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June 2021 - Solutions
What Would You Bid
 
June Solutions
 

We have now completed the penultimate round of this ten-month competition, and it is heating up for the last round. In this month - a set that both panelists and competitors found difficult - Victor Ridding came out on top with 35 points, followed by Joyce Jones on 32 and Mary Green on 31.

For the overall title of “Bidder of The Club” it is now getting closer than ever. Peter Foster and Victor Ridding are head-to-head in first place, each with 243 points, and they can’t be overtaken by any other competitor. Peter has a 30 point set that he can improve on and Victor a 33 pointer. The final scores will be very close!

Michael Byrne was the only panelist to achieve a perfect 40, followed by David Barton, Espen Lindqvist and Tom Slater with 34.

I will as usual give my more or less intelligent comments in italics. Enjoy

 

 

Problem 1
 
Dealer: West
Vul: None
Pairs
 
South  
West   North    East 
 1 
1  2 
?
     
 
South
♠ AQJ1064
 K107
 K103
♣ 2
 

You have a great fit for partner’s heart suit, a semi solid spade suit and a club shortage. You’d love to tell all of this to partner, but sadly you can’t - what do you tell partner? First, the one who knows where to go:

Espen Lindqvist: 4♠. Could be the wrong game, but I don’t consider 2♠  as forcing here. My diamond holding screams for declaring.

The one settling for partner’s suit:

Rodney Lighton: 3 . Would like to bid 2♠ forcing, but it's not forcing in Standard English so will have to resort to the ubiquitous cue bid.

Then, we have those who agree that 2♠ is not forcing but still want to focus on their own suit:

Royce Alexander: 3♠. This hand is worth game in a Major. 3♠ is forcing. 2♠ is encouraging but non-forcing (say the system notes).

David Barton: 3♠. Should make an effort to get the contract played by the stronger player. Being self-confident I guess it is worth at least 1/2 trick on balance!

Irving Blakey: 3♠. A fit jump. Could be a Spade slam in which case protecting the King of Diamonds is probably essential. I like this agreement, you get to tell partner about 8-9 of your cards and if slam is on, for sure would be in spades for the reasons mentioned by Irving.

Let’s see if the plurality can convince us:

Joy Blakey: 2♠. This is the most awkward hand of the set for me. I like my heart fit but the spade suit is so good and it protects the DK. I'd like to have bid 3♠ but if partner has a 1,6,2,4 shape that's wrong! The pessimist in the family?

Michael Byrne: 2♠. For now! A great hand, but if I start driving to 4H partner will quickly be disillusioned when a diamond is led through the king and we have 4 top losers. Experience shows that these hands play best in spades and I shall start with 2♠ and hope to be able to offer a choice of games. Playing proper bridge (high level teams) I might well bid 4♠, but at pairs I can afford to go softly softly, and there's no need to hang partner for bidding on a 1525 7 count. Willing to end up playing in 2, a man who’s had his fair share of disappointments!

Raymond Semp: 2♠. I will eventually bid game in Spades unless partner insists in hearts. Hard to bid on after pass, pass, pass.

Tom Slater: 2♠. 100%. Natural and forcing. Would prefer to play the hand in spades not hearts if possible to protect the KD. The first to regard 2as forcing!

Alec Smalley: 2♠. Support hearts or introduce S? I think the latter as it is an, almost, self- supporting suit, partner rates to be short diamond so probably some sort of Spades. Not telling if he regards 2 as forcing or not.

Jeffrey Smith: 2♠. Nat and Fcg. Either 3♠ (Fit Jump) or 4♣ (Splinter) are alternatives, but we will get more info with the natural approach.

You and partner, for sure have to agree whether or not 2 is forcing in this sequence - in which case it is the best bid. If not, 3, 4♣ and 4 must all be better alternatives.

Problem 1
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
2S
10
6
5
3S
7
3
7
3D
6
1
5
4S
4
1
0
4H
3
0
8
3H
1
0
1

 


Problem 2

Dealer: South
Vul: None
Teams
South West North East
1♠  pass 2♠  pass
?      
 
South
♠ K9753
 KQJ62
 A63
♣ -
 

You have found a fit, you have a 5 loser hand, and so game is on - any reason to beat about the bush? As always, we start with the bids with least support from the panel.

David Barton: 3. Want to be in game opposite QJxx xxx QJx xxx but not opposite QJxx xxx xxx QJx, so 3 is obvious try.

Irving Blakey: 3. Need help here.

Seem like sound arguments to me - it is in 's that we need help.

