Home Survey Subscribe Bidding Forum Australia-Wide Pairs Contact Us  

    
Your national bridge magazine
       SEPTEMBER ISSUE OUT NOW -- SUBSCRIBE HERE
Readers' Bidding
Forum Answers
February 2015

Readers' Bidding Forum with Fraser Rew, February 2014

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.

Click here to submit  
answers for April     

                Scroll down to see final scores
 
 
Hand One - West deals, NS vul, IMPs. You are South.
 
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) KQ98
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) AK42
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) QJT64
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) ---

 


West North East South
3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) pass pass ?


 

Call Award %
Experts
%
Readers
Dbl 100 39 40
Pass 90 33 23
3NT 90 11 26
3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 80 11 3
4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 47 6 7
Other 0 0 1
 

This month we welcome another guest moderator, Fraser Rew from Sydney.

"Do you want to play Gold Coast?", I asked the editor.

"I guess, but somebody's going to have to do the readers' panel."

And that's the story of how I ended up having the power of god for a month, free to ridicule, criticise and castigate without fear of anyone answering back. Hmmm... maybe this is why I'm never left in charge of anything.

The first hand raises a lot of questions: What does a takeout double show? Something you might have heard is that The Short Hand Must Act - meaning that when they pre-empt, it's up to the person in the partnership with shortage to bid. If neither of you is short, it's a misfit, so maybe you should both be passing. So if partner is short and still can't scrape up a bid, he must be really weak. Such was the thinking that motivated...

Ig Nieuwenhuis: Pass. horrible problem. but I'm reluctant to turn a probable plus into a minus. partner couldn't bid despite being short in hearts. Nor could East. chance we can make requires perfect hand from partner. I dont play him for that. Hoping for +100.

Ron Landgraff: Pass. I do not see the game!

Ian McCance: Pass. Nothing left in the bucket.

Brian Lawless: Pass. If pard can't bid, neither can I!

John R Mayne: Pass. Nice problem! 3N has solid chances to make, but going down many is a real possibility. I probably need two of the spade ace, diamond ace and diamond king, plus non-running clubs to make, so I am going full coward. Anything but 3N or pass is terrible.

Griff Ware: Pass. Partner couldn't make a take-out double, which decreases the odds that bidding is the correct action.

Sid Ismail: Pass. Take your medicine and beat 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) now.

Michael Smart: Pass. We could make game or go for sticks and circles. Partner probably has a short heart, yet couldn't act...which decreases the chance we are missing a vul game. So I'll try for a plus score.

Duncan Roe: Pass. We may get 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) off, but dbl would be takeout.

Bridge Baron: Pass. With four cards in the opponent's suit, we'd only act here with a monster or a powerful side suit (QJ10xx doesn't cut it.)

Michael Burt: Pass. A very good chance of getting 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) off. If we can't get 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) off, we are probably going off in our contract.

John R Mayne: Pass. Nice problem! 3N has solid chances to make, but going down many is a real possibility. I probably need two of the spade ace, diamond ace and diamond king, plus non-running clubs to make, so I am going full coward. Anything but 3N or pass is terrible.

Adequately summarising the previous eleven answers is...

Phil Hocking: Pass. Chances are partner will bid 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) after a double then difficult to convert to a NT contract below 6. Only 2 other hearts not accounted meaning any suit contract our way could be ruffed in hearts twice as East didn't raise partner. Pass is lowest potential damage and may even give a plus N/S.

Phil's the last of the Optimists, who considered Pass to be one of the many calls available. Some Passers, however, are Pessimists.

Leigh Matheson: Pass. If you take action, every choice is flawed.

True, but so is Pass.

David Kalnins: Pass. Nice preempt - I'm fixed for a bid and passing to go plus (hopefully).

Although I agree with their bid, I don't like their reasoning. Pass is not the absence of a call; it's a call in its own right. Sometimes it's the most dangerous call and sometimes it's the most positive.

However, the majority of both the readers' and the expert panel think that, the misfit and partner's silence notwithstanding, we should move forward: we do have a 15-count with a void, after all.

An idea advocated by Terence Reese was: a four-card overcall over their preempt. This got a few takers, including two expert panellists and the following intrepid bidders. Let's see the justification.

Peter Vlas: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Hate this one. Pass could be the last plus, especially today with rubbish preempts. I could be short on trumps very fast. But dbl will lead to Clubs by P i'm afraid and there is no way out then, 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) loses the spades and for 3NT I lack the tricks

John Newman: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). I can see 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) or even 3NT making opposite a partner who couldn't act. East might give me a snip. +620 or -800, I'll learn something.

Will partner really bid 3NT with his small singleton and the lead going through your potential stopper and into the preempt?

Michael Davy: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Terrible bid. The others are worse.

While I admire their creativity, those are not the voices of confidence I was hoping to hear to change my mind. Words of wisdom that have served me well: when Reese advises on card play, do exactly as he says; when he advises on bidding, do the opposite. Now for another minority action. 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) got five takers, whose views were summarised by...

Peter Robinson: 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Great problem. Partner's silence with short hearts suggests weakness and/or not many spades, so the "clever" 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) isn't, and 3NT could be ridiculous. East is hovering, but if his values are concentrated in clubs we have an answer. If partner has length in both minors, as I expect, then a suitable yarborough would be enough to make 10 tricks - East may have to overruff hearts with winners. Maybe the negative punt of pass is the winner, but I don't need much for game or slam.

The problem with 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is that it's aiming at such a small target. It goes past 3NT; partner will never bid 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) on his likely four-card suit; it's unlikely that we can take 11 tricks in game; RHO might double and collect a number. The only real positive is that we might trade -140 for +130, but that's a rare occurence. Because of this, many pairs play 4m here as showing 5 cards in the minor and The last of the minority actions was:

Jim Greer: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) showing spades and diamonds.

That's always been 5-5 in my book and will force us uncomfortably high most of the time. Still, at least it tells partner about nine of our cards, and on the likely Heart lead against 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) we'll be ruffing in the short hand. Now for a bid that was second most popular amongst the readers but got only two votes from the panel - still, some of the readers in this group have had some excellent results at the table. Reading some of the answers, it appears that they may be expecting partner to pass on a lot of hands on which the experts expect partner to act:

Manuel Paulo: 3NT. It's likely that North holds about nine points with a 3-1-3-6 distribution or similar.

Some players would double on that.

Robert Black: 3NT. A double might not necessarily lead to a 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) bid from partner. And if RHO #saves# by bidding 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) a double then will show my shape (unless partner takes it for penalties; but his shape will probably guide him).

Partner will never really pass the double, so RHO has nothing to save against. This might be good for you, because many players would play a second double would as 100% penalties.

Roger Yandle: 3NT. Dbl or pass could also be right but I'm punting on 3NT. This hand looks very familiar(hand 5 in the December bidding forum) so I hope I don't get a club lead!

Sam Arber: 3NT. Double will bypass 3 nt 4 s may be better but prefer to bid 3 nt and take chances on club suit

Richard Morse: 3NT. Everything is sick - but passing seems too supine and this at least tells (warns) partner where my values are.

It's not often that I do diving for the dictionary, but Richard's done it. If you're wondering, supine (in this context) means inactive out of laziness. (Fraser is very young, and he probably doesn't remember Keith McNeil, who used that word quite a lot. -BC)

Nigel Kearney: 3NT. I don't want to defend undoubled at this vulnerability and 3NT is my best guess.

Nigel Guthrie: 3NT. Partner is likely to hold a club suit. Axx x xxx KJxxxx.

That's a maximum for a Pass, and even so you may make only three spades, two hearts and three diamonds.

Wayne Somerville: 3NT. Red against White at IMPs, letting them play in 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) is a big position. I'll try 3NT and hope partner doesn't get too excited about a possible club slam. I don't want to double as if partner bids clubs, I will feel as if we've passed our most likely game.

Dan Baker: 3NT. Risky, but we can't settle for 50 a trick when 600 might be there. Double leaves no recovery if partner bids clubs.

Alex Kemeny: 3NT. They can be robbing us blind here, so I must act. Give partner as little as SJ and DK and a club honour and 8 tricks are virtually certain. Partner could have much more than that.

Gary Hyett: 3NT. Ugh. At least I've got a heart guard. Dbl and pass could both work better.

Hans van Vooren: 3NT. Whatever I do can be wrong. 3NT has two advantages: partner can still bid a long suit if he has one, and we may avoid all kinds of nasty breaks in our trump suit even if we find the right one.

As with 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), there are not many voices of confidence in that group. Finally, let's hear from the plurality - can they convince us that Pass wasn't the right choice? Well, some can't...

Bastiaan Korner: Dbl. Annoying, that is why people preempt, but I cannot pass

Patrice Fincias: Dbl. Dbl is more positive when vulnerable. It would be frustrating to pass and be able to make 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) or 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). 3NT would be my choice at Matchpoints; a kind partner will begin with 7 tricks in clubs.

With seven solid clubs, partner should shut his eyes and bid 3NT. This partner does, anyway.

Deana Wilson: Dbl. have to do something

Tania Black: Dbl. Hoping not to hear 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Stephen Bartos: Dbl. With the void this is too strong for a meek overcall

I've never before heard of a void in a side suit being seen as a positive thing.

Mick McAuliffe: Dbl. Tough choice, but I suppose that is what these things are about. Hope for a spade reply, but expect a club that will overbid diamonds, which partner may overvalue. Still is a 4 loser & worth a fib if forced to.

Barbara Hunter: Dbl. not sure about this seems wimpy to pass

Martyn Rew: Dbl. With reversed vulnerability, pass would be very tempting. I hope partner bids his 4 spades before his 5 clubs.

Some doublers, however, had planned the auction out . .

Barbara Whitmee: Dbl. Double, but if we were desperate for points I might bid a risky 3NT hoping partner has something in clubs.

Margaret Copland: Dbl. for takeout showing four spades, one neat response is either support spades or bid NT as pick a minor.

If partner bids 3NT he's not asking you to pick a contract, he's picked it himself.

Damo Nair: Dbl. I'm planning 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) over 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I'm not bidding 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) or 3NT.

Christer Enkvist: Dbl. If partner bid clubs I have values to bid diamonds. 3NT and we will miss a lot of slams!

Some readers rejected 3NT because partner was too likely to drive towards slam, but Christer was more in line with the experts.

Julian Foster: Dbl. Partner has short H and hasn't acted so will be pretty weak. But we still make game opposite so many weak hands that I think we need to act. Double seems the most flexible, only 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) from partner presenting us with a problem. I'll bid 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) over that and at least imply D and S. 3NT could obviously be right but the hand feels suity.

Niklas Andrén: Dbl. planning the crazy overbid 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) over 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Derek Pocock: Dbl. ready to bid 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) over 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) and guaranteeing four spades.. Interesting too if partner passes !

Anne Paul: Dbl. showing 4 spades, over partner's 4 clubs bid 4 diamonds. I believe 3NT is not option because of communication problems

David Matthews: Dbl. The danger of missing game offsets the likelihood that partner will bid 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Tony Treloar: Dbl. Will correct clubs to diamonds as is necessary, implying 4 spades. If partner can't overcall clubs they can't bid them twice in response to the double. Would be much harder if the minors were switched.

None of the doublers said what they'd do over 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), but I guess they'd all raise: if you can bid at the 4-level on a possible misfit, you'd surely bid there on a fit as well. This at least has a benefit over 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) that you can find a Spade fit.

The deal is from the World Youth Championships, and was used in our bidding challenge last month (page 13 of the December issue, hand 5). Nicoleta Giura chose to double, while Renee Cooper chose pass.

spades J654
hearts 97 
diamonds K83 
clubs AQ83
spades 10732
hearts QJ10853
diamonds 7
clubs 52
spades A
hearts 6
diamonds A952
clubs KJ109764
spades KQ98
hearts AK42
diamonds QJ1064
clubs ---

At the table, the American player chose to balance with 3NT. See the December issue for full details of how that turned out. 


Hand Two - West deals, both vul, Matchpoints. You are South.
 
