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December 2013

Readers' Bidding Forum with Brad Coles, December 2013

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, Frank Stewart,
Eddie Kantar, and Zia Mahmood, as well as many top Australian players.
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Hand One - East deals, NS vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) ---
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) A7543
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) J
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) AKQJ853


West North East South
    2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) ?


Call Award %
4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 100 41 66
3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 95 24 6
Dbl 80 12 10
5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 80 12 6
3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 70 12 12

Welcome to our final forum for 2013. We begin this month's forum with an oddity; we've given you a good hand with clubs and hearts, and planted a convention in the system to perfectly describe that hand.

Ian McCance: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Got it why not use it?

James Coutts: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Seems automatic.

Seems simple enough, but the majority of the panel chose to go a different way. Firstly, we have those who were afraid of missing game:

David Matthews: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Bid what I think is the best contract. If partner has heart support it's just as good in 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) as 4hearts. And if partner doesn't have hearts, I don't want him bidding diamonds at a high level.

Nigel Kearney: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). The hand should be played in clubs. 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) followed by 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) suggests a better hand and partner will raise to six too often without the right cards.

Marion Carney: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Why mess about?

All of those comments suggest that the hearts are not worth mentioning, due to the disparity in length and quality. Similarly:

Eric Kokish: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is not wrong per se, but with such a disparity in our suits and the possibility that we would end in hearts opposite 2-2 in our suits, I will risk 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Fraser Rew: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Partner will find it too hard to judge opposite 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). The only real danger (it won't go all Pass) is that he may think I have only four hearts when I bid 4hearts next -- but if he pulls, how much worse can 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) be? 

Tom Moss: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Anything could be right. there are about 17 points outstanding so hope for more bidding.

Robert Black: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Showing a good hand while game in clubs, hearts or NT are still in the mix. Partner will need more than a spade stopper to make 3NT, and a 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) bid from me will force him to that contract. I know partner is an expert, but is he lucky?

Robert is suggesting that we will have too many diamond losers in 3NT, which is a fair point (echoed by panellist Eddie Kantar). Nevertheless, a quarter of the panel chose to go that way:

Bob Jones: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). If partner can bid 3NT over 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), you're probably icy. If he bids, say, 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes), you can bid 4hearts showing secondary hearts and long solid clubs.

Tim Trahair: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Whilst 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) seems the logical bid, the problem is it is not forcing and North may pass or bid 4hearts with two hearts and a singleton club. 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) forces North to bid and keeps open the possibility of game or possibly even slam.

While the suit disparity turned many away from 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), several of the 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bidders were planning to insist on clubs even after heart preference.

Damo Nair: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Over 4hearts I'll try 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) would show a spade control and better hearts perhaps?

Dean Pokorny: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I will pull to 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) if partner bids 4hearts. This maximizes the chances of finding a good slam.

Todd Holes: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Planning 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) over 4hearts.

Panellists Tim Bourke, Ron Smith and Larry Cohen also made the same comment. Also, several panellists and readers expected their 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) rebid may come after an opponents' 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) bid.

Charles Scholl: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). There's a good chance the next bid will be 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) (or 5images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes)) by West. Over 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), or 4hearts by partner, I'll continue with 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) to suggest extreme shape and slam interest.

Hans van Vooren: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Despite the great disparity in suit quality, it's important to get the hearts into the picture. If partner can support hearts it becomes easier to find out if we have a slam. If he can't, 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) will probably be high enough. Also, our decision over 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) will be easier if I have shown both suits.

David Kalnins: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I plan to bid 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) over LHO's 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) if it comes back to me, even 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is doubled by partner. There is something to be said for bouncing the auction (say 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)) but there is too much chance we belong in hearts.

Roger Yandle: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I'm tempted to go slow to try and find slam -- pard needs very little for slam to be cold. However I'm concerned my next bid will be at the 5 level after LHO bids 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) and it comes back to me.

Jack Lai: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Show 10 cards with one bid would be better for partner. Intent to bid 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) if opps bid 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Michael Smart: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Then 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) over their 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Phil Hocking: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). There are 7 spades to distribute between responder and your partner. Chances are West will raise to 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) after South bids. To give partner the best opportunity to find a contract 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is most descriptive. Failing an overcall of hearts after West bids 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), South can bid 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) or reconsider a pass.

Lastly, here is the bid chosen at the table:

Alex Kemeny: Dbl. Because my suits are so disparate, I do not need partner to choose between them. Strong hands should generally start with a double. Also AB Standard includes Lebensohl in this situation so I will get an idea of partner's strength by his reply. Of course over a 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) bounce I will push on to 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Bridge Baron: Dbl. Heart suit quality is not quite good enough for Leaping Michaels. 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) should ask for a stopper, but would suppress the hearts. Double is what's left.

