ACBL Unit 147
American Contract Bridge League
Washington Bridge League
Mid-Atlantic Bridge Conference
Solvers Rules and Instructions
Berman, Web Master
Novice / Newcomers
Washington Bridge League Solver's Club
- Mar/Apr 2003
Moderator: Steve Robinson
Congratulations to Bob Hartmann, Mark Chen and Rick Bingham with a score
of 460. They win a free entry to the
Unit Game and will be invited to be on a future panel. Tied for fourth were Richard Ferrin, John
Lawrence and Steve Carton with a score of 450.
Tied for seventh were Al Duncker, Mike Kovacich, Michael Mayer and
Rustry Krauss with a score of 440. Tied
for eleventh were Ted Guthrie, Barry Bragin, Brad Theurer, Kieran Dyke and Dave
Smith with a score of 430. Tied for
sixteenth were Ken Kaufman, John Ferman, Lloyd Rawley, Marc Umeno, Gerald
Lerner, Ellen Cherniavsky, Helene Fournier and Joe Wallen with a score of 420. Tied for twenty-fourth were Juanita Beeson,
John Glynn, Irish Grandfield, Mike Deverin, Peter Slafte, Arnie Frankel, Mel
Yudkin, Bob Wissman and Lee Bauer with a score of 410. The average score of the 223 solvers was
346. The average score of the experts
The Bidding Thus Far
The Panel's Votes
is either preemptive or invitational to slam.
Since most of the time, East’s bid is preemptive, pay off if East has
eleven tricks and is doing it to you. If
East’s bid is preemptive, this is our hand and therefore we are in a forcing
situation. The opponents can’t play in 5
undoubled. We must either bid on or
double them. In forcing pass situations,
there are four levels of strength we can show.
The strongest is to pass and pull partner’s double. The next strongest is to bid directly. Then there’s pass and let partner make the
decision. With the weakest hand type,
double. So where does this hand fall in
the four levels of strength? With only
one working card, I think this hand falls into the weakest category, which
means double. You don’t want partner to
holding AQJxxxQxxAKQJ. I am happy that not one expert bid five over
experts agree with me and double to stop partner from bidding.
makes sense to play this as a forcing pass sequence, giving ourselves more
ability to show hand strength. Just
assume that RHO
is sacrificing. So, I double to tell
partner I don't have much. The heart
king may score a trick on defense, but it will have less value on offense,
since it's unlikely to remove a loser.”
want partner thinking pass is forcing with my working four-count.”
double 5 to show strength. I would double 5
holding xxxxxxxxxxxxx. Pass shows values.
must show some values and let partner decide if he is so offensive oriented he
will bid again. I cannot have a heart stack based on this bidding. Pass would just get another double from
partner. At least this way I can show
some values. Bidding a suit now is just
a guess as to suit and level.”
don't have enough to bid, but I think my values are enough to double.”
pass. Do they really want partner to bid
bidder thinks we can make 4, therefore I think we can make 4. 5 doubled
will be a poor score. However, I
can’t bid without getting to a level that is a worse score. So I pass, waiting for partner to take
action, because to be making 4, partner must have a good hand. Key is to not bid partner’s cards when he
will get a chance to. Next month, ask me
what I do when partner reopens with a double.”
Just because the
thinks you can make 4 means that you can make 4. Sometimes the 2-bidder
you might double very frisky opponents.
Anything can happen in very freaky hands, but since partner probably is
short in hearts, your Kx hearts suggests defense. Note that if RHO has AQxxxx(x)
- then even if partner has AQxxxAKQxxKJx they might make 5.”
I would not
expect the opponents to make 5.
is likely an advance sacrifice. But
maybe it’s a trap to get +500/+650 instead of +450. It's not a sure thing to me. Partner knows better.”
won't be goaded into bidding at the five-level with no distributional surprises
and values well within the range of what partner will play me to have.”
have two or three working cards?
have a working four-count and some distribution for partner. This is not sufficient to bid at the
five-level while partner has a further chance to speak. Also, a double is premature as my Spade and
Diamond length might negate some of partner's high cards. Maybe partner will know what to do?”
reason to think they can't make it if partner can't bid again.”