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 52
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) AKJ2
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) K92
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) Q872

 


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


 

Call Award %
Experts
%
Readers
1NT 100 50 59
Pass 90 33 17
1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 70 17 12
Dbl 0 0 12
 

As on Problem 1, a significant minority felt that we should stay out. Once more, they were overwhelmingly in the Optimistic camp: they didn't pass out of fear or because all actions were wrong, but because they weighed up the possiblities and felt that Pass offered the best chance of a good score, especially given partner's ominous failure to bid 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). The experts who agreed with them argued along the same lines. Interestingly, amongst the experts, nobody passed on both Problem 1 and Problem 2, whereas a couple of readers did. A quick sample from the latter:

Michael Burt: Pass. Clubs is almost my best suit. My hand is unexciting. Why bid when my partner hasn't bid, we don't have game on and they may well be in a relatively poor contract?

Kees Schaafsma: Pass. Fair defence against 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), less defence against spades.

Martyn Rew: Pass. I am picking that we do not have the balance of points here and that 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is not their best contract. Bidding something here gives them a chance to find their best contract.

Jacco Hop: Pass. Partner passed so I will let play in this shabby club fit. Bidding 1NT vulnerable doenst seem wise

Zbych Bednarek: Pass. PASS is a big word in bridge, who has got spades? If opps part game in S it will be better for them (I can't see a partscore for our side)
Hans van Vooren: Pass. West is (a lot) stronger than I am, and I am missing the spades. We will score well enough defending a club contract, as opposed to spades or NT.

Ron Landgraff: Pass. Where are the spades? If partner has them, he forgot to bid or he is dead broke or rich in clubs.

However, there were a few Pessimistic passers, led, to my surprise, to one normally very optimistic bidder swayed, apparently, by his table presence.

John Newman: Pass. LHO's disappointment indicates a clear pass. On Sunday we made a game after someone balanced 1images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) (KJ,AKJ84,K87542,-). Evil forum - I suppose 3NT is cold.

Nigel Guthrie: Pass. Protecting is a Biltcliffe gambit.

For readers unaware, a Biltcliffe Coup is when: they stop in a partscore, you balance, they bid game, you double and they make.

Barbara Hunter: Pass. for better or worse

And a couple of passers had a foot in each camp:

Duncan Roe: Pass. Balance of points could be either way. Suspect that dbl will end in tears.

Andrea Viscovich: Pass. I won't double with 6 cards between H and S.

But why not 1NT?

Stephen Bartos: Pass. From this bidding it's clear that a) west has a big hand and b) partner very likely does not have a five card major. Best to allow opponents a small part score rather than an opportunity to explore further and find a better fit

Half optimist, half pessimist? Or just a battle-hardened realist?

So if we're going to overlook the obvious system bid, but can't pass, what is there? Double normally shows shortage in their suit and at least three cards in each of the other suits. We don't have that, and none of the panellists found that call - can the doublers convince us that it's right anyway?

Barbara Whitmee: Dbl. Double. If partner bids spades I will rebid NT.

Tim Trahair: Dbl. If N bids S, we will bid 1NT and hope for the best.

Mick McAuliffe: Dbl. Smells like W is very strong. If pard bids D-pass; H-raise, S-call NT. If opps bid higher, they win.

Here's a question for you: if partner doubles and then rebids in NT, what's he showing? A hand too strong for a 1NT overcall, right? So when we do it, why is it a hand of the same strength as a 1NT bid?

Emil Battista: Dbl. In the words of a famous American player "What is the problem?"

Phil Hocking: Dbl. Long-shot for game in hearts, part score should be possible N/S or a handy penalty double if left in.

These two don't seem ready for a response in Spades, either. As with problem one, we had a few takers for the four-card overcall; unfortunately, only one commented, and she raised a possibility that the doublers didn't.

Patrice Fincias: 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). OK, I don't have 5, but if I double and partner bids 2 Spades we will be in a trouble. 1NT is a possibility; that's my next choice.

Indeed. Last time my partner doubled on this hand type I did bid 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). If there were any justice in the world, she would have had to struggle through the ensuing bloodbath herself, instead of sitting patiently as dummy.

So that's it for the minority. The notes say that 1NT shows 11-14 with a stopper.

Some experts are starting to move back to 1NT in passout as showing 15-17, a point rasied by some of the experts, but that isn't part of AB Standard. Most of the readers couldn't see that this was a problem. Only a couple of readers spotted that the point, raised by many expert panellists, that this may pre-empt the opponents' spade fit.. A quick sample . .

Manuel Paulo: 1NT. 13 points and a stopper suggests this balancing bid.

Peter Vlas: 1NT. 10-14 balanced does not deny 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)

David Matthews: 1NT. 11-14 with a Club stopper and systems are on. The other option is 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) as double will likely elicit a 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) response and I wouldnt know what to do after that.

Ian McCance: 1NT. May open a can of worms but worry later.

Bridge Baron: 1NT. 12-15 HCP, club stopper, balanced hand, no five-card major -- looks like what I have.

Sid Ismail: 1NT. A book bid. Partner can always 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) to ask for a major.

Robert Black: 1NT. A weak 1NT in the pass out position. If partner does have 4 of both majors he has Stayman to get us to a better spot.

Roger Yandle: 1NT. AB Std indicates 1NT balancing is 10-14images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)cp with stopper in their suit. That seems to be what I have so that's what I'm bidding.

Jack Lai: 1NT. Double might be another option, but I am not sure what to bid if partner response 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Leigh Matheson: 1NT. Got a 1NT, bid a 1NT.

David Kalnins: 1NT. HCP + spade length = 15 so its OK to bid. I remember some rule / law that says this is sufficient. Since I am stickler for rules (when they work) I will bid.

I think you're thinking of opening bids in 4th chair.

Tony Treloar: 1NT. Looks right, would rather not lie about my shape than bid 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) for the lead.

Brian Lawless: 1NT. Pard has options now

Sam Arber: 1NT. Prefer 1NT to pass but no spade bid by partner

Dan Baker: 1NT. Pretty standard balancing 1NT. Possible that the opponents have a big spade fit and leaving them in clubs would have been better, but that's too pessimistic for me.