The full deal, from the recent Coffs Congress:

spades AK1043
hearts Q10
diamonds 876432
clubs ---
spades 92
hearts J96
diamonds AK109
clubs 10974
spades QJ8765
hearts K82
diamonds Q5
clubs 62
spades ---
hearts A7543
diamonds J
clubs AKQJ853

Matthew Thomson doubled, passed out for +200. At the other table Ashley Bach overcalled 3clubs and eventually reached 4hearts for a lucky +620.  

Hand Two - North deals, both vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) AK54
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 5
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) K862
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) J854


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

1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) = better minor (3+ clubs).

Call Award %
2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 100 76 29
2NT 90 12 26
1NT 70 6 7
3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 40 6 5
2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 30 0 17
2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 10 0 4
Dbl 0 0 7
Pass 0 0 4
3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 0 0 1

This month's set of problems is our lowest-scoring set for a while, despite two of the problems having multiple bids with a perfect score. This next hand is a large part of the reason why.

While the panel were almost unanimous in their selection, the readers managed to come up with eight alternatives. The most common of those: 

Marion Carney: 2NT. 10-12 with cover in spades.

Wayne Somerville: 2NT. AK of spades is a big turn-off for 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) (partner is almost endplayed into bidding 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) even with hands slightly too good), our most likely game by far is 3NT, so I'll show where I live. I am not that concerned about the singleton heart, partner likely has four of them anyway.

Hans van Vooren: 2NT. If partner has short clubs we may have problems coming to tricks in notrumps, but in the more likely case of longer clubs, 3NT (or 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)) may be easy with 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) doubled not going down enough. Simply bidding out value and shape (more or less) can't be bad.

Dan Baker: 2NT. Invitational, spades stopped. There is the danger that the opponents have running hearts; maybe 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is better but partner's never going to have a spade stopper to bid NT.

Bastiaan Korner: 2NT. Like often in bridge, keep your fingers crossed.

JC CLEMENT: 2NT. Natural; A proposition to play 3NT.

Peter Vlas: 2NT. Not because I think I have the full required values, but it emphasis the spade stopper, takes away a possible 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) over 1NT by West and with a possible club fit should have some play.

Alex Kemeny: 2NT. Seems about right on values and shape. 4441 hands are tricky to handle.

Roger Yandle: 2NT. The right point range, I've got spades stopped and I'm almost balanced -- must be the right bid!

Alan Jones: 2NT. Trusting partner for a heart stop. Prepared to retreat to clubs if things get sticky.

Michael Ware, one of only two 2NT bidders on the expert panel, predicted this would be a unanimous answer -- not the best prediction we've seen in this forum. So, what's wrong with 2NT?

Richard Semmens: Dbl. I would like to bid 2NT but opponents are too likely to get their hearts going. Dbl conveys my strength and gives partner maximum space to describe his hand.

David Matthews: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I have a limit raise in clubs. With no heart stopper I think a 2NT bid is wrong. Partner may be able to go on.

Fraser Rew: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Getting overboard with 2NT is a bigger danger than playing a 4-3 fit (which could well play a trick better). AKxx is a lousy stopper.

Emil Battista: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Hoping to hear 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) or 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) from partner. Double with singleton heart too hard for me. 2NT/3NT can wait. 1NT much too wimpy.

All good reasons why we shouldn't bid 2NT now (even if some of those actual choices also leave something to be desired). One of the larger reader votes was for 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes); I can see the attraction -- as Emil points out, 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) saves more space than 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) or 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), aiming to leave room to explore 3NT.

Tony Treloar: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Tough problem. This is the cheapest forcing bid I can find and isn't a terrible description of the hand.

Barbara Hunter: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). If partner bids hearts we could get to 3NT.

Barbara Whitmee: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). If partner mentions hearts then I will bid notrumps.

Robert Black: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). 11 HCP, four diamonds and no hearts! I can bid NT if partner asks.

Florence McLaren: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). North no 5 card major, I have clubs if he has clubs.

Tania Black: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Not expecting to stay (play) in 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes).

Derek Pocock: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I'd like to pass and await partner to reopen with a double! But as I get several zeros for an unpopular bid I must try and fit in with the experts.

Trying to fit in with the experts is not always a sound strategy, and quite unsuccessful in this case.

I didn't take the 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) bid seriously at first, and gave it zero points. After all, if partner has four diamonds he must also have longer clubs. However, the arguments for 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) are very convincing, and worthy of an upgrade. The magazine has already gone to print with the zero score, but I'll put the upgraded leader board at the end of this page.

Next, we'll look at Derek's first choice:

Ig Nieuwenhuis: Pass. Often overlooked possibility. Partner will probably reopen. If not I've denied four hearts and a one-colour-hand. Later doubles have to be defined in the partnership.

James Coutts: Pass. I have not enough to GF, no hearts, and no sure fit for clubs. Partner most likely has a weak NT without a spade stopper and bidding 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) will lead to an uncomfortable problem.

