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Washington Bridge League Solver's Club

Mar/Apr 2002


Moderator: Steve Robinson


Congratulations to Hadi Abushakra and Don Berman who tied for first with a score of 480. They win a free entry to the Unit Game and will be invited to be on a future panel. Third was Patsy Parker with a score of 470. Tied for fourth were Marge Rose, Lloyd Rawley, Chris Marks, Peter Lo, Terrone Carpenter, William Adams, and Leo Lasota with a score of 460. Tied for eleventh were Bob Klein, Rob Graves, Yi Zhong, Lorraine Jarboe, Lyle Poe, Rick Bingham, and Bob Henry with a score of 450. Tied for eighteenth were Harriet Glazer, Ken Berg, Sam Gumbert, Andrew Brecher, and Peter Hughes with a score of 440. Tied for twenty-third were Mike Kovacich, Patricia Foutz, Elliot Grant, Jim Oarr, and Mike Henderson with a score of 430. The average score of the 144 solvers was 372. The average score of the experts was 391.

All readers are encouraged to send answers and/or new problems to Steve Robinson, 2891 S. Abingdon St. #A2 Arlington, Va, 22206. In addition to the winner receiving a free play at the WBL Unit Game, Steve will play with anyone who gets a perfect score or who exactly matches all five of his answers. If you send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the above address along with your answers, Steve will send you a copy of the new problems to ensure that you can meet his next deadline. You can pick up a copy of the problems at the WBL Unit Game in Maryland, and can send answers or requests for problems to robinswr@erols.com. WBL Solvers Club uses Washington Standard as published July 1996.

Washington Standard second edition the book, is out. If you are a serious bridge player, this book is a must. You can purchase a copy from Steve for $25.00 at the Unit Game and at tournaments or can send him a check for $28.95 which includes $3.95 for priority mail.


  Problem 1    Matchpoints    Vul: Both   RHO (East) dealt  

South Holds


-AKQ8765
-76
-765
-2

The Bidding Thus Far

South

West

North

East

---

---

---

1

?????

 

 

 

 

The Panel's Votes

Action

Score

Expert's

Votes

Panel's

Votes

3

100

6

52

4

90

5

39

1

80

5

50

Dbl

50

0

1

3

20

0

1

2

20

0

1

  What is your bid? 

How many spades do we bid? Bid 4 and go for 800 against their cold 3. Bad! Bid 1 and allow the opponents to get to their cold 6 contract. Bad! Bid 4, get doubled, and go for 500 against their cold 5. Good! Bid 4 and make it. Great! Bid 4, which goes down one, but the opponents bid on and go for 500. Extremely great! Depending on the layout of the other 39 cards, anything is possible. Preempting puts pressure on the opponents and sometimes they guess wrong. That's why I'm a 4 bidder. This is a bidder's game.

Six experts try the middle of the road call. Partner expects you to have only KQJxxxx? Is partner going to do the right thing?

Adams:"3---Puts pressure on opponents, gives partner a one-bid description of my hand, and I've no stray queens's or jacks's that could create Law of Total Trick problems."

Krueger:"3---This describes the central feature of your hand and does not preclude other contracts such as three notrump or 4."

Price:"3---I make the same bid I'd have made had RHO passed. I'm not really tempted with my offensive oriented hand to do anything else. A 4 bid invites the shrug double out of LHO."

Hopkins:"3---Unless partner raises, this is high enough. I don't want to put the opponents in a position where they have no option but to double me if I bid 4 because I am very likely to go for -800 versus their game or -500 versus their partscore."

Chen:"3---1 could very well be right since it would give us a better chance to find three notrump. However, I will pay off to that hand and bid the hand to its proper level ASAP. 3 significantly interferes with the opponent's bidding and tells most of my story right away, which will allow my partner to make accurate decisions in the subsequent bidding."

Chechelashvili:"3---I would take a conservative approach. Partner is not a passed hand, and we are red. If they own the hand, 3 will make them guess between 4 and 5. If we own the hand, partner will raise to four with the appropriate hand. If partner was a passed hand and he is a light opener 4 might be a better bid."

