should have 15ish HCP, cannot sell out to NV opps

Herbert C. Wilton: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). After the penalty pass, North is expecting me to make some bid.

David Kalnins: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Partner's pass is forcing. Double and anything above 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is too much.

Second question, what would a double of 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes) mean?

Keith Huggan: Dbl. Hope partner can pass for penalties - if they bid 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes) I'll have a new problem. Unsure as to what a X of 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes) by pard would have been.

Solaris Whitesail: Dbl. Dbl has to be penalty. I do not see enough for 3NT, and don't see 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes) making.

Zbych: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). my penalty pass on x 3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes), showed serious stopper at diam (at least 2 stoppers), now I can show my P s suit, rather 4clubsm.gif (113 bytes)ards. Possible partscore 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes) or even game 3nt or 4spadesm.gif (111 bytes) (seems more safety 3nt). For sure with good h suit P shd X - penlaty.

And finally, the real problem: whose hand is it?

Craig: Pass. Misfit everywhere, so stay out.

Alexander Cook: Pass. You will probably take a small positive from passing. You may miss a spade fit but why didn't partner double as second time? Partner probably has good defence for hearts.

Ron Lel: Pass. Pd doubled in the protective seat, heard me convert, and yet decided he could not make a penalty double of 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Surely I have an easy pass. I will not crucify partner for protecting light.

We don't seem to have established whether partner's pass was forcing, but the arguments for passing are strong, earning an over-generous upgrade to 90 points.

Eric Leong: 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes). I can't pass. Partner could still have a decent hand with not so good hearts e.g. S KQxx H Qxxx D x C AKQx. Now 4spadesm.gif (111 bytes) has a play.

There's the problem. What would you do with that hand if you were North? I guess the moral to this story is simply that preempts work.


Fred Altstock: 4spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Partner must have 4 spades and probably good clubs so game in spades is a must with my hand.

Nathan Crafti: Dbl. Not many points in this pack, with the only bids aside from a pre-empt coming in pass out seat. A double from me will tell pard I have 4 spades and some values.

Ken Berry: Dbl. since its Imps I'd like to bid 3NT but I think I'm stuck with this

Bill Bennett: Dbl. Not enough HCP for 3NT unless N is very strong. N should take 3 tricks in 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes)x

Frank Campbell: Dbl. I have spades, short hearts and my diamonds are well placed

Manuel Paulo: Dbl. We have the balance of strength, the diamonds' break is ominous, and opponents are above the security level.

Andrew Gumperz: Dbl. A choice of going for the brass ring with 3NT or accepting the small plus in 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes)x. Spades might be vulnerable to defensive ruffs.

Sydney Frish: Dbl. And a regretful pass should partner not convert to penalties and bid 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes)

John R. Mayne: Dbl. Partner has to have something in hearts, and they have no source of tricks. Partner wouldn't double with A8xx of hearts, since he already showed that. 4spadesm.gif (111 bytes) with the bad breaks is unlikely to be right.

Paul Tranmer: Dbl. Must be T.O. oriented under the bid, particularly as partner knows to lead a diamond at trick one, if he has one. The alternative bid of 3spadesm.gif (111 bytes) should, I suggest, promise a fifth spade.

Margaret Reid: Dbl. Should reap a good score for us

Hand Two  North deals, nil vul, Matchpoints. You are South.
spadesm.gif (111 bytes) T8732
heartsm.gif (112 bytes) AQ4
diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) J94
clubsm.gif (113 bytes) T6


West North East South
  1clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 1diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 1spadesm.gif (111 bytes)
2diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes) pass ?


Call Award %
3clubsm.gif (113 bytes)100 4814
Pass 801426
2spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 702614
3heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 50431
2NT 3043
3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 2048
4heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 003

Robin Cross: 2NT. Lebensohl 2NT with 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes)+ showing values. If that bidding is not in the methods, bid I just bid 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes)

Andrew Gumperz: 2NT. After a reverse, 2NT is a Lebensohl-like tool to distinguish good and bad hands. If partner bids only 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes), I will pass.