Martyn Rew: Pass. Unless partner can show more than he has already, there is no light shining brightly for a place to play. A notrump bid or double here runs the risk of indicating a heart holding to partner, and any other bid may take the bidding too high without any real fit or prospects. Opps may even end up in a spade contract, a couple of levels too high. Looking at the bid options, I feel a zero coming here.

Leigh Blizzard: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Would pass if that bid was available.

Toby Weinstein: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Pass could work better.

Looking to the other minority choices, the 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bidders were under the false impression that it was an inverted minor situation -- quite an unusual treatment in a competitive auction. I can't imagine giving up a natural 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bid after already losing a round of bidding space.

And our final minority choice:

Mick McAuliffe: 1NT. A lesser of fibs. With double, partner might assume four hearts. Bidding minors isn't helpful either. If partner has clubs or another suit to mention, plenty of room. Can look to support clubs if rebid, or rebid NT (with some confidence) if bids hearts.

John R Mayne: 1NT. A point heavy, and there's a suit missing. But the cue forces us to a game we probably can't make, and a club raise is too weak.

Margaret Reid: 1NT. Slight underbid but...

Ian McCance: 1NT. Undeniable stopper.

The top score goes to 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), an invitation hand with club support (which, let's face it, is what we hold).

Ron Lel: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Nasty hand. I will bid 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) for now, though I really am not that happy about it.

Manuel Paulo: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). With fit and fine values I cuebid.

Dean Pokorny: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Invitational or better with clubs. Trying to find if 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) (or 6images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)) is better than 3NT.

John Newman: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Feels like the best description available.

Sam Arber: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Good club raise. If he bids again, I'll bid 3NT.

Michael Smart: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). In theory we can have a Moysian fit but very unlikely given 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) overcall. 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) also preempts their known heart fit should partner have a minimum.

David Kalnins: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). I expect 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) to play very well even if partner has a weak NT with 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Anything more is too rich.

Rainer Herrmann: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). It looks remote now, that partner has only three clubs.

Jacco Hop: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Show the fit first and if partner bids 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) I will pass.

Charles Scholl: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Showing a limit raise or better. I'll force to game: 3NT over 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), or 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) with our 8+ card fit and controls if partner shows a minimum.

Tim Trahair: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Showing club support and a reasonable hand. If North can then bid 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), a reverse and showing reasonable hearts, we can chance 3NT. If he can only manage 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) we can invite with 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Nigel Kearney: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Shows a good club raise which is exactly what I have.

Damo Nair: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). I can't think of any other bid.

The full deal, from Sarah Amoils at the NSWBA:

spades 872
hearts KJ
diamonds A743
clubs A1073
spades AK54
hearts 5
diamonds K862
clubs J854

I mentioned earlier that if North has four diamonds, he must have five clubs, but it seems that North and I are not on the same wavelength. If North had opened 1diamonds, as I would, then the problem would be slightly different.

The most significant difference is that the 2diamonds bidders -- 1clubs-(1spades)-2diamonds -- would presumably now be considering the less space-consuming alternative of 1diamonds-(1spades)-2clubs. The clubs are much weaker, of course, but this new auction does not traditionally promise a five-card suit.  

Hand Three - South deals, NS vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) K72
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) AK532
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) AKQ64
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) ---


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


Call Award %
Dbl 100 41 11
3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 100 41 54
4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 90 18 6
Pass 10 0 3
4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 0 0 9
4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 0 0 9
3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 0 0 8

In one sense, this should be a fairly easy problem. We have a big hand with a terrific diamond suit we haven't mentioned yet -- surely now is the time to do so.

Damo Nair: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). What's wrong with bidding a 5-card suit headed by the AKQ at this stage?

Tony Treloar: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Why not mention our best suit? Looking for a good penalty is unappealing at the vulnerability now that East has freely supported them. Will bid 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) if partner comes in with 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) and now my shape is almost certainly known as 3-5-5-0.

Charles Scholl: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Diamonds could well be our best fit, why not bid them? If partner can support with something like QJxx-xx-J10xx-Kxx we should take at least 11 tricks.

James Coutts: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Surely bidding out my shape gives us the best chance of reaching the right game. Doubling again seems like sadism.

However, a large slab of the panel have made a case for concealing the diamonds one more time. Let's see what the readers have to say on the subject:

Dean Pokorny: Dbl. Double practically guarantees a 3-carder spade fragment and sets game force.

Fraser Rew: Dbl. I can't pass, and 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) sounds a bit like a much weaker 2551. Admittedly, this sounds like 3541, but at least it's not an underbid.

Wayne Somerville: Dbl. It's very close between double and 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I am quite comfortable if partner passes this, so I'll choose the more flexible option.

Leigh Matheson: Dbl. Passing is just too timid. Game is on opposite many possible piles of rubbish: 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) opposite Q10xxx-xx-xx-xxxx 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) opposite Qxxx-x-Jxxx-xxxx. And if partner passes 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) doubled, I am already looking at five and a half potential tricks in my own hand.

