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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
What Would You Bid
 
July Solutions
 

We have now completed our 10 Month “What Would You Bid” competition. I hope that you as competitors have enjoyed taking part, and as a reader have enjoyed the panelists’ reasoning, and that everyone might have picked up a trick or two!

 

I would like to give a huge thank you to all the panelists for taking time to answer and share their expertise with us.

 

Also, special thanks to Alec Smalley and Michael Byrne - without them this would have been a horribly bad effort - they have kept me on the straight and narrow - a feat not achieved by many!

 

Also, a special thanks to Barbara Lewis - without her sub editing, it would have been hard work for you to get anything sensible out of what I put to paper.

 

The biggest thanks go to you, the competitors. Most of you have not only sent in answers, but also your reasoning. In the course of the competition, more than 70 members of the club have sent in answers.

 

This month’s problems, at least for the panelists, offered up few options, and all but one of the problems had a great majority bid in the panel. The competitors had much more imagination and on problem 4 managed to come up with no fewer than 10 different bids.

 

This month’s competition was won by Victor Ridding with a perfect 40, with a 3-way tie for 2nd place between Dhun Daji, Peter Foster and Mary Green on 39.

 

The winner of our overall competition is Peter Foster with 252 points from his 7 best results, followed in second place by Victor Ridding on 250. In third place we have Dhun Daji (241) and in fourth Mary Green (238). A small comfort for Victor might be that over the 10 results he managed to gather 348 points against Peter Foster’s 338. Congratulations to all of them.

 

Amongst the Panelists in July, we had a four-way tie on 40 - Rodney Lighton, Alan Jones, Raymond Semp and Alec Smalley.

 

As usual, my comments will be in italics. Enjoy a good summer!

 


Problem 1
 
Dealer: East
Vul: All
Teams
 
South  
West   North    East 
 
  1 
?
     
 
South
♠ AKQ9653
 -
 QJ8732
♣ -
 

We included this problem for ‘the fun of it’. It is the kind of hand that has no ‘right’ answer and what surprised me is that not a single Panelist or competitor opted for the ‘all in’ 6 bid. You need partner to have only one of the  honours for it to make, and if it is off, it might still be a good save. And you get the opponents to guess at your level. Let’s see what the panelists said.

 

Alan Mould: Pass. The late great John Collings said that he was no longer prepared to discuss hands with 2 voids in them or hands with 9 card suits in them since anything could be right. I have great sympathy for that view. You are going to have to bid this hand on your own so it doesn't much matter what you do. 4♠, 1♠, 2, 6♠ could all work out fine. Since I don't have real teammates to answer to, I will try the old saw of passing - I may possibly bid later. Catches people occasionally… I told Alan: “Takes walking the dog’ to a new level for me, but Im sure you will get another chance to bid”. Alan replied: “I would be astonished if the hand got passed out. Mind you Neil Rosen did try passing Axx, AKxxxxxxx, -, x over a 1 opening on his right in a Camrose trial once and that did get passed out….”

 

Now to the bidders:

 

Espen Lindqvist: 4. Believe 4 should show at least twelve cards in spades and a minor, and game in hand. Anyway, it might be difficult to locate a diamond honour with partner.

 

Irving Blakey: Dbl. What else? I've got the Spades! Cannot disagree with the comment!

 

Joy Blakey: Dbl. It looks easy to get excited with this distribution but as you've got the spade suit you can start with dbl.

(1) - dbl - (4) - 5; Pass - ? Would that not be a bit of a pickle to be in?

 

The most popular way to show the two suiter amongst the Panelists was:

 

Royce Alexander: 2. Michael’s Cue bid showing 5+S, 5+m. Planning to jump in Diamonds on the next round.

 

Michael Byrne: 2. (Michaels Cue Bid). Hands with freak distribution immediately suggest a wild leap to a high level, and I am expecting to have to take several bids here, but the first priority must be to show a two suited hand and see if I can elicit support from partner. If I can, the sky's the limit. 

 

Rhona Goldenfield: 2. Spades and minor

 

Jeffrey Smith: 2. Best to show the two suited nature – Hopefully, you can cue bid later to find if Partner has a D honour which is possibly all you need for slam.

 

All sensible bids and comments in my book, even though I quite like my name brother’s distinction in distribution by the jump to 4. Now to the plurality who are deciding to take it slowly.

 

David Barton: 1♠. There is zero chance that this will be passed out and I feel I will be better placed if the auction comes back to me with opponents in a large number of Hearts or Clubs

 

Rodney Lighton: 1♠. Bid my longest suit first, intending to bid my second longest suit next (maybe).

 

Alan Jones: 1♠.

 

Raymond Semp: 1♠. Please don't tell me it goes P-P-P. I will not believe it! I will then bid 5.

 

Tom Slater: 1♠. 0%. Don't lose any sleep whatever you bid. So long as you don't pass throughout, I am sure you'll be fine.

 

Alec Smalley: 1♠. the bidding isn't going to end here - and I'll be better placed as to where to play with more info.

 

Alec’s final comment - I guess - is the reason that so many go for 1 rather than 2. As Tom Slater said: “Don’t lose any sleep whatever you bid”.  One competitor also suggested 3 (Modified Ghestem, showing S's and D’s) and 2 which we assume was meant as a strong jump shift.

 

Problem 1
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
1♠ 
10
6
2
2 
9
4
16
4 
9
1
1
3 
9
0
1
2♠ 
7
0
1
Dbl
4
2
3
Pass
4
1
0

 

 


Problem 2

Dealer: East
Vul: None
Pairs
South West North East
      1 
?      
 
South
♠ A63
 AKQ8742
 K2
♣ 3
 

Do you bid or double? Some 20 years ago it might have been more of a question, but our Panelists are almost in unison. Let’s start with those who do not agree with the majority.

 

Irving Blakey: 1. This might end the auction, but I'm prepared to take a chance as I want to hear what pard has to say - Slam is a real possibility opposite a few of the right cards. Space conserving it is, and if it doesn’t go pass-pass-pass you have survived, and it might be the best bid - but worth the chance?

 

Now the one who knows where he wants to be.

 

David Barton: 4. I wish I was playing a sensible system where 2 was strong!!  I will X if opposition bid over this to show that I expected to make 4 and I have a few defensive values. A reasonable punt, and if partner is used to such strong jumps to 4, you’ll probably get to slam when it’s right.

 

Now to the overwhelming majority.

 

Royce Alexander: Dbl. Alternatives are 4 or (at pairs) 3NT. If partner responds 3♣, I’ll try 3.

 

Joy Blakey: Dbl. It's too powerful to bid 1 or 4 hearts so again I choose to say dbl first.

 

Michael Byrne: Dbl. This hand is too strong for 4 and holding some good defence to spades (and diamonds) I can afford to start with double. It's unlikely I am going any higher than 4, but if partner can respond strongly there is no reason why we shouldn't bid our slam. With my regular partner's I play a gadget here of 4 to show a good 4M overcall, but since that is not mainstream, I shall start slowly and build up. It's interesting to note that if partner was a passed hand, now I would overcall 4, then double back in. 

 

Rhona Goldenfield: Dbl. Too good to bid 4 

 

Espen Lindqvist: Dbl. Too good for a preempt or a one-level overcall. Planning to bid 4 next.

 

Alan Jones: Dbl. Whether this or 4 is better really depends on who my opposition is

 

Alan Mould: Dbl. Second choice 4. Doubtless David Barton will tell you this is a strong jump overcall…Finally, a precise prediction!

 

Raymond Semp: Dbl. I cannot afford to bid 1 this time.

 

Tom Slater: Dbl. 90%. Comfortably strong enough to double then bid hearts. Partner will not expect so much strength if we jump to game directly.

 

Alec Smalley: Dbl. Then followed by lowest  bid I can make

 

Jeffrey Smith: Dbl. Bit too strong for an immediate  overcall.

 

So, the overwhelming opinion is that this hand is too strong for both 1 and 4. If you do play with old fashioned (some might say stone aged) strong jump shifts, you could of course jump to 2.

 

Problem 2
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
Dbl
10
12
17
4 
6
1
1
3NT
5
0
1
1 
4
1
4
2 
1
0
1

 

 


Problem 3

 

Dealer: East
Vul: All
Pairs
 
South West North East
      1♣ 
dbl pass 1  2 
?      
 
 
South
♠ AKQJ
 85
 AKQ6
♣ 852
 

You have a 19 count, but not what could be called a good fit for partner’s preferred suit, and a non-existing club guard. That said, partner must either have a long heart suit or some support for one of your suits, so should you keep going or leave it up to partner? Two competitors throw in the bowl, while that’s not for the red- blooded Panelists. All but one agree on the way forward. We give the microphone to the odd one out:

 

Alan Mould: 2♠. Second choice 4. Doubtless David Barton will tell you this is a strong jump overcall…The prediction is not 100%, but not off either.

