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Readers' Bidding Forum with Brad Coles November 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.
Scroll down to see the final scores
Submit answers for the December forum
Hand One - North deals, both vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) K98754
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) A83
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 9
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 842


West North East South
  1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) ?
Call Award %
2H 1004535
2S 702531
3D 501010
3H 10011
3S 1001
4H 1003
Other 001

Another change of pace this month, as all five problems are a simple two horse race. At least, that was the intention. The panel found a few bids we hadn't thought of on Problem One, and also on Problem Four, but you have to be prepared for a few surprises when you run a bidding forum.

Essentially, our first problem is a choice between the cowardly heart and the fearless spade.

Bastiaan Korner: 2S. What else?

Richard Morse: 2S. This has two merits - showing my spades and not having to guess (yet) at what level to support hearts.

Nigel Guthrie: 2S. 2S is a slight distortion but you probably do want a spade lead and a spade fit would be an asset. With another heart, you could fit-jump to 3S.

A spade lead against what contract? If LHO turns up with a 3NT bid I'll be checking the backs of the cards to see if they are all from the same deck.

Martin Eggins: 2S. My Clubs are not good enough to double and I can bid Hearts later. Hearing a second suit should brake the opponents Diamond bidding more readily than if I simply supported Hearts.

Stephen Bartos: 2S. Singleton in opponent's suit makes it worth showing the side suit before supporting partner's suit.

Barbara Hunter: 2S. Can settle in 3H if neccessary

Sid Kanter: 2S. I'm prepared to bid 3h if push comes to shove, so i'll bid 3h after i bid 2s first.

Paul Gipson: 2S. An overbid, but this is the time for it with heart support and diamond singleton. A double will probably only succeed in forcing a more dangerous call later.

Roger Yandle: 2S. A bit pushy but we're vul at IMPs

toby weinstein: 2S. tough problem 3D could be right

Emil Battista: 2S. Prefer 2S over 3D to elicit more information from parner.

Although a third of the readers chose 2S, many of them did not include a response, so the heart bidders have




In the spirit of altering the methods to suit the hand, of course we have a few who are wanting to change methods:



Leigh Matheson: 2H. Bidding 2S is forcing, usually pushing partner to the three level. Am I strong enough to do this? Probably not, but I am perfectly able to raise hearts.

Sydney Frish: 2H. A slight under-bid - but since it's a free bid should be sufficient

Paul Delaney: 2H. The hand is worth one bid - so support partner

Josh Sher: 2H. Its very tempting to overbid here with a descriptive 2S, but 2H is the normal bid.

Tom Moss: 2H. Would like to bid 2S as encouraging, rather than forcing. Thereby implying a H fit. Too fanciful?

Sounds like a FNJ (fit non-jump). It might be a while yet before these come into vogue in this type of auction.

Fred Altstock: 2H. Had to decide between 2H or 2S or Dble. We have a heart fit so lets go there. If he invites with 3 I'll go to 4 with my singleton.

David Matthews: 2H. Do I bid 2H, 3H or 2S? 3D cannot be right. Even though the Spades may never be mentioned I am going to tend on the conservative side so as not to mislead partner.

Amiram Millet: 2H. Support for a major is foremost.

Fraser Rew: 2H. And accept any game invite. Double is too likely to be -180.

Nick Bailey: 2H. Stiff diamond makes this a better hand but I dont feel inclined to show this any higher.

Denis Haynes: 2H. Shows 6-9 points and heart support. 2S shows weak 'long' spades but maybe a known 8 card fit is better early?

Sam Arber: 2H. Not really strong enough for 2S. May miss game if partner has spades will bid again if get chance.

Bill Bennett: 2H. Not strong enough to force to game but I will bid 4H if North bids again.

Bridge Baron: 2H. Bridge Baron thinks it's just slightly too weak to cue-bid 3D. With support for partner, it doesn't consider mentioning the spades.

Manuel Paulo: 2H. My hand is not strong enough to bid spades.

David Matthews: 2H. I think 2S would be misleading here even though we could miss game. I will just content myself with a raise for the moment.

David Hester: 2H. 'When you are choosing between bids, remenber that partner will be glad to hear you can support his suit' (S.J.Simon), 2S is an overbid; double may not get us into spades.