Fraser Rew: 2spadesm.gif (111 bytes). I'm not proud of this, obviously, but it seems to be the best of several bad bids.

Margaret Reid: 2spadesm.gif (111 bytes). mmm - hard to give a H rise maybe 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is better but I'll keep the bidding at a reasonable level - I do hsve 5S

Frank Campbell: 2spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Partner has reversed and should have a good hand. His next bid could be 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes), 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes) or 4spadesm.gif (111 bytes) (AKJ KJxx x AJxxx). Although my spades are poor this should convince partner I am weak and get us to our making game if available. I will pass NT or 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes) but raise 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes) to game.

Fred Altstock: 2spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Have to show that I have five spades and a relatively weak hand. Leave the rest up to partner.

Manuel Paulo: 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Anaemic spades, short hearts and no diamond stopper in a weak hand preclude any other call.

Paul Tranmer: 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Nothing to get excited about yet, simple preference will suffice for now.

David Kalnins: 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Simple preference

Zbych: 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Pard has reversed and probably has no more than two diamonds. But if he has six clubs and five hearts game is easy. 

Tim Trahair: 3clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Partner has reversed so has 16+ points. Denies four hearts. Give preference expecting him to have at least five clubs. If he then bids 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes), raise to 4.

Nathan Crafti: 3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Matchpoints. Must try for 3NT. Have we got diamonds stopped pard? Routine really.

Have you noticed that whenever someone says "unanimous panel", "non-problem", or "routine really", they invariably end up with a score of 20%?

Alexander Cook: 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes). J94 does not constitute a stopper especially when one opponent has overcalled diamonds and the other opponent has raised them. Partner can only have two diamonds maximum. Raising with three good hearts is the most accurate bid here.

Sam Arber: 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Did not negative double so partner may infer you only have three hearts, spades too weak to rebid, partner must be short in d so 3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) asking for stopper may not be useful, but then may need to ruff d in hand shortening himself.

Rex Fox: 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Moysian fit likely, pard should be strong, 5C, 4+H, 15+HCP nothing else appeals

Sydney Frish: 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes). little wasted values - but partner must have just the right cards to make a game

Craig: 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes). You cannot pass after partner's reverse, and cannot bid NT.

Herbert C. Wilton: 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I did not make a negative double over 1diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) so my raise shows only three card support.

Andrew Gordon: 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Since I am forced to bid, I prefer to show my strong 3 hearts. Partner already knows I have 5 spades because I did not double last time.

gbgb: 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes). pd could have dbled for 4 hearts

David Hester: 3heartsm.gif (112 bytes). This is surely forcing, so I bid where my cards are, and risk the Moysian fit.

Jameson Cole: 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Play well, partner. Could be 4-3 fit.

Eric Leong: 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Partner is not climbing to 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes) with only a four card heart suit so he has five of them. With five hearts and five clubs partner would open 1heartsm.gif (112 bytes). So at minimum, partner should have something along the lines of: S x H KJxxx D x C AKxxxx. I raise to 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes) since I don't want to give partner a chance to pass with his minimum hands.

Duncan Roe: Pass. Not enough for a free raise - likely we only have seven hearts. Could rebid spades but they're rather ordinary.

Bill Bennett: Pass. Game seems unlikely and 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes) should be a reasonable spot for part score.

Solaris Whitesail: Pass. even if it is a mere 3/4 fit A & Q count for a something.

John R. Mayne: Pass. Looks right even if 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes) is intended as forcing. If wrong, I'll take the blame.

Hand Three  South deals, nil vul, IMPs. You are South.
spadesm.gif (111 bytes) AKJ62
heartsm.gif (112 bytes) AKJ8432
diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) ---
clubsm.gif (113 bytes) J


West North East South
      1clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 1
3clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 5clubsm.gif (113 bytes) ?