 

Now to the rest of the panel.

 

Royce Alexander: Dbl. Showing a very strong hand, such as this balanced 19 count

 

David Barton: Dbl. An easy one - shows I have extra values but not Heart support - unanimous panel??? Thank goodness for the 2♣ bid or I really would have a problem.

 

Irving Blakey: Dbl. Least of the evils.

 

Joy Blakey: Dbl. Could possibly bid 3♣ looking for 3NT but partner might think I'm agreeing   so prefer to double again.

 

Michael Byrne: Dbl. Twice in a row! I am too strong to pass and lack a club stopper to bid NT. Broadly speaking my double shows extras and 3 cards in hearts (with 4 I raise directly, with two I bid my long suit), so I am only a little bit short. If partner rebids 2then I might try 2♠, explaining to partner afterwards that this is flexible. 

 

Rhona Goldenfield: Dbl.

 

Rodney Lighton: Dbl. Again, hoping for something intelligent from partner. Good thing he’s not playing with me!

 

Espen Lindqvist: Dbl. More take-out. Would have liked to hold three hearts but have to act.

 

Alan Jones: Dbl.

 

Raymond Semp: Dbl. And hope partner is stacked with clubs and hearts. I lead a club if he passes.

 

Tom Slater: Dbl. 100%. Entirely clear at this stage, nothing else is attractive. Hopefully, partner will be able in a position to pass.

 

Alec Smalley: Dbl. More t/o -I would prefer one more  for this but we cannot let 2♣ be the contract - unless Partner wants to penalise it, then I am happy

 

Jeffrey Smith: Dbl. It may be right to pass but this shows a very strong hand so partner can judge accordingly.

They all see some downsides to the double, but obviously regard the upside worth the bid. The Panel’s willingness to not have heel clicking attitudes is worthwhile to notice.

 

Problem 3
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
Dbl
10
13
13
2S
4
1
2
2D
4
0
2
3C
1
0
5
Pass
1
0
2

 


Problem 4
Dealer: West
Vul: E/W
Teams
 
South    
West    North    East
  Pass 1♣  2♣(1) 
?  
(1) At least 5-5 in the majors, 10(ish)+ hcp
 
South
♠ 82
 A62
♦ AQ98
♣ Q532
 

You and partner have the balance of power, and highly likely a game on, so how to explore NT or minor game best? Let’s start with the doublers.

 

Joy Blakey: Dbl. Showing values.

 

Rhona Goldenfield: Dbl

 

Now to the players bidding the suits they don’t have:

 

Royce Alexander: 2♠. The system description section 4.2 says the higher cue bid of 2♠ is an artificial cue bid showing a sound raise of partner’s club suit. 2 would be showing Diamonds and a partial fit for Clubs. 2 would be natural NF. 3♣ would be about 7-9. I would like to be able to bid 2 showing a Heart stopper and values for 3♣ so that partner with extras can right side 3NT, but that is not the agreed system.

 

Espen Lindqvist: 2♠. Here I play cue-bid of opponent's highest ranking suit as a limit raise or better in clubs.

 

Alan Mould: 2♠. 2/♠. Given that the system says we are playing is Acol so 1♣ is natural then I bid whichever of 2 and 2♠ shows clubs in my methods. It is not a problem in Acol.

 

Tom Slater: 2♠. 100%. It's right to make a bid which says I have a raise in clubs and a good hand. I had no idea what that was in Standard English, but I am reliably informed by the link "A bid of the higher- ranking suit shows a sound raise to three of partner’s suit”.

 

Had the rules been that the bid that is best matched by a description in the system gets 10, 2 would be a possible winner. Can the majority convince us that the system is bad and their bid is the better?

 

David Barton: 2. Good raise to 3♣ with my Heart holding better than Spade holding

 

Irving Blakey: 2. Better choice than the ubiquitous double prescribed by the "system".

 

Michael Byrne: 2. Good raise in clubs. Holding a 12 count I want to force to game, and my main choices are to start with a double (showing 10+ balanced) or cue bid one of the opponents’ suits. Since double is normally reserved for hands that are interested in taking a penalty, I shall show a good club raise instead. Standard in this country is for the lower cue bid to show a good raise in partner's suit, and the higher cue bid to show a forcing hand with the 4th suit, in this case diamonds. (An immediate bid of 2 would show something like a weak two and be non- forcing). Having had another look at the vulnerability maybe I should double, but if we are playing 4 card majors and 1♣ is natural then I should probably raise!

 

Rodney Lighton: 2. In standard English this shows a limit raise plus in clubs.