Basically, they feel that we haven't yet shown our spade holding sufficiently. The 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) bidders seem to have a nice counter to that argument: 

Kees Schaafsma: 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). For one, 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) does not show five, North could easily be 4135. Two, it's about time my hand becomes known: 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is forcing and shows a red 5-5.

Emil Battista: 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I would rather be declarer (protect images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes)K, of course). Surely partner with three hearts or three diamonds can bid a red suit game.

Tim Trahair: 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Showing a strong hand with five diamonds to go with North's 4+ spades. Pity I didn't bid 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) the second time round which seems to give a better description of my hand.

Nigel Kearney: 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I would not have doubled with 2551 or 2650 so this is a pretty good description.

Similar comment from Mike Lawrence, Sartaj Hans, and the Shepards. Whereas 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) could be consistent with a "courtesy" double, the jump in diamonds seems to suggest more playing strength -- therefore our earlier double must have been based on spade tolerance (without which, we would have bid 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) instead of our first double). I think that's the general idea, anyway.

One panellist points out some annoying irony in all of this:

Eric Kokish: Dbl. It's interesting that if I bid 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) North will wonder whether I have three-card spade support but that if I double he can count on that. That seems backwards because when I don't fit spades it might be best to defend, and if we had discussed this I would suggest that 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) show 3550 and double other strong hands. So many ideas, so little time.

That's all the comments we have for the two main minority choices. The majority falls into two camps: forcing...

Sam Arber: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Should be forcing.

Robert Black: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Forcing, and still looking for a fit.

Dan Baker: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). This has to show a huge hand with the red suits. I'll show spades next to pattern out, unless partner jumps to game somewhere.

David Matthews: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I must have a big hand for this bidding otherwise I would just bid 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) on the previous round. Hopefully partner can rebid spades and I can go on to game. Jumping directly to 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) or bidding 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) could be wrong if partner has only four spades and very few points.

Martyn Rew: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Partner may be looking to pass at the first opportunity so a forcing bid is required, and I need to know more about partner's hand here. He may well have a club stopper for NT or a 5-6 card spade suit.

... and non-forcing ...

Jacco Hop: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Will be high enough opposite nothing. I don't like my previous double.

Tania Black: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). High enough. Partner may have nothing, or only a few good clubs.

Rainer Herrmann: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). A slight tactical underbid.

Ig Nieuwenhuis: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). If partner passes we probably don't have a game. If he corrects to hearts I can still show the three spades and extra values.

Ian McCance: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). May be a bit soft, but raising spades immediately is fraught.

I think non-forcing must be correct; responder hasn't shown any points at all yet, and opener could easily have started with 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) with a game force hand (2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)-2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)-2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)-2NT-3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is not a difficult auction).  

Manuel Paulo: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I bid a strong hand; now I must show my shape.

Hans van Vooren: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Bidding out shape and value. Since partner didn't fancy passing out my double, trying to defend 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) doubled won't make us rich.

Todd Holes: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Completing the description. Let partner take it from here.

Ron Lel: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I would not have doubled, but would have bid 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). However the auction has worked out quite well for me. 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) should show a good 5-5. If partner bids 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) I will continue with 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Marion Carney: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Looking for 3NT if partner has club cover.

Roger Yandle: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Pard doesn't have much but I think I'm worth another bid.

Barbara Whitmee: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Partner may bid the diamond game with good support, a high spade and the ability to ruff the hearts good.

John R Mayne: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Partner should take this sequence correctly; I've described my hand. This looks like a trick - some will bid 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) to show some kind of spade-raise game try. They're mistaken, because you need 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) for this hand.

Paul Sontag: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Torture. No reason to do more and I may later rue not having done less. (Imagine 4-2-3-4 with the images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)Q). Double a strong alternative but the club void makes me nervous.

I'm sorry to say that I've misplaced the records for this problem. I know one of you gave it to me -- if anyone wants to lay claim to it, and hopefully provide the full deal, please let me know.

Hand Four - South deals, nil vul, Matchpoints. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 9
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) AT832
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 7
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) AJ9742


West North East South


Call Award %
1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 100 29 30
1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 100 24 26
Pass 90 47 42
3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 10 0 2

We've almost reached the final problem of the year, and it's a killer. But before we get to that one, here's a Christmas gift: a nice easy opening bid problem, where everyone gets at least 90 points.

We'll start with our 2013 Readers' Race winner, who asserts his dominance over the field by claiming every bid in one go:

Paul Sontag: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Or pass. Or 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes).  :)

There are two completely different reasons for passing this hand. Some simply feel the hand isn't good enough to open:

Peter Vlas: Pass. Suits are too empty for me to open.

Dean Pokorny: Pass. There is no need to open a 9-counter with such weak suit.

Bastiaan Korner: Pass. Don't like 9 point openings and I am sure I will have another chance.