Julian Foster: 1NT. Seems to be 10-14 in protective position. Could be a case for pass and hoping for +200 when we can't make game. But there are plenty of hands where we will be making +600 or +620 so I prefer 1NT.

Peter Robinson: 1NT. Surely routine at this scoring.

Griff Ware: 1NT. Tempted to bid 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), but I want to make it harder for the opps to bid spades. Also, this may be a deal on which whoever manages to declare 1NT gets a better MP score … passing could also be correct but I can't bring myself to do that :/

John R Mayne: 1NT. The passers are shooting for something good; the 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) bidders are likely going to find out that there is a suit that outranks hearts. I'm hoping for +120 or +600; passing 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) may be best in theory, but these low level contracts are hard to defend.

Nigel Kearney: 1NT. They may find a better spot but we can't sell out at the one level with this much. I prefer 1NT to 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) because it makes it harder for them to find spades and it's not the sort of hand where a 4-3 looks like it will play well.

Give those men a biscuit.

Richard Morse: 1NT. Tough choice - pass or 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) could be good too. I really don't like double with no spades

Margaret Copland: 1NT. typical balancing 1N 12-14 HCP and flat hand.

Finally, with fitting irony (I hope)...

Gary Hyett: 1NT. Wot else? 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), Pass? 

The full deal, from Bridge Base Online:

spades AQ
hearts 10976 
diamonds Q1043 
clubs KJ3
spades K103
hearts Q54
diamonds AJ7
clubs A965
spades J98764
hearts 83
diamonds 865
clubs 104
spades 52
hearts AKJ2
diamonds K92
clubs Q872

South reopened with 1NT (10-13 in her system) and North made a conservative pass. 1NT made nine tricks on a club lead for +150 (although a spade lead would have held it to seven tricks). Passing out 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) would have been worth +300. East would go one off if he comes in with 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

 


Hand Three - South deals, EW vul, IMPs. You are South.
 
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) K87
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) A42
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) AQJ987
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 6

 


West North East South
      1images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)
pass 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) pass ?


 

Call Award %
Experts
%
Readers
3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 100 33 36
2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 80 22 23
2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 60 22 12
2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 70 17 27
3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 70 6 2

A few people, readers and experts alike, helpfully pointed out that this problem type has been around for a while. Well, yes; but the multitude of answers suggests that the bridge community hasn't adequately resolved it, and it's been done far more in a particular foreign publication than in an Australian one, so it will be new to many readers.

Some pairs use 2NT to show this hand type, but of course that means finding some other way of showing your 18-19 balanced hands.

As with the first couple of problems, the creative bids (read: lies) were more popular with the experts than with the readers. If partner raises a 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) reverse, showing four, then he must have five Spades and we're in excellent shape. Less adequately answered was what happens if he doesn't, it's a misfit and we've just chronically overbid. Given the opponents' silence, Axxx-xx-xx-KJxxx seems quite likely, and after reversing we're not in great shape. Undeterred was a small minority . .

Kees Schaafsma: 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). A bit light, but we can still end in 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) or 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Robert Black: 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). An uncomfortable misrepresentation of my shape but a fair descriptor of my strength. If partner raise to 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) or 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) I will correct to Spades.

Richard Morse: 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Gives the strength and leaves more room to investigate than 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) - I can always go back to spades if partner gets enthusiastic about hearts

David Kalnins: 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Seems normal to me. 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) will lose the spade fit too often.

Are you sure you've got one?

Brian Lawless: 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). If pard supports, I can revert to spades. I have to lie sometimes!

Save it for your next job interview.

Alex Kemeny: 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). No other bid does justice to my hand. I do not jump raise or splinter without 4 card support.

Ian Patterson: 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Reverse first, show 3-card support next.

Speaking of, er, creative bids, one person each on the expert and readers' panels bid 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). With only 14 HCP and three trumps, I'm dubious. Can you persuade me?

Michael Burt: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Only 3 card spade support but could be useful for ruffing clubs. Also a 6 loser hand and so worth a raise to 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

As a defender, I find these hands more fun to score up than to play. It's sometimes tough to cut down on ruffs without letting Diamonds get established, but there's normally a way. Now on to the pessimists, of whom there were more readers than experts . .

Hans van Vooren: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). A bit of an underbid, but the auction is not necessarily over yet. Especially opposite an unpassed partner, I'd rather not start with a lie concerning my spade length. If the auction does remain open, I will be very comfortably placed indeed.

Andrea Viscovich: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Maybe I could try 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) if Matchpoints.

Nigel Guthrie: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Harder at pairs. AQxx xx xx Qxxxx

It cuts both ways. Although +130 vs +140 isn't many matchpoints, +130 vs +600 is even fewer imps, and by failing to disclose your extra strength you risk missing 3NT.

Alexander Cook: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). If a spade or notrump game is on then partner will make another bid.

Maybe - what would you expect him to do on AQxxx-Kxxx-xx-xx? (Hint: Pass 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)).

Ig Nieuwenhuis: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). If partner moves I'll raise spades. If not: this is an (almost) certain plus

Wayne Somerville: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). It is a slight underbid, but provides us with the chance of bidding spades later. I don't object to 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), but this is too good a hand for diamonds should this be a partscore deal.

Bridge Baron: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Just a hair too weak for 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes).

Duncan Roe: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Nice diamond suit, but not strong enough for 3. Will show spades if partner bids again.

Michael Smart: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Prefer to show my good suit rather than make a 3 card raise. Easy to bid out my shape if partner (or oppos) act.

I remain unconvinced: a fine 14-count with at least a 7-card side fit and a singleton is surely worth something more positive. This next group get a payout when partner has about 10 points and five spades - a reasonably likely occurence - or when you can scramble at least as many tricks in a Spade partscore as in a Diamond one. It's clearly an underbid, but at least it gets the major fit into play. And when a former World Championship Silver medallist and a current Australian Open representative both bid it, how bad can it be?

Peter Vlas: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). A spade short for 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) and it might lead to a Moysian, but the club shortage is on the right side.

Julian Foster: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Classic difficult hand - nothing is perfect. At least 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) implies a fit.

If partner passes we probably haven't missed anything, if they move we are well placed.

