With just one readers' forum left in 2006, the
leaderboard was displaying most of the usual suspects,
but with a couple of unfamiliar names occupying the top
two spots. Let's see how they go in the last forum of
On our first problem,
we have an enormous hand: five card support for both of
partner's majors, shortage in the opponent's suit, and a
card with a pretty red "Q" painted on the corner. So
many things to show, it's hard to know where to start.
Tim Trahair: 1. Too many choices. Should bid with the distribution
despite few points. The opponents may have ten clubs!
Manuel Paulo, Alexander Cook, Nigel Guthrie, John
Furedy: 1. As I want to compete later on, I bid the higher ranking suit first.
Robin Cross: 1. We appear to have a double fit in the majors (maybe even two 5-4 fits!) I expect to be forced to bid to the 3-major level, as I expect them to bid to at least 3-minor and would not be surprised if they bid game.
Fred Altstock: 1. Can't get into too much trouble with 1 being not vulnerable. Hopefully partner has
four hearts and four spades.
Emil Battista: 1. A bit aggressive, but what the heck.
Sam Arber: 1.
Too good to pass with 5-5 but not
good enough to cue or double.
The readers offered a fair bit of support for a 2
"cuebid", some even intending it as Michaels.
Martyn Rew: 2.
To keep faith with partner -- any subsequent bidding will warrant
Leon Slonim: 2. Michaels removes their bidding space.
Dean Eidler: 2. Might even raise.
John Leenders: 2. No points but shape and at that vul worth a bid showing both majors.
Frank Campbell: 2. Michaels, and more obstructive than 2.
Maybe some pairs have an agreement to play this as
Michaels, but it is far from standard. Partner's double
asked us to bid our best non-club suit, and a 2 bid is
simply following instructions: telling him we prefer
diamonds. If we wanted to make a cuebid, it would be
much better to use partner's short suit.
In any case,
both 2 and 2 score the same marks, because none of the expert
panel felt the hand was worth a cuebid. From the magazine:
Mike Lawrence: 1. Intending to bid up to 2 later. 2 would be natural, and 2 would be a strong hand of some type.
Michael Ware: 1. A 2 cuebid would overstate my strength.
The 1 bid was a clear winner, as most people felt they were
good enough to show both suits (hence the higher ranking one
must go first). The players who felt they were only worth one
bid had to start with the better suit, not the higher one.
Ken Berry: 1. So partner can lead my suit.
Elizabeth Gilbert: 1. 6 TP for hearts and non-vul.
A double for majors could be misunderstood.
David Matthews: 1. I think Pass is out with both majors so I bid my best suit even though I am weak. Bidding
spades followed by hearts later would mislead partner as to strength.
Amiram Millet: 2. Weak jump shift while trying to jam the bidding. Best
John Howden: 3. Partner will assume five hearts and that the 3 bid is a 'Law' level raise. If North only has
three hearts or a 'big double' then no damage in 3 as we are not vul.
John Sinclair: 3. Shutout bid as points are in opps favour and it's unlikely
they will go above 3.
Boris Richter: 4. Preemptive and even making with many hands when partner has been dealt a normal takeout.
Chris Raisin: 4. Law of Total tricks indicates that if you have a 5-5 fit in either major this pre-emptive bid will be profitable. If North has 16+ HCP and 5+
spades he will bid 4 which is still OK -- NS not vul so go for it!
Steve Hurley: 4. Not vul, a double fit, and little chance of defeating 5-minor; I get there fast.
In contrast to those who are planning to show both
suits, there were a few people who felt we weren't even
worth one bid:
Victor Leash: Pass. Partner would expect a free bid to be stronger than 2 HCP.
Zbych Bednarek: Pass. Weak hand for free bid
(even on level 1). I hope to show my majors in next
Ulf Nilsson: Pass. Too weak. Our chance will come.
Bridge Baron: Pass. Bridge Baron is not really
tempted. Change the 9
to the Q,
and it will bite.
Paul Tranmer: Pass. It's far from clear who 'owns' this hand as yet, so I'll await developments. Assuming pard has a classic take-out double we will have at least a nine card fit in one of the majors, but pard will need a much better than minimum hand before I'll want to enter this race.
Pietro Campanile and Helena Dawson: Pass. My healthy two count will still be there at the next round of bidding when I shall be free to make a cuebid without getting partner too excited (thank you for the nice vulnerability for a change!)
It's a bit pessimistic to describe this hand as a
2-count. Sure, partner will expect more than two points
for a free bid, but this hand is worth more than two
points. Distributional values pull just as much weight
as high-card values.
Denis Haynes: Pass. Two points but 5-5 in the majors; wait for partner's next move.
Bill Bennett: Pass. Any bid will show more strength than I hold.
And finally, in what could be a world-wide first for
a bidding forum, the top readers' vote went to a bid
that was not even considered by the expert panel! One
quarter of the readers went for the responsive double,
neglecting to show the fifth card in either suit.
Terry Dunne: Dbl. I have enough (just) considering the two
five card suits.
David Hester: Dbl. And rub one of the pips off the 2. I take it that this is responsive?
Tim Andrews: Dbl. A weak hand, but I would be happy in either major suit.
Ian Smith: Dbl. You choose an unbid suit partner. I can support either.
Neil Ireland and Barbara Whitmee: Dbl. Negative double, interested in majors.
Paul Daynes: Dbl. Though it's weak, it's an 8 loser with reasonable values and good length in the majors. The double invites partner to bid his longest major; either a good pre-emptive sacrifice or possible game.
We don't have the actual deal, so here's the first hand
that Jack generated when I keyed in this auction: