Return to: Solvers Rules and Instructions

Return to: District 6 Home Page

Washington Bridge League Solver's Club

Jul/Aug 2002


Moderator: Steve Robinson  


      Congratulations to Josh Sher who came in first with a score of 480.  He wins a free entry to the Unit Game and will be invited to be on a future panel.  Second was Hailong Ao with a score of 470.  Third was David Rodney with a score of 460.  Tied for fourth were Kevin Avery, Clyde Kruskal, Pete Whipple, Paul Benedict, Bryan Macpherson and Jim Allen with a score of 450.  Tied for tenth were Bob Klein and Rick Eissenstat with a score of 440.  Tied for twelfth were Barbara Israel, Mark Rosen, Larry Myers, Mike Richey, Kent Goulding and Sam Gumbert with a score of 430.  Tied for eighteenth were Chris Marks, Lyle Poe, Dave Smith, Mike Henderson, Ransome Price, Bob Wissman, Ed Kinlaw, Mel Welles, Robert Boorman, and Mark Chen with a score of 420.  The average score of the 193 solvers was 361.  The average score of the experts was 412.

 

      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    Imps   Vul: Both You (South) dealt  

South Holds


- AK

- K

- 10987

- AKJ765

The Bidding Thus Far

South

West

North

East

1

Pass

2*

2

?????

 

 

 

* Inverted 10+

What is your bid?
 

The Panel's Votes

Action

Score

Expert's

Votes

Panel's

Votes

Pass

100

3

10

3

80

1

47

3NT

70

2

42

2NT

60

1

  6

4

50

1

3

3

50

1

56

4

40

0

3

3

20

0

5

6

20

0

2

5

20

0

4

Dbl

20

0

3

4NT

20

0

5

4

20

0

4

3

20

0

3

     It would be nice to find out how strong partner is.  Partner could have a limit raise or a game-forcing raise in clubs.  Simple! Pass and let partner describe his strength.  If he bids 3, you know that he has a limit raise.  Any other call shows a forcing raise.  If partner bids 3 showing a forcing club raise with diamond values, we can bid RKC.  If partner bids 3 showing wasted heart values we can bid three notrump.  Give partner xx/AQJ/QJx/Qxxxx and we want to be in three notrump.  Give partner xx/QJx/AKx/Qxxxx and 6 is cold.  Give partner xx/AQx/AKx/xxxxx and 7 is cold.  Once partner shows his strength, it will be easier to find the correct strain.  If you take away the queen of hearts from the above examples, partner would have a limit raise and bid 3. Now would be the time to bid 3.  3 allows partner to bid 3 showing heart values.  Only if partner has nothing in hearts would we try to play in clubs.  If partner has xx/QJx/AQx/Qxxxx, you don't belong in slam.

Two experts agree with me and let partner describe his strength.

Schwartz:"Pass---Need to know what sort of hand partner has. I have nothing good to say, certainly not bidding my diamond suit. 3 just takes up room with no clear message."

King:"Pass---Let partner clarify if he has a limit raise or a forcing raise."

Two experts try to get partner to look at his diamond holding.      

Woolsey:"3---This is going to be very difficult hand  to bid accurately since partner's exact diamond holding is the key to success of a slam and that will be difficult to find out.  My best bet is to first bid diamonds where I need his cards to be working, follow with some cuebid which makes it clear that I have slam in mind, and hope he judges correctly."

Partner will think his AQx of diamonds is perfect but you need him to have no diamond losers.

Parker:"4---Splinter.  I want partner to look at his diamonds and hearts and decide if we have a slam.  If he has wasted hearts we should play 5. If he has good diamonds then slam should be on.  If three notrump is correct I don't know how to explore it and show this good a hand.  3 should ask for a stopper and 3 misdescribes my strength.  Give him xx/Jxx/AKQ/xxxxx, we are cold for slam and he has an absolute minimum."

Give him x/AQJ/Jxxx/Qxxxx and 5 is in jeopardy.

Shaw:"Two notrump---Forcing.  Over 3 nonforcing I bid three notrump.  Over three notrump I bid 4 slam try."