1. Strong club, 16+ HCP any shape


Call Award %
Pass 100324
5NT 80145
5heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 701427
6heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 701827
Double 6048
6clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 50 1829

It was tempting to alter the bidding of this famous Hamman-Wolff hand, and present this as a 2clubsm.gif (113 bytes) opener. But the hand really isn't worth 2clubsm.gif (113 bytes), so we went with the original bidding. Thankfully, there were only two real complaints: 

Nathan Crafti: 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes). So how come I'm playing precision (or whatever) all of a sudden? How should I know what 3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) means? So I'll bid 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes) and if 7 is cold, it's because I'm playing a system that's not our system.

Ron Lel: 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Look this is a very silly problem. You can't give us a bidding problem that depends so much on knowledge of the system we are playing. What is 3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)? What would a double be? What would a cue bid be. In the absence of any information, I simply bid 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I am not enamoured by the fact that my void appears to be opposite partner's best suit. Anyway partner is still there. All posters really should abstain.

Quickly addressing each of these questions:

3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) shows diamonds (hence the failure to alert). I have no idea what double would be (does anyone ever really know what a double means), but it probably doesn't show a two-loser 5701 hand. Likewise, a cuebid is always ambiguous; it could be both majors, but I wouldn't blame partner if she expected a slam-going hand with first-round club control. And advising everyone to abstain really does defeat the purpose -- our goal here is to try to solve a bidding problem.

Rex Fox: 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Strong club? Presumably opened with 2clubsm.gif (113 bytes) in Standard?

Frank Campbell: 6clubsm.gif (113 bytes). What's with the 1clubsm.gif (113 bytes), I thought I was playing AB Standard! I suppose I would be in the same boat if I opened 2clubsm.gif (113 bytes), but 1heartsm.gif (112 bytes) followed by 5spadesm.gif (111 bytes) would make life simpler. Partner should interpret 6clubsm.gif (113 bytes) as both majors and hopefully bid 6diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) with the same length allowing me to correct to 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes).

Rex and Frank have the right approach here. If the 1clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is confusing makes you nervous, bid the same way that you would over a 2clubsm.gif (113 bytes) opening. The solution to many difficult problems is to find a simpler analogous problem and work from there.

Andrew Gumperz: 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Given that I rate to lose a club, I will need both major queens or a major position that can be developed with one ruff. That is a lot to hope for.

Zbych: 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes). for slam i need from P only 2 Queens in Major. At MP x cld be more attractive than 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes).. If yu play X cooperative, i cld bid X over 5clubsm.gif (113 bytes) and over expected 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) from P bid 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes) (for sure wld be big 2spadesm.gif (111 bytes)uiter M hand)

Andrew Gordon: 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Whoah! We are at the 5 level and I have not shown either of my great majors. I had better start by bidding my 7 card major now. The problem is we may miss the spade game or slam.

Sydney Frish: 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes). already too high to start investigating - although partner should have some values outside the D suite

There is actually plenty of room to investigate slam, so long as you don't take up all the remaining space by bidding 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes) now. More on that later.

For those that just want to blast slam, the question is do we want partner to pick the suit, or do we just want to play in hearts.

John R. Mayne: 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Can't show both majors, and might not want to. Time to bid what we can make. Maybe.

Jameson Cole: 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes). What I hope I can make. Two more reasons for wanting to play hearts instead of spades.

Fraser Rew: 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes). What I should have opened.

Manuel Paulo: 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes). A gamble - but preempts hinder our bidding.

Fred Altstock: 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Go straight for the kill.

Alexander Cook: 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes). With a three loser hand you should take a shot at 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Partner may or may not have a club control. With a bit of luck partner will have the HQ and/or the SQ. There may be wasted values in diamonds. At worst the small slam will depend on both finesses coming home.

If we do want partner to choose the suit, there appear to be two options.

Paul Tranmer: 6clubsm.gif (113 bytes). The perils of a strong club system cruelly exposed here. Hopefully partner will bid their "best" major and assemble 12 tricks. Who knows, EW might be goaded into bidding 7clubsm.gif (113 bytes)!

Eric Leong: 6clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Since slam pays a big bonus, I would opt to go for the big reward rather than the small penalty. I bid 6clubsm.gif (113 bytes) because I think partner is most likely going to bid 6diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) in which case I will bid 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes). If partner is short in hearts he just might be able to bid 6spadesm.gif (111 bytes) with some spades.