Five experts bid 1. If partner has a bad hand, we avoid going for a number. But, how are we going to find out if partner has what we need? We don't need partner to have spade support, we need partner to have a good hand. x/Axxx/KQJx/xxxx would be enough. If LHO makes a negative double, we'll never hear from partner. Let's see what will happen if you overcall 1. You overcall 1, LHO makes a negative double, RHO bids 2 or 2. You try 2. LHO raises partner and it comes back to you. Do you bid 3 now and find partner with only one trick for you? Its very dangerous to bid now.

Steinberg:"1---1 is for optimists -- we might have a game even though RHO opened. Partner could have xx/QJT/AKQxx/xxx. Bidding 3 is for pessimists -- jam the auction when it is their hand. 2 is not good because it is neither fish nor fowl."

Woolsey:"1---The need for preemption isn't so great when I own the spade suit. Bidding 4 might back the opponents into a corner -- forcing them to double and be right. It is better to go slowly and see what they think they can make."

The problem is that when the opponents compete to the three- level, you won't know how many tricks they think they can take. You'll just know that they think they are following the Law of Total Tricks.

Xu:"1---May get minus 200 if bid 3. We may also have chance to be in three notrump."

Cherniavsky:"1---Get partner into the auction. Hand has too much playing strength to preempt 2 or 3, and it's too easy for the opponents to double and set 4 when they don't have anything. You can always bid 4 later."

King:"1---Don't need to preempt so much when you have the spade suit."

Four experts agree with me and bid game. If RHO has a minimum 1444 hand, he will double 3 but he might not double four. If LHO has a weak penalty pass, you might excape undoubled.

Cappelletti:"4---There are many ways for opponents to go wrong. I don't like 3 because too often the opponents will be able to make a four-level contract (they have room to bid and you have no defense). Then you can't bid again and your partner might not be able to "save" with little in spades."

Schwartz:"4---Rates to go down less than game. Might as well put it to the opponents."

Eissenstat:"4---Let them guess. They rate to have more then 20 HCPs in the three lower suits."

This is a bidders game.


  Problem 2    Matchpoints    Vul: Both    Partner(North) dealt  

South Holds


-2
-A76
-A65
-AQJ1098

The Bidding Thus Far

South

West

North

East 

1

Pass

1

4

?????

     

 

The Panel's Votes

Action

Score

Expert's

Votes

Panel's

Votes

Dbl

100

7

57

4

80

5

61

Pass

50

2

5

5

40

1

12

4NT

40

1

4

6

20

0

1

5

20

0

4

What is your bid?

This time it's the opponents who have preempted and we have to guess. You could bid 4 but you might find partner with four small hearts and four good spades. If you bid 5, you might find partner with KQJxx of hearts. It would be nice to make a flexible bid, a bid where partner can use his judgement. Isn't that what double is? If East has any sanity, he is not expecting to lose many diamond tricks. He might lose tricks on the outside but his diamonds should be solid. KQJ10xxxx is what I would have for a 4 bid. Since you are less likely to have a trump stack, doubles of high level preempts show extra strength and not just trump tricks. Doubles are flexible. Partner is allowed to pull with distribution. On the rare occasion that you have trump tricks and a minimum hand, wait and hope partner makes a card showing double.

Five experts put all their eggs in the heart basket. Hope this is a good day when partner has five good hearts. On a bad day partner has four bad hearts.

Parker:"4---Tough problem. Could easily make anything from seven to down in four. This should show a good hand so partner can move with extras. Double would be penalty, not fit showing at the four-level. 5 is too much of a gamble at matchpoints."

Double of high-level bids show strength not trump tricks.