Paul Tranmer: 2H. Better to lock on to the known 5-3 H fit than speculate about a S fit. If pard has a good hand there's nothing to stop them bidding again.

Eric Leong: 2H. 2H has to be the perfect straight forward bid to start the auction out. You limit your hand and you show heart support.

Frank Campbell: 2H. The singleton looks like the theme for this lot. Bidding my long but not solid spades could propel us higher than we can go. 2H may be a slight underbid and X might be right.However North should bid again if we have game available.

DAVID READ: 2H. what else,without overstating your values


Samuel Krikler: 3D. The hand is a too good for a competitive raise to 2H. Take away their bidding room.

peter klarie: 3D. showing fit and diamond control

Tim Trahair: 3D. Though it is tempting to show the spades.

Ian Smith: 3D. Cue bid raise - heart support with 10+TP

Ron Landgraff: 3D. I'd like to bid 2S but when Lefty bids 5D, what do you do?

Rex Fox: 3D. Give partner a good min, and game should be a 50% proposition

ken berry: 3H. A limit raise.. surely not meant to bid spades?

Barbara Whitmee: 3H. Inviting game it partner is not minimum.

James Higgins: 4H. Eight loser hand, but deduct a loser in hearts. Go for it.

Gary Lane: Dbl. Double first and bid spades later should be non forcing.

That is correct. When LHO's 4D bid is passed around to you and you bid 4S, that will not be forcing.

Zbych Bednarek: Dbl. Would bid 2S if allowed as non-forcing.

John Leenders: Dbl. Eight losers so 2H an underbid, 2S overbid.

Helena Dawson: Dbl. If partner bids spades game is on and if he bids clubs, I can revert to 3H.

Michael Smart: Dbl. Don't want to lose the spades. Happy to balance in hearts if LHO raises (as is likely). If partner doubles for takeout over 3D (implying spade tolerance), then I have an easy 4S bid.

The full deal, provided by Sartaj Hans:
spades J632
hearts KQ975
diamonds 74
clubs AJ
spades 10
hearts J104
diamonds KQ1062
clubs 10763
spades AQ
hearts 62
diamonds AJ853
clubs KQ95
spades K98754
hearts A83
diamonds 9
clubs 842


Hand Two - East deals, both vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) T874
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) J765
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 7
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) Q762


West North East South
    pass pass
3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) dbl 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) pass
pass 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) pass
pass dbl pass ?


Call Award %
Pass 1008046


Barbara Hunter: 5S. Our weak hand might not take 5D down enough and I think that 5S has a chance of making.

Nigel Guthrie: 5S. Without enthusiasm. If you pass partner is likely to be disappointed when he makes no defensive spade tricks with his long strong spade suit

Emil Battista: 5S. I hope Roger Yandle does not see this answer!

Nick Bailey: 5S. Are we getting enough cash from 5D?

Toby Weinstein: 5S. close decision. Pass should be forcing.

Samuel Krikler: 5S. I have nothing to contribute in defence; if we have a 10 card fit in spades, the 'law of total tricks' favors bidding on.

James Higgins: 5S. What is pard's shape? I give partner a big hand 6-4 or better. Probably singleton diamond to boot. Their 11-card fit plus our ten-card and eight-card fits means The Law should be on our side. (Would pard's immediate 4D show a good 5/5?)

David Matthews: 5S. I don't have any defence so I really have no option.

Bill Bennett: 5S. N must be strong to bid 4S vul with no help from me, and it seems E expects him to make 4S. I have no defence and my 4 Spades must be useful

Amiram Millet: 5S. Not far from slam...

Tom Moss: 5S. Not confident

Denis Haynes: 5S. Partner seems keen to get a response. i could maybe go and get partner a drink while they play the hand.

Paul Tranmer: 5S. What on earth was I doing passing 5D on the last round ?!! Had I volunteered 5S then, pard might have pressed on to 6. As it is, pard will either pass 5S or we'll defend 6D, a prospect that doesn't fill me with glee.

sydney frish: 5S. On the bidding sequence, North must have a very strong hand - although I usually believe that at level 5 the hand belongs to the bidders - with super-fit in S, 9 losers and singleton it opponents suite I'd give it a go.