Richard Semmens: Pass. Better to come in later and show my shape than lie now and show strength I don't have.

Ron Lel: Pass. Where is my beloved Wilkosz? In the absence of a 2 suited opening, I am going to pass and await developments.

While we did attach a footnote saying that we don't play any two-suited openings, a few of the panellists mentioned to me that the footnote was redundant, since you should never make a preemptive opening with two aces (even if we did have one available).

Most of the passers recognised the great strength of the hand, but felt pass (followed by a two-suited bid later) might be more descriptive:

Leigh Matheson: Pass. In theory this is easily enough to open. But if you open 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), what do you do over partner’s 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) response? Even worse, if you open 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), what do you do over partner’s 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) (or 1NT) response? Reverse with a 9-count or suppress a 5-card Major?

Nigel Kearney: Pass. The hand is easily good enough to open at the one level but too weak to reverse so it will be hard to get both suits in after a 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) or 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) opening. Passing will usually allow us to show both suits later.

Wayne Somerville: Pass. Wild two suiters are easier to show later.

Martyn Rew: Pass. Too strong for a weak opening and too weak for a strong opening. Partner will know to not get too excited when I bid with a bit of enthusiasm later in the auction.

Dan Baker: Pass. If I were to open, I'd choose 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), but I think I'm going to have a better chance of describing this later (with Michaels or unusual NT).

Charles Scholl: Pass. If my hearts were spades I would open 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) and keep bidding spades, but opening with a light 1-5-1-6 risks getting too high.

Barbara Hunter, Derek Pocock, Ig Nieuwenhuis, Margaret Reid, Jacco Hop: Pass. I will try to bid later.

Actually, there is one other suggested reason for passing, but I'm not buying this one:

JC Clement: Pass. Or 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)? I really don't know, and choose "pass" because I will prefer a clubs lead than a heart lead from partner.

I'm sure pass isn't the only way to point partner to a club lead. Here's a thought:

Fraser Rew: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Holding the values for an opening bid, but not for a game force, I start with my longest suit.

Robert Black: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Rule of 20 is OK; and in theory 6 losers; but not sure that I would want to reverse if partner bids spades. Let's wait and see.

Roger Yandle: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Meets the rule of 21/22. Will not have problems with next bid whatever pard does.

Alex Kemeny: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). High card points plus longest two suits plus quick tricks equals 21, which is fine for a non-vul one level opening. Even with a 2 suited pre-empt available, I would still open 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Damo Nair: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Modern times. I have an easy rebid over 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Ian McCance: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Getting started early.

Emil Battista: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). This hand is very similar to hand 13 of Match 5 at our recent congress. Opened that hand 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) and after a sequence not fit for young children we defended 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) for plus 100 and 10 imps in the out column. Not to be deterred, 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) on this hand for another poor score!

I'd be interested to hear more. I assume if you lost 10 imps, you missed a game. Would Passing have made it easier? Or was 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) necessary? Could you have done a better job of reaching the game after opening 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)?

(Update: Emil has shown me the hand. I won't reproduce it here, but I can say that the 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) opening had nothing to do with the loss!)

David Kalnins: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) has merit, but I'm hoping I can bid my hearts twice after a 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) opening so partner will know my hand type. Interestingly I would probably respond 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) to a 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) opening from partner. How would you bid this hand if the clubs and diamonds were swapped after a 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) response -- see hand 4 from the September problems.

Jack Lai: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). And bid hearts if possible in next round.

David Matthews: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). If partner bids spades, I will just rebid my clubs. I may get a chance to show hearts later.

Sam Arber: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Tend to open 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) may jump to 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) next opportunity.

That puts all the people who were scared to reverse in their place! I wonder if 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) is a little too much. Or maybe 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) actually shows this kind of hand (since good hands would make a simple reverse).

Michael Smart: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). It's a bidder's game. Don't like being shy with two bullets and shape.

John R Mayne: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). OK, so this hurts. 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) doesn't win bidding contests as much as it should in the US (people like 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), which does have chances) or in some other places (people pass these hands because they don't deserve good hands like this.) But 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) has the benefit of being right at the table most of the time. I can't bring myself not to bid it.

Tim Trahair: 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Should get into bidding with such a distributional hand. In the fullness of time we may be able to show we have a 1-5-1-6 hand.

I've always been a big fan of opening in the longer suit. In fact, I've seen several bidding forum "problems" where you have to get to the 6-3 fit after bypassing the six-card suit. Still, there are layouts that support the other side as well, and I'm happy for 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) to share the top score:  

Mick McAuliffe: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). 6 losers. Need to open to have room to describe hand. Start with 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), expecting to rebid clubs, possibly twice, unless partner immediately supports hearts. Partner will get the idea.

Tony Treloar: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). A 7-loser hand with two defensive tricks allows for a 1-level opening. Have to open in hearts because otherwise fixed if partner responds 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Phil Hocking: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). A six loser hand given a fit can be found. Lots of points to distribute into the other hands. South has probably only one chance to show the hand. Can rebid clubs if necessary.