 

Alan Jones: 2.

 

Raymond Semp: 2. When I eventually support clubs (at the 5 level if necessary), I hope partner reads it as the Ace.

 

Alec Smalley: 2. Good raise to 3 clubs+

 

Jeffrey Smith: 2. This unassuming cue bid shows at least a sound raise and looks the best way to progress the auction.

 

So, some disagreement about system, but much the same arguments for their choice of bids. Whatever the ‘book’ tells us - sort it out between you and your partner!

 

Problem 4
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
2 
10
8
5
2♠ 
8
4
4
Dbl
7
2
4
5♣ 
3
0
1
3♣ 
1
0
5
Pass
1
0
1
3 
1
0
1
2 
1
0
1
3 
1
0
1
4 
1
0
1

 

 

 


Summary 

 

Experts

 

Name
Problem 1
Problem 2
Problem 3
Problem 4
Total
Rodney Lighton
1♠ 
Dbl
Dbl
2 
40
Alan Jones
1♠ 
Dbl
Dbl
2 
40
Raymond Semp
1♠ 
Dbl
Dbl
2 
40
Alec Smalley
1♠ 
Dbl
Dbl
2 
40
Michael Byrne
2 
Dbl
Dbl
2 
39
Jeffrey Smith
2 
Dbl
Dbl
2 
39
Tom Slater
1♠ 
Dbl
Dbl
2♠ 
38
Royce Alexander
2 
Dbl
Dbl
2♠ 
37
Espen Lindqvist
4 
Dbl
Dbl
2♠ 
37
David Barton
1♠ 
4 
Dbl
2 
36
Rhona Goldenfield
2 
Dbl
Dbl
Dbl
36
Joy Blakey
Dbl
Dbl
Dbl
Dbl
31
Irving Blakey
Dbl
1 
Dbl
2 
28
Alan Mould
Pass
Dbl
2♠ 
2♠ 
26

 

Leaderboard June 

 

Place
Competitors
Sum
1
Victor Ridding
40
2
Dhun Daji
39
Peter Foster
39
Mary Green
39
5
Adam Wiseberg
37
Rob Harris
37
John Parsons
37
8
Ian Pendlebury
31
Karen Reissmann
31
10
David Fussell
30
Mel Pelham
30
12
Steven Mattinson
27
Valerie Morgan
25
Richard Acaster
25
15
Barbara Lewis
24
Michael Greaney
24
Heather Saunders
24
Paul Beckwith
24
19
Eamonn Scott
21
20
Joyce Jones
20
21
Francis William Wetton
19
22
Andrea Knowles
17
David Cash
17
24
Liz Ineson
16

 

Leaderboard Overall (7 solutions)

 

Pos
Competitor
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Top 7
1
Peter Foster
38
40
37
34
33
30
31
29
27
39
252
2
Victor Ridding
37
32
35
36
34
33
33
33
35
40
250
3
Dhun Daji
30
28
34
28
37
34
32
35
16
39
241
4
Mary Green
31
31
31
19
27
36
37
33
31
39
238
5
Ian Pendlebury
40
27
31
32
23
30
36
30
30
31
230
6
Adam Wiseberg
32
28
36
30
35
17
30
26
24
37
228
7
Mel Pelham
0
32
28
38
40
25
33
18
22
30
226
8
Steven Mattinson
24
35
28
28
21
36
40
22
22
27
218
9
David Fussell
24
30
23
32
30
32
33
26
19
30
213
10
Michael Greaney
27
25
21
32
14
32
33
38
25
24
212
11
Joyce Jones
27
34
21
24
21
29
32
33
32
20
211
12
Rob Harris
29
27
30
24
29
25
32
26
14
37
210
13
Richard Acaster
29
31
18
24
29
27
33
32
21
25
206
14
Barbara Lewis
24
30
36
20
23
30
33
27
23
24
204
12
Valerie Morgan
23
16
27
38
20
21
26
27
28
25
194
15
Andrea Knowles
34
24
25
19
26
21
34
29
15
17
193
Paul Beckwith
0
30
32
29
27
27
22
24
19
24
193
17
Heather Saunders
26
27
27
32
0
27
24
27
26
24
192
18
Geoff Ashcroft
28
24
23
22
18
36
30
25
15
0
188
19
Eamonn Scott
20
35
31
22
18
21
29
28
15
21
187
20
Liz Ineson
26
36
28
25
12
15
20
34
13
16
185
21
Francis William Wetton
10
31
25
0
21
0
34
29
0
19
169
22
Millie Lang
22
25
18
28
17
23
27
0
0
0
160
23
Gerard Keary
0
34
0
22
0
28
34
27
11
0
156
24
David Cash
0
25
21
16
16
0
0
32
25
17
152