Barbara Whitmee: 5S. Think I should support partner holding four spades and a singleton in the enemy suit.

Rex Fox: 5S. Have about 2 maybe even 3 tricks for partner, who should have 9 cold.

Amiram Millet: 5S. It's the correct bid immediately after east's 5D.

David Hester: 5S. No other.

Eric Leong: 5S. Partner's double basically says he is willing to bid on to 5S but he wants you to participate in the final decision. With four spades opposite a hand that promised long spades bidding 5S should be easy.

Martin Eggins: 5S. With around 22 HCP partner must have values across the suits to give me the option of penalties or takeout. East probably has missing Club + Heart values so slam seems unlikely.

ken berry: 5S. I didn't think 5S was a make last time round.. Partner is stronger, and has lots of spades,, I have changed my mind.. my partner loves it when I pull his doubles!!

Paul Delaney: 5S. A guess - so make the bid with the best upside 650 or 800 is they bid on

John Leenders: 5S. 5Dx will go down one or two, 5s should make for better score

dean eidler: 5S. With 1-1 in dmds there coudl well be deep losers in other suits.

Fred Altstock: Pass. Passing for penalties.

Zbych Bednarek: Pass. respect Prt decision, seems he has sp/cl suits..

Bastiaan Korner: Pass. and hope for the best

Josh Sher: Pass. I am confused. If its right to bid 5S, you should have bid it at your previous bid. If you passed before, you should pass again. Note I play x then a non jump in spades as a strong and fexible hand. With a 1 suited spade hand you would bid 4S directly over 3D. So a typical hand here is AKQxx Axx x AKxx where we can make 4S only (and perhaps only 3 if clubs are foul)) and have 3-5 tricks against diamonds.

Richard Morse: Pass. I'd really like to 'undouble', but facing the real-world choice, I'll go for making three tricks rather than eleven.

Fraser Rew: Pass. Depends on the opponents - a good opponent will be sandbagging, a bad one will just have overbid. There are more good opponents than bad ones, and I think we're more likely to take 3 tricks than 11.

Yvonne Minton: Pass. Partner has about 18 points - two diamond tricks first up excluding tricks in hearts & clubs

Sam Arber: Pass. take positive. DID NOT BID 5S FIRST TIME SO SIT THE DOUBLE

Paul Janicki: Pass. Welcome to the World of Forcing Passes! My pass over 5D, should be a Forcing Pass, hence I live by partner's decision.

Sid Kanter: Pass. Look, no one pushes my partner around!!!

Roger Yandle: Pass. Pard must have a very strong hand with good controls and good spades so 5S might make but I think there's too much of a risk of turning a positive score into a negative.

Tim Trahair: Pass. Tempting to bid 5S but the 'law' suggests it is unlikely to make as is 5D. So lets try to set 5Ds by 2 tricks despite all their Ds.

Paul Gipson: Pass. Take the money.

zbych bednarek: Pass. easier take 3 trix in defence than 11 for 5S..

peter klarie: Pass. trust your partner

Frank Campbell: Pass. I have accurately described my hand. East apparently thinks 4S will make and as partner should also be short in diamonds and has chosen to play for penalties my singleton seems little reason to be bidding 5 over 5.

David Matthews: Pass. I am not going to disturb this plus score. 5S could be a losing move even though I have little defence.

Manuel Paulo: Pass. Despite its shape, my hand doesn't look a good dummy because partner should hold, at most, one diamond.

Bridge Baron: Pass. Bridge Baron isn't even allowed to use simulation on this call. Partner doubled, and Bridge Baron doesn't have an unusually long spade fit, so Bridge Baron passes.

Leigh Matheson: Pass. The 5-level belongs to the opponents.

Some advice for the minority bidders: if your bid doesn't appear in the drop down box, you probably should give your choice some further thought. In particular, those who chose to double their partner on this hand will probably not score very well. Likewise the people who chose the insufficient 1S response on Problem One.

that means none of the panel voted for it. Not that we want to discourage you from expressing yourself -- we value new ideas, imagination and an adventurous spirit. But for those who 

I'm just warning you that maybe your choice won't score as well as you'd hoped it would.