Two notrump is not going to help you with your slam intentions.  A direct two-notrump call shows extra values.  Only if partner has a poor distributional hand such as x/x/KQJxx/Qxxxxx would he bid 3.  With most other hands, he'll bid three notrump.

Three notrump is going to end the auction.  Give partner x/xx/KQJx/Qxxxxx and you might not even make three notrump.

Hopkins:"Three notrump---I believe this shows 18-19 HCPs, supposedly balanced.  With my honors concentrated in my short suits, I could easily have a loser in each red suit if we were to get to a club slam.  If partner moves on, I will reconsider."

Lerner:"Three notrump---King of hearts may be worthless in 6 and partner needs a perfect hand or extras to make it."

Adams:"3---Shows a spade stopper in Washington Standard. Will raise three notrump to four notrump expressing values."

Three spades shows a spade stopper if you're playing Eastern Cuebids.  You might want to play game in three notrump but don't you want to play slam in clubs?

Let partner describe his hand.


Problem 2

Matchpoints 

Vul: NS 

You (South) dealt

South Holds


- J1075

- A6

- 65

- AKJ104

The Bidding Thus Far

South

West

North

East 

1

1

Dbl

2

Pass

Pass

Dbl*

 Pass

?????

 

 

 

* Takeout

What is your bid?

 

The Panel's Votes

Action

Score

Expert's

Votes

Panel's

Votes

3

100

5

75

Pass

80

3

45

2NT

50

1

56

3NT

30

0

  15

3

20

0

1

3

20

0

1

 

    Partner's double shows extra values and he wants to compete.  1=4=5=3, 1=5=4=3 or 2=4=4=3 are partner's most likely distribution. If partner has the latter, the opponent's are in a seven-card fit and should be really hurting.  Even if partner has only one spade, spades are not splitting and the opponents have marginal values. If you pass the double and partner leads your suit, the defense will be on the right track.

 

Two experts agree with me and defend.  We have four likely defensive tricks.  If partner has three tricks we should get 300.

 

Lerner:"Pass---Matchpoints and all we have are three seven-card fits if partner has likely 1=5=5=2.  Hope the Law protects me."

 

Schwartz:"Pass---If double shows two spades, then I would pass.  I would have bid 3 the first time.  I want to bid three notrump but can't bid that now as that would be hanging partner."

 

Six experts remove the double with five choosing their strong five-card suit.

 

Woolsey:"3---If partner makes another move, I'll try three notrump.  If he passes, three clubs may be the limit of the hand."

 

Shaw:"3---Is this a two-card double?  The vulnerability is wrong for passing it anyway."

 

Hopkins:"3---Partner's pattern should be something like 1=5=5=2, 1=4=5=3, 1=5=4=3, or maybe 1=4=6=2 with around 10-11 HCPs. 3 should play well against any of these.  At IMPs, I would consider two notrump and three notrump calls, but 3 should be safer."

 

Adams:"3---Pass is really silly when they have an eight-card fit, and I have good clubs and no certain trump trick. Partner rates to be 1=4=5=3 for this action.  I play two notrump as take out, but partner should expect me to be 4=3=2=4 for failure to bid suits he has shown on the previous round."

 

I guess you have never overcalled in a four-card suit.

 

King:"3---I don't think I have the right hand for passing, although it might be worth a shot if they were vulnerable, and I think 3 is better than two notrump as I probably do not even have a spade stopper."

 

Since partner should be short in spades, 3 figures to play better than two notrump.

 

Parker:"Two notrump---We all have at most an eight-card fit. No sense in getting to the three-level.  My hand should produce at least six tricks.  I am not sure they will go down and since they are not vulnerable, I see no reason to play for plus 100 by leaving the double in."

 

A point to consider when passing a strength showing double is the opening lead.  In this case, partner is very likely to lead a club which will not blow a trick.


Problem 3 

Matchpoints 

Vul: None

You (South) dealt  

South Holds


- 3

- KQJ3

- Void

- AKQ107654

The Bidding Thus Far

South

West

North

East

?????

 

 

 

What is your bid?
 