When an opponent jumps to five-of-a-major or a passed hand jumps to
five-of-a-minor assume it’s your hand.
They can’t play at the five-level undoubled. With weak hands, you have to double.
shown the red suits and has enough strength to bid at the five-level. However, West has shown the black suits which
means that any missing red cards will be with East. The question is how much of our strength is
partner playing us for. If partner has xAKQxxAQJxxxx,
6would be a great contract assuming hearts are not 5=0. If you are going to bid 6and since partner could have more then ten red cards, and you are a passed
hand, why not show your ace of clubs.
Partner knows that any red cards will be offsides and won’t go wild.
agree with me and bid a slam. Three of
them even cuebid looking for seven.
is out of the question, so which is it, 6
Since I have the club ace and excellent
diamonds, I might as well bid 6
just in case partner has a spade control
and needs the club control for a Grand.
Maybe partner is -AKQ9xxAQxxxxx. I like my chances in 7and we should be able to set 7.”
Parker:”6hand is a great fit for partner. He can
bid 6, 6
or seven if he is so inclined. I would
give him something like AAKQxx(x)AQxxxx(x)
and we are cold for seven with a 3-1 diamond break.”
bidding slam with this much and gets us to the right trump fit.”
One expert makes
the bid that is most likely to make.
Hopkins:”6hope my Ace is opposite partner's singleton or they lead clubs anyway and give
partner tempo. I am taking a stab at the
safest slam as I worry about how the red suits are breaking. Opener is usually 5-7 or such for this type
experts go back to the major. With West
showing a possible 7=5 hand, do you really want to play in a suit where on bad
a day, East has three trump tricks, -AQ10xxxfor instance. Also, with hearts as
trumps, you might have to lose a club.
matchpoints try to go plus in major.
Plus first, slam later.”
matchpoints try to go plus. With all the
black-suit bidding, any makeable game will be worth matchpoints. Holding three little hearts, I can’t believe
that 5 will play make more often than 5.
problem. I don't want to hang partner for balancing. I bid 5 to
protect our matchpoint position. If partner is a conservative solid citizen I
would bid five notrump choice of slams.
I think 6 shows the club Ace and invites a
grand. If I had the same hand with the
King or Queen of hearts I would bid 6.”
may make six. However, I was going to
happily pass 4, so I won't be pushed into over-bidding.”
You passed 4
because partner could have been gambling.
Ao:”5is possible, but choosing a better game should be a better action. Leaving 5is a
clear victory to 4 bidder.”
have two cards that should be very good for partner. Is this enough to bid a slam? Clearly suits are not breaking well and
partner is under pressure, so I will bid only 5.”
think passing 5 is better than bidding 5.
to make more often than 5
like to play that this 5 bid shows five or more diamonds while
bidding four notrump would show four. As
for raising, partner has bid twice under pressure. It looks like I have a hand which will reward
his enterprise, but a) if he had a moose he might've started with double and b)
our suits are not breaking well here.”
When suits don’t
figure to break, play in your best suit even if that suit is a minor and even
if you’re playing matchpoints.
You (South) dealt
What is the
meaning of 4?
6=5 in the minors? Could be. But what do you bid over 3
holding 32A2AKQ543A2? Are you aggressive, bid four notrump and find
opener with KQ5432JxxxKQJ? 6 is a
poor contract which needs spades to be 3=2 with the ace on sides with no
defensive ruffs. I would not want to be
Or, are you conservative, signoff in 4 and find
partner with AKQ987?
How do you make a strength showing 4-bid? 4 is best
played as an advanced cuebid. Shows a
good hand with two-card spade support.
If you had real clubs, you should have bid them earlier. If 4 is an
advanced cuebid and you have the AKQ of trumps, you must make a forward-going
noise. In slam bidding, the player with
good trumps is obligated to advance towards slam. Therefore, South must bid something other
If partner is making a slam try missing the top three trump honors, he
must have good controls in the other suits.
Four notrump is the only correct bid.