Sam Arber: 6clubsm.gif (113 bytes). if partner bids 6diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) bid 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes), hopefully he will infer you have the majors

Keith Huggan: 6clubsm.gif (113 bytes). No doubt 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes) in the real world but since this is a bidding forum...

David Kalnins: 6clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Rip 6diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) to 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes) and hope partner gets the message.

Same comment from Henri de Jong, Bill Bennett, David Hester, Robin Cross and Ken Berry. However, 6clubsm.gif (113 bytes) takes up a lot of space, and there is a better bid that leaves partner room to make a grand slam try:

Margaret Reid: 5NT. Please bid best major.

Tim Trahair: 5NT. Asking partner to choose the slam. He will realise I have very strong majors. If he elects to bid 6diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) I can correct to 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes).

Over 5NT, partner can cue 6clubsm.gif (113 bytes) to try for the grand. And if we really want to save space to explore the best contract, you can't go past the ultimate space-saving bid:

Herbert C Wilton: Pass. Why not wait for your partner's call, correcting any diamonds to hearts.

This is the second forcing-pass auction in the set, although unlike Problem One, in this case there is no doubt that the pass of 5clubsm.gif (113 bytes) would be forcing. At the table, Hamman passed and this is what followed:

ª 3
© QT75
¨ QJT8643
§ A
ª Q8
© 6
¨ 752
§ KT98642
ª T9754
© 9
¨ AK9
§ Q753
ª AKJ62
© AKJ8432
¨ ---
§ J
West North East South
Perron Wolff Chemla Hamman
pass 1clubsm.gif (113 bytes)
3clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 5clubsm.gif (113 bytes) pass
pass 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) pass 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes)
pass 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes) pass pass

After Hamman's pass there was plenty of room to explore the grand slam, but still the auction subsided at the six-level.

Hand Four  West deals, both vul, IMPs. You are South.
spadesm.gif (111 bytes) AQ
heartsm.gif (112 bytes) K7532
diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) AJ9
clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 854


West North East South
1clubsm.gif (113 bytes) pass 1spadesm.gif (111 bytes) ?


Call Award %
Pass100 5249
2heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 60 3023
Double60 1823
1NT20 05

The easiest problem of the set, with more than half the readers realising that if they don't bid now, they will have a much bigger problem on the next round.

Jameson Cole: 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I may go for a number or we may have game. But bid now or be silent.

Bill Bennett: 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I do not like to double with a 5 card major, even of poor quality. Any bid (including pass) is risky.

Fred Altstock: 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Just an overcall and with partner a passed hand no interest in going much further

Tim Trahair: 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Poor suit but reasonable hand. P can't have very much but might manage a H raise.

The problem, obviously, is the poor suit quality. This leads some to the off-shape double.

Paul Tranmer: Dbl. I dislike the red suit disparity, but if I don't bid now I probably never will.

David Kalnins: Dbl. Might miss out if I pass - 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes) is way too rich. X may get us to game if partner has 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes) and some cards.

Frank Campbell: Dbl. My spades are well placed and although I have 5 hearts they are not strong. Prefer to double and see what partner can come up with.

Zbych: Dbl. for bid 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes) suit is so weak, but bullets in your hand call for bid. My X will help me explore P hand.

Herbert C. Wilton: Dbl. Certainly it can be right to pass, but it is a bidder's game.

This problem raises an interesting question about bidding forum philosophy. If 51% choose to act and only 49% choose to pass, doesn't that make pass the minority? How can we give pass 100 points when the majority choose to bid?

Fortunately this was not an issue here, because unlike the readers, the experts favoured the pass by 13 votes to 12. So the following readers, happy to come in at the three level but not the two level, get the top award.

Ian Smith: Pass. I could still have a balancing bid available next time round

Henri de Jong: Pass. 1spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is forcing and still can bid later

Manuel Paulo: Pass. Wait and see. By no means this hand justifies a sandwich overcall.

Andrew Gordon: Pass. Being vul, I might just wait till next time to consider my position. My heart suit is very ratty.

