Bramhall & Cheadle Hulme Bridge Centre
Welcome Message

Welcome to Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme Bridge Centre.

We are at:

Bramhall Village Club
2 Melbourne Road
Bramhall SK7 1LR

We look forward to seing you in the club or in our online events. 

More contact information HERE

Alec Smalley - Chair & Steve Mattinson - Vice Chair
 

Release 2.19o
0 0 0 0 0 0
Pages viewed in 2022
October Solutions

October’s Solution

 

Mama Mia, here we go again. As ABBA has re-emerged, I thought this could be a good way to kick off this season of What Would You Bid. You must know about the music scene in Scandinavia to realise how difficult it is for me to put ABBA’s name to paper! As a Hoola Bandoola Band fan, this is as hard as it is for a Man U fan to pour praise on Man C or vice versa!

This season, we post 6 problems every second month and we have a prize for the competitor achieving the highest score for each set.

We have lost two panelists, and Peter Foster who won last season’s competition and was invited to sit on the panel but declined, whilst Victor Ridding - the runner up - has taken his just seat on the Panel.

We have had solutions from all but two of our panelists. I’m sure we will all learn from their wisdom.

I define a good bidding problem as one that divides the panel into at least 3 groups of reasoning. That will provide us with a lot of food for thought. Only one problem came short this time around, as expected: opening bids will not often split more than two ways, but it was still a problem from which we can learn from the panelists’ reasoning.

No competitor, and only one panelist (Alan Mould), managed the perfect score of 60. This month’s winner, and the first winner of the equivalent of £10 worth of bridge, is Neil Thomas with 56 points, followed by Mel Pelham on 53 and Dhun Daji on 50. As the use of the scale from 10 to 0 is harsher than previously these are great scores.

 

My inline comments will as usually be in italic! Enjoy!


Problem 1

 
 
Dealer: South
Love All
Teams
 
South  
West  
North  
East  

 1 

1♠
Pass
3♠
Dbl
Pass
5♣
Pass
?
 
South:
♠ -
 AKJT
 AKJ432
♣ KQ5
 

What can partner have for the jump to 5♣ ? Obviously less than 7 hcp based on the first round pass, but can she hold anything less than ♣  Axxxxx? Let’s start with those who know where they want to be

The low road:

Irving Blakey: 6♣. It's hard to imagine a hand opposite that doesn't hold the Ace of Clubs and holding an Ace to spare for my bidding, the Grand is very tempting but being the timid sort.....can't see a way of knowing for sure - Is 5 Spades a GSF….?

The high road:

Alec Smalley: 7♣. Count me in with Len (I had to check this with Barbara) - SEVEN ♣. We haven't got any systemic responses to 5NT trump suit ask - so I have to guess Partners trump strength Axxxxx it makes easily - Axxxx will be awkward - the unconditional leap feels like 6 card ♣’s

Jeffrey Smith: 7♣ . Partner surely has Axxxxx clubs for their bid.

Now we have the panelists who want to consult with partner - maybe from past experience?

Joy Blakey: 5 NT. if partner has ♣A I am looking for the grand.

The majority have a different view on how to proceed:

Royce Alexander: 5♠. Are partner's clubs Axxxxx or Jxxxxxx? Over 5NT GSF, the reply would be 6♣ (0 or 1) which does not help. So, my bid is 5♠ as a try for 7♣. Even if partner has xxxx xxx void Axxxxx, 7♣ is good as the chances of Diamonds coming in are over 62%.

Michael Byrne: 5♠. This is a grand slam try with clubs as trumps. We are almost certainly cold for 7♣ since partner can scarcely hold less than AJ10xxx or Axxxxx, (my double of 3♠ only promised 3♣ or on a bad day a doubleton if I was say 1462) but I must tread carefully.  Over 5♠ partner can either bid 6♣ with no interest or 5NT as a try, which I will then bid 7♣ over. To be honest I am sure I would punt 7♣ if my life depends on it, but it doesn't so I shall take a scientific approach. 

Rhona Goldenfield: 5♠

Alan Jones: 5♠. Partner has a black 2-suiter with lots of clubs. I will take a 5NT bid to show the club Ace rather than the spade Ace.

Rodney Lighton: 5♠. I'm raising to 6♣, but partner doesn't need much to make a grand, so will try for that on the way though it may be difficult for her to realise she has the right cards.

Alan Mould: 5♠. Clearly this is a slam drive and why shouldn't partner have Axxxxx clubs and out?

Victor Ridding: 5♠. I want to be in at least 6♣ and 7 must be at least a possibility.

Raymond Semp: 5♠. Meant as a Grand Slam try. Axxxxx (x) in clubs and good red suit holdings - like Queens or shortage.

Both 5 and 5NT are grand slam tries. Michael Byrne’s ‘Over 5 partner can either bid 6 with no Interest or 5NT as a try’ might be what tips the balance in favour of 5 over 5NT as the grand slam try. No competitor got this one right, so a problem to read and re-read.

 

Problem 1
#Panelists
Score
#No Competitors
5♠ 
9
10
0
7♣ 
2
7
1
5NT
1
6
2
6♣ 
1
4
9
Pass
0
2
7
5 
0
1
2

 


 

Dealer: East
Game All
Teams
South  
West  
North
East  
1♠
Pass
2♠
4  (1)
4♠
Pass
Pass
Dbl(2)
Pass
?

(1) 5+  & 5+   
(2) Action

♠ A103
 943
 653
♣ J652

Are you happy to sit this double out? You are born with a double fit in the red suits so there might not be too many doubled undertricks out and about?

Raymond Semp: 4NT. You choose or PASS with xxx in clubs. Will need a lot from partner’s red suits for 4NT to make, will it not?

Joy Blakey: 5. it doesn't say whether 4 is weak or strong and I can't guarantee that 4♠ is going off. Hard to imagine a slam. Guess this is the safest bid if you don’t want to sit on the double.

Rodney Lighton: 5. Defending could be right, but there is the possibility that both sides can make game. School of ‘when in doubt, bid one more’

Victor Ridding: 5. It is possible that both 5 and 4♠ are going off but this seems unlikely. Taking the sacrifice in the belief that 4 makes.

Rhona Goldenfield: 5.

Now to the panelists who want to defend.

Royce Alexander: Pass. I think the TNT is 19, and 5/ likely to be -1 TNT is Total Number of Tricks. For the uninitiated this is the basis for ‘The Law’ where the number of tricks the two sides can make equals the total numbers of trump. So 11 spades between the opponents together with our 8 (or 10 +9) is 19. If we can make 10 tricks they cannot make more than 9 (19-10) is the theory.

David Barton: Pass. Partner could have tried 4NT or 5 if he was not prepared for me to Pass on this type of hand. Always a good idea to have the argument at hand if our bids turn out badly.

Irving Blakey: Pass. Partner has a good hand but would compete with 4NT with extreme shape. Don't fancy the five level.

Michael Byrne: Pass. Partner's double shows extra strength and all of my high cards are in the black suits. If partner had some 1-5-7-0 monster he could have bid 5 himself, so I shall pass and try for a small plus on defence. It isn't actually that unlikely that the JC will score a trick, and people bid 4♠ on all kinds of rubbish in these situations. 

Alan Jones: Pass. Too many losers for me.

Alan Mould: Pass. Something of a guess. I don't think I am making 5/ (pard has made the wrong bid if I am) but 4♠ is quite likely to be cold. 5/ is probably 500 which is better than 790, but there is a chance of beating this if pard has a lot of aces and that then is hugely right. I will take my chances.

Alec Smalley: Pass. no help for partner’s suits - only values are defensive

Jeffrey Smith: Pass. This is a tough call but this Dbl should show some top tricks so with ♠Ace this looks the best option. If partner is really 6-6, then he should not be doubling again (too shapely).

This problem was set by Michael Byrne, who noted:

Michael Byrne: This hand is from a recent knock out match in an Indian online event. My team-mate bid 4NT and his partner went for 500 in 5X whilst 4♠ was two down in top tricks, although at the other table I had escaped for one down undoubled against some Russians

As was said, it is a bit of a guess, but there are a few tools to help us to become better guessers. One is ‘The Law of Total Tricks’ and another just to look at what a monster of a hand partner must have for 5 in one of her suits to be on. And if partner had that monster hand, he would as pointed out, not have made a double.

 

Problem 2
#Panelists
Score
#No Competitors
Pass
8
10
5
4NT
1
6
1
5 
3
5
9
5 
1
5
3
5♣ 
0
1
1
4 
0
0
2

 

 


Problem 3

 

 

Dealer: West
Game All
Teams

 South  

West  
North  
East  
3♣
Pass
Pass
?

