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Play of the hand test

West has opened 3♠ Vulnerable. North doubles (they might have bid 3N) South bids 4 

The opening lead is ♠ K     What card do you play at trick one?

No need to answer as the answer is there for you   Email Bernie for any queries

You can count ten tricks so what is this all about. 

You have to play a small Spade at trick one and a small Spade at trick two and a small Spade at trick three!!!

If you play the Ace of Spades at trick one you lose £100 instead of winning £620

If you listened to the auction you would realise thae that East is void in Spades

Bidding Quiz No.4

This hand is from the 1996 World Championships.

Hong Kong were playing for the last time before becoming part of China.

What did the Hong Kong South wrongly bid, and more importantly what should the Hong Kong South bid?

I will publish the answer in a few days time.

The correct bid is 7 Clubs even though you have none in your hand

There is a daily bulletin at these events. The Hong Kong South bid 7NT.
The editor of the bulletin very kindly wrote:

The Hong Kong South "showed a lack of experience with this convention".

Bidding Quiz No 3

You are South and Dealer

You pick up this hand what is the correct bid?

The textbook bid in Acol or Standard English is 3NT 
It is known as the 'Gambling 3NT

The rules for opening 3NT bid
1  A solid 7 card MINOR 
2  No 4 card major on the side
3 No Ace or King in any other suit

It says to partner "Look at your hand, if you have cover in the other three suits please pass'

If you don't please bid 4 Clubs ( even if you know my suit is Diamonds)
I will then Pass or Correct

More information on this bid in the next few days

A detailed analysis on a similar hand can be found on the ECBA website - Quiz 1 - click here 

Bidding Quiz No.2

World Championships 1996, Rhodes, Greece

Your partner siitting North opens 1♥.
What's your bid.
The clue is that all the Souths bar one bid the same thing
What was the bid made by all bar one?

More tomorrow

1NT. THE "Dustbin Bid"
It is three denials
1. I do not have four of your suit and probably not three
2. I do not have four of a suit above yours
3. I do not have 10+HCPs

For those of you who read your bible it could be called the St Peter bid

Because the Bulgarian South had bid "2 over 1" showing 10+ HCPs his patner used old fashioned Roman Keycard Blackwood and South bid 5 showing one of the "Five Aces"
Thus the Bulgarians were in 6♣ -1. The rest of the room were in either 3NT by South with the  K protected on the lead or 5♣ by North


You are sitting South and you are playing Standard English, 4 card majors with a weak No Trump. What would you bid?


There are technically two correct bids.

The experts bid 2 Clubs to give partner as much room to rebid as possible.

2NT is technically correct, but this bid is not available to those who use the "Jacoby 2NT" bid showing a game going hand with major suit support.

2 Spades is an underbid. I can understand why as you have HCP too many and a Spade less than you should.

3 Spades is a guess when 3NT may be the right contract if partner only has four Spades.

If you bid 2 Hearts you need to look at the frame on the wall at the club. 1 Spade (pass) 2 Hearts shows 5+ Hearts and 10+ HCPs. The logic is that you are not allowing partner to show their hand if they have five Spades and four or five Diamonds and a weak hand where they cannot Reverse.

You can cope with partner bidding 3 Clubs as you now know they have five Spades. They would bid No Trumps if they didn't have five Spades and four Clubs.



Board 13 Tuesday 5th May

Partner opens 1       What should you bid?

The answer is, surprisingly 1 .
The hand, because it has less than 11HCPS is only worth one bid.
If you respond 1♠ and partner bids 2 you are not strong enough to bid 2 as that would show 11+HCPs and is "forcing"


There is a convention called Kokish. Using this you can show any balanced hand with 23-34 HCPs:

23-24 Open 2C. Partner relays with 2D and you immediately rebid 2NT.
25-26 Open 2C. Partner relays with 2D and you bid 2H alerted, which is either Hearts or a big balanced hand. Partner must then bid 2S relay. You now bid 2NT to show 25-26 after the second relay.

27-28 Open 2C. Partner relays with 2D and you immediately bid 3NT to show 27-28.
29-30 Open 2C. Partner relays with 2D and you bid 2H, again either Hearts or a big balanced  hand. Partner relays with 2S and this time you bid 3NT to show 29-30 after the second relay.

31-32 Open 2C. Partner relays with 2D and you immediately bid 4NT to show 31-32.
33-34 2C 2D 2H 2S 4NT   .... and that's why this game is so easy.  If you are not sure about this, when we get back to real life there will be a slam bidding seminar.

Board 3 Saturday 27th June

Today sinteresting hand. South clearly has a 2♣ opening bid.
North should always make a "Waiting Bid" of 2 .
Now we come to the critical moment.
Should South bid 2NT to show 23-24 balancedish or should they bid 2 ?
Route 1. 2NT rebid then North should bid 4NT which is a "Quantitative Bid"
It says to partner "If you are minimum please Pass, if you are maximum please bid 6NT"
You need to do this in case we only have 32 HCPs missing two Aces.

Route 2 South rebids 2 . North should now bid 2NT as a second waiting bid to see if
South has another suit. Much to North surprise South bids 3♣ .
At this point North visualises 6♣ /7♣ /6NT/7NT.How do we get there?
There is a fairly new convention known as Minorwood. When a minor suit has been agreed
a bid of four of that minor asks about the Five "Aces", the K♣ is the fifth Ace.
4 =1 or4  4 = 0 or 3  4♠ = 2 or 5 without the Q♣  and 4NT would be 2 or 5 with Q♣ 
It is extremely rare that South will have all five "Aces" but it happened today.
After South bids 5♠ North can ask for Kings by bidding 5 (its 5 because 4N and 5♣ would be to play)
South now bids 5 to say "I either have K  or the other two Kings" North now knows it is K  as they have ♠ K.
We now eliminate 6♣ and 7NT as possible contracts. 6NT is now safe and will score better than 6♣ .
7NT is unlikely as we are missing  K. We know partner has  AKxxx at least. Two of our losing Diamonds can go
on  AK  If partner has J we can make 7♣ , if partner has a 6 card Heart suit they can set up winning Hearts.

Tuesday 20th October Board 18 The missed slam

West deals and opens 1♠ 
East bids 2♥. This bid shows 5+ Hearts and 10+ HCPs. The Heart suit should be of good quality and not any random five card suit

The critical bid is East's next bid. 3 or 4 ?  East knows West has 5+ Hearts and 10+ HCPs. 4 is better than 3 

West now uses their chosen form of Blackwood and discovers that East has two Aces. West now asks for Kings and finds one.
That only accounts for 11HCPs in the East hand so there must be at least a Queen in there.
Time to count tricks.   SIX HEART tricks. TWO SPADE tricks at least TWO DIAMOND tricks  TWO CLUB tricks

Thats 12. Is there a13th?  If partner has any Queen there is. Because partner bid 4 and not 3 we know that they have to have a Queen.
7 for the cautious, 7NT for the brave.