Peter Robinson: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). I don't buy the idea that 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) implies spade support, so I opt for an encouraging underbid.

John R Mayne: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is awful. What I'd like to do is make a support double, but apparently that's barred by our system and the stupid laws.

Those stupid laws! I can't even sacrifice at the 8-level, hesitate to show a maximum pass, or reach across the table and slap my idiot partner because, honestly, how could anyone bid 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) on that hand last night, I mean it was such poor bidding that I'm surprised you're allowed out on your own. Sorry, enough of me, back to the 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) bidders...

Margaret Copland: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). like to support with three cards and an unbalanced hand - if invitational partner can bid 2N to inquire as to my support and range.

Apparently not all of the experts still do that - 2NT is natural and invitational. But you're right, it's a very common convention.

Sid Ismail: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Repeat diamonds if partner tries 2NT.

You're still not showing your strength.

Damo Nair: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Seems like a logical compromise

Griff Ware: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). The classic problem hand for standard bidding. I can't stomach 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), can't stomach faking a reverse into hearts, and can't stomach not supporting spades, so I'm left with 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Tania Black: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). We have a fit. If only 4-3 partner has another chance to show his shape and strength.

Nigel Kearney: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). We have quite a lot extra, especially playing strong NT, but anything stronger is too much.

And finally the plurality: with no known fit, they bid their 6-card suit to the level that they think they can make. What sort of muppet does that any more?

Dan Baker: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). This shows more values than 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) and doesn't preclude showing the spades later. 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is fine but makes it hard to show that your diamonds are this good.

Manuel Paulo: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). With a good six-card, some fit and controls in the side suits, I jump rebid.

Ian McCance: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Good 6 suit needs expression. Maybe we belong in spades but not strong enough to explore. With a trifle more would reverse into hearts, quite safely.

Anne Paul: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Showing a 6 loser hand in diamonds support partner's hand after next bid

Tim Trahair: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Showing length and strength in D as well as a strong hand. If North can muster another bid, game may be on in spades or diamonds.

Emil Battista: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I have 6 and if partner cannot move over 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) - too bad

John Newman: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Over 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes), can't partner safely fudge 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) to find a spade fit? Some Canberra people open 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) with 18-19 bal, so they rebid 2N here with this 6-3-3-1.

The other alternative is opening 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) to show clubs or 11-14 balanced, and 1images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) to show Diamonds or 18-19 balanced, rebidding 1NT in each case with the balanced option.That frees up 2NT, as John describes. John also raises a subtle bidding point missed by the next group.

Tony Treloar: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). If partner has a modest hand with 5 spades then 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) will be a great contract. Try and make an encouraging noise.

Martyn Rew: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Partner can now rebid spades to show that he has more than 4, and we can go to game from there (or not).

Derek Pocock: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Showing some support for spades: if partner can repeat them expect to make 4 spades

David Matthews: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Bidding what its worth. I can raise a Spade rebid to game. If partner passes we are probably in the correct contract.

Without wanting to risk paternal disharmony, I think 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) next by partner should show 6. As John points out, 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) on a 3-card suit is better than 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) on a 5-card suit, but if partner has something like AJxxx-xxx-x-AJxx, he may worry about my being unable to bid 3NT over his 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) bid and try 3NT regardless. Do I miss out on a Christmas present? Dammit ...

Christer Enkvist: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Slighty too weak for 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) (3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes),6+images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes))

I think it shows four spades, not 3. Why go past 3NT when you have no known fit?

Jacco Hop: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I upgraded this 1 point to 15-17. With a stronger hand 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) might be an option.

Leigh Matheson: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). If we find a fit, game should be at worst on a finesse.

The problem is that you might not find one when it exists.

Roger Yandle: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). My hand looks very nice after pard's spade bid. If she can't bid over that then I'm happy to be in 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) otherwise we're probably heading for 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) though 3NT could still be in the picture if pard has the right hand.

Thirty years on, still no resolution.



Hand Four - West deals, NS vul, Matchpoints. You are South.
 
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) A87
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) ---
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) KJT42
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) T9764

 


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

 

Call Award %
Experts
%
Readers
Pass 100 78 76
2NT 50 17 10
2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 30 6 3
3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 0 0 9
3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 0 0 1
 

This one was a landslide, for both the readers and the experts. Some panellists were happy to get past this round . .

David Matthews: Pass. Any bid by me will push us too high.

Ian McCance: Pass. A bit like prob #1. Here any attempt to improve contract could make it worse.

Alex Kemeny: Pass. Bad misfit, so stop. Yes a minor may be better, but do I really fancy 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) (forcing)-3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)-4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)?

Jacco Hop: Pass. Bidding could be good however 3m is forcing and if I bid 2NT partner might bid 3NT or 6images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), thinking that will be good.

Barbara Hunter: Pass. see what develops

Nigel Kearney: Pass. Pass may not end well but is by far the percentage action.

Jack Lai: Pass. Stay as low as possible for misfit hand

Robert Black: Pass. We are in a bit of trouble, and any bid could make it worse! Partner wants two tricks from me and I think I can provide the necessary.

John R Mayne: Pass. Again, the right answer is to double for takeout. Absent that, there's a better strain than hearts, probably, but we'll be three levels too high before we sort that out.

Gary Hyett: Pass. Hoping for something better. More interesting would be P(me) dbl P P ? Do I run or not?

That question was looked at by the other Passers, some of whom are also yet to make up their minds:

Richard Morse: Pass. Best policy with a misfit. Bidding may not end here

Michael Burt: Pass. Bidding something may well get us in to a really bad contract. I suspect East may well have good hearts and want West to double for take out. South can then come into the bidding.

Patrice Fincias: Pass. The sooner you pass, the better.... and expect them to reopen

Brian Lawless: Pass. I can pull this if and when the X comes. In the meantime, I do have some values to help out.

Derek Pocock: Pass. If doubled will rescue into either minor but until then partner will have his/her work cut out with my void so not attempting to take the bidding further

Nigel Guthrie: Pass. If opener doubles, you might reconsider.

Tony Treloar: Pass. Partner doesn't need rescuing yet (and I don't think I have a non-forcing bid anyway) - I might get involved if the re-opening double gets passed.