♠ -
 AKJ9732
 AK1042
♣ 10

You have a very strong two suiter and the opponents have taken away the bidding space you’d love to have to investigate slam properly. Do you just settle for game, bid slam or try something more scientific?

Let’s hear it from the scientific minority:

Michael Byrne: 4. With my regular partner I play 4  here as + a major, and I think this has now crossed into mainstream. This doesn't solve the problem of course, since if partner bids 4 (Pass or correct) I will have no idea whether to leave it or try 5. And if partner raises 4 to 5? I suppose I will try 5 and hope to survive. Where have all the spades gone? An interesting question - maybe Peter Seeger could help us out?

Joy Blakey: 4♣. if partner bids 4♠ I am prepared to bid 5H and hope he realises I have a big red 2 suiter.

Alec Smalley: 4♣. Leaping Michaels - 4! is not on our card - although apparently it was on the previous board - so I can't bid that. 4♣ - 2 places to play - GF it is - just hope partner can bid a shorter red suit before the unthinking ♠ bid.

Jeffrey Smith: 4♣. Showing a powerful two suiter.

Now for the crowd going for broke:

David Barton: 6. By far the most difficult hand of the set. I would like to get both of my suits in but cannot see how to do that without risking playing in  when partner has equal length in the red suits or partner believing I have Spades. Partner will of course hold something like Kxxx - Qxxxx Axxx and I will go down in 6 with 7 cold.

Irving Blakey: 6. Always prefer the scientific approach.

Raymond Semp: 6. Another complete guessing game! Partner could hold; KJxxx, x, xx, KQxxx. xxxx, xxxx, xx, xxx. xxxxx, x, QJ9x, xxx. OR xxxxx. Qx QJxx, Axx. Conclusion - Double, PASS, 6, OR 7!! I steer for the middle ground and bid 6! Not often taking a guess at a slam is called middle ground!

Now to the most popular bid:

Royce Alexander: 4. 2nd choice would be 4NT showing a 2 suite.

Rhona Goldenfield: 4 

Alan Jones: 4. If only double carried the meaning 'don't bid 4♠ partner' I would be there. Since pre-empts are often accompanied by bad breaks I will bid this one down.

Rodney Lighton: 4. Slam could easily be on, but double or 4♣ may get us too high when partner bids spades.

Alan Mould: 4. A bit good, but what can I do?

Victor Ridding: 4. If it is wrong then pre-empts sometimes work.

I seem to remember an old mantra - over a pre-empt your first responsibility is to bid the game. I don’t know if the ‘science’ of 4 or 4 makes anything easier for you in getting to a slam, so if you think slam is on - do as Raymond et al and bid it!

 

Problem 3
#Panelists
Score
#No Competitors
4 
6
10
13
6 
3
5
1
4♣ 
3
4
3
4 
1
4
0
3 
0
1
2
Dbl
0
1
1
4NT
0
0
1

 


Problem 4

Dealer: South
Love All
MP Pairs
South  
West  
North  
East  
?

♠ -
 AQ
 A765
♣ AKQ10864

Opening bids don’t really lend themselves as good bidding problems, but we included this one as it has some interesting points to be discussed. How ‘weak’ can you be for an opening 2? Do you really preserve bidding space by opening 1? Let’s see what the 2 clubbers have to say.

Royce Alexander: 2♣. Too strong for 1♣. Short and to the point.

Irving Blakey: 2♣. For a number of reasons. Good to know, but which reasons?

Joy Blakey: 2♣. Acol strongest bid. Can’t argue with that.

Rhona Goldenfield: 2♣.

The 1 clubbers have more to say to justify their bid.

David Barton: 1♣. I assume I do not have any sensible methods (Multi or Benji) to show my 8/9 trick hand. Not likely to get passed out but I am going to have a hard time convincing partner I am this good.

Michael Byrne: 1♣. At last an easy one! This will never be passed out when I have a spade void and I am well placed for later, rebidding 3NT over a 1♠ response. The trouble with opening 2♣ is that partner with a misfitting 9 count normally forces to some doomed slam eg KJ9xx, Kxxx, Qxx, x The point of 2 tempting partner to go for a doomed slam is a good one.

