Bidding problems. What do you do with these?

July 21, 2008 at 10:51 pm 7 comments

Woke up this morning to find these in my Inbox. Please use the comments link to give your thoughts. I suggest a strong cup of coffee first.

After you’ve taken a look at the problems you will find the actual deals and results here


Dlr South
N/S Vul

You = Pass, LHO= Pass, Pards 3S, Righty 3NT, you?



Dlr North

Pards=2H (