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
- May/Jun 2003
Moderator: Steve Robinson
Congratulations to Joe Wallen and Marvin Elster who tied for first with
a perfect 500. They win a free entry to
the Unit Game and will be invited to be on a future panel. I will play with each of them at a future
Unit Game. Third was Stu Fleischmann
with a score of 470. Tied for fourth
were Natalie Aronsohn, Drazen Martinovic, Leo Lasota and Steve Bunning with a
score of 460. Tied for eighth were Fred
Allenspach, Kieran Dyke, Bob Hartmann, Ajmal Abbasi, David Rodney, Mike
Kovacich, Fred Steinberg, Kieran Dyke and Millard Nachtwey with a score of
450. Tied for seventeenth were Bernie
Lambert, Marshall Kuschner, Lyle Poe, Gareth Birdsall, Barbara Summers and Mike
Lawrence with a score of 440. Tied for
twenty-third were Jennifer Lin and Hailong Ao with a score of 430. Tied for twenty-fifth were John Ferman, Kathy
Kruskal, David Chechelashvilli, Don Berman, Mark Shimshak, Joa Faria, Michelle
Cantave, Brad Theurer, Leon Letwin and Bob Levey with a score of 420. The average score of the 246 solvers was
320. The average score of the experts
The Bidding Thus Far
The Panel's Votes
partner bid? If he has at least six HCPs
and a four-card suit or fewer with a five-card suit, he would have bid over 2. He knows that the opponents are in an
eight-card heart fit. He bids with any
excuse. If partner has strength
therefore, his four-card suit must be hearts and he is probably exactly
3=4=3=3. If partner has a four-card
black suit, he must be broke. If partner
has a five-card suit he must be brain dead.
With a five-card suit, one bids with any excuse. However, the opponents are at the two-level
in an eight-card fit and it is a Law violation to allow them to play it
there. So is there a way that we can
push the opponents around without getting partner excited? Since partner has three diamonds, why not bid
3. If we’re in trouble, a direct 3
would be the most difficult contract to double.
An opponent would have to have diamond length plus extra strength.
says that double followed by a suit shows extra values. There are at least three situations where
bidding a suit after doubling shouldn’t promise extras values. After 1 --
Double -- Pass –- 2 -– Pass and 1
-- Double -- Pass –- one notrump –- Pass, 2 should
not show extras. You doubled with a
five-card diamond suit and 2 figures to play better than either 2
or one notrump. The third situation is
the above auction. Bidding 3
shows five diamonds. If you happen to
have significant extra values, you have to find some other way to bid the
agree with me and bid 3.
doesn't seem right to pass out 2 and the
hand should be stronger to double again.”
Cappelletti: ”3---This does not necessarily
show a big hand since I might have an "equal level conversion" hand,
four spades and six diamonds. I wouldn't double again which shows better
hand, as partner might convert and he is very unlikely to have four spades
since he passed first time.”
matchpoints you can't afford to let them play at the two-level and expect to
score well. Partner has some points and
does not have four spades or five clubs (he would have bid freely) so he should
have at least three diamonds. He may have
a heart stack and if he is good enough we can make three notrump. Double is a close second but I don't like my
reopen with a double. Partner expects
you to have extra values when you double the second time. If he has four hearts, he might pass and he
will be disappointed with your lack of defensive values.
get anything for -110 at matchpoints”
didn't sit down to play in order to defend 2
undoubled with a singleton heart. We
probably have a spot at 3, but we can nose around and try other
contracts first. If North passes the
double, that might not be so bad for us.”
isn't right. Partner is nominally marked
with some cards yet has failed to act in a favorable competitive
situation. With my luck, partner has a
3=4=3=3 or 3=3=3=4 seven or eight count.
Even if expecting to catch something like this though, I believe it is
still correct to act and hope the vulnerability protects us. -100 should be significantly better than -110
to make the risk worthwhile.”
favorable vulnerability and my stiff heart say to bid. If we wind up in 3
doubled, I will pull to 3.
Can't let opponents play at the two-level in matchpoints.”
must not have bid because he is either 3=4=3=3 and/or may only have about five
HCPs. At IMPs, I would definitely pass,
since any other bid would be rebidding or overstating my values. This is a tough problem at matchpoints.
Pass could be correct also, as the
opponents may not have diagnosed their double fit in hearts and clubs and could
be cold for 4.
However, at matchpoints our best position may be our 4=3 2
contract, our 5=3 3-contract, or getting +200 vs. 2. Since double caters to three scenarios, and
pass only caters to one scenario, double, hopefully in tempo, it is.”