Sam Arber: Pass. hearts a bit too weak to bid 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes), pass initially, if they bid to game better off defending

Nathan Crafti: Pass. Another fatuous non problem. As 1spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is forcing, I will wait until the dust settles. Interfering now might stop them overreaching.

Also getting 100 points are those who have already resigned themselves to writing 110 and 7 imps in the out column:

Fraser Rew: Pass. You're joking, right?

Ron Lel: Pass. A very easy decision. Do you seriously want me to bid 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes) on this moth eaten suit, or perhaps to totally misdescribe my hand by doubling?

Andrew Gumperz: Pass. Bad shape, bad suit.

Rex Fox: Pass. 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes) bid seems risky on such a ratty suit

Solaris Whitesail: Pass. I can see this ending at 1 or 2NT, and expect partner to lead a red anyway without any hint from me.

Sydney Frish: Pass. only because of previous sad experiences on similar hands with both opponents bidding

Margaret Reid: Pass. I'm not coming in in a forcing auction, I did that last year and got the chop.

That's like letting one small shark-bite scare you away from ever going back to the beach. Most wounds heal, and even if they don't, at least you'll have some great stories to tell at parties.

David Hester: Pass. This is the sandwich position, and with a weak suit I do not want to be the meat.

John R. Mayne: Pass. Non-pass is long-term suicide vs. good opponents. They will crush you when bidding's wrong when you have these spots.

Robin Cross: Pass. Imps or matchpoints, pass.

Eric Leong: Pass. Game is improbable so why stick your head out and risk going for 500 or 800 when your opponents might not be able to bid and make a game?

The final option is the light, off-shape notrump overcall. Not very popular.

Ken Berry: 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes). am I supposed to bid 1NT, pretending its mixed pairs. (I can feel the bruises already)

Duncan Roe: 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Don't like 1NT w/out any C stop. The bid describes my hand

Alexander Cook: Dbl. Your hearts are not strong enough to overcall 2heartsm.gif (112 bytes) and you are not strong enough to overcall 1NT.

None of the 1NT bidders included a comment to support their bid, although it was the action taken at the table. Not in a mixed pairs, but the national final:

ª 3
© QT75
¨ QJT8643
§ A
ª Q8
© 6
¨ 752
§ KT98642
ª T9754
© 9
¨ AK9
§ Q753
ª AKJ62
© AKJ8432
¨ ---
§ J
West North East South
Perron Wolff Chemla Hamman
pass 1clubsm.gif (113 bytes)
3clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 3diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 5clubsm.gif (113 bytes) pass
pass 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) pass 5heartsm.gif (112 bytes)
pass 6heartsm.gif (112 bytes) pass pass


Hand Five  West deals, NS vul, IMPs. You are South.
spadesm.gif (111 bytes) Q5
heartsm.gif (112 bytes) KQT54
diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 9543
clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 92


West North East South
4clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 4diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) pass ?


Call Award %
5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)100 5648
4heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 802224

Finally, a problem to test your personality. Are you a pessimist, a pragmatist, or an outright gambler? Not surprisingly, the top score goes to the group in the middle.

Nathan Crafti: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I must be missing something here. I have a 7 count and no extreme shape. Partner didn't double. Bidding a new suit is out of the question. We must have a 10 card fit in diamonds so passing is anaemic.

Alexander Cook: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Yes, you may have a heart fit; but surely wouldn't partner have doubled with support for the majors? Partner should have at least six diamonds for that overcall of a minor at the four level.

Fraser Rew: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Hearts are likely to be breaking badly, even if pards does show up with three.

Ken Berry: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I hate this bid, but I also can't stand a ratty 4clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bid winning the day

Bill Bennett: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Importantly, N is vul, and the 4 Diamonds should ensure no trump loser. If he has C Ace and H ace we should make six

Frank Campbell: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Difficult as I dont think partner would interpret 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes) as a fit showing raise therefore will take a shot at the vulnerable game. Partner would surely have done more than 4diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) with a strong hand.