Bridge Baron: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Certainly strong enough to open. Five-card majors before six-card minors.

Barbara Whitmee: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Distributional hand, if partner can't support hearts then I will concentrate on clubs.

Rainer Herrmann: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Even if I had a two suited opening available I am not sure I would choose it.

Hans van Vooren: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Good enough for a 1-level opening, even if not playing a strong club. And in Matchpoints, I want to get the major in at all costs.

John Newman: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Imperfect but suitable for rebids.

Murray Perrin: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Not strong enough to reverse.

Todd Holes: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Nowhere in the rules does it state that I must like my opening bid.

Alan Jones: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). This allows us to mention clubs without reversing.

James Coutts: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). This is a clear opening bid IMO, and more of a partnership style thing rather than a judgement call as to which suit you bid first. In a non-established partnership I think I would choose the major.

This problem is a mild variation of a hand from Paul Lavings, from the last session of the NSW State Teams:

spades AK8642
hearts 4
diamonds AJ87
clubs 65
spades 1097
hearts K652
diamonds 962
clubs KQJ
spades Q53
hearts QJ9
diamonds KQ543
clubs 104
spades J
hearts A10873
diamonds 10
clubs A98732

Any opening bid seems certain to lead to a minus score here, although stopping in 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is theoretically possible. But not all of North's possible hands will be quite that unsuitable.

Hand Five - West deals, EW vul, IMPs. You are South.
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) AK
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) K5432
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) A
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) KQJT2

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


Call Award %
Pass 100 47 11
4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 80 6 1
3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 70 18 23
5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 70 12 34
3NT 50 12 28
4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 50 6 0
4NT 0 0 2
Other 0 0 1

We end the year with possibly the strongest hand ever held in this forum, and partner is bidding. So, obviously:

Nigel Kearney: Pass. Close to bidding 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) to invite in diamonds.

Roger Yandle: Pass. It would be nice to know what pard's preempts are like at favourable vul. If they're made on bus tickets, which is the fashion nowadays, then this is probably the limit. If he's stronger than that then I'm in for a bad score.

Charles Scholl: Pass. No transportation for a notrump contract and too many losers for 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I'll pass quietly and hope the opponents get into trouble.

Jacco Hop: Pass. Partner is favourable so even we miss game it wont be such a big deal.

Rainer Herrmann: Pass. You might tempt me at different colours.

Well done; a lot of people commented that pass was probably correct, but only a handful actually did it.

The readers' vote was split fairly evenly between the three main minus scores, with most of those choosing go straight to game, suppressing the heart suit.

Manuel Paulo: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). To bid game looks mandatory.

Dan Baker: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). 3NT is no good unless partner has Qxx of hearts and KQ+ in diamonds - and if he does, 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is just as safe (barring an immediate ruff). No real chance of six; partner can't have an ace and solid diamonds (West wouldn't have an opener).

Tim Trahair: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). 3NT might be on, but it seems likely there will be no entry to North's hand to enjoy what diamond winners he has after we play the images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)A. So go for the contract which seems likely to be on.

Damo Nair: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Even opposite KQTxxxx, 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is pretty reasonable.

Todd Holes: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Getting to those lovely diamonds an issue in 3NT. My other choice is pass.

John Newman: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I can't think of a better bid, I look forward to reading about this one.

Ian McCance: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I have no idea. Looks wrong missing two aces.

James Coutts: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Might not make but rates to have more play than 3NT most of the time, and it may not be obvious to east to lead a heart.

Barbara Hunter: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Might work, NT didn't look like a good prospect.

Leigh Matheson: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Odds on East will lead a club. And odds on 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is cold on that club lead. Partner should have a more “normal” pre-empt hand for his overcall rather than what he might have if he’d opened 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) in 1st seat at favourable.

Phil Hocking: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Partner at best is likely to have KQJxxxx of diamonds and no other HCP. Favourable vul. East may have zero to one points and be on lead so should lead a club to West who can only lead into South's hand giving the opportunity to get rid of North's losers.

Ron Lel: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Partner's 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) can be quite weak at this vulnerability. I will not hang her. By the way, I wonder how many will bid 3NT. That is an awful bid.

Mick McAuliffe: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Shut the bidding down. looks like partner has stretched the truth and has about 3-4pts only - so his points should be in diamonds. Maybe eight diamonds to make up for the fib? Anyway, East at lead has nothing and no lead indicators from West. Two to one they guess wrong lead.

Tony Treloar: 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). This is where I want to be even if we have a heart fit so I'll just get us there. Very unlikely there is an entry to partner's hand for 3NT.

5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) certainly has some chance of making (well, one chance at least, as described by Phil Hocking above). Having slightly less chance:

David Kalnins: 3NT. Seems like the most likely contract to make. If we have an eight card heart fit we probably have three heart losers.