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Would You Bid
 

 

If nothing else is mentioned the system used is Standard English Modern Acol. You can find the detailed system description: HERE

The problems this month are suggested me, Micahel Byrne and Alec Smalley. Good Luck

 

Problem 1
Dealer: East
Vul: All
Team
♠ AKQ9653
 -
♦ QJ8732
♣ -
Problem 2
Dealer: East
Vul: None
Pairs
 
♠ A63
 AKQ8742
 K2
♣ 3
 
South West North East
     1 
?

 

 

South 
West North East
  1 
?

 

 

 
Problem 3
Dealer: East
Vul: All
Pairs
♠ AKQJ
 85
 AKQ6
♣ 852
Problem 4
Dealer: West
Vul: E/W
Teams
♠ 82
♥ A62
 AQ98
♣ Q532
South
West North East
     1♣ 
dbl pass 1  2♣ 
?

 

 
South 
West North East
  pass 1♣  2♣ (1)
?
(1) At least 5-5 in the majors, 10(ish)+ hcp

 

 
 

 

FORM
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

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Would You Bid
 

 

If nothing else is mentioned the system used is Standard English Modern Acol. You can find the detailed system description: HERE

The problems this month are suggested by David Barton, Micahel Byrne and Alec Smalley. Good Luck

 

Problem 1
Dealer: West
Vul: All
Pairs
♠ AQJ1064
 K107
♦ K103
♣ 2
Problem 2
Dealer: South
Vul: None
Team
 
♠ K9753
 KQJ62
 A63
♣ -
 
South West North East
 1  1  2 
?

 

 

South
West North East
1♠  Pass 2♠  Pass
?      

 

 

 
Problem 3
Dealer: North
Vul: All
Pairs
♠ KQ10954
 A3
 A54
♣ K6
Problem 4
Dealer: South
Vul: E/W
Teams
♠ KQJ754
-
 KJ6
♣ AJ32
South
West North East
  1♠   pass
2NT(1) 3♣  Pass(2) 5♣ 
?

(1) Game Force in Spades
(2) Showing a minimum

 

 
South 
West North East
1♠ 
dbl rdbl(1) 2 
?
(1) 10+ hcp

 

 
 

 

FORM
What Would You Bid
 
May Solutions
 

We are now closing in on the final few rounds of our 10-month long bidding competition. This month, none of the competitors managed to achieve a full pot. Michael Greaney and John Parsons came top of the pile with 38 points, Dhun Daji in third place with 35.

In the overall competition, Peter Foster is still in the lead with 243 out of a maximum of 280: an impressive 86.8%. Victor Ridding, in second place, cut the lead by one point and now stands on 241, and Dhun Daji is in third spot with 230. As there are two more rounds remaining, and it’s the top 7 scores that count, it is still all to play for: any one of the top 10 can win the competition if they finish off with a perfect 80 points.

My comments will be in italics. Hope you enjoy and maybe even learn a little.

 

 

Problem 1
 
Dealer: West
Vul: None
Pairs
 
South  
West   North    East 
 Pass
Pass 1 
?
     
 
South
♠ KQJ3
 A2
 109
♣ A10832
 

We have the points, but do we a suit to bid or the shape to double? It is pairs too, so what is the best bid or should we say the least of evils? First, we have the panelists opting to sit tight.

Joy Blakey: Pass. I don't have a problem playing with Irving as I can bid 2♠ showing 4♠, 5+ minor and opening values. However, I don't want to bid 2♣  with such a poor suit and I don't like dbl with only 2. I could bid 1♠  but prefer to see how the bidding develops.

Rodney Lighton: Pass. There are hands that I would overcall at the 2 level on a 5-card suit but I would need a much better suit than this.

Let’s see if the bidders can convince us, starting with the take-out double without a  suit:

Rhona Goldenfield: Dbl. Nothing is perfect but don’t like bidding that club suit at the 2 level.

Alan Jones: Dbl.

Not too much to tickle our imagination. What about the 2 bidders?

Royce Alexander: 2♣. This is a good 14 count, too good to pass. I do not want to overcall 1♠ on this 4 card suit with nothing to stop me being forced repeatedly in Diamonds. The Club suit is poor, but 2♣ is the best option. I may get the opportunity to follow with a 2♠ bid. Sounds like good reasons to me.