Steinberg:"4---My best guess. It could be right to double and collect a number if partner is short in clubs, but if partner is long in clubs they might make or go down only one when we have a game or even a slam. We are hoping that partner has a decent heart suit. The opponent preempt to the four-level increases the chances that partner has long hearts. With the jammed auction, we may miss our slam despite our good controls e.g. give partner Qxxx/KQJxx/x/Kxx, but I do not think we can do more at this point. Preempts work."

Cappelletti:"4---Close choice between 4 and 5 - but 4 has more going for it."

Schwartz:"4---Partner rates to have five with likely diamond shortness. 5 will only work if we have a club slam."

Woolsey:"4---A difficult problem. I'm too strong to pass, and I don't have any real surprises for East. He bid 4 with his eyes open. West probably has a few spades, and if he has hearts also he might well have acted. Therefore, if we need a favorable heart split we have a good chance of getting it. 4 is the highest scoring contract if it makes."

One expert goes for the brass ring.

Adams:"Four notrump---RKC for hearts. If partner has one keycard, will bid 6 to play. If partner has none, will play 5 and if two, that is another panel. Expect partner will have a better than minimum response, as West was quiet and East preempted. As far as missing a heart slam goes, I expect to get extra matchpoints just for being in slam, and in clubs we could avoid heart losers if partner has good spades. Slam might make opposite no key cards, but I need good clubs and spades. Possible I get to double 6."

Six experts agree with me and double.

Krueger:"Double---With the expectation of setting the contract three tricks (three aces and three spades and/or spade ruffs). To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, this is a case of the spades that did not bark. I expect North to have four and West to have five. I have one, leaving three for East. I'll lead my singleton. Also, double doesn't preclude playing in 4, 5 or more. To bad this pair is not playing support doubles through 4!."

Xu:"Double---And lead spade. Try to get 500 or 800, not sure we can make 4."

Chen:"Double---This is a tough hand, and I would like to know who is sitting East. If East is a conservative bidder, I might be inclined to do something else. I will assume East is a middle of the road player and choose to double in tempo, which provides the most flexibility, since partner should pull with long hearts or a club fit. I wonder where all the spades are on this hand? I will play partner for something like 4-5-1-3 distribution, in which case partner will probably pass and then I will lead my singleton spade to get 500 on defense to compensate for our speculative game."

Chechelashvili:"Double---Showing the hand with no desire to pass and no penalty double - asking partner to make a decision. After 4 by partner, which will most likely show 4414 I will bid 5. With 4513 and good hearts partner should bid 4. With KQxx/Jxxxx/x/Kxx, he will bid 4 and we will end up in 5 which even in matchpoints is a better contract then 4. Heart lead is unlikely and we still can punish them in 4 if partner has any length in diamonds and defensive cards."

Eissenstat:"Double---Not even close."

Cherniavsky:"Double---And correct 4 to 5. Double is not penalty, but shows convertible values."

Two experts pass. Could be right if partner has nothing.

Price:"Pass---In tempo. Many possible actions come to mind with this hand. But you're fudging the description of your hand with all of them. If partner has a minimum, defending is probably our last possible positive result. If he has more (10+) I have enough diamonds he may well have a hand that can balance. 4 would have been my second choice. Where are the spades on this hand? Those are probably partner's second suit; an argument for defending. I have no defensive surprises for the opponents so no double. 5 is oink, oink."

King:"Pass---Partner will take some action with extras and I don't want to let the opponents stampede me into bidding a game that I would not have bid directly over a pass."

One expert makes a very unflexible bid.

Hopkins:"5---This bid has the advantage that it is very likely to be a makable contract. Partner needs as little as the heart King-Queen and doubleton seven of clubs to go with a likely singleton diamond to give game a very good play. Also, it gives partner an idea of the playing strength of my hand and may allow him to go on with something suitable such as Axxx/KQxx/x/Kxxx. I would like to play four notrump as a request to choose between Hearts and Clubs in this auction, but no one I polled was with me on this. At IMPs, I might just double and lead a spade."

High level doubles should be flexible.