Fred Altstock: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Partner may have Ace of hearts and Ace of Spades so some chance of 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) making.

Ron Lel: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Can't contemplate passing at Imps. I really like 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes) as a fit non jump, but I guess this is not part of Aust Bridge Standard like a strong Club is.

David Hester: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). This may be slightly against the odds, but the potential gain exceeds the potential loss.

Sydney Frish: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). a punt either way - partner may have the necessary cards for a H game - but at least in D we've got a known "superfit"

Jameson Cole: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Effective preempt precludes exploration. West rates to be short in hearts, so even if partner has support, there may be a bad split.

Robin Cross: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Hopefully, we land on our feet.

Herbert C. Wilton: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). The best road to 6, if indeed there is a slam.

John R. Mayne: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes) is too greedy. 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) seems clear.

Andrew Gordon: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Well, my hand may help partner reach 11 tricks.

Eric Leong: 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I would like to bid 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes) showing hearts and diamonds but partner probably won't get the joke. So I take a stab at 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). After all, partner did come in with 4diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) when he was vulnerable and I do have better than average trumps for him, and my heart suit is a potential source of tricks.

Among the gamblers, there is actually a sub-category: the dreamer.

Keith Huggan: 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes). It would be nice if this showed a desire to play 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes) opposite a suitable hand but holding support for partner.

Sam Arber: 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes). hopefully this shows d tolerance

Manuel Paulo: 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes). As I play it, this forcing advance shows five cards and promises fit.

An excellent convention. I assume you bid 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) if you have 6+ hearts and no diamond fit.

Margaret Reid: 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes). showing 5 and pard can bid D if H don't suit

Zbych: 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes). 4heartsm.gif (112 bytes) for play, P can have d/M hand. If he has diam/sp we will be in 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes).

Finally, the pessimists.

Andrew Gumperz: Pass. An easy pass at MPs or even NV at IMPs. A more difficult pass vul at IMPs.

Duncan Roe: Pass. Will compete if they bid again

Tim Trahair: Pass. We have Ds covered but I am only providing perhaps 2/3 tricks to go with his 6 or 7. Raise to 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)s if they go on and P doesn't X.

Solaris Whitesail: Pass. I expect that since partner didn't double, there is less values which make 5diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) that much riskier.

Paul Tranmer: Pass. Nothing to raise my blood pressure yet. It's also worthy of note that East's pass is often an attempted trap, expecting to get another shot later in the auction.

Henri de Jong: Pass. Most values I may need to find will be badly located. Also partner did not double.


Top 30 Scores for April
Rank Name Score
1Jeff Brokenshire480
2Mark LaForge470
3Ron Lel460
4Fraser Rew440
5Trish Whitton430
5Michael Davy430
5Peter Stride430
8Andrew Gordon420
8Tim Trahair420
8Helen Sharwood420
8Robert Sun420
12Herbert C Wilton410
12Fiske Warren410
15David Hester400
15Henri de Jong400
17Michael Price390
17Robert Black390
17Manuel Paulo390
17David Kalnins390
17John R. Mayne390
22Leon Slonim380
22Sam Arber380
22Duncan Roe380
26David Read380
27Robin Cross370
27Margaret Reid370
27Rick Giles370
27Alexander Cook370

Leading 30 Scores for 2005
Rank Name Score
1Ron Lel830
2Robert Black820
3Henri de Jong810
5Tim Trahair780
6Eric Leong770
7Herbert C Wilton760
8Frank Campbell750
9John R Mayne740
10Ken Berry730
10Peter Stride730
10Rick Giles730
13Derek Pocock710
14Andrew Gordon700
14David Read700
14Paul Tranmer700
17Manuel Paulo690
18Mark LaForge680
19Ian Patterson670
19Sam Arber670
21Jeff Brokenshire660
21Philip Kline660
21Rex Fox660
24Michael Davy650
24Peter Tarlinton650
27David Hester640
27Ian Smith640
27John Leenders640
27Margaret Reid640

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 published in the April-May issue of Australian Bridge. And don't forget to check out your February-March issue to see what the experts had to say about this month's hands.