Dan Baker: Pass. Total misfit. I don't want to encourage partner to do anything more. I realize 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) could be a disaster even without being doubled (obviously I run if it is), but bidding now is likely to find us way overboard even with a fit.

A few of the expert panel thought that partner didn't need rescuing as his two-level vulnerable overcall showed a good hand. Only two readers agreed.

Leigh Matheson: Pass. 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) may be the last making contract.

Damo Nair: Pass. I don't know how to rescue N & not sure he need rescuing.

Leigh was probably thinking about a hand like xx/KQJ109x/Qxx/xx, when 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) will probably make. But will they really leave the double in if he has that? I'd sniff the air long and hard before leaving him to his fate, and only leave it in if it felt like they were punting. Apart from John Newman on Problem 2, we of the MSC don't have that luxury, so most took the practical shot of running, via either 2NT or Redouble. What's the difference? Nobody addressed it directly, but obviously redouble leaves open the possibility of both 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) Redoubled and 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). (Don't laugh, every time I've played in the opponents' suit I've had a good result). For the redoublers:

Sid Ismail: Pass. If it goes 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) - 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) - P - P - x - P - P - I can rdble now to show the minors.

Ig Nieuwenhuis: Pass. and I'll redouble for SOS if it comes back doubled. Bidding immediately is asking for trouble

Julian Foster: Pass. Ugly but bidding anything now could make it worse. If it continues X P P back to me, I can redouble to try and reach 3m.

Gary Lane: Pass. We are not in trouble yet. If doubled I will redouble for rescue.

And a small group wants to bid 2NT for rescue.

Ron Landgraff: Pass. If they double, I will bid 2NT.

Hans van Vooren: Pass. Probably not the best if West passes, but how can I reach a better spot by bidding? Anyway, I expect West to reopen with a double most of the time and then I can bid 2NT.

Zbych Bednarek: Pass. waiting for reopen by WE (by x or 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes)), after that my 2NT for sure will be on minors

One lone panellist preferred a unilateral rescue to 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) - surely we should bring partner in on the decision?

Emil Battista: Pass. If opponents double 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) then 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) and 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) if necessay will rescue our side or we have just jumped out of the frying pan

And finally, two optimistic panellists who are expecting a penalty, or who are planning on bidding 3-minor voluntarily, expecting to make.
Andrea Viscovich: 2NT. I hope it won't be read as invitation but just as pick a minor.

Andrea's a closet passer. 2NT natural is far more common than both minors, so that's what it's used for.

Peter Robinson: Pass. Again, looks routine. The only way to get to the correct minor at the 3-level is to pass now and back in with 2NT over 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) if the occasion arises.

Anne Paul: Pass. no fit, wait for opposition's next bid and double if they get too high

Now for the minority views, starting with . .

Wayne Somerville: 2NT. Even if it's an overbid, it is probably going to play just fine. Our good diamonds will make up for the lack of HCP. I'm a little worried about partner rebidding hearts, but if he does, it will be an excellent 6 card suit at least.

He should be showing something similar for any 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) bid.

Alexander Cook: 2NT. 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is forcing and passing feels completely wrong.

It's a shame Alexander didn't expand on this - was it wrong because of the misfit or because of your values? 2NT was my choice on the problem because I think this is a nice hand. We can still make a game (3NT or 5m). On a bad day, partner goes off in 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) when 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) makes.

Phil Hocking: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Bidding oppositions suit should show other two suits at minimum level.

Duncan Roe: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Hope partner takes this as bid something else - not sure if we have that agreement though.

I've always played this cuebid as showing a good Heart raise. Sometimes you have to do it on a doubleton, but never on a void.

Martyn Rew: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). There has to be a better place to play than 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) and it is probably not a NT contract. 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) gives more options for partner than 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes).

Tim Trahair: 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Showing no interest in H and hoping N can manage another bid - hopefully not in H.

3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) neither shows nor denies Hearts and, as noted above, is forcing.

The full deal, from Kings and Queens:

spades 1043
hearts K9875 
diamonds A765 
clubs A
spades KJ965
hearts QJ103
diamonds Q
clubs K52
spades Q2
hearts A642
diamonds 983
clubs QJ83
spades A87
hearts ---
diamonds KJ1042
clubs 109764

North's vulnerable 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) overcall won't be everyone's choice, but the bid was made by a world class player. Only two North- South pairs out of 13 managed to reach a making contract, with East-West scores ranging from 100 to 300.


Hand Five - East deals, both vul, IMPs. You are South.
 
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) ---
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) AKQ62
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) J93
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) AQ862

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

2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) = Michaels, hearts and a minor.
3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) = pass or correct.
 

Call Award %
Experts
%
Readers
Pass 100 44 22
3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 100 22 23
4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 70 17 41
3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 80 11 5
3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 10 6 0
5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 0 0 9
Before we answer this one, we need to know what we've already shown. If we've already shown this hand, or if we're expecting to be in trouble any higher, then we should pass; otherwise, we should go on. I suspect that the 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bidders had forgotten that partner was forced to bid here. None of them justified their answers, but committing to an 11-trick contract with this hand seems . . hopeful. One expert panellist bid 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes), but judging from his comment, it seems he thought that he's already shown five clubs, so we can ignore that one.

So that brings up to 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) and 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). What's the difference between the three? They all must show extra values and be invitational, meaning that the difference must be based on shape, not on strength. So I'd expect 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) to show six hearts and an unspecified five-card minor, four clubs to show five hearts and six clubs, and 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) to show five-five (or six-six). The two expert panellists who bid 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) (Lavings and Fordham) believe they're already denied six hearts; the three who bid 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) didn't mention why they chose that over 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) or 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Let's see what the readers have to say about those bids.

Kees Schaafsma: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). A sound game try, keeps 3NT in the picture and it may be passed.

Alex Kemeny: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Bidding again shows the strong Michaels and this 5 card suit is so good that I will mention it. If pard has rubbish and so bids 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), I will pass.

Zbych Bednarek: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). inviting, for sure on c/h with good hand on strong hearts..