  Problem 3    Matchpoints    Vul: Both    You (South) dealt  

South Holds


-6542
-AK6
-A65
-AQJ

The Bidding Thus Far

South

West

North

East

---

---

1

Pass

1

Pass

2

Pass

?????

 

 

 

 

The Panel's Votes

Action

Score

Expert's

Votes

Panel's

Votes

3NT

100

7

41

2NT

60

0

2

3

40

4

36

3

40

1

6

5

20

2

11

5NT

20

0

25

3

20

2

13

4

20

0

3

6NT

20

0

1

4

20

0

6

What is your bid?

You have a very good hand with very bad spades. Opener might have only three spades. If you wanted to, how do you find out what type of hand opener has? Two notrump? Would it make sense for you to bid two notrump and have opener pass it? If opener has four spades, you have an eight-card spade fit and it does not make sense to play exactly two notrump. Some partnerships allow raises on three-card support. If you raise on three, you have an unbalanced hand. I would raise to 2 holding AQx/x/KQJ/10xxxxx. Opposite an unbalanced hand, again it does not make sense to play exactly two notrump. Therefore two notrump should be forcing and should ask opener to describe his hand. There are two ways of responding to two notrump. The natural responses; if opener has four spades, he bids 3 with a minimum or 4 with a maximum. Opener jumps to 4 to show a maximum and a slam acceptance. If opener has raised on three, he makes a descriptive bid. He bids his fragment with a maximum and bids 3 with a minimum. The artificial responses; first step shows three with a minimum, second step shows three with a maximum, third shows four with a minimum and the fourth step shows four with a maximum.

Is two notrump asking, the way to go? Probably not. If partner has four spades and is balanced, you definitely want to play three notrump. On the other hand, if partner has four spades and an unbalanced hand, three notrump could be a disaster. If partner holds KQJx/QJx/xx/Kxxx, 5 usually makes but three notrump does worse with a diamond lead. Odds are however, is that three notrump is where you belong. If you jump to three notrump, opener will pass it unless he has four-card support with a outside singleton. Another point. How do you tell partner how many spades you have so partner can know whether 4 is a possibility? If responder has only four spades, you seldom want to play 4 unless opener also has four spades. If responder has five or more spades, you seldom want to play three notrump. Therefore, two notrump should be a four-card spade game or slam try. Three notrump is a four-card choice of games. Three-of-either-red-suit should be a five-card or longer spade game or slam try. Over three-of-either-red-suit, opener has to be able to bid above three notrump with a maximum raise. 3 should be a non-forcing four- card spade game try.

Six experts agree with me and make the bid which is odds on to be the best spot.

Cappelletti:"Three notrump---If partner doesn't bid 4 then we are probably in best matchpoint spot."

Hopkins:"Three notrump---Partner could have anything from a mirror with me Qxxx/QJx/KQx/K10x to a more shapely hand - AKQx/xx/xx/K10xxx. With the latter type, I expect partner to pull and then I will really have a problem as to how to suggest/bid a slam or not, but I will try."

Woolsey:"Three notrump---This seems automatic. If North passes, we will almost certainly be in the right contract. If North pulls, I can reconsider slam prospects."

Chen:"Three notrump---Partner needs magic cards to make 6 and I can't think of a way to ask if he has them, so I will settle for game. Even if he has the magic cards, a 4-1 spade break will probably doom the slam. Hopefully, we'll get a score of 660 if partner chooses to pass."

Parker:"Three notrump---Partner should not have extras and can always bid 4 with distribution on the way to 4. Sometimes partner raises with three, so lets check out notrump."

Cherniavsky:"Three notrump---Based on simulation, slam makes only if partner has the perfect holding. With 29+ HCPs between you, notrump will score better than spades. Also, spades could be your weakest suit."

If partner bids over three notrump, he's supposed to bid 4 with possible slam acceptance and 4 with a slam rejection.

Four experts are going to be in 4 opposite Kxx/x/KQx/Kxxxxx and the fifth opposite AQx/QJx/x/Kxxxxx.