IMPs there is more to gain by bidding.
Allowing the opponents to play in 2 when you
can make 3 costs six IMPs. Going for 300 when the opponents can make 2
costs only five IMPs. Pushing the
opponents to 3 where they are down one gains five
experts pass. Sometimes you are
outmanned and have to put up the white flag.
If I were 4=1=4=4, I would pass.
I would not expect partner to have a four-card suit other than hearts.
is NOT the same as Invulnerable.”
have only 12 HCPs and partner couldn't make a responsive double, so he likely
could have all heart strength. If I bid
that should show extra values.”
Adams: ”Pass---Bidding again shows more
It is a Law
violation to allow the opponents to play at the two-level in an eight-card
fit. With this in mind, balancing bids
should not show extra values and you should make every effort to bid.
You are North
holding KQ1098AxxKxxxx. West says skip bid and you expect 3. You are taken back when he opens 2. You pass and hope that partner reopens with a
double. It does go pass to partner who
thinks for five seconds and makes your day.
Partner doubles. You will pass in
tempo and lead your stiff club. But
redoubles. You pass, the same bid you
would have made had RHO
passed. Your pass is a penalty
pass. If you hold xxxxxxxxxxxxx
instead, you have try two notrump and hope for the best. There is only one correct answer to this
problem. Trust partner and pass.
agree with me and pass. We could be
getting four figures.
I reopened with a double, I had made the decision, right or wrong, that my hand
would be adequate for defense if partner passed the double. Nothing has changed. His pass is clearly defined as a penalty
pass, and West's redouble doesn't mean anything except maybe he is trying to
generate a misunderstanding. We are simply
playing for slightly higher stakes.”
In this case,
West had the feeling that it was go all pass and that he was in bad shape. He redoubled to cause confusion. Over half the solvers allowed him to avoid
Cappelletti: ”Pass---Unless you have specific
agreement to the contrary, he made a penalty pass.”
pass says he was going to pass for penalties, so we have arrived!”
is worrying that RHO
passed LHO's SOS redouble since it can't be to play, but partner's pass is for
penalty and I will respect that.”
can always bid something so his pass should be for penalty. I must assume he would have passed my double
so he must pass here to show a penalty.”
wants to play 2 doubled and this should be even better.”
have been told, but never have seen written, that, above one notrump, the pass
of the redouble is for penalty. My hand
and the failure of East to raise makes that a very likely possibility so I'm
going to see how well we can defend.”
partner’s pass is for penalties.
pass over the redouble should be for penalty.
I have my bid and close to the 1=4=4=4 shape expected, so I will trust
partner and pass.”
wonder if I was the one sitting West here?
My agreement and the Washington Standard agreement (see p. 194) is that
Advancer's Pass is penalty. The redouble
by opener doesn't change anything. If
partner can't pass for penalty and then he has to bid another suit, even if it
is a three-card minor. Despite my spade
void, I have no reason to overrule partner, so I shall pass and expect a big
number for us.”
Adams: ”Pass---Partner's pass is
penalties. This will be ugly for them.”
runs. If he didn’t want to defend, why
did he double 2?
Notrump---Even though partner’s pass is for penalty, I’m bidding two notrump
for takeout because I don’t like my chances on defense.”
When an opponent redoubles and you are sitting behind him your pass is
for penalty at any level. Your RHO opens 1 and it goes pass to partner who doubles. RHO redoubles. Since you are sitting behind RHO, your pass is a
penalty pass. If you are sitting in
front of the redoubler and the suit has not been supported, then your pass
should be for penalty starting at the two-level. RHO opens 2, you double and LHO redoubles.
Partner’s pass should be for penalty.
He wants to play 2
redoubled. If the suit has been raised,
then the penalty pass starts at the three-level. RHO opens 1, you double and LHO bids 2. You double again and LHO redoubles. You can remove partner’s pass. However if LHO bids 3, you double and LHO redoubles, your partner’s pass is for penalty.
You (South) dealt
should you balance in passout seat? You
should balance if you have either shortness in the opponent’s suit or extra
strength. Here you have both. The question is not whether you should
balance but how you should balance.
Double is one possibility. If
partner passes your double, you should get rich. While you don’t have to worry about partner
burying you in spades, you do have to worry about the opponents finding their
spade fit. The only hand where partner
might have four spades is a weak hand containing only four spades and heart
length. If I had four spades my hand
would look like QxxxKxxxxxxxx. Be conservative with length in the opponent’s
suit and aggressive with shortness.
experts agree with me and double. With
the extra strength you should be able to handle anything partner does.
I have passed a penalty double of 1? Of course!
