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October 2020 - Solution
What Would You Bid?
October Solutions

Here we go with our 10 months’ What Would You Bid Competition. The response has been overwhelming and humbling (51 competitors!). 
 
Let’s hope my meagre shoulders are capable of carrying the burden and of giving your engagement justice.
 
The aim is simple: Humour, Engage, Gel and Learn. If we are lucky, we might see an expert or two with egg on their face. 
 
The rules for judging are simple. The bid with most votes amongst the experts gets 10 points. No expert bid gets less than 4 points. No competitor bid gets less than 1 point. We honour the fact that you take part, have reflected and by doing so are on the route to improvement.
 
It was a delight to see that many of the competitors have put their panelist boots on and have given me an insight to their expertise. Unfortunately, or fortunately whatever might be the case their comments will be for my eyes only - unless I see a comment that I think can be used to add to the experts’ wisdom.
 
I’m sure that over the next 10 months we will get to know our experts’ personalities, if not their
family history or world views. 
 
The first set of hands might not have been the most difficult ones, but we did get to see some divergence in the expert panel. Only 4 of our panelists got a perfect 40, and not a single one of our competitors got a humiliating ‘Quatre points’ - we leave that for Norwegians in Eurovision!
 
The front runners after round one are: Ian Pendlebury with a perfect 40, Peter Foster (38), Victor Ridding (37) and Adrian Shiers (37).
 
I’ll interject comments as and where I feel them to be appropriate and they will all be in italics.
 


Problem 1
 
Bidding:
 
North    East    South    West
1♠       2      dbl       pass
?
 
You Hold:
 
♠ AK864
 A9842
 -
♣ A102
 
Should you Kiss or should you Tell? The great majority of our experts think it best to tell, whilst a few want to give partner some space to tell before the kissing can start. First let’s see what the ones who know where to go have to say.
 
Joy Blakey: 6 I thought of all sorts of forcing bids, 3 , 4  even 5  but not sure where these would get me so bid the most practical bid without giving away any info! Joy’s partners obviously tend to always produce the goods!
 
Now what about the slow walkers?
 
Irving Blakey: 3 . Forcing to at least game. Subsequent bidding will depend upon sophistication of partnership methods when small (or even grand) slam may be reached. Is Joy the maverick and Irving the rock in this partnership? Time will tell! 
 
Raymond Semp: 3  First establish a game going hand as 6  is looking good - As his double indicates - Showing Hearts & Clubs.
 
Both aiming for a slam but wanting to get some more info from partner. Now a few voices from the majority.
 
Michael Byrne: 4   Splinter agreeing hearts. My hand is too powerful for a leap to 4 , which may miss a slam facing as little as xx, KJxx, xxx, Kxxx, where we need either hearts to come in or a 3-3 spade break. There is some danger partner will think I am self-agreeing my own spades, but I think spade hands would start with 3 , then pull the expected 3  to 3♠  to show a single suited game force. If partner signs off in 4  I will bid again, I don't expect to go down at the 5 level. Michael’s comment on the distinction between the 3  and 4  bid is interesting and one we should take note of. 
 
Espen Lindqvist: 4  Should be short diamonds and a heart-fit. Short and sweet, no indication of future ambitions. 
 
Rhona Goldenfield: 4  It is always better to agree suit so there is no confusion in the later bidding if partner bids 4  i will bid 4♠  now partner should get the picture that I have a very good hand. From the School of ‘Make it easy for partner’. We could all pick up more than one page from that curriculum!  
 
Alan Jones: 4  This is not clear-cut since South's double can be 8+ with four hearts or 10+ clubs, so 3  (strong, tell me more) or 3  (strong, two-suited) are also acceptable bids. I prefer 4  (splinter with at least four hearts as I play it) since it gets my slam ambitions over. This uncertainty might be what makes some of the experts go for 3  to get clarification before the slamming starts?
 
Jeffery Smith: 4  There is a high likelihood of a heart slam, and this bid best describes this prospect.
 
Tom Slater4 Feels right for shortage and slam ambition, not clear if this could be single-suited with strong spades or not, but hope that partner will expect hearts. Intend to pass 4  not make a further move. A bit like inviting Cinderella to the ball and not trying to find out if the shoe fits because she is a bit shy! 
 
Here comes my favourite, maybe a bit space consuming, but it will get you to a slam!
 
Alec Smalley: 5  I am going to the six level whether partner likes it or not! I know it is pairs but this gets my hand across so well that if Partner bids 5  with X - KQxx - Jxxx - Kxxx (a very minimal T/o x of 2 ) then a raise to six still has good chances) with more Partner might bid on to 7 . If Partner bids 6  after the 5  bid I bid the 7th. If P has 5♣  and 3  still happy to play 6♣ . I love it! No limping chickens as we say in Norway. It must be a void and showing willingness to play a small slam in all the other denominations and looking for a grand. Should we be glad or despair not having Exclusion Blackwood on our card? 
 