Ron Landgraff: 6S. I would have bid 5S earlier. Now the hand is so fantastic, you must go all the way to 6S! The slam should depend at worst on finesses in Clubs and Diamonds!  

The full deal, provided by Sartaj Hans:
spades AKQJ9
hearts A93
diamonds A94
clubs AJ
spades 653
hearts Q2
diamonds KQJ1053
clubs 53
spades 2
hearts K1084
diamonds 862
clubs K10984
spades 10874
hearts J765
diamonds 7
clubs Q762

Hand Three - West deals, EW vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) J
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) QT3
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) J8732
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) A943


West North East South
4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) dbl pass ?


Call Award %
Pass 100 6055
4NT 90 4028
5D 20 015
5C 0 02

Leigh Matheson: 4NT. Double was takeout. I have no interest in spades. Partner can pick a minor.

Rex Fox: 4NT. Minors, would be lucky to make much of a profit from 4HX

Ian Smith: 4NT. Pick a minor partner!

Ian Erratt: 4NT. Pick a minor

Richard Morse: 4NT. I've no idea whether this is to play or for the minors, but it conveys the key message that I dont like spades!

Emil Battista: 4NT. Temporarily vacillated between Pass and 4NT. Opting for systemic bid

Gary Lane: 4NT. Shows both minors

Samuel Krikler: 4NT. Pick a minor partner. I respect the vul 4H bid.

Sid Kanter: 4NT. P, bid your minor.

Helena Dawson: 4NT. Pick a minor

ken berry: 4NT. Still I won't pass a double..

Ron Landgraff: 4NT. Awkward! Going for the penalty could be risky (they might even make if pard doesn't have ths SA)!Who knows 4NT might be our last making contrct!

David Hester: 4NT. No majors, please!

Frank Campbell: 4NT. The double is for takeout and I have both minors.

John Leenders: 4NT. 2 suited hand in minors denying 4 spades

David Matthews: 5D. Should I bid 5C to allow the possibility of playing in either minor? I don't think so. Partner knows that I may be forced to bid a minor so I will bid the longest.

David Matthews: 5D. Partner asked me to bid so I will bid my longest suit.

Bill Bennett: 5D. Whereas a double of 4S is probably penalty, 4H x is for takeout. The bid of 5D is automatice. I hope it is adequate

Fraser Rew: Pass. Least of evils. P may well be 5134 or thereabouts and nothing makes.

Manuel Paulo: Pass. I count on two defensive tricks.

Paul Delaney: Pass. The spades are over partner - The alternative bid of 4NT for the minors is not clear. Take a plus.

Michael Smart: Pass. Take the money

Bridge Baron: Pass. Bridge Baron doesn't bid in this situation unless it holds five or more spades.

Zbych Bednarek: Pass. better +500, than +420 or -50 (on way to slam).

Fred Altstock: Pass. Don't like 5D.Partner might have spades but I don't.

sydney frish: Pass. From my hand it looks as if we have better chance for a plus defending. Prepared to apologise to partner.

Amiram Millet: Pass. Transfering Takeout to penalty is best here.

James Higgins: Pass. This is a misfit, and my spade singleton and ace of clubs look like working features. If you have game on, you are taking 4H off, and if 4H makes (+790), you are probaly three or four off in 5Dx.

Josh Sher: Pass. This is very close between pass and 4N. Who knows, they might be making where we have a good save, or we are making vs down 1. But the short spade, the QTx of hearts and the CA all argue for defense.

Bastiaan Korner: Pass. hope for the best again

Denis Haynes: Pass. I assume this is for penalties.

Amiram Millet: Pass. This one will defend better.

zbych bednarek: Pass. t.o double from Prt and penalty PASS from me.. Any bidding by S is dangerous,, easy overbid... for slam..

Nick Bailey: Pass. Pretty sure we are defeating this a few tricks and I think slam in a minor is unlikely

Barbara Whitmee: Pass. Hope to collect more in penalties than 400 for a minor game.

Martin Eggins: Pass. They're vul and we're not so +500 would be better than a hairy 5C or 5D With the possibility of Hx to the Ace then Heart ruffed by East, a minor is too high & too risky.

Sam Arber: Pass. PASS AGAIN go for 500. second choice 4NT.