Joy Blakey; 4♠. It's teams and I think game is a good possibility.

Rodney Lighton: 4♠. Bid your games and try to make them. Any game try may help the opposition find the right lead (likely a diamond).

Alec Smalley: 4♠S. Slam needs far too much from a 2♠ bidder - game a must at teams but this may not even make if Partner is something like 3 - 1 - 3 - 6.

All willing to take the risk of going off, but with the benefit of giving out as little info as possible - a favourable lead might be all you need! Now to the plurality

Royce Alexander: 3. This shows 5♠, 4 and at least Invitational strength. I only have 13 HCP, but it’s a 5-loser 5-5 Majors hand opposite usually a 9-loser hand, so has the power for 4♠. However, the Spades are weak and partner might just have 3 Spades and 4 Hearts, in which case 4 will be safer than 4♠.

Michael Byrne: 3. This is a stretch, but since playing Acol partner can have 4 card support I am worth one try, even at pairs. There is a lot of guesswork as partner will have no idea that club values are terrible and diamond values are good. There is also the possibility that we have a double fit with a 9 or 10 card fit existing in hearts as well, in fact if partner has as little as AQx, 10xxxx, xx, xxx then the opponents will need to find a diamond lead to beat a slam! A bit far fetched, more likely he has Qxx, x, Jxxx, KQJxx (is that a two level response playing Acol?) and he will leap to 4♠ only to watch the hand fall apart on a 4-1 trump break..sad times. 

Espen Lindqvist: 3. Long suit game try. If partner raises to 4, we have found the right strain.

Raymond Semp: 3. What other bid is one expected to make? If partner has 10543, 43, Q72, KJxx. Unlucky and I expect a flat board or even +2 on a diamond lead in my room.

Tom Slater: 3 100%. We are going to force to at least game on this hand, but don't lose sight of the fact that 4 may be a better spot.

Jeffrey Smith: 3. We are bidding game, but it is possible 4 is better than 4♠ if partner has 4 hearts and poor spades (say Qxx)

I’m not sure I’m convinced that 3 is better that 3. If you bid 3  and partner has 4, partner can bid 3H to kick the ball back to you so you won’t miss out on the 4-4  fit. At the same time, it makes partner focus on  values. The sting in the tail of this story:

Michael Byrne: This hand was originally from a lockdown league match, one table bid 4♠ and the other passed. Both were playing 5 card majors so only had the right to expect 3 card support...9 tricks were made at both tables on good breaks, partner would reject a try

 

Problem 2
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
3H
10
6
4
3D
7
2
4
4S
6
3
8
4C
3
0
3
3S
3
0
2
Pass
1
0
2
5C
2
0
1
4NT
1
0
1
4H
1
0
1

 


Problem 3

 

Dealer: North
Vul: All
Pairs
 
South West North East
    1♠  pass
2NT(1) 3♣  pass(2) 5♣ 
?      
 
(1) Game Force in Spades
(2) Showing a minimum
 
South
♠ KQ10954
 A3
 A54
♣ K6
 

You are in a game forcing situation, so a pass will be forcing. Are you willing to defend? Are you strong enough to pass and pull? As always, we have panelists who know where to go:

Raymond Semp: 6NT. Who bid 2NT? I think they miss-clicked and meant to bid 4NT! North must be another beginner. If pass is minimum what is 4♠ ? 4♠ must show two losing clubs and poor spades - there are many other bids in between. Surely the pass must have a meaning like goodish trumps and plenty of red honours. Having arrived in this mess I must just bid 6NT and hope we haven't missed a Grand Slam. The intervention (3) means that you have both 3 and 4 to show non minimum hands, I guess is the logic. Whether or not 4NT instead of Jacoby is the best start can be discussed, but it will more often than not give you and partner more space to exchange information needed to decide if a grand slam is on or not. But 6NT? That must have the possibility of being very wrong?

Alec Smalley: Dbl. It is pairs so 5♠one off is atrocious - hopefully set 5♣ by 3 but I doubt it - take the money on offer. Are you better placed than partner to decide? If you played with me, I guess you would be, but that is different story!

Now for the cohort knowing that 5 is the place to be:

Royce Alexander: 5♠. Expecting to make for +650. 5♣ is not going -3 for -800.

Irving Blakey: 5♠. The double may be more profitable, but who knows? Too many Spades and too few Clubs to really fancy the penalty and slam seems unlikely.

The panelists who want to look for slam by cue bidding:

Joy Blakey: 5. Perhaps partner has a singleton or void in clubs and I want to make a forward going bid rather than bidding 5♠. There's always a possibility of 6NT if partner holds ♠A, K, KQ.