There you have it. I do prefer 3 as it keeps more options open. Toms unwillingness to procede if partner bids 4 shows the problem with 4 , but I have to give in to the superior force of the experts: they prefer to tell, with a few outliers going for the kiss. 
 
Bid Points #Panelists #Competitors
4  10 10 10
3  8 2 5
5  6 1 0
6  5 1 0
4  4 0 12
3  3 0 15
5  1 0 1
Pass 1 0 1
2  1 0 7

 

 


Problem 2

Bidding:
 
North    East    South    West
1       pass    1♠        pass
1NT      pass    3NT       pass
?
 
You Hold:
 
♠ QJ3
 AK1095
 A108
♣ J9
 
Do you trust your partner to be able to stop the clubs? I’m sure this problem is from a hand where North passed and East/West run off with 5 club tricks whilst 4  was stone cold on the Moysian fit. Any expert takers?
 
David Barton: Pass. Partner could find something other than 3N if he had 5♠  or 3  It is possible to construct hands where 4♠  on the 4-3 fit makes and 3N goes off, but I consider the converse more likely.
 
John Currie: Pass. Partner could have asked whether I had 3♠  or 5 . So I pass and hope he doesn’t have a 4252 hand!
 
John Holland: Pass. A non-problem, If I was worried about 3NT, then should have bid something other than 1NT on previous round.
 
Jeffrey Smith: Pass. There is no reason for any other action - Pass has closed the auction.
 
Competitor Peter Foster: Pass. I must be missing something. No and Yes. No: Your answer is picture perfect. Yes: The fact that you have outgrown the fear of ending up with egg on your face after having conducted a sound bidding sequence to a sound contract.
 
So, take the cues from the expert - trust your partner. If you have occasional bad results, they are more than counter-balanced by all the good results you get by just trusting partner. 
 
Bid Points #Panelists #Competitors
Pass 10 14 40
4  2 0 9
4  1 0 1
4  1 0 1

 

An extra sympathy point for the 4S bidders.

 


 

Problem 3
 
Bidding:
 
North    East    South    West
                      1        pass
1       1♠     2♣        3♠ 
4♣       pass    pass      4♠ 
?
 
You Hold:

♠ 6
 A107432
 Q
♣ K8654
 
Some panelists are critical of the 4 bid, why did they not bid 5 in the first place? Let’s hear from those who stick to their guns.
 
John Currie: Pass. Leave it up to partner and blame him if he gets it wrong! One who’s been around the blocks a few times and likes to be prepared for the post-mortem!
 
John Holland: Pass. If I thought the hand was only worth 4♣  on previous round. The School of not telling the same story twice. 
 
Rhona Goldenfield: Partner did not raise my 4 ♣ to 5 so now I leave the decision to partner.
 
Alec Smalley: Pass. Why didn't I bid 5♣  first time round? As I haven't, I am not going to take the second bite at the cherry - as West has done - it's my Partners's decision even if I haven't shown my playing strength in ♣ . If Partner doubles clear A  and another - Partner is obviously short . Well you got the chance to right your wrongs and didn’t take it. As the Rueful Rabbit said, if people were not so busy righting wrongs, there would not be so many wrongs to right! 
 
What from the killing squad?
 
Joy Blakey: Dbl. Partner can decide whether to remove it. (at teams I would bid 5♣  but take my chances at pairs). The reluctant assassin.
 
Raymond Semp: Dbl. I don't want partner bidding 5♣  when I think 4♠  won't make if partner has the two minor Aces, and what looks like short hearts. I should have added. And opposition lead a club. Sorry about that. The goalie saving his partner from temptation. 
 
Now let’s hear from the majority, what are their excuses for bidding on?

Michael Byrne: 5♣  The bid that I should have made on the previous round. I was prepared to give up on 4  once partner suggests 5-5 or extra playing strength (he is not obliged to bid 2♣  after 1♠ , so he should have some reason to bid) and 5♣  will certainly have good play facing the expected singleton heart. I have no idea what the opponents are doing, raising to 3♠ and then 4♠  is either a cunning tactic designed to get me to double them, or they are just beginners. Regardless I hope to hit something like xx, x, Axxxx, AQxxx, or perhaps xx, x, AKxxxx, AJxx, which will make 11 tricks fairly straight forward. 
 
Espen Lindqvist: 5♣  Would probably have bid game on the previous round. Anyway, i got another chance.
 
Jeffrey Smith: 5♣  I would have bid 4♠  on the previous round, but now partner has passed 4♣ , there is little prospect of slam and 5♣  should be making with the penalty of defending 4♠  probably small.
 
Two different attitudes, either take control and bid 5♣  or double, or kick the can down the road for partner to deal with. You should not let them play undoubled in a sacrifice, so it has to be a question of 5  or double. Who’s best situated to decide? When it comes to criticising previous bids, we have all been in bidding sequences where we realise too late that we have made a bad bid and now have to play catchup.  
 