Adams:"3---Help suit game try which can be slam try. Partner can cuebid with slam going values. Over 3, not accepting game try, will bid three notrump choice of games."

Steinberg:"3---Which is now a game try but may become a slam try. Bashing three notrump at matchpoints and giving up on slam with our bad spades has its merits especially if we don't have a slam, but 3 is more flexible and may keep them off a diamond lead at some point."

Xu:"3---Start to try for slam and also hope can play notrump from partner's side."

King:"3---If partner bids game over this, then I will make a move toward slam. If he signs off in 3 I will make one more slam try, but not go beyond 4."

Chechelashvili:"3---Help suit. Will pass three notrump - partner might have something like AKx/x/Jxx/Kxxxxx. If partner bids 4 after 3, makes sense to explore a slam. Partner might have AKxx/Qx/xx/Kxxxx."

If partner guarantees four spades, the following call might make sense. However, suppose partner has Kxx/x/KQx/Kxxxxx or Qxxx/QJx/KQJ/Kxx. 5 rates to go down.

Krueger:"5---Asking partner to bid six if his spades are sufficiently strong to avoid two trump losers. (See Washington Standard, page 200, hand five)."

Eissenstat:"5---We can't make a slam unless partner's spades are excellent."

Why should the following bid be forcing? Holding AKxx/xx/xx/Kxxxx, you want to play 3 if partner has a minimum three-card spade raise. If partner has four spades, he can bid 3 with a minimum or 4 with a maximum.

Price:"3---I realize that this is a non-forcing game try at this stage, but I don't really think this is passable. Slam is really only in the picture if partner has at least four clubs (more is better) and very very good spades for me. I want partner to upgrade his hand holding that. If he signs off or counters in diamonds, I'm playing him for just okay spades, and I'll try three notrump. If he bids three notrump, I'm passing. If he accepts the game try, I'll boost him to 5 to ask him about trump quality."

Schwartz:"3---If partner bid 4 with no controls, then I can safely try for slam. Over any other bid, I can bid three notrump which if passed rates to be the right spot."

Put the forcing-one-round-two-notrump-game-try in your bidding system. If hearts is the suit that gets raised, then 2 should be the four-card heart game or slam try and two notrump (spades) and three-of-the-other-minor should be the five-card tries.


Problem 4 

  Matchpoints    Vul: Both   You (South) Dealt  

South Holds


-AJ
-KJ432
-KJ32
-QJ

The Bidding Thus Far

South

West

North

East

1

Pass

1

Pass

2

Pass

3

Pass

?????

 

 

 

The Panel's Votes

Action

Score

Expert's

Votes

Panel's

Votes

Pass

100

8

43

3

80

7

40

3NT

70

0

50

3

50

1

9

4

20

0

2

What is your bid?

I would have opened one notrump and avoided this problem. Sometimes its better to make a flawed opening to avoid a rebid problem. Now what? If your clubs were two small, passing would be clear cut. If partner has only two clubs, your club honors are not carrying full weight. The trouble with bidding on is that there is no bid which describes this 2524 hand. This is the reason why I'm a passer. You have no assurance of getting to the best spot. Take the plus score. Seven experts agree with me and pass.

Parker:"Pass---I would have opened one notrump. This hand has no fast tricks and no suit to run. My club honors may be worthless. Partner can have KQxx/xx/Axxx/xxx and 3 is our limit."

Adams:"Pass---OK to be conservative at matchpoints. This sixteen-count is trash, and partner is under pressure to keep the bidding open for me."

Hopkins:"Pass---Probably our last chance to go plus. I would have to be vulnerable at IMPs to even consider bidding three notrump."

Schwartz:"Pass---This hand is not worth sixteen HCPs. Partner doesn't need that much to raise."

Xu:"Pass---Three HCPs in club is wasted. Chance for game is slim."

Chechelashvili:"Pass---Looks like partner has empty clubs, so three notrump is out of question. It is possible that we have 4 if partner is KQTxx/x/Axxxx/xx, but the thought of going down in 4 if partner has KQxx/xx/AQxx/xxx is scary. And 3 here should promise three cards anyway."