Roger Yandle: Pass. I think there's more chance of a positive score in 4HX than in game in a minor - could well depend on whether dummy has an entry to finesse my HQ

Tim Trahair: Pass. Presumably partner has support in all suits except Hs and an opening hand. We may have a H trick (or ruff) and tricks in the minors. Seems better to try to set W than chance a game in the minors.

Paul Gipson: Pass. Not close to bidding.

Barbara Hunter: Pass. Their Vul, Partners on lead a good chance of defeating contract.

Paul Tranmer: Pass. As far as I can determine, we don't play 4C as a 'good' 4H opener, so I'm going to go for what should be a secure 1, 2, or possibly 3 off depending how adventurous W is. I don't think 5 of either minor will play at all well for us as bad breaks abound.

Eric Leong: Pass. Why should I guess at the five level when my LHO is guessing at the four level?

Nigel Guthrie: Pass. At last an easy 100 points. Partner is overwhelmingly likely to hold at least four spades which should be useful in defence.

The full deal, provided by Sartaj Hans:
spades K762
hearts 5
diamonds A4
clubs QJ10852
spades 5
hearts AJ98742
diamonds K1096
clubs 7
spades AQ109843
hearts K6
diamonds Q5
clubs K6
spades J
hearts Q103
diamonds J8732
clubs A943

Any further action by South can go for 500, maybe 800, although as long as South avoids 1NT it may be hard for EW to find the penalty double.

Hand Four - North deals, nil vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) AT9874
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 3
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) KJ82
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) J5


West North East South
  1images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) pass 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes)
pass 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) pass 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)
pass 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) * pass 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes)
pass 3NT pass ?

   * 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) = fourth suit forcing

Call Award %
4D 1004022
4H 90154
4S 702516
5D 701014
Pass 201044

John Leenders: 4D. Better to play in 5D (or six)

Samuel Krikler: 4D. 3NT rates to be vy risky. I do not have enough to bid 5D and I wd not stretch for game given the non VUL position.

Helena Dawson: 4D. 6D a possibility. Partner should start cue bidding now.

Paul Gipson: 4D. Partner appears to be 1354 (or similar) so I am worth a slam try with the ace of spades, fourth trump and heart shortage.

Paul Tranmer: 4D. On this bidding, 3NT cannot be the best contract. My style is that 4th suit followed by 3NT expresses doubt, so my H holding mitigates against a NT contract here. 6D however is getting to be a likely good bet, so we'll plough on with a few cue bids and see where we end up.

Eric Leong: 4D. 3NT could be going down on a heart lead if a minor suit finesse is off but 5D could be cold. Also, on a good day, partner might have something like: S x H Axx D AQxxx C KQ10x and 6D has a decent play. Bidding 4D also leaves open the possibility of playing 4S if partner bids 4S with a doubleton.

dean eidler: 4D. Huge hand.


Nick Bailey: 4D. With my fitting minor cards and stiff heart 6D might not be far off, and Id rather play 5D than 3NT

Tania Black: 4D. I would expect this to be an Ace ask with RKC type responses.

Ron Lel: 4D. If pd wanted to play 3NT she should have bid it instead of the 3H bid. To me, the 3H bid now shows concern about the H suit, in other words, she has a half stopper only.

Nigel Guthrie: 4H. Worth a feeble slam effort

Manuel Paulo: 4H. Diamonds is the strain, and slam is possible. This cue-bid shows that I have no club control and, as corollary, promises the spade ace.

Fraser Rew: 4H. Slam makes (with 3NT off) opposite as little as x/Axx/Qxxxx/AKQx, quite plausible on the bidding. But to cater for K/Kxx/Axxxx/KQxx I give partner the chance to try 4S, which has chances for D discards when one opponent has Qxx. My only concern with 4H is that I'm not sure that I've shown four diamonds (3D is a 3-bagger sometimes), though surely when I pull 3NT I must be unbalanced (i.e., not 6322) with at most 6 spades.

James Higgins: 4S. I reckon partners has 2254 shape with working values, but her 3NT has dampened my enthusiasm.

David Matthews: 4S. I would have rebid Spades initially. I don't think 3NT will go well once the Hearts are cleared. If partner has as little as the JS, that will be enough. If void in Spades he can pull it to 5D.