Alan Jones: 1♣. I have a lot to tell partner and I will be well placed if the bidding continues. It usually does when you have a void. Starting at the 2-level will use up a lot of bidding room. Don’t know if you really do save much bidding space as you will have to jump very soon.

Rodney Lighton: 1♣. The auction won't die here and I may be guessing a bit on the next round. Opening 2♣, which is the alternative, is inviting the opponents to pre-empt wildly in spades. Will you be better positioned after 1♣  - 1 - pass - 4 than after 2 - 2 - pass - 4? Will partner be better placed after 1 - 1 - pass - 4; 5 - 5 than after 2 - 2 - pass - 4; 5 - 5?

Alan Mould: 1♣. With a void ♠ it is almost impossible this will get passed out. And starting hands like this with 2♣ never works well. I assume the ‘not working well’ bit is much along the same lines as Michael’s point about tempting partner to go on to a hopeless slam?

Victor Ridding: 1♣. I don't see this being passed out with a Spade void. I want to have the chance to bid Diamonds later so partner can value any honours they have in that suit. As Voltaire’s Candide we might live in the best of all possible worlds and be allowed to get the  suit mentioned.

Raymond Semp: 1♣. Not sure about the 2♣ rule! Which I would like to bid (23 HCP+ or Game Forcing). I doubt it will be passed out. Prepared to bid to 6♣ if partner speaks in a red suit.

Alec Smalley: 1♣. What else?

The 1 Clubbers win the discussion both in votes, words and arguments. If the bidding gets up to outer space before it comes around to you, partner might be better placed when you ‘bid one more’ if you had started with 2C rather than 1C. Other than that I must admit that the 1 clubbers have it! Some of the competitors have suggested 2 (Benji) and this is based on the same arguments as the 2 opening, but we use ‘Standard English Modern Acol’ as our system, hence the downgrade.

 

Problem 4
#Panelists
Score
#No Competitors
1♣ 
8
10
7
2♣ 
4
8
11
2 
0
5
2
Benjii
3NT
0
0
1

 


 

Problem 5

Dealer: West
Love All
MP Pairs
South   
West  
North    
East  
1♣
dbl
1 
2  (1)
3 
pass(2)
pass
?

(1) Both majors
(2) No preference and minimum


♠ J98432
 KJ7652
 -
♣ 9

We surely want to declare this hand, but how do we win the contract and how do we get to the best destination? Let’s start with the sneaky route

Alan Jones: 3. Only because I think a 4 bid will be a transfer to 5. I expect them to bid again and hope that they will leave me alone when I bid a 'reluctant' 4.

Alec Smalley: 3♠. Teams this is an easy 4 bid - please pick at game level. However, the chances of game are 50/50 at best I think – partner’s most likely shape is 3-3-5-2? so at pairs 3♠() will do me

Then we have the game bidders:

Royce Alexander: 4. The better suit. 6 loser hand worth game.

Jeffrey Smith: 4. Preferred a 4 bid on the previous round. Now best to just choose the suit since 4 will show a better hand with serious slam interest.

Finally, the buck passers:

Irving Blakey: 4♠. No good reason to pass the buck with 4 and might need a Diamond lead to make this (more likely from W than E perhaps?). Bad trump break feels more likely to scupper a Spade than a Heart contract although North would probably need to hold a 3/3/5/2 for it to matter. (Answers or questions on a postcard to Espen as to why). Might even be a slam but how do you get to that without a crystal ball? Anyway, the real problem comes when they bid 5 (or even 6!) of a minor! I'd be more likely to take insurance (which could well make!) if it were imps rather than match points. Exhausted!!! I am always open to receive postcards, but I doubt I have a better answer or question than the ones given here…

The rest pass the buck without surpassing 4.

David Barton: 4. I said choose a Major partner!! Do as you are told!!

Joy Blakey: 4. partner bid your preferred Major.

Michael Byrne: 4. He can really choose! It's probably better to bid 4♠, as normally you want the weaker of two trump suits (to avoid a ruff when partner has say Q10x, AQx, Kxxx, xxx etc) but I shall let partner choose, and out the weak hand on lead so he doesn't know which minor suit ace to cash. Incidentally I am not sure why I bid 2 which is always played as natural, I think 2♣  (or even 4♣!) is clearer on the first round.

Rhona Goldenfield: 4.

Rodney Lighton: 4. More both majors.

Alan Mould: 4. What else?

Victor Ridding: 4. Still both majors !