Irving Blakey: 2♣. The least of the evils.

Now let us see what the majority have to say in their defence:

David Barton: 1S. I feel I have to do something. 2C on a moth eaten 5 card suit is horrible and you will be badly placed if you double and partner responds in Hearts (don't they always?) So, while I am not a fan of 4 card overcalls, at least partner will find the right lead.

Michael Byrne: 1♠. I am prepared to be out on my own and receive a low grading, but the canape overcall has worked well for me over the years. 2♣ is grizzly and I lack the 3rd heart necessary for a double, and the values required for an overcall of 1NT. I am left with 1♠ which will work fine most of the time and at least lead us to being in the auction.

Espen Lindqvist: 1♠. Normally don’t like to overcall on four-card suits. Pass is timid and I prefer 1♠ over 2♣. Might play decent on a 4-3 fit this one.

Raymond Semp: 1♠ My first choice is Pass but depending on the state of the match I am playing - a very reluctant 1♠.

Tom Slater:1♠  50%. Anything out of 1♠, 2♣ or Pass could work. Normally it is right to stretch to bid at pairs, and the club suit is very poor for a 2-level overcall.

Alec Smalley: 1♠. Pass is a viable option and come in later with a dbl which now doesn't show tolerance for both majors and when partner bids  removing to ♠ will get the message across. However, I want to get in quickly in case I don't get another chance and so I'll fib a little about the ♠.

Jeffrey Smith: 1♠. The alternatives of Dbl, 2♣or pass all have bigger downsides and we would be happy with a spade lead if we end up defending.

This problem reminds me of a hand I held not too long ago. After 4 boards in a row with nothing but twos and nines, I finally had AQxx, J9, K10x, Q10xx and righty opened 1 in second hand. Against my better judgement and to fend of my boredom and loss of will to live I bid 1 - it did not end well!

 

Problem 1
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
1♠ 
10
7
7
2♣ 
8
2
9
Pass
7
2
6
Dbl
5
2
7
2 
1
0
1
3♣ 
1
0
1

 

 


Problem 2

Dealer: South
Vul: None
Pairs
South West North East
?  
 
South
♠ K1093
 QJ108753
 9
♣ Q
 

How weak can you be for a 1 level opening? Do you pre-empt in one suit with 4 cards in the other major? Or do you shut up and wait to see what will happen? This might be just as much about personality as it is about bridge.   Most of our competitors thought that the last option was the best. Let’s hear what the supporting panelists have to say:

Rhona Goldenfield: Pass. And hope - opening 4 could be the right bid.

Tom Slater: Pass. 100%. It is almost always wrong to pre-empt in one major with such a good holding in the other.

The rest of the panel wants to bid. Let’s look at them in descending order.

Rodney Lighton: 4. First in hand NV is one of the best positions for pre-empting. This hand has lots of playing strength and not much defence.

Espen Lindqvist: 4. A bit aggressive but feel I have too much playing strength for 3. Would be better if spades were substituted for a minor.

Irving Blakey: 3. Who knows? It might be ours, it might be theirs! I generally would bid 4 rather than 3 with a 7411, but the Spade holding tempted me to be (unusually?) cautious.

Michael Byrne: 3. This time I will sacrifice my principles and bid one lower than I should in order to attract mainstream appeal. I did originally hold the hand and opened 4 but that was at teams’ bridge, where going for a few 50s is no disaster. At pairs, I am going to try to be a bit sounder and hit the nail on the head. The holding of 4 strong spades suggests I pass, but I couldn't bring myself to let them have a free ride when I am 7-4, even if I do have the other major sewn up.

Jeffrey Smith: 3. Far from ideal given the strong 4cd spade suit, but this looks best - if the 3♠ was a club or diamond, then it would be entirely normal opener.

David. Barton: 2. Even if you have a ♠  fit these hands generally play better in your long suit.

Alan Jones: 2.

Now to the plurality of the Panel who regard this hand as good enough for a 1 level opening bid.

Royce Alexander: 1. Because the 4 card side-suit is a major, a pre-empt of 4H or 3H is not recommended, because partner will occasionally hold Axxxx Spades and a singleton Heart. Also, opponents are unlikely to make 4♠ , so what are we pre-empting them out of, 5♣ , 5 , 3NT? So, do we Pass?
Well, it’s only 8 HCP but has excellent playing strength with 6 losers. HCP 8 + 2 longest suits 7+4 = 19, so it qualifies as a “Rule of 19” 1-level opener. So open 1 , and hope partner can show spades or maybe raise hearts.