Bid Points #Panelists #Competitors
5♣  10 8 38
Pass 8 4 4
Dbl 6 2 9
 


Problem 4
 
 
Bidding:
 
North    East    South    West
            1♣      dbl       2♣ 
?
 
You Hold:
 
♠ AK102
  4
 KJ764
♣ 542
 

What is the best way to get the most information out of partner? What is the most informative bid for partner? 
 
Raymond Semp: 4♠  If partner has 4 spades I cannot think of a hand that he has that cannot make game. He is known to be short in clubs and I must be declarer and protect my  King against a ruff if West is on lead. No room for discussion here, the point about the  King is a good one though
 
Let's hear from those who wants to discuss the end station:
 
David Barton: 3♣  I am going to bid game, just need to sort out in which suit.
 
John Holland:  3♣  2 suits, will drive to game.
 
Alan Jones: 3♣  Since partner should be short of clubs, I am prepared to go to game (or even more!) in either spades or diamonds. Since I want to investigate both suits, I start with a cue bid of their suit. Bidding a suit suggests a more single-suited hand
 
Tom Slater: 3♣ At pairs I don't want to lose the major suit bonus for playing 4♠  even in a Moysian. Still, partner could have all sorts, so I would start with 3♣  then aim for 4♠  on most hands unless partner is keen to show diamonds. Best defence for the bid I love.
 
All sounding sound to me. As soon as you know your partner’s best suit, bid the game. Short and sweet. Let’s hear the majority
 
Irving Blakey: Dbl. Indicating at least two places to play and values.
 
Joy Blakey: Dbl. Showing values, at least two places to play. Harmony reestablished! 
 
Michael Byrne: Dbl. My flexible friend. I am worth 4♠ , but the trouble with bidding it straight away is that it might be a 4-3 fit (where have all the hearts gone?) and it won't leave partner well placed if they raise to 5♣ . My alternative call of 3♣  frequently suggests both majors, and convincing partner that I actually have diamonds and spades may take some time. Double is responsive and partner will bid suits up the line, giving priority to the majors as usual. When I convert hearts to spades later, he will infer I have diamonds as well - or at least that's the hope. As usual Michael gets to the crux of the matter: Is 3♣  both majors or two places to play? You have to sort this one out with your partner so that the convincing might take less time.
 
Espen Lindqvist: Dbl. This normally shows both majors. But my plan is to convert partner's heart bid to spades (4). This way i hope to bring diamonds into the picture. On Michaels team! 
 
There you have it. I can’t see that it is much in it. Dbl or 3 , both should get you to the right game. Horses for courses I guess.
 
 
Bid Points #Panelists #Competitors
Dbl 10 7 5
3♣  9 6 7
4♠   5 1 8
3♠  3 0 11
2NT 1 0 1
2♠  1 0 6
3   1 0 7
2  1 0 5
4  1 0 1
 

 

Results October
 
 
Panelist Problem 1  Problem 1  Problem 1  Problem 1  Total
David Barton   4 Pass 5♣  3♣ 39
Irving Blakey  3 Pass 5♣ Dbl  38 
Joy Blakey  6   Pass Dbl Dbl 31
Michael Byrne  4  Pass 5♣ Dbl  40
John Currie  4 Pass Pass Dbl 38
Rhona Goldenfield 4 Pass Pass 3♣ 37  
John Holland   4 Pass Pass 3♣ 37
Rodney Lighton  4  Pass 5♣  Dbl 40
Espen Lindqvist 4 Pass 5♣  Dbl 40
Alan Jones  4 Pass 5♣  3♣ 39
Raymond Semp  3 Pass Dbl 4♠   29
Tom Slater 4 Pass 5♣ 3♣ 39
Alec Smalley  5  Pass Pass  Dbl 33
Jeffrey Smith  4 Pass 5♣  Dbl 40


This Month’s Top Competitors (60% or Higher Score)

 

Place Competitor Score
1 Ian Pendlebury 40
2 Peter Foster 38
3 Victor Ridding 37
= Adrian Shiers 37
5 Paul Worswick  35
6 Andrea Knowles 34
7 Andy Robertshaw  33
8 Christine Benson 32
= Adam Wiseberg 32
10 Mary Green  31
= Sue Webborn 31
= Joyce White  31
= Ann Thornton 31
14 Dhun Daji  30
= Michael Wymer 30
16 Richard Acaster 29
= Rob Harris  29
= Michael Parr  29
=
Andy Green
29
20 Geoff Ashcroft 28
21 Joyce Jones 27
= Michael Greaney  27
23 Jean Musker  26
= Heather Saunders 26
= Liz Ineson 26
26 George Leigh 25
= Paul Morrell  25
28 Steven Mattinson  24
= Barbara Lewis  24
= Del O'Sullivan 24
= Michelle Bovensiepen  24
= Ros Moorhouse  24
= David Fussell 24
= Val Hempstock 24

 

If your name is not on the list, do not despair - 9 more chances to show that you are the bidding wiz of Bramhall & Cheadle Hulme Bridge Centre.

 
Espen Gisvold
Competition Editor