Stephen Bartos: 4S. on this bidding a heart lead is inevitable. partner could have it stopped only once, and if opponents have another entry, then 3NT is in trouble, reliant on the missing top spades being in the east hand

Zbych Bednarek: 4S. 4s - nice 6 cards in sp (play or correct to 5d)

Michael Smart: 4S. Partner isn't confident about his heart stop. 4S will have a play opposite a stiff honour or any doubleton. Partner can correct to 5D with a small singleton.

Roger Yandle: 4S. Looks like pard has a strongish hand with 1354 shape so slam in diamonds could be on. I'll cue bid my spade control then let pard make decision.

zbych bednarek: 4S. Opener has 5+d, 4+c, no more than 2sp.. his shape is 1354 or 2254.. In 2nd case i prefer 4s than 5d.. --> hand more oriented for suit play than NT.. Let him decide, 4S or 5D.. (maybe more easier wld be 4H with meaning --> your choice 4S or 5D... but.. i choose an easy 4S, practical bid)

ken berry: 5D. partner wasn't too sure about heart stop? if is 1 3 5 4 then no spade wastage.. What could be wrong? (I never bid slams)

Sid Kanter: 5D. P has long diamonds, some clubs, the ace of hearts and enough points to force to a game. If he wanted to rest in 3n, he'd never bid 3h.

David Matthews: 5D. Partner could be 0364 or 1354 but his hearts were not good enough to bid 3NT after 3D so I will put him the better game.

Barbara Hunter: 5D. 7 losers in diamonds , think this is a safer contract.

toby weinstein: 5D. close to bidding 4H

Gary Lane: 5D. This should be safer at imps

Josh Sher: 5D. Partner showed doubt as to NT, and I really don't have enough to bid 5D (This is a min for 3D) but the hands seem to fit very well. I expect a 1354 shape from partner.

Leigh Matheson: 5D. My 3D bid was forcing, so Id like to know why partner bid 3H (instead of 3NT)? It may be because partner has something like Axx in hearts and wanted me to declare 3NT with Qx. As such the 4H cue for diamonds would be a very clever solution. But even with my youthful optimism I cant envisage a slam on this one.

Paul Delaney: 5D. 3H followed by 3NT shows 1 stopper at best . 4D is forcing and shows slam interest so jump to 5D to end proceedings

Martin Eggins: 5D. With probably only 1 Heart cover & perhaps only S: x, H: Axx, D: Axxxx, C: KQxx, 5D looks like our limit. Unless pard has 6 Diamonds, we could be a bit short of ruffing values for 6D to be possible.

Ian Smith: Pass. I want to keep this partner

Ron Landgraff: Pass. He knows my hand.

Amiram Millet: Pass. My story is finished.

Frank Campbell: Pass. OK ruffing values dont help in NT. I can only assume North is 1 4 4 4 in shape or something similar with solid clubs and hearts but poor diamonds. Looks like 3NT is the best shot at game and my 3D bid will be ok in the postmortem.

Rex Fox: Pass. Partner should have 2 tricks in hearts as a stopper. 2H, 5D, 1A of spades and 1 club trick should add up to 3NT

sydney frish: Pass. I don't think I could have described my hand better - I'll trust that partner knows what he's doing.

Bridge Baron: Pass. Bridge Baron considers itself to have shown six spades on this auction; partner still picked 3NT. Bridge Baron doesn't think the spade suit is anything too special, so it will trust partner. (With AJT987 of spades, it would have bid 4S.)

Fred Altstock: Pass. Don't think we have slam. Partner has signed off in game.

David Hester: Pass. I wouldn't bid 3H with hearts, but partner has, and I've said it all.

Bastiaan Korner: Pass. nothing more to say

Bill Bennett: Pass. Although I hate the prospect of a Heart lead, and refrained from bidding NT myself, N insisted on NT, so I must assume he can tolerate a Heart attack. My hand is otherwise quite suitable for NT

Emil Battista: Pass. Partner will have hearts AQ with his 5 diamonds to the ace

Tim Trahair: Pass. We have told partner we have reasonable points and nothing much except Ss and Ds. Clearly he doesn't like Ss and may have a distribution something like -,4,5,4. He has opted not to continue in Ds and hopefully has double cover in Hs. Trust partner!