Joy Blakey: 1. A 6 loser hand and I don't like to pre-empt in one Major with 4 cards in the other.

Raymond Semp: 1.  I have had worse opening bids.

Alec Smalley: 1 . In a problem, but at the table who knows. It is a 6 loser hand which is better than almost all weak NT's. There are many downsides to 2/3 and my second choice maybe 4.

This problem reminds me of the hand partner had when I opened 1 in problem 1: Txxx, AQxxxxx, xx, - and due to having ‘the other major’ decided to pass. 4 spades was a dead duck contract, whilst 4  was a make. I think that the fair of missing a 4-4 fit in spades is an illusion as the 7 card suit more often than not will be just as good a place to play. Had it not been for the rules that the Plurality bid gets 10 points, the supreme court would have downgraded it and upgraded 4.

 

Problem 2
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
1 
10
4
9
3 
8
3
4
4 
8
2
1
Pass
6
2
15
2 
5
2
1
1♠ 
1
0
1

 

 


Problem 3

 

Dealer: North
Vul: All
Teams
 
South West North East
    1  pass
1  pass 2  pass
?      
 
South
♠ AJ10
 K10765
 5
♣ AKQ8
 
We are definitely investigating slam here, but what is the best path to walk along? First, the one not to walk.

Alan Jones: 2♣. Director!

We have one voice for the splintering road.

Espen Lindqvist: 4. Like that 3 here shows shortness and 4 to promise a void. But without that agreement 4 as a splinter is just fine.

Now the road via adding an extra spade into the hand.

Irving Blakey: 2♠. Presumably long suit trial- the response should give clarification of how best to proceed.

Rhona Goldenfield: 2♠. Too good to bid 4. No arguing with that!

Rodney Lighton: 2♠. We must be close to a slam.  I will make what is ostensibly a game try and if partner rejects that with 3 make a further try with 4♣.

Then we have, as always, the RKCB cohort - the competitors’ most popular choice.

Royce Alexander: 4NT. RKCB. This is a 5-loser hand opposite partner’s presumed 7-loser hand, we have an 8 or probably 9 card fit, so there should be enough power for 6. Check in case opener has 0 aces (KQx QJxx KQJxx x), otherwise bid 6.

Joy Blakey: 4NT. A  slam is looking promising.

Jeffrey Smith: 4NT. If partner shows 2 key cards, then ask for QT and look for Grand according to the reply.

Looks to me like 4 NT has a lot going for it. Can the plurality of the panel convince us otherwise?

David Barton: 3♣. and follow it up with 3/4 ♠ on the next round. Do not want to be in slam unless partner cooperates.

Michael Byrne: 3♣. I intend to start asking for aces, but our first priority must be to find out whether partner is maximum or minimum. A game try asks partner to bid 4 or 3 depending on strength, and only if he is in the middle does he look at his holding in the suit I'm bidding. A jump to 4NT would be wild, a jump to 4  would be timid, so I am left with this. (This is another hand from an OCBL competition, slam was cold with partner having a suitable minimum, something like xxx, Axxx, AKxx, Jx, in fact 13 tricks were made at both tables).

Raymond Semp: 3♣. Don't see the problem.

Tom Slater: 3♣. 90%. There are some 1-3-5-4 hands which belong in a club slam at teams. 4 splinter would be my second choice but should really have no alternative strain. 4NT RKCB a distant third

Alec Smalley: 3♣. A sound case for going to 4NT straight away but would like to see what P has to say and define their shape which may help get us to 7 with the correct controls.

 

Problem 3
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
3♣ 
10
5
6
2♠ 
8
3
3
4NT
6
3
15
4 
4
1
2
3♠ 
2
0
3
5 
1
0
1
4♣ 
1
0
1
3 
1
0
0
2♣ 
0
1
0

 

 


Problem 4
Dealer: North
Vul: All
Teams
 
South    
West    North    East
1♣  1♠ 
?  
 
South
♠ AK54
 1075
 KQ743
♣ J
 

When we discussed this problem, one suggestion was to have a 1  overcall, as perhaps the 1 overcall would make it too easy - it was the call made at the table. The prediction was that the panel would be unanimous - luckily they were not - whilst the competitors would find a lot of bids - and they did. So, this should be one to study what the panelists are saying!

Alan Jones: 2 NT.

Raymond Semp: 3 . Again, what else? We can only assume that you play 2 as non-forcing?

Now to the rest of the panel.