Rodney Lighton: 5. Too good to just bid 5♠, if partner has short clubs then slam is possible. Can’t disagree with your argument, but maybe with your bid?

Jeffrey Smith:  5. (Cue). With 6cd supp, there is no question of defending and even if pard has a minimum there is still a chance of slam if partner has a void or single club which is possible on this auction.

Now to the space preserving slammers.

David Barton: Pass. Forcing. Will bid 6♠ unless partner doubles in which case I will bid 5.

Michael Byrne: Pass. I want to suggest a slam but the most important thing is to let partner have a go and see what happens. If partner doubles 5♣ I can pull to 5♠ and suggest higher things, if he bids (surely showing club shortage) then I will raise him to slam. I only need Axxx, xxx, KQJx, x...is that too much to ask for? 

Espen Lindqvist: Pass. Would think pass is forcing. If partner bids 5 or 5 maybe there could be a slam. But then again with short clubs, maybe partner should have acted over 3♣, despite minimum in high cards?

Tom Slater: Pass. 60%. At teams it is easier to double and take the money. At pairs the field will not all face this same problem and I would prefer to flatten the board if possible. A better agreement over 3♣ would be for North to indicate their desire to defend a club sacrifice rather than just “minimum".

Both the passers and the 5 bidders are all for declaring, but in contrast the 5 bidders want to investigate slam.

 

Problem 3
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
Pass
10
4
1
5D
8
3
4
6S
6
0
3
5S
4
2
11
Dbl
4
1
7
6NT
5
1
0

 


 

 
Problem 4
Dealer: South
Vul: E/W
Teams
 
South    
West    North    East
1♠  dbl rdbl(1) 2 
?  
 
(1) 10+. hcp
 
South
♠ KQJ754
 -
♦ KJ6
♣ AJ32
 

Back in the mist of time, in the prehistoric days of my youth, I was taught that when I open, lefty doubles and partner redoubles, I should, unless I had an opening bid that I was really ashamed of, shut up. For all I knew, partner might have taken the first step in staging a reenactment of Sitting Bull’s slaughter of General Custer at Little Big Horn. So, unless I wanted to end up with the tomahawk in my skull - shut up. Therefore, I was prepared for a unanimous panel, but my predictive powers are certainly nothing to write about!

Joy Blakey: Dbl. Take Out showing a good opener. According to the system gurus it is penalty.

Raymond Semp: 3. followed by 4, if possible. To splinter 4 on the first round crowds the bidding.

Irving Blakey: 3♠. Seems best. Why?

Tom Slater: 3♠. 70%. Lots of possible things we could try here but I am going to go for the least inventive. I am never going to manage to defend 2X even when it is right to do so.

Rodney Lighton: 3♣. Presumably forcing and showing a good hand not interested in defending 2H doubled. Auctions after redoubles are often too murky and ill defined. Pass and pull partner’s double would for sure get that message across?

Jeffrey Smith: 3♣. We have no interest in defending 's at a low level so bid naturally. There is a pass-then-bid when pard doubles possibility, but the hand isn’t strong enough for that. I guess this is what the learned are arguing over? 15hcp 5 loser hand is a lot better than most opening hands…

Now the old schoolers: 

Royce Alexander: Pass. (forcing). Any bid would be weak at this stage, so you have to pass to see what partner does. If partner Doubles (for Penalties), that is the real problem: opponents are vulnerable, and I would then pass.

David Barton: Pass. Bidding at this point would show a light opener so pass is automatic. Not many things in bridge are automatic. What if partner doubles?

Michael Byrne: Pass. By far the most interesting problem in the set, and a lot of variations. Standard treatment here is to play pass as forcing for one round (not really playable to have it as NF) and double as penalty. Weak hands bids immediately, "in front of partner".  By that logic I would pass, and then seek to jump to 3♠ at my next go, which would be forcing. Alternatives are a practical 4♠, 4 as an auto splinter and 3, none of which are that useful. I should pass as sometimes good things happen and it gives me an extra round of bidding with which to work. No doubt the panel will bid spades and I will score 3 points but I can live with it when accompanied by the knowledge my bid is correct. Your bidding and logic is flawless and your predictive powers about on my level!

Espen Lindqvist: Pass. With a plan to remove partner's double to 2♠. Like to play a direct bid to show minimum and pass followed by a bid as extras.

Alec Smalley: Pass. Then pull partner’s likely X. This is stronger than an initial 2♠/3♣ bid (which both show weak shapely hands) - if partner passes I get a new partner as this is forcing.