Stephen Bartos: 3NT. A long minor suit will almost always work well in NT. an entry into the North hand, either in clubs or hearts, is more likely than not.

Michael Smart: 3NT. Choices: partner might raise 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) to 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) with honour-small, or might decline an inv 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) holding KQ to 7 and out? So need to take charge and bid game. Prefer 3NT, as 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) risks club leads and a trump promotion.

Fraser Rew: 3NT. Could make as many tricks as 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) does.

Paul Sontag: 3NT. Even though my gut says pass (how are we actually going to make 3NT?) I will fall into the trap.

Wayne Somerville: 3NT. I was taught not to bid 3NT with singleton ace in partner's preempt, but I'm not far off making it in hand and it's not like partner isn't forbidden from having a useful card in hearts. The problem with 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is it is too often beat with a club ruff.

Robert Black: 3NT. If my expert partner has no entry for NT, and he is missing the images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)A, he can take out to 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes), which I shall raise.

Tania Black: 3NT. If Partner has no entry outside diamonds he is welcome to take out to 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) or 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes).

Toby Weinstein: 3NT. Tough problem. Pass could be right.

David Matthews: 3NT. Tricky as I will have difficulty getting to partners hand but I need to protect my images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)K.

Next, we have a bid that keeps all three games in the picture (as well as allowing a nice stop in 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)). Of all the possible ways to get a minus score, this one is surely more flexible than the alternatives.

Kees Schaafsma: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). A smoke screen. Maybe East won't lead its singleton club if West decides to double 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes).

Sam Arber: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Bid 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) first forcing looking for 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) eventually.

Bridge Baron: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Can't just trot out 3NT without checking for a heart fit.

JC Clement: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Forcing; I hesitate between 3NT and 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes).

Margaret Reid: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Forcing for one round at least.

Emil Battista: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Forcing. Heart suit is not ideal, but it is a 5 card suit. 3NT (by me) or 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) should have more than some play.

Murray Perrin: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I have a monster, don't stop below 6images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

John R Mayne: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Playing opposite me or the Aussies who used to post on rec.games.bridge, pass smoothly and hope for a reopen. Give the passers a medal! (And if I've misguessed the field and pass gets 100 because of the split in other votes, I shall not complain about the stupid 100-point-for-plurality rule on this problem.) 3NT bidders need solid diamonds and an entry, which is a 1images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) bid. Punish them! As to the followup after partner bids over 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)? I intend to pass the likely 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) bid. So at least I tie the passers at the table.

Technically the plurality rule is having an effect here, as pass falls one vote short of an outright majority. But with no other bid getting more than three votes, it's obvious to give Pass the top score using any scoring rules (especially since no one seems very convinced that we should be in game).

Peter Vlas: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Problem is what he will bid with two hearts -- 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) or 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I hope in case of 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) he will at least have some values there.

Hans van Vooren: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Forcing. I don't want to play 3NT since I can very probably not reach partner unless he has something in hearts. And if he does have something in hearts, I want to play in that suit. 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) without a heart fit.

Richard Semmens: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I am taking a risk of missing 3NT, but that is looking problematic for entries. Partner is likely to have hearts since the opponents have a spade fit.

Jack Lai: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). If I'm lucky, partner might have three hearts; if not, can still survive in 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes).

Ig Nieuwenhuis: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). If partner has anything extra I will hear something other than 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). If he does bid 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes), difficult. I'll start thinking about that after bidding 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes).

Alex Kemeny: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Sure, the suit is anaemic but partner can have three hearts in this auction. If partner can only proffer 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes), I will raise him to game. There is a risk that he will raise me with a doubleton, but no action is perfect. Unless he can bid 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) as a stopper ask, implying a solid suit, I do not like 3NT with the stiff ace in his suit.

Phil gave 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) a very poor score, because he felt that exposing the heart position was likely to get us doubled in whatever silly game we end up in. That sounds a little paranoid to me, and I've upgraded it to equal 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). More controversially, I've also mildly upgraded his score for 3NT.

The full deal, from bidding practice on Bridge Base Online:

spades 953
hearts 1096
diamonds KJ109742
clubs ---
spades QJ10
hearts A7
diamonds 3
clubs A987653
spades 87642
hearts QJ8
diamonds Q865
clubs 4
spades AK
hearts K5432
diamonds A
clubs KQJ102

Fraser Rew bid 3NT. Since it was a bidding practice session, the hand was not played out. In the magazine we stated that 3NT would probably fail at the table, but on closer analysis I think Fraser would have made it.

That's it for another year; congratulations to Paul Sontag of Canada for a strong performance all year long. If you want to come back to this page in a few days, I will update it with photos and profiles of the top scorers for the year. (If you haven't sent me a photo yet, now is the time...)

Happy holidays to all, and I'll look forward to seeing you here again in March with the first issue of 2014. The questions for that issue are already here

While you're here, click on the Home link at the top of this page and check out our brand new web site.