If partner shows three keycards, a bid of five notrump will tell partner
that you have the AKQ of trumps.
as a preference. They’re assuming that 4
shows clubs which is the wrong assumption.
have shown my spades and denied support for diamonds twice so far. I have nothing extra to show. I will let partner tell me what 4
was all about. If it is an advanced cue
bid for spades I will pass 4 next since my hearts are xxx. If he wants to play in diamonds let him. He must not have a hand suitable for three
notrump or he would have bid it over 3.”
think 4 is right.
I think partner is 7=5. With 6=5
he would bid diamonds and then clubs.
Here he bids diamonds, diamonds and then clubs. Whether the 7=1 plays better than the 5=3 is
a matter of suit interior quality. If
partner now offers me a choice of 5 I would
not bidding my six-card suit a fourth time, so I will take a "false"
preference. Maybe partner will decide to
sign off in 4.
partner has no minor suit losers, 4 will
play as well as five-of-a-minor, and might make if I find JTx. If partner has no minor suit losers, partner
can correct. I did not jump to 3
If partner is making an advance cuebid, then 4
If partner is
making an advanced cuebid and you have the AKQ of trumps, you’d better sit up
else? Can partner have xxxAKJxxxAKJx?”
could have xxxAKJxxxAKJx.
really don't have anything else to say.
I think my last two spade bids have conveyed nothing more than my hand
is spades, and nothing else -- I have not shown seven spades, just the
inability to bid anything else. I'm not
sure what the 4-bid means. Partner may be void in spades - all the more
reason to play in spades. My hand may be
worthless in another suit.”
are my only treasure.”
should be xx or stiff honor.”
can play this suit opposite a void. I
really hope partner is 1=2=6=4 and not 0=3=6=4 or the like. I have no real help for partner's suits. And, of course, partner can still overrule me
and continue onwards. I rate to have
this type of hand rather than something like KQJ10xxxKQxxJx
where I would rebid 4 at my second turn.”
opened this hand, I think I should continue to show a minimum hand by bidding 4.”
bids a new suit at the four-level, a suit which could have been bid earlier,
that bid should be an artificial slam try.
When partner makes a slam try and you have the AKQ of trumps, bid a
Partner (North) dealt
Double would show 3 spades
options - defend or bid on and I like defending. Partner has shown strength in both minors, I
have two spade tricks and I know what to lead.
What does partner have for his 4-bid? He should be at least 5=5 in the minors. If he is 2=1=5=5, you might want to try 4. If partner is only 5=5 in the minors, I would
expect his two-card suit to be spades.
With one spade and two hearts, partner tends to be conservative. He could be more extreme in the minors. 6=5 for instance.
experts opt to defend and three of them pass.
With two tricks opposite an opening bid, why would you want to let the
opponents play undoubled?
experts opt to defend and three of them pass.
With two tricks opposite an opening bid, why would you want to let the
opponents play undoubled?
I don't know what to bid, but I know what to lead (SA).”
pass. This is not a forcing situation
since you could have bid 1 holding as little as KJ10xx
Adams:”Pass---Bad splits might scuttle
our high level contract, but I am too short in hearts to double. Maybe partner will have a clearer picture of
the correct contract. Pass is not
forcing, but if partner has a good hand, he will bid. If partner passes, then we have no game, and
no large penalty coming.”
are many unsure things: we may or may not make game in one of our three suits,
we may or may not defeat 4.
Things I know are that we don't have a nine-card spade fit, either my K
or singleton heart is duplicate value in declaring five-of-a-minor and I have
some defense values. Pass leaves the
following options to partner: pass with weak offense values, bid 4
with two spades, bid four notrump or 5 with 6=5
or 5=6 in minors and double with good defense values.”
I have only one point in my partner's suits so I don't think going on is going
to get me a plus score. I am likely to
have a trick or two on defense, but can't be sure how my minor suit lengths
will affect partner's defensive trick-taking capability. I will leave this up to partner and be happy
if he passes, doubles, or bids on.”
Four experts bid
5. Wouldn’t you bid 4
holding as little as xxxAxxxxAKQxx
or xxxAxxxxAQ10xx? With a little luck, you could make 4
but you can never make 5.
If partner has enough strength to make 5, 4
doubled should get at least 300.
has at most two spades and I have three-card support for at least a five-card
and probably a six-card diamond card suit.