Therefore, this round is easy.”
rebid 2 over 1, showing decent hand. You also have
safety tolerance for big-time spade bid.”\
Partner can’t have long
spades. Bidding 1 does not promise a lot of strength.
to allow for a penalty pass. Partner
isn't likely to bury you in spades when he couldn't bid over 1.
Also, not clear which level and which minor to bid.”
”Double---Let partner decide what
next. If he bids spades, I will correct
to diamonds. On a good day, he will pass
with 4=5=1=3 shape and we will beat 1 doubled
and not have enough to make three notrump.
On a bad day, opponents find their spade fit.”
play this is obligatory on all hands where we are short in their suit except
when we are vulnerable and they are not.
This means I might reopen with a lot of off-shape hands hoping for the
penalty pass from partner. With this
hand I will be quite happy if partner passes the reopening double and
reasonably comfortable if he does something else.”
Adams: ”Double---I can bid clubs over
spades if partner does not sit.”
experts reopen with 2.
They give up the opportunity to get a penalty. Another benefit from reopening with a double
that you don’t get with reopening with 2 is that
partner might have clubs and bid them over a double.
with a double and going after a penalty is silly -- partner probably doesn't
have a penalty pass in the first place, and if he does the opponents surely
have a playable spade contract. With 6=4
it makes more sense to rebid the diamonds now and the clubs later if necessary,
giving partner maximum choice. If I bid
I won't be able to show the six-card diamond suit and still be able to get out
can’t partner have a penalty pass?
bidding 2 because the spade suit is out there and I
can bid 3 next.
Don’t double with two little spades.”
either has a weak hand or a penalty pass of 1. Since the former is more likely, I want to
plan to compete to three-of-a-minor over the opponent's undoubled 2
contract. By bidding 2
now and rebidding 3 later, I will accurately describe the
shape of this hand and allow partner to make the final decision. If partner has a penalty pass of 1,
he will hopefully bid two notrump over 2, which I
can comfortably raise to three notrump.”
expert jumps to 3.
Preempt just in case the opponents have spades.
I double and partner bids spades I will have to retreat to diamonds and will
not show this good a hand. If the
opponents bid more I may get shut out, so I opt to show a good hand and long
diamonds now. Partner can bid three
notrump with stoppers in hearts and we should make it. Three notrump at matchpoints is where we
should aim for.”
expert passes. With 15 HCPs and short
hearts, I think this is losing bridge.
partner has a heart stack, then they must be better off in spades.”
When short in the opponent’s suit, make every effort to reopen.
You (South) dealt
time you have a weak hand, length in the opponent’s suit, and a void in the
unbid major. This points to allowing the
opponents to play in 1.
However, you do have a seven-card suit that is good for offense. So do you pass or bid? If it’s the opponent’s hand, the other
players who are sitting East-West will find their spade fit and get to the
correct contract. Suppose partner has xxxAQJ10xAxKxx. We’re cold for 6,
seven if they can’t ruff a heart on the opening lead. The passers will be +350 collecting 50 a
trick. The object of matchpoints is to
avoid disasters and if it’s your hand, passing will produce a disaster. If it’s the opponent’s hand, bidding will
produce an average. This hand is so
strange that its impossible to know whose hand it is.
experts pass. How can you pass holding a
auction as opponents must have nine spades so I’m going to pass and hope they
have missed game also heart king is useless.”
have to be kidding me. Somebody has
goofed. Partner will bid 1
on a five-bagger on any excuse, and he will make a negative double on four
spades with any excuse. Thus, either
partner is broke or the opponents have a ten-card spade fit (or both). Either way, it has to be better to defend 1
than to stir up the animals.”
opponents sure have a lot of spades.”
here I don't want to let them find spades.”
have this feeling my LHO has picked off our 4=4 fit. I don't expect partner to have more than
three Spades unless close to busted so I worry greatly about letting the
opposition back in. I would have some
sympathy for the players who take a stab at 5, but
that is really fishing for the perfect hand xxxQxJxxxKxxx.”
are the spades? If partner can't scrape
together a negative double over 1, then
the opponents are not in their best fit, and I'm not going to be able to outbid
them in diamonds. Pass before they find
their spade fit.”
didn't even do a negative double, so it is very likely the opponents have
missed their spade fit. I don't want to
balance at 2 to give the opponents a second chance to
find their spade fit and I don't want to balance at 3
and go for a number.”
Adams: ”Pass---Tempting to get them a
second chance at finding spades, because bad splits may scuttle. Problem is, bad splits might not be enough to
experts agree with me and stir up the animals.