Gary Hyett: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Should show 5 good hearts in a good hand. Would not bid Michaels with 6 of the major.

David Kalnins: 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). This should show partner that I have a serious hand looking for game and has the advantage of not passing 3NT. Its also non forcing - best of all possible worlds.

Emil Battista: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) too scary for me and pass too wimpy so aiming for another poor result with 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)

Derek Pocock: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Better than I could be and with partner rejecting my known hearts, could well have enough to go one more but 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) hopefully suggests three diamond losers

Hans van Vooren: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Don't we all just love being at the 3-level and still having no idea what to do next? Why do so many people play this stupid convention after 1 in a major?

Julian Foster: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Good hand with C. Keeps 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) in the frame as a possible spot as well (partner might now be able to try that with a doubleton H). Wonder what 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) and 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) mean? 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) presumably emphasises that our Hs are good but leaves it murky which minor we hold so partner may struggle to judge what to do over it.

Michael Smart: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I am a card too good to pass.

Roger Yandle: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I don't usually play strong and weak Michaels so I'm hoping this rebid shows the strong hand with hearts and clubs.

Dan Baker: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I'll give partner one chance to stop low. 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) leaves the possibility of 3NT open, but that's only better if we have three diamond losers (else 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is fine) and the clubs run (else 3NT may go down extra).

Peter Robinson: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I'm committing us to 10 tricks when partner could have a yarborough with 2-3 clubs - so yes, this is definitely strong. It's true that partner may have some difficulty working out when to go on, but committing us to 11 tricks seems too much.

David Matthews: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Invitational to game. A bid of 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) will undoubtedly lead to 3NT which will struggle.

Barbara Hunter: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Is this enough encouragement

Leigh Matheson: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Mandatory, shows 16+. If I wasn’t prepared to take another bid here, I would have bid the suits naturally instead.

Richard Morse: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Must make one more move - 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is tempting but partner could have very little

Tim Trahair: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). N is not interested in H and he may only have a few C. We are too strong to pass 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), so this gives N a chance to go to game with decent C or covers in S and D.

I the latter case, wouldn't you prefer to be in 3NT? It's a bit harder now.

Ian Patterson: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Partner has equal length in the Minors and 5+ Spades (W failed to show 4+ Spades) so is short in Hearts.

Margaret Copland: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). playing Michaels weak or strong, without other agreements - an extra bid by me should show both the minor and the strong 16+ 4 loser type hand

Martyn Rew: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). QD and KC may well be all that is needed for game here, but as always, I am aware that partner's bid was forced

Bridge Baron: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Strong Michaels hand, act again. Partner knows about our hearts.

Although there were more of them, the 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) bidders made more-convincing arguments than the 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bidders. In the expert panel it was the same, which is why 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) scored better despite receiving fewer votes than 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Moving on to those who elected to cuebid - starting with the optimists.

Tony Treloar: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Cheapest cue available to show partner that we have a very good Michaels hand. 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) should be ok opposite whatever partner has for their bid.

Ron Landgraff: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Going to at least 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

As I mentioned before, contracting for 11 tricks on your own is . . ambitious.

Patrice Fincias: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). cue bid to inform i have a strong two suit. Will pass 4 clubs.

Griff Ware: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Enough stuff to push a level higher.

Christer Enkvist: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Show my shortness, the club suit and extra strenght.

Anne Paul: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). first round control agreeing clubs asking partner to bid 5 clubs with extras.

These two raises a good point not touched on by any other 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) bidders: does 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) set Clubs as trumps, or is it still ambiguous? One reader has a good suggestion . .

Nigel Kearney: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). We have enough for another move. Probably 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) here should be clubs and 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) diamonds because Michaels with a six card major is seldom a good idea. But without that agreement I'll just cue bid.

John R Mayne: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Is 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) as pass or correct a real thing? How does it mesh with 2N as asking? Is 2N a relay to 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)? How do we get to 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) with 2-5-5-1 opposite 4-1-1-7? I ask in good faith; I've never used 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) as pass or correct, so my answer may be dumb.

I play 3m as signoff and 2NT as asking for the minor, but that agreement is far from standard.

Ig Nieuwenhuis: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). one more try. 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) should be (relatively)safe and either 9 in NT or 11 in Clubs are possible opposite minimums like: QTxx, xx, Vxx, Hxxx or xxxx, xx, Kx, Kxx (and 2 more). I'll lose when he has a bust 6223

Damo Nair: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Seems a bit cowardly to pass even though 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) may the last making contract. Opposite 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) [that is, four-card support - FR] there may be a game.

Wayne Somerville: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). West's pass is a mild suggestion that partner has spade length. If that's the case, then 3NT doesn't look too far away.

Now back to where we began: Pass. Unlike in Problems 1 and 2, Pass does deny interest in any further action. This was very popular with the panel, but less so with the readers. Those who did so identified that the opponents haven't been bidding their spades too enthusiastically, and drawn the conclusion that partner must hold some. This was much more popular with the experts than with the readers.

Jack Lai: Pass. As W does not bid S and E does not rebid S, believe partner should hold some S length. 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) might be a good contract in a good day

Ian McCance: Pass. Sure I have a good Michaels but partner's 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is no reason to go overboard. Partner's long suit could well be spades and with maybe only 8 trumps where are we going except down?

Jacco Hop: Pass. Bidding again seems overkill. Partner might have 6232 or worse. We have bad intermediates and partner already knows we have a 2 suiter so with a hand like Axxx xx Axxx xxx He would have bid 2NT and similar for xxxx x Kxxx Kxxx

Peter Vlas: Pass. I follow partner. An ideal hand on his side might produce game, but i'm not gambling here. I Always play those two suiters solid, especially vulnerable and he knows

Brian Lawless: Pass. I have already made pard bid at the 3-level vul. He knows I have a great hand.

Tania Black: Pass. Partner needs very specific cards to provide an 11 trick game despite my strength.