Top scores for December
1Rainer Herrmann GER500
1Leigh Blizzard Tas500
3Geof Brod USA495
4Roger Yandle NSW490
4Jacco Hop NED490
4Charles Scholl USA490
7Damo Nair USA470
7Dean Pokorny 470
7Radoslav Radev 470
7Nancy Kent USA470
7Sam Arber Vic470
12Jack Lai 460
12Hans Van Vooren NED460
12Ron Lel LAO460
12Todd Holes USA460
12Nigel Kearney NZL460
12Murray Perrin Qld460
12Mats Hedström SWE460
12Manuel Paulo POR460
12Leigh Matheson NSW460
12Arthur Porter SA460
22Tim Trahair NSW455
23Dan Baker USA450
23Paul Sontag CAN450
23Tom Estenson USA450
23David Kalnins NSW450
23David Woulds GBR450
28Kees Schaafsma NED445
29Fredrik Jarlvik SWE440
29John R Mayne USA440
29Ian McCance Vic440
29Niek Van Vucht ACT440
33David Johnson CAN435
34Zbych Bednarek POL430
34Wayne Somerville IRL430
36Bastiaan Korner NED425
37Mark LaForge 420
37Fraser Rew NZL420
39John Shield NSW410
39Alexander Cook NSW410
41Tony Treloar Qld400
41Gary Lane NSW400
43Pat O'Connor NSW390
43Albert Braunstein 390
43Emil Battista NSW390
43Andrew Macalister GBR390
43Ivan Demeny NSW390
43Dane Kelly 390
49Barbara Whitmee Qld380
49Jim Thatcher NSW380
49Bjarne Andersen380
49Par Ol-Mars 380
53David Matthews WA370
53Tania Black SA370
53James Coutts NZL370
53Tom Kiss NSW370
53Stephen Bartos ACT370
53John Newman 370
53Ian Patterson Qld370
60Peter Nuoristo SWE365
61Ig Nieuwenhuis NED360
61Conny Wahlgren SWE360
61Barry Teer 360
64Peter Stride Qld350
64Peter Vlas NED350
64Toby Weinstein USA350
64Michael Smart ACT350
64Marion Carney NSW350
64JC Clement 350
64Dominic Connolly NSW350
64Robert Black SA350
64Tom Moss NSW350

Final scores for 2013
1Paul Sontag CAN1800
2John R Mayne USA1790
3Rainer Herrmann GER1780
4David Kalnins NSW1760
4Dean Pokorny 1760
6Geof Brod USA1725
7Jacco Hop NED1720
8Mats Hedström SWE1710
8Andrew MacAlister GBR1710
10Kees Schaafsma NED1695
11Hans van Vooren NED1690
11Nigel Kearney NZL1690
13Mark Laforge 1680
14Tom Estenson USA1660
14Tony Treloar Qld1660
14Leigh Blizzard Tas1660
14Damo Nair USA1660
18Manuel Paulo POR1650
18Todd Holes USA1650
20David Johnson CAN1635
21Alex Kemeny NSW1610
22Wayne Somerville IRL1600
23Tim Trahair NSW1585
24Ian McCance Vic1580
24Roger Yandle NSW1580
26Ron Lel LAO1570
26Niek Van Vucht ACT1570
26David Matthews WA1570
29Murray Perrin Qld1560
30JC Clement 1550
31Jim Thatcher NSW1540
31Leigh Matheson NSW1540
31Dominic Connolly NSW1540
34Jack Lai 1530
35Dan Baker USA1520
36Ig Nieuwenhuis NED1510
36Conny Wahlgren SWE1510
38Bjarne Andersen1500
38Michael Smart ACT1500
40Arthur Porter SA1480
41Peter Stride Qld1470
41Nancy Kent USA1470
41Fredrik Jarlvik SWE1470
44Peter Tarlinton NSW1460
44Trish Whitton NSW1460
46Peter Vlas NED1450
46Par Ol-Mars 1450
46Alexander Cook NSW1450
49Robert Bäck SWE1420
50Ivan Demeny NSW1410
50Toby Weinstein USA1410
52Tom Kiss NSW1390
53Barbara Whitmee Qld1380
54Sam Arber Vic1370
54Bram Amsel 1370
54Pat O'Connor NSW1370
57Robert Black SA1360
57Ian Patterson Qld1360
57Tom Moss NSW1360
60Fraser Rew NZL1350
61Emil Battista NSW1340
62Charles Scholl USA1330
63Bastiaan Korner NED1325
64Alan Jones Qld1310
65John Shield NSW1300
65Tania Black SA1300
65Gary Lane NSW1300
68Zbych Bednarek POL1280
68Rick Giles USA1280
70Peter Nuoristo SWE1275
71Radoslav Radev 1270
72Mick McAuliffe NSW1250
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
March issue of Australian Bridge. And don't forget to check out your
December issue to see what the experts said about this month's hands.