Cherniavsky:"Pass---Take the plus. Three notrump is not a favorite when partner's raise could be based on nine highs and five diamonds."

Seven experts bid 3. What does 3 show? I think it shows three-card support and denies club length and strength. Is partner supposed to bid three notrump holding Qxxx/x/AQxxx/Kxx? He won't expect you to have two sure club stoppers.

Steinberg:"3---If partner has a club stopper, partner can bid three notrump. If partner has KQ9xx/xx/AQxx/xx we do not want to be in three notrump, especially since they know to lead clubs. And since I didn't raise 1 to 2, partner should suspect that I might have this type of holding. What if partner passes our 3? Although we have sixteen points, if partner passes, our QJ of clubs may be worthless and we may be high enough or even too high - Kxxxxx/Qx/Axxxx/xx. Should I consider passing 3? We do have a decent enough hand to take another forward-going action."

Krueger:"3---Trying for +140 in a 5-2 fit or possibly three notrump if partner has help in clubs."

Price:"3---Yuck! I've just about the worst sixteen HCPs imaginable. We have game values, but game may well not make. Playing Flannery partner should have at least five spades on this auction. If they are good ones and we really don't have a club stopper 4 might be our game. 3 also keeps three notrump in the picture. My second choice is pass and that would certainly be my bid in a non-Flannery influenced auction."

Cappelletti:"3---I'd rather bid 3 with two spades than three notrump with two clubs."

Woolsey:"3---Yes, I have a lot of jacks, but this hand could play quite well in a 5-2 spade fit. If partner's hand isn't suitable for that, he may have a three notrump bid. Otherwise he can retreat to 4, which is probably okay. Passing could be right, but it is a bit committal."

King:"3---Keeps open a number of game possibilities, including 4."

Eissenstat:"3---Bid what I have."

One expert rebids his heart suit.

Chen:"3---Pass is out of the question, 4 goes beyond three notrump, 3 would indicate a more shapely hand, so I will bid 3 by default. It represents my strength accurately and I'm only lying about my heart length. Partner can then bid 3, three notrump, or 4."

When you're not sure how to continue take a plus score.


Problem 5 

  Imps    Vul: Both   You (South) dealt  

South Holds


-54
-Q432
-AQ6
-Q654

The Bidding Thus Far

South

West

North

East

Pass

1

Dbl

Pass

?????

 

 

 

The Panel's Votes

Action

Score

Expert's

Votes

Panel's

Votes

1

100

5

20

2

80

8

97

2

40

0

7

1NT

20

3

14

2NT

20

0

3

3

20

0

3

What is your bid?

What are the requirements for a jump to 2 over a takeout double? Depends upon how many hearts you have. If you have six hearts, you might do it with as few as eight HCPs. With ten points and six hearts you'd probably jump to game. If you have five hearts, you need a more to jump to 2. Nine to a bad ten. Again, with more points you'd jump to game. Holding four hearts is a different story. Partner promises only three hearts and you don't want to play in a seven-card fit. Therefore, you try not to jump in a four-card suit, especially a bad four-card suit. If partner holds AKQx/Axx/xxxx/xx, you'd be lucky to make 1. The problem hand is a horrible ten point hand. Bad trumps and possible worthless queen of clubs. It would never occur to me to jump with such a bad hand. However, if I bid 1 and partner shows four-card support by raising in competition, I might reconsider and make a game try.

Four experts agree with me and bid only 1.

Adams:"1---Yes, I know I have ten HCPs, but they are ugly, and most of the hands that will make game we will get another chance. 2 should have better hearts or not wastage in clubs. One notrump is right on values, but denies four hearts. I would actually like this hand better if the club queen were small (but still not enough for 2)."

Xu:"1---The hand looks soft even with ten HCPS. Hope to have a chance to make a second round bid."