Nigel Guthrie: Pass. Pass seems circumspect. If partner has a good hand, then he has a misfit, so 3N is the most likely game. Kxxxx x Qxxx xxx

These panellists largely think they've shown their hand already, whereas those who acted thought they hadn't - so this comes down to style more than judgement. I was surprised that some "experts" passed on Problem 4, but advocated a 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) overcall on Problem 5. I know playing in the majors is popular, but surely you'd prefer a 5-5 minor fit to a a 5-0 Heart fit? What do these experts know? Why, some of them have only represented Australia a couple of times.

And so my god-like existence comes to an end, and I'll go crawling back into the woodwork. Has it all been worthwhile? Ask me after the Gold Coast. 


Thanks for being a part of our forum. The questions for the April issue are already online, here.  

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

 
 

Top scores for February
1Bastiaan Korner NED500
2Christer Enkvist SWE500
3Anne Paul 500
4Tony Treloar Qld500
5Alan Jones Qld500
6Daniel Deans 500
8Henri De Jong Vic490
9Ian McCance Vic490
10Tomislav Šašek 490
11Brad Johnston 480
12Jacco Hop NED480
13Damo Nair USA480
14David Woulds GBR480
15Niklas Andrén SWE480
16Deana Wilson 480
17Peter Jeffery NSW480
18Tania Black SA480
19Derek Pocock WA470
20Dean Pokorny CRO470
21Nigel Kearney NZL470
22Gary Hyett GBR470
23Griff Ware ACT470
24Kajsa Fröjd SWE470
25John R Mayne USA470
26Geof Brod USA470
27Gareth Birdsall GBR470
28Malcolm Ewashkiw CAN470
29Leigh Blizzard Tas470
30Niek Van Vucht ACT470
31Patrice Fincias 470
32Sid Ismail RSA470
33Steven Kipperman 470
34Tom Moss NSW470
35Alan Boyce Qld470
36David Matthews WA470
37Pravin Nahar NSW470
38Ig Nieuwenhuis NED460
39Charles Scholl USA460
40Roger Yandle NSW460
41Sam Arber Vic460
42Barbara Hunter NSW460
43Dan Baker USA460
44Peter Havlicek 460
45Bram Amsel 460
46Jim Thatcher NSW460
47Peter Stride Qld460
48Murray Perrin Qld460
49Mark Jappe SA460
50Jack Lai 460
51Leigh Matheson NSW460
52Peter Vlas NED460
53 Manuel Paulo 460
54Kay O'Connor NSW450
55Margaret Copland Vic450
56Peter Nuoristo SWE450
57Ron Landgraff USA450
58Nigel Guthrie GBR450
59Julian Foster NSW450
60David Johnson CAN450
61David Winter Vic450
62Dominic Connolly NSW450
63Gary Lane NSW450
64Brian Lawless 450
65Tom Estenson USA440
66John Newman NSW440
67Zbych Bednarek POL440
68Fraser Rew NZL440
69Denis Upsall 440
70Ivan Demeny NSW440
71Rainer Herrmann GER440
72Fredrik Jarlvik SWE440
73Bridge Baron USA430
74Arthur Porter SA430
75Michael Smart ACT430
76Alex Kemeny NSW430
77David Kalnins NSW430
79Leon Slonim Vic430
80Ian Patterson Qld430
81Hans Van Vooren NED420
82Todd Holes USA420
83Richard Morse GBR420
84Robert Black SA420
85Andrew MacAlister GBR420
86Kees Schaafsma NED420
87Michael Burt ACT420
88Michael Seldon NSW420
     

Leading scores for 2015
1Bastiaan Korner NED500
2Christer Enkvist SWE500
3Anne Paul 500
4Tony Treloar Qld500
5Alan Jones Qld500
6Daniel Deans 500
8Henri De Jong Vic490
9Ian McCance Vic490
10Tomislav Šašek 490
11Brad Johnston 480
12Jacco Hop NED480
13Damo Nair USA480
14David Woulds GBR480
15Niklas Andrén SWE480
16Deana Wilson 480
17Peter Jeffery NSW480
18Tania Black SA480
19Derek Pocock WA470
20Dean Pokorny CRO470
21Nigel Kearney NZL470
22Gary Hyett GBR470
23Griff Ware ACT470
24Kajsa Fröjd SWE470
25John R Mayne USA470
26Geof Brod USA470
27Gareth Birdsall GBR470
28Malcolm Ewashkiw CAN470
29Leigh Blizzard Tas470
30Niek Van Vucht ACT470
31Patrice Fincias 470
32Sid Ismail RSA470
33Steven Kipperman 470
34Tom Moss NSW470
35Alan Boyce Qld470
36David Matthews WA470
37Pravin Nahar NSW470
38Ig Nieuwenhuis NED460
39Charles Scholl USA460
40Roger Yandle NSW460
41Sam Arber Vic460
42Barbara Hunter NSW460
43Dan Baker USA460
44Peter Havlicek 460
45Bram Amsel 460
46Jim Thatcher NSW460
47Peter Stride Qld460
48Murray Perrin Qld460
49Mark Jappe SA460
50Jack Lai 460
51Leigh Matheson NSW460
52Peter Vlas NED460
53 Manuel Paulo 460
54Kay O'Connor NSW450
55Margaret Copland Vic450
56Peter Nuoristo SWE450
57Ron Landgraff USA450
58Nigel Guthrie GBR450
59Julian Foster NSW450
60David Johnson CAN450
61David Winter Vic450
62Dominic Connolly NSW450
63Gary Lane NSW450
64Brian Lawless 450
65Tom Estenson USA440
66John Newman NSW440
67Zbych Bednarek POL440
68Fraser Rew NZL440
69Denis Upsall 440
70Ivan Demeny NSW440
71Rainer Herrmann GER440
72Fredrik Jarlvik SWE440
73Bridge Baron USA430
74Arthur Porter SA430
75Michael Smart ACT430
76Alex Kemeny NSW430
77David Kalnins NSW430
79Leon Slonim Vic430
80Ian Patterson Qld430
81Hans Van Vooren NED420
82Todd Holes USA420
83Richard Morse GBR420
84Robert Black SA420
85Andrew MacAlister GBR420
86Kees Schaafsma NED420
87Michael Burt ACT420
88Michael Seldon NSW420
     
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
April issue of Australian Bridge. And don't forget to check out your
February issue to see what the experts said about this month's hands.