He should have something like xxxAKxxxAKQxx
or better. We may have a slam if he is
6=5 and diamonds break and he has the club 10, but it is too much of a guess, xxAKxxxxAK10xx.”
expect to make five and may make six, but there are a lot of minor losers to
take care of and it will be very easy to lose two tricks.”
may be too conservative a bid, but I don't know how to show all of my major
Does partner’s 4-bid
show a hand with only two minor-suit losers?
If I were going
to bid a game, I would bid 4.
Holding a minimum hand, partner might overbid with 2=1=5=5 but never
might have two spades or they might break 3=3. If partner is known to have his bids I might
venture 5 but modern experts will probably be
bidding on a moderate 5=5. We probably
need at least one lucky break to make this hand so I hope it's in spades.”
like they have ten or eleven trumps so the law protects me. I might run if doubled based on table feel.”
Take plus scores
Partner (North) dealt
2NT=Limit Raise; 3=Forcing
This is the one
auction where two notrump is best played as showing a limit raise in
hearts. 3 shows
less than a limit raise, 3 shows more than a limit raise and 4
shows a preemptive raise. How else can
you show a limit raise in hearts and still be able to play in 3? If you have heart support, you need to show
it to partner in case West bids more spades.
If you happen to have a natural two notrump, either make a negative
double or jump to three notrump. One can
get by without a natural two-notrump bid. One cannot get by without a bid which shows a
Is this hand a
limit raise, forcing raise, simple raise or preemptive raise? There are two aspects to this problem. Getting to the correct heart level and
helping partner do the right thing if the opponents bid more spades. Six experts say limit raise. You want to play in 3
if partner has a roach such as JxxAKxxxxxKJx. A limit raise shows some defense and you have
one sure trick with plenty of chances for a second defensive trick.
agree with me and show a limit raise. As
a limit raise, this hand is at the bottom strength wise. But 5=4 hands are worth more than 5=3=3=2
hands and hands with at least ten trumps play better then hands with only nine
Notrump---5=4=2=2 plays well with five trumps.
I will let my fifth heart equal a point or two. 3 is a
close second with the wasted Q.
Since we are vulnerable I will push a little bit.”
Notrump---Limit raise - might make game (or beat 4
Notrump---Partner needs extras to cover my losers in the Spade and Diamond
suits, so I show a limit raise. One of
the nice features of this bid is that partner might even be in a position to
make a game try when he isn't sure, either.”
Notrump---Tell partner I have some values. Partner can then make an intelligent
decision if LHO bids 4. I
will bid on to 4 even if partner does not.”
Notrump---I have eight losers, the expected total for a limit raise.”
Notrump---Tough pick between two notrump and 4. If partner can't bid 4
over my two notrump, then we are not likely to make the game. In this case, 3 or
whatever level of spades our opponents compete will be the final contract. Both calls have some danger: we will double 4
that might be cold by bidding two notrump, we will not double 4
to collect only 200 or go down big number by bidding 4. Two notrump seems to be a little less risky.”
One expert shows
a simple raise. Wouldn’t you worry if
you bid 3 and it went all pass? Would partner bid game holding xxxAKxxxK10Kxx? All 4 needs is
to guess diamonds correctly.
seems about right on values. Your Queen
of spades is worth nothing. While you
have five hearts this could be the limit of the hand. You don't rate to make four unless partner
bids it himself.”
show a preemptive raise. Preemptive
raises deny defense and partner might go wrong if the opponents bid 4.
many of partner's seven-loser hands will provide decent play for game to bid
two notrump and 3 is not this hand.”
to know I have limit and forcing raises available, means this bid will not be
misunderstood; but this hand qualifies for neither. I will have an easy double of 4,
expecting partner to do the right thing.
If I make a misdescriptive limit or forcing raise, how will I know to
respect partner's double? If I make a single raise, I might slow down
the auction and buy the contract.
Tempting, but this is losing strategy in the long run as good opponents
will do the right thing given room.”
use the law without showing a particularly good hand. Slam is unlikely.”
Use two notrump
as a limit raise after 1 - 2.
Expert / Problem
Don Berman, Web Master.