Richard Morse: Pass. What is partner doing? Whatever, he has a good picture of my distribution. Higher diamond contracts could be woeful on trump leads.

Hand Five - North deals, EW vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 9
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 64
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) KQT753
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 8754


West North East South
  1images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 6images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) ?


Call Award %
7D 1007544

Nick Bailey: 7D. I hate taking the decision away from partner but I cant see much defense in here!

Bastiaan Korner: 7D. trust the opponents!

Roger Yandle: 7D. just in case 6H is making

Bill Bennett: 7D. Surely East, vulnerable, must have a hand which is likely to make 6H. Holding at least 10 Diamonds between us, N and I should make not less than 8 tricks in that suit, at a cost of no more than 1100 instead of 1430

Samuel Krikler: 7D. East rates to have a 2 suited monster with solid hearts. Could partner have 2 quick tricks outside diamonds? I don't think so.

David Matthews: 7D. Assuming East is not crazy I really have no option. At least we are not Vul so it won't be too expensive. Is there any danger of pushing them to 7H? I don't think so.

Helena Dawson: 7D. Now or never

Yvonne Minton: 7D. Partner has opening points in other suits - suitable for cross trumping - not vulnerable - inability to stop hearts

Paul Gipson: 7D. I'm unlikely to push them into a grand on this auction, so I'll play safe and sacrifice.

Emil Battista: 7D. I am a fan of the Ghost Who Walks

Fraser Rew: 7D. Again this depends on the opponents. There's one born every minute . .

Ron Landgraff: 7D. I hate it! But 6H probably has reasonable play! And Pard will double for sure, when 7D may have play!!

Amiram Millet: 7D. Partner has only 5 HCP in diamonds and nothing in hearts. Any needed finesse is probably on...

Nigel Guthrie: 7D. Shrug off RHO's weak jump overcall. 7H is unlikely to make

Richard Morse: 7D. I think this is the insurance bid. Ive been bounced, so I might as well enjoy it. The 'undouble' (showing no defensive tricks) would genuinely be a useful tool here.

James Higgins: 7D. Is East serious. If East is over 25, 6H be making. 7DX will be cheap. (If East is under 25, double)

ken berry: 7D. assuming I'm not playing an absconder from Crown casino, or one of the guys who play 500 at tennis.. I don't bid slams, only grands

Barbara Hunter: 7D. Not Vul, no defence so better than them making!!

Manuel Paulo: 7D. An insurance bid.

Ian Smith: 7D. I sure 6H is not a sacrifice. But know 7D needs to be.

zbych bednarek: 7D. close eyes, and put from bidding box bid 7D (with hope, no grand slam h by Opps)

Paul Janicki: 7D. After East bid 6H, I took a good look at him but I could not tell if he had that wild look in his eyes!

David Matthews: 7D. I have no reason to distrust the opponents 6H. Is there any danger of pushing them to a makeable 7H? I dont think so, so I will take insurance.

Michael Smart: 7D. Russian roulette. No defence and decent playing strength = bid

Rex Fox: 7D. Roll the dice, hope we can beat 7H if necessary. The South at the other table will probably make this bid.

The South at the other table may not face the same decision. How many people jump to 6H on the first round of the bidding?

David Hester: 7D. E must think he can make 6H. My hand suggests he is right. This seems a very easy set, which probably means I have 50%.

Ron Landgraff: Dbl. 7D looks very far out. Unfortunately, 6H may make, but, 'it should be against the odds.' At IMPs, 6H* making is bad but not a catastrophe.

Bridge Baron: Dbl. We, perhaps understandably, haven't spent much time preparing Bridge Baron for this auction. So it makes a very primitive calculation of the likely defensive tricks: partner should have about three for an opening bid, and we have about one in diamonds. Bridge Baron sees that four tricks would be enough to defeat the contract by two or more tricks, so it doubles. It doesn't simulate and doesn't consider the likely diamond wastage on defense.

sydney frish: Pass. Lest we choke on Diamonds. sPerhaps we make AS and a ruff.

Fred Altstock: Pass. Obviously E has a very distributional hand. Thought of 7D sacrifice ?