If it’s the opponent’s hand in spades, 3 could
blow them out of the water.
”3---Certainly correct at matchpoints even when
time it is preemptive, but partner will not know it. He is very unlikely to be bidding three
notrump here since I have hearts. Where
are the spades? It sounds like they are
5=4 with the opponents or better. I
don't want them to find their fit, so either I pass or jump. I opt for the jump
in diamonds since I have a good offensive hand.
At IMPs I would let them play it in 1.”
IMPs, it’s more important to balance.
You don’t want to get 50 a trick when you’re cold for a slam.
following expert has a good point.
Holding a void in spades, it is possible that West either meant to
overcall in spades or psyched his heart overcall.
strongly suspect a psych as where are the spades? Hopefully partner will take my later heart
bid as natural probably at the slam level over partner’s three notrump. I bid only 2 to give
a partner a chance to jump to three notrump.
That will confirm a psych. If
partner bids three notrump over 3, I can't
Letting the opponents play at the one-level when holding a seven-card
suit is not good strategy.
Partner (North) dealt
is no call, which perfectly describes this hand. What call comes closest and is least likely
to cause a problem? Double, pass, one
notrump, two notrump and 2 are suggested calls and each has its
flaw. If you double you are likely to
end up in a 4=3 or possibly a 3=3 fit.
Partner has AxxKQxxxxKxxx
and responds 1 to your negative double. Notrump could get notrump played from the
wrong side. Partner has AxxQxKxAKJxxx
and bids three notrump. Pass and you
could lose a partscore swing. Partner
and allows them to play 1.
If you raise clubs you could find partner with AxxxKxxxxxAJx
and play in a 3=3 club fit. So what’s
experts agree with me and double. Double
shows both majors, at least 4=4. You
have both majors but are 3=3. At least
you’ll be at the one-level.
would make the negative double to show some values but wouldn’t raise any jumps
by partner except in clubs. Might have
three notrump but not from my side.”
would be if partner rebid either notrump or clubs.
partner to compete and push opponents since we own the majority of points.”
is short in diamonds and therefore probably long in clubs. I will bid clubs over his expected major. Too
good to pass and silly to bid notrump with four little diamonds and the lead
coming thru partner.”
over partner’s one-of-a-major could be wrong if partner is 4=4=2=3. With no eight-card fit, low is good.
Happy Day! I have support for both unbid
suits and honor-third in my partner's opener.
What could be better? I'm not
sure I will ever be able to untangle the auction enough to get to our most
playable spot, but I can't find a more reasonable call.”
book bid is to pass, then cue bid, but I think the more practical bid is double
and play a low level major contract unless partner shows something extra.”
non-penalty doubles have the basic premise of "I have values but I don't
know what to do," which is my situation here. I wish I had a four-card major, but then this
wouldn't be a Master Solver's Club problem.
If partner bids one-of-a-major, I will pass, since he probably has 12-14
balanced and we can't make three notrump even if he has a diamond stopper. All other rebids after doubling should be
you don’t double then what? One expert
bids one notrump. If partner has a weak
notrump, you should survive. You will
take a few tricks after they run the diamond suit. Also, if LHO has a singleton diamond, he
might not lead it. If partner has a
better hand and bids three notrump, this will not be a good result.
notrump---The real answer is pass, but I doubt I'd be able to do it in tempo.”
experts raise clubs. If you are going to
play in a 4=3 fit, why not play in a major?
On good days partner has five clubs.
have too few clubs, but make up for it with extra points.”
expert will get to at least three clubs.
I’d rather play in one-of-a-major.
raise in clubs. Yes, I'm one or two
clubs short, but this bid shows my values, and lying about my club length seems
a lesser evil than bidding notrump without a diamond stopper or a negative
double with only three cards in each major.”
experts pass. The problem with passing
is that you will have no clue where you belong if partner reopens with a
double. Partner doubles holding AJxxxxxxxAKxx
and you cuebid. Partner bids 2. So instead of playing in 1
as the negative doublers are going to do, you are going to play in at least 2.
is very unlike to go all pass, and if it does that might be as good as
anything. If partner reopens with a
double, I will cue-bid 2, which shows a hand something like this
-- no suit to bid, no diamond stopper, but a fair amount of strength. I can probably handle most other auctions
decently. Any action I take now other
than passing is a distortion from which I may not be able to recover.”
Adams: ”Pass---I've no bid, and no
guarantee of game. When partner doubles,
I can cue 2 and hope partner gets the message.”
While one tries to have a four-card major when making a negative doubles, sometimes there is no other way to show strength.
Expert / Problem