Chen:"1---One notrump doesn't seem right with weak clubs and when I have four-card support for partner's takeout double. I was about to bid 2, but I want to have a fifth heart or my Queen of clubs somewhere else. So, I will decide to show my shape instead of my strength and bid 1. If partner passes my 1 response, I don't think we'll miss a game. Bidding 1 instead of 2 should allow us to avoid a bad 4-3 fit."

Cherniavsky:"1---Not good enough for 2 because the queen of clubs is not working opposite partner's shortness."

Eight experts jump. The problem with jumping is that partner holding a 4342 fourteen count is going to bid 4. It would be nice to be in an eight-card fit when bidding game with only 24 HCPs.

Parker:"2---Since I am a passed hand partner cannot get too excited. If I cuebid he may bid 2 and we are now at the three-level. I don't like jumping on a four-card suit, but it is better than getting to the three-level or bidding one notrump and understating the hand."

Steinberg:"2---Am I supposed to do something else? Partner made a takeout double and so I bid my four-card major and show a decent hand. I didn't open a weak two so partner might guess that my hearts are not spectacular. Yes, if partner has three hearts and some club chunks we may belong in notrump, but bidding a passed-hand 2 and then trying to catch up seems strange (partner with four spades and three hearts would bid spades and then look at where we would be). With three queens and a bad heart suit, one might consider an underbid of 1 or a bid of one notrump. One notrump might get us to game in three notrump when we can't make 4, but partner can make the right move over 2 if that is where we belong."

Price:"2---The non-existent spot cards made me do it. Throw a nine or an eight into the mix and I'm bidding one notrump. Throw three more tens in there, and I might try two notrump! I want to encourage partner some as this is vulnerable at IMPS, but I have bid my hand to the limit already."

Cappelletti:"2---Book bid. With no spots, I like the conservative 2 better than two notrump."

Hopkins:"2---About right on HCPs, but a little lacking in the trump suit. If partner cuebids which normally shows extra values but only three trumps, I will try three notrump. Moysians are always fun to play." Woolsey:"2---Partner has asked for my best suit, so I bid it. I have a maximum pass, so I show that by jumping. Seems simple enough."

Eissenstat:"2---Basic bridge."

King:"2---Must jump despite the poor suit quality. One notrump is a close second choice."

The following experts don't know what a takeout double is. A takeout double asks partner to bid a four-card or longer major. Your partner, holding KQxx/KJxx/Kxxx/x, is not going to be happy when the opponents take five clubs and two aces against one notrump with 4 makable.

Schwartz:"One notrump---Shows my values with one bid. With those heart spots, 2 might easily go down opposite three-card support."

Chechelashvili:"One notrump---I will bid 2 over their 2. One notrump versus 1, preempts opponents from finding a possible spade fit."

Krueger:"One notrump---I'm at the top of my bid and I'd like to protect my queens on the opening lead. If partner has more to say I can bid hearts next."

Be conservative when holding bad trumps.


How the Experts Voted:
  Expert / Problem     1   2   3   4   5   Score

Steve Robinson

4

Dbl

3NT

Pass

1

490

Ellen Cherniavsky

1

Dbl

3NT

Pass

1

480

Mark Chen

3

Dbl

3NT

3

1

450

Steve Parker

4

4

3NT

Pass

2

450

Mike Cappelletti

4

4

3NT

3

2

430

Kit Woolsey

1

4

3NT

3

2

420

Kefu Xu

1

Dbl

3

Pass

1

420

Robbie Hopkins

3

5

3NT

Pass

2

420

John Adams

3

4NT

3

Pass

1

380

David Chechelashvili

3

Dbl

3

Pass

1NT

370

Rick Eissenstat

4

Dbl

5

3

2

370

Fred Steinberg

1

4

3

3

2

360

Fred King

1

Pass

3

3

2

330

Paul Krueger

3

Dbl

5

3

1NT

330

Ransome Price 

3

Pass

3

3

2

330

Alan Schwartz

4

4

3

Pass

1NT

320


Don Berman, Web Master.