Paul Delaney: Pass. I have no invitation to this party.

Josh Sher: Pass. Well, If I knew for certain that east always has slam in hand, I would save but...

Amiram Millet: Pass. I'd be tempted to bid 7D if it was MP.

Ron Lel: Pass. Honestly have no idea. I guess to bid what I would at the table. Depending on who East is I might bid 7D.

Barbara Whitmee: Pass. Lead spade, hoping for a ruff.

Sam Arber: Pass. only question is 6H making? number of tricks you can make in 7d is irrelevant unless 6H making EAST appears to have 11 tricks maybe has kx spades and you get spade ruff or big 2 suiter with AQJXX clubs and cant get to dummy to take finesse

Sid Kanter: Pass. There is a standard pass or sacrifice decision to be made by the partnership. It's defense logic.

Tim Trahair: Pass. Conceivably 7Ds is on but we haven't the fire power to bid it. Let's see what N bids next which may give us some clue as to what to do.

Paul Tranmer: Pass. Who knows? I do know, however, that it's far too commital to bid 7D here. It's clearly a freaky hand, so if pard wants to proceed I'll be happy enough to co-operate. The 6H bid is often made on lopsided two suiters, so if pard has say 11 minor suit card and little defence I'd expect to hear 7C from them which I'll correct to 7D.

Eric Leong: Pass. Bidding 7D could be right. However, going for -500 or -800 will not be cheap if 6H is going down. Also, bidding 7D may goad LHO to bid 7H when he wasn't going to. It would be embarassing if 7H makes especially when you misguessed the wrong lead that allows 7H to make.

DAVID READ: Pass. I am not a sadist!!

John Leenders: Pass. 7D will go down and 6H may be a trick short. Start with 9s

Martin Eggins: Pass. I think East is trying to pre-empt a Spade contract our way holding 3 Black losers. Surely with a super strong hand, East would do some investigation of West's holdings. I can't guess where the Black values are as partner could hold as little as 11HCP. Sx is my lead if defending.

Frank Campbell: Pass. East is almost certainly void in diamonds. 7DX making 10 0r 11 tricks would be a good save even against 4H making. However I have seen partners opening bids before and we might only make 9 with 6H going off. Hope North has the SA or HA, because I am leading my singleton spade.

Leigh Matheson: Pass. The choice to double really just depends on how well you know your RHO. At this stage Id pick up my opponents system card. If I see a familiar name like Michael Courtney, Id double.

Gabi Lorentz is a familiar name, but he has little in common with Michael Courtney so I'm not letting you change your answer.

The full deal, provided by Sartaj Hans:
spades QJ43
hearts 5
diamonds AJ984
clubs AJ10
spades 108765
hearts 2
diamonds 62
clubs KQ852
spades AK2
hearts AKQJ97643
diamonds ---
clubs 7
spades 9
hearts 108
diamonds KQ10753
clubs 9643


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
1David Matthews500
2Fraser Rew490
2Manuel Paulo490
4Henri de Jong470
4Paul Gipson470
6Ivan Nanev460
6Joe Lentz460
6Sam Arber460
9Ian Erratt450
9Inga Hunt450
11Nick Bailey440
11Roger Yandle440
11Zbych Bednarek440
14Jeremy Kennard430
14Josh Sher430
14Paul Janicki430
17Amiram Millet420
17Leigh Matheson420
17Peter Klarie420
20Ivan Demeny410
21Bud Hinckley400
21Eric Leong400
21Larissa Cowlishaw400
21Nigel Guthrie400
21Paul Tranmer400
21Peter Tarlinton400
27Bastiaan Korner390
27Helena Dawson390
27Martyn Rew390
27Sid Kanter390
27Terry Dunne390
32Barbara Hunter380
32Fred Altstock380
32Michael Smith380
32Richard Morse380
32Rick Lu380
32Samuel Krikler380
38Alexander Cook370
38Frank Campbell370
38Michael Smart370
38Mike Freeman370
38Paul Delaney370
38Tania Black370
38Trish Whitton370
38Xiaodong Zhang370
46Gary Lane360
46Ian Smith360
46Ron Lel360
49David Hester350
49John Compton350
49John Leenders350

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.