The Panel's Votes

Action

Score

Expert's

Votes

Panel's

Votes

4NT

100

3

9

1

80

1

96

2

80

2

72

5

40

1

  7

4

20

1

1

6

20

1

7

3

20

0

1

 

     Another simple problem.  Ask partner how many aces he has.  If he has no aces, you should make exactly 5.  If he has one ace, you are at least 70% to make 6.  Two-thirds of the time, his ace will a major-suit ace.  If he has the diamond ace, they might lead a diamond.  If partner has two aces, you should make 6 and if he has three aces, seven notrump.  Four notrump also turns out to be a good preempt.  If its the opponent's hand, they are starting out at the five-level.

 

One expert agrees with me and makes the simple bid.

 

Woolsey:"Four notrump---Blackwood.  Opposite zero aces I play five clubs, opposite one or two aces I play six clubs, and opposite three aces I play seven notrump.  In addition to probably getting to our best contract, this may preempt the opponents out of their contract."

 

The following three experts are very unlikely to find out how many aces partner has but they might get doubled in 5.

 

Shaw:"1---If I open 2 partner could hang me.  If 5, we miss six if partner has the right ace.  How would he know I have eleven tricks in my hand?"

 

Schwartz:"1---What else.  Why preempt with this good a hand? Maybe by bidding slowly, will get doubled."

 

King:"1---I don't like to open 2 playing control responses when I have a void."

 

The following three experts open 2.  They will never be able to sit for partner's penalty double and could get too high. Holding AKQ/Axx/QJ10xx/xx, partner might try six notrump when he finds out you are off an ace.

 

Hopkins:"2---I can't say anything printable about any other opening bid (except perhaps something like 1, embarking on an adventure!)"

 

Adams:"2---Either side might have slam, but this seems a good start toward getting my side there first.  With control response, will find out if in range or not."

 

Lerner:"2---Maybe partner holds hearts and can bid them. 6 should be good at matchpoints even if we have 7 or 7.  2 seems more likely to get partner to cooperate with an ace or two."

 

Opening 5 might push the opponents to the five level but partner will not know that you have a good hand and could let them play undoubled.  5 undoubled down four for plus 200 would not be a good score.

 

Parker:"5---Who knows whose hand this is?  I want to put the most pressure on the opponents.  I can with this type of hand. If partner has a good hand maybe he will raise.  In second seat after a pass.  I would open 6 since partner now may hold a better hand."

 

Opening four notrump is Blackwood.


Problem 4 

Matchpoints 

Vul: Both 

Partner (North) Dealt  

South Holds


-Void
-8765
-109765
-Q543

The Bidding Thus Far

South

West

North

East

---

---

1

1

?????

 

 

 

What is your bid?

The Panel's Votes

Action

Score

Expert's

Votes

Panel's

Votes

4

100

2

20

3

90

5

89

5

70

0

12

2

40

0

  19

1NT

40

1

0

Pass

40

1

37

Dbl

40

0

14

2

40

0

1

5

20

0

1

 

     The opponents have at least a nine-card spade fit and you have at least a nine-card diamond fit.  Since there are at least 18 total tricks, (you get the total tricks by adding the number of their spades and the number of your diamonds making basic assumptions about length) you can't let the opponents play at the three level.  If you bid only 3 and they bid 3 it will be a Law violation to allow them to play it there.  You will have to bid 4 giving the opponents a fielders choice. However, if you bid 4 directly you put it to them.  They cannot play a Lawful 3.  If they bid 4 and partner has a spade stack, he can lay down the ax or if partner has a distributional diamond hand, he can bid 5.      One expert agrees with me and follows the Law.

 

Adams:"4---Bid one more with a void.  Partner should be well place to double them in 4 if he has a stack."

 

Another reason to bid 4.  Voids are hard to evaluate so when in doubt bid more with a void.

 

Five experts are potential Law breakers.

 

Woolsey:"3---Looks just about right for a preemptive raise.  Partner can carry on if there is more bidding to be done."

 

But if it goes 3 back to you, you know that there is more bidding to be done.

 

Shaw:"3---Preemptive."

 

Schwartz:"3---Tempting to bid four, but partner will be able to evaluate his spade holding."

 

Lerner:"3---Double may be more strategic, but I only can make one bid with this trash."

 

It's right to make one bid.  You just have to make the right one bid.