Raymond Semp: 4. I definitely do not want to defend on this hand. so you choose. I am big for my bid!

Michael’s comment that you want the weaker of the two suits as trumps is one to take note of. I don’t know if it is worth getting to the 5 level to achieve this though as Irving does. Take his word over and above mine!

 

Problem 5
#Panelists
Score
#No Competitors
4 
7
10
3
4♣ 
1
8
0
4 
2
4
8
4♠ 
1
4
1
3
1
1
4
3♠ 
1
1
2
Pass
0
1
2
Dbl
0
1
1

 

 


Problem 6

Dealer: East
N/S Vulnerable
MP Pairs
South  
West  
North  
East  
1♣
?
 

♠ K10973
 K9862
 AJ6
♣ -

 

This, both for the panel and the competitors was the easiest problem. Let’s have a look at what the minority had to say in their defence.

Jeffrey Smith: 1♠. With relatively weak suits, best to just do a simple overcall initially.

Joy Blakey: Dbl. With Irving I would bid 2♣ for the Majors but I think dbl with no partnership understanding.

Alan Jones: 3♣.

That is the offering from the minority - I think there is a lot to be said for Jeffrey’s 1, but maybe not enough?

Royce Alexander: 2♣. Showing 5-5 in the majors seems better than DBL or simple overall.

David Barton: 2♣. Michaels. These days with short Clubs being common some people play 2♣ as natural and 2 as the Michaels Cue.

Irving Blakey: 2♣. Isn't this what the system dictates?

Michael Byrne: 2♣ . Majors. I always use conventions that share my name, since it is such an awesome one to begin with. 2♣ here is pretty dubious but the hearts might get lost, and I am not really worth multiple bids. I dread to think what a bid named after me would be - Gisvolds Mis Bid (GMB): Any bid where it is blatantly obvious you should pass?

Rhona Goldenfield: 2♣.

Rodney Lighton: 2♣. Get both majors into the picture as soon as possible, if I overcall 1♠ or double we may lose a 5-3 major fit.

Alan Mould: 2♣. (or 2 whichever is 5-5 majors). Again, what else? Nothing much!

Victor Ridding: 2♣. Michaels cue bid showing at least 5-5 in the majors and 8+ points according to the system we have been given. Ideally, I would have preferred better holding in the majors but the intermediates are good.

Raymond Semp: 2♣. I assume if 2 was showing majors on board 5, 2♣ must show the same!

Alec Smalley: 2♣ . although this is playable in Diamonds I want to stress the 5/5 in Majors - it is pairs and they score so much better.

That’s it for this time. Take your time to look at the next set of problems. Get your thinking hat on and send in your answers before the deadline 1st January 2022.

Problem 6
#Panelists
Score
#No Competitors
2♣ 
10
10
14
1♠ 
1
8
2
2NT
0
5
1
3♣ 
1
3
0
Dbl
1
1
4

Panelists

Panelists
P 1
P 2
P 3
P 4
P 5
P 6
Sum
Alan Mould
5
Pass
4
1
4
2
60
David Barton
5
Pass
6
1
4
2
55
Rodney Lighton
5
5
4
1
4
2
55
Victor Ridding
5
5
4
1
4
2
55
Michael Byrne
5
Pass
4
1
4
2
54
Rhona Goldenfield
5
5
4
2
4
2
53
Royce Alexander
5
Pass
4
2
4
2
52
Raymond Semp
5
4NT
6
1
4
2
49
Alan Jones
5
Pass
4
1
3
3
44
Alec Smalley
7♣ 
Pass
4
1
3
2
42
Irving Blakey
6♣ 
Pass
6
2
4
2
41
Jeffrey Smith
7
Pass
4
2
4
1
41
Joy Blakey
5NT
5
4
2♣ 
4
Dbl
34


Competitors

Competitor
October
Neil Thomas Thomas
56
Mel Pelham
53
Dhun Daji
50
Rob Harris
48
Ian James Pendlebury
44
Heather Saunders
41
Mary Green
38
David Fussell
38
Barbara Lewis
38
Joyce Jones
36
Karen Reissmann
33
Rosemary Moorhouse
33
Paul Beckwith
32
Richard Acaster
30
Michael Greaney
30
Eamonn Scott
29
Adam Wiseberg
29
Valerie Morgan
23
Andrea Knowles
21
Geoff Ashcroft
21