Royce Alexander: 2  Do we pass, hope partner reopens with a Double, pass again and hope for 1♠* -3 for +800? Or do we bid 2 and probably head towards 3NT for +600 or 630? Is 3NT definitely making? Probably. Is 1♠ making 4 tricks? Don’t know. Is partner re-opening? Probably. Are we making 6? Certainly, LHO has virtually nothing and the singleton ♣ Jack lead looks attractive. But I usually bid in these situations at the 1–level, so I will bid 2.

David Barton: 2. There is no rush to bid 3NT. Partner could hold say xx x Axxx AKQxxx and you go down in 3NT with 6 cold. Anyway, the more confident you sound when you bid 3NT the more likely it is that LHO will try his luck with his  suit.

Irving Blakey: 2. No rush.

Joy Blakey: 2. Natural and forcing.

Michael Byrne: 2. Nice to include an easy one to let everyone score 10 points. No doubt the competitors are wondering "what's the problem" and for once I agree with them. I can't think of any other call to be honest, 2 is natural and forcing for one round and gets the job done. Your bidding, as always is sound, the predictions less so as a majority of the competitors found another bid.

Rhona Goldenfield: 2. Alternative is Pass and wait for partner to reopen with a X.

Rodney Lighton: 2. Natural and forcing. I have sat and stared at this problem and still thought of no alternative. Hope it has not damaged your eyesight!

Espen Lindqvist: 2. Natural and forcing.

Tom Slater: 2. 90%. OK I'm ready to hear the story about how we passed and took 500 when 3NT couldn't be made. But I'm not sure I agree with it.

Alec Smalley: 2. All roads look to lead to 3NT but blindly bidding it now falls foul of missing a diamond slam and maybe going off in 3NT when partner has no heart stop.

Jeffrey Smith: 2. The alternative of a 3NT bid would be reasonable at pairs.

Even if the panel is close to unanimous, two other options have been given some credence - trap pass or a blunt 3NT - the latter is what was bid at the table, but I have not been told if it was a success or not. I feel the danger of losing a  slam when 3NT is going down is a good point made by David Barton.  If you do use 2 here as non-forcing - reconsider or do as Raymond Semp did and bid 3.

 

Problem 4
Points
#Panelists
#Competitors
2 
10
11
15
3NT
6
0
9
2♠ 
5
0
3
2NT
4
1
1
3 
4
1
0
Pass
1
0
1
Dbl
1
0
1
1NT
1
0
1

 

 
 

Summary 

 

Experts

 

Name
Problem 1
Problem 2
Problem 3
Problem 4
Total
Alec Smalley
1♠ 
1 
3♣ 
2 
40
Michael Byrne
1♠ 
3 
3♣ 
2 
38
Tom Slater
1♠ 
Pass
3♣ 
2 
36
David Barton
1♠ 
2  
3♣ 
2 
30
Jeffrey Smith
1♠ 
3 
4NT
2 
35
Royce Alexander
2♣ 
1 
4NT
2 
34
Raymond Semp
1♠ 
1 
3♣ 
3 
34
Irving Blakey
2♣ 
3 
2♠ 
2 
34
Joy Blakey
Pass
1 
4NT
2 
33
Rodney Lighton
Pass
4 
2♠ 
2 
33
Espen Lindqvist
1♠ 
4 
4 
2 
32
Rhona Goldenfield
Dbl
Pass
2♠ 
2 
29
Alan Jones
Dbl
2 
2♣ 
2NT
14

 

Leaderboard March (Over 60% score)

 

Place
Competitors
Sum
1
Michael Greaney
38
John Parsons
38
3
Dhun Daji
35
4
Liz Ineson
34
5
Victor Ridding
33
Mary Green
33
Joyce Jones
33
8
Richard Acaster
32
John Houlker
32
10
Ian Pendlebury
30
Denise Pthyian
30
Gil Fletcher
30
13
Peter Foster
29
Francis William Wetton
29
Andrea Knowles
29
16
Eamonn Scott
28
17
Barbara Lewis
27
Valerie Morgan
27
Heather Saunders
27
Gerard Keary
27
21
Adam Wiseberg
26
Rob Harris
26
David Fussell
26
24
Geoff Ashcroft
25
25
Paul Beckwith
24

 

Leaderboard Overall (Over 100 points)

 

Pos
Competitor
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Top 7
Lowest
1
Peter Foster
38
40
37
34
33
30
31
29
243
30
2
Victor Ridding
37
32
35
36
34
33
33
33
241
33
3
Dhun Daji
30
28