 

King:"3---I don't want to bid more and force them to bid 4 which I don't really want to defend."

 

I would love to hear LHO bid 4 since partner is allowed to have a spade stack.

 

One expert gives the opponents a free run.

 

Hopkins:"Pass---I might get a chance to bid again with more information available.  If I bid now we are likely to get overboard or recording a -790 or such. Perhaps partner will do something helpful."

 

Partner is going to have spades and therefore is going to be conservative.

 

Parker:"One notrump---Somehow I want to slow them down and not get partner too excited.  Maybe they will double and I can start running in clubs and hearts for a while."

 

The problem with bidding one notrump is that you can't pass partner's penalty double.

 

If you blindly follow the Law your results will get better. When both sides have nine-card fits you want to force the auction to the four level.


Problem 5 

Matchpoints

Vul: Both 

Partner (North) Dealt 

South Holds


- K42

- J4

- Q432

- K1032

The Bidding Thus Far

South

West

North

East

---

---

1

1

?????

 

 

 

What is your bid?
 

The Panel's Votes

Action

Score

Expert's

Votes

Panel's

Votes

Dbl

100

6

66

1NT

70

2

122

2

50

1

1

2

20

0

  1

Pass

20

0

  3

 

     The experts think about one notrump but vote to double.  The spade spots are not good enough for one notrump.  I'm sure that the experts would bid one notrump holding K102 of spades and I would do so also.  Doubling works when partner has a four-card minor but what does partner do when he is 2=5=3=3?  He has to bid a three- card minor.  If East had passed, how would the auction likely go? You would respond one notrump, partner would bid two-of-a-minor and you would have bid 2.  So if partner has a weak notrump with five hearts and East had passed, you would play this hand in 2.  Why not go directly to 2?  There has been little said about the two-card major-suit raise.  2 has to be a reasonable contract and majors score more than minors.  Holding the king of spades in dummy will slow down the forcing defense.  If East has the ace of spades, he'll probably find some other lead. Also the raising on two could get the opponents to under-estimate the number of heart losers.

 

Two experts bid one notrump.  Just what you want is a spade lead thru partner's Qx.

 

Parker:"One notrump--- OK what is the trick here?  Am I supposed to make a negative double and then have it go 2 and have partner bid 3?  I can always come back in with a double over 2 if it goes back to me."

 

If they bid 2 and you double you have QJ109 of spades not Kxx.

 

King:"One notrump---I prefer this to a negative double at matchpoints."

 

Five experts make a negative double.  I wonder if they are going to bid 2 if partner bids two-of-either-minor.

 

Woolsey:"Double---If this isn't a model negative double, what is?  My next action will depend on what partner does."

 

Shaw:"Double---Negative.  Am I missing something?  One notrump needs to bid from partner's side anyway."

 

Hopkins:"Double---Most flexible.  I can play in many strains and might even be able to get the contract right-sided (partner's side) if we end up in notrump."

 

Schwartz:"Double---My hand is much more suited for a trump fit if we have one.  Also one notrump will leave myself poorly placed if they raise spades."

 

Adams:"Double---One notrump is possible, but wrong sides if partner has any number of minor spade honor holdings.  Partner can bid one notrump without full stopper lacking a suit to bid."

 

Is he supposed to bid one notrump in response to the double holding 32/AQ1032/432/AQ2?

 

Lerner:"Double---Hope partner bids one notrump and I can complain about my spots."

 

There are some hands where the two-card major suit raise makes sense.


How the Experts Voted:

Expert / Problem  

1

2

3

4

5

Score

John Adams
3

3

2

4

Dbl

430
Robbie Hopkins
3NT

3

2

Pass

Dbl

390
Fred King
Pass

3

1

3

1NT

440

Gerald Lerner
3NT
Pass

2

3

Dbl

420

Steve Parker
4

2NT

5

1NT

1NT

250

Steve Robinson
Pass
Pass

4NT

4

2

430

Alan Schwartz
Pass
Pass

1

3

Dbl

450

Mark Shaw 
2NT

3

1

3

Dbl

430

Kit Woolsey
3

3

4NT

3

Dbl

470


Don Berman, Web Master.