To pass with all your non minimum hands might not always stop you from getting a headache later, but it should stop you from getting Sitting Bull’s tomahawk plunged into your skull!

Problem 4
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
Pass
10
5
3
3H
7
1
5
4S
5
0
5
3S
4
2
5
3C
4
2
4
Dbl
4
1
2
4NT
1
0
1
2S
1
0
1

 

 


Summary 

 

Experts

Name
Problem 1
Problem 2
Problem 3
Problem 4
Total
Michael Byrne
2♠ 
3 
Pass
Pass
40
David Barton
3♠ 
3 
Pass
Pass
34
Espen Lindqvist
4♠ 
3 
Pass
Pass
34
Tom Slater
2♠ 
3 
Pass
3♠ 
34
Jeffrey Smith
2♠ 
3 
5 
3♣ 
32
Royce Alexander
3♠ 
3 
5♠ 
Pass
31
Raymond Semp
2♠ 
3 
6NT
3 
31
Alec Smalley
2♠ 
4♠ 
Dbl
Pass
28
Joy Blakey
2♠ 
4♠ 
5 
Dbl
26
Irving Blakey
3♠ 
3 
5♠ 
3♠ 
22
Rodney Lighton
3 
4♠ 
5 
3♣ 
21

 

Leaderboard June 

Place
Competitors
Sum
1
Victor Ridding
35
2
Joyce Jones
32
3
Mary Green
31
4
Ian Pendlebury
30
5
Valerie Morgan
28
6
Peter Foster
27
7
Heather Saunders
26
8
Michael Greaney
25
David Cash
25
10
Adam Wiseberg
24
11
Barbara Lewis
23
12
Steven Mattinson
22
Mel Pelham
22
14
Richard Acaster
21
15
David Fussell
19
Paul Beckwith
19
17
Frank Wetton
18
Gavin Callow
18
19
Dhun Daji
16
Adrian Shiers
15
Eamonn Scott
15
22
Geoff Ashcroft
15
Andrea Knowles
15
24
Rob Harris
14
25
Liz Ineson
13
Gerard Keary
11

 

Leaderboard Overall (Over 100 points)

 

Pos
Competitor
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Top 7
Lowest
1
Victor Ridding
37
32
35
36
34
33
33
33
35
243
33
Peter Foster
38
40
37
34
33
30
31
29
27
243
30
3
Dhun Daji
30
28
34
28
37
34
32
35
16
230
28
Mary Green
31
31
31
19
27
36
37
33
31
230
31
5
Ian Pendlebury
40
27
31
32
23
30
36
30
30
229
30
6
Mel Pelham
0
32
28
38
40
25
33
18
22
218
22
7
Adam Wiseberg
32
28
36
30
35
17
30
26
24
217
26
8
Steven Mattinson
24
35
28
28
21
36
40
22
22
213
22
9
Michael Greaney
27
25
21
32
14
32
33
38
25
212
25
10
Joyce Jones
27
34
21
24
21
29
32
33
32
211
24
11
David Fussell
24
30
23
32
30
32
33
26
19
207
24
12
Richard Acaster
29
31
18
24
29
27
33
32
21
205
24
13
Barbara Lewis
24
30
36
20
23
30
33
27
23
203
23
14
Rob Harris
29
27
30
24
29
25
32
26
14
198
25
15
Andrea Knowles
34
24
25
19
26
21
34
29
15
193
21
16
Heather Saunders
26
27
27
32
0
27
24
27
26
192
26
17
Paul Beckwith
0
30
32
29
27
27
22
24
19
191
22
18
Valerie Morgan
23
16
27
38
20
21
26
27
28
190
21
19
Geoff Ashcroft
28
24
23
22
18
36
30
25
15
188
22
20
Eamonn Scott
20
35
31
22
18
21
29
28
15
186
20
21
Liz Ineson
26
36
28
25
12
15
20
34
13
184
15
22
Millie Lang
22
25
18
28
17
23
27
0
0
160
17
23
Gerard Keary
0
34
0
22
0
28
34
27
11
156
0
24
Francis William Wetton
10
31
25
0
21
0
34
29
0
150
0
25
David Cash
0
25
21
16
16
0
0
32
25
135
0
26
Ann Thornton
31
27
34
19
0
23
0
0
0
134
0
27
Paul Worswick
35
27
29
25
0
0
0
0
0
116
0
28
Ian Hempstock
23
30
26
11
24
0
0
0
0
114
0
29
John Parsons
0
0
29
0
0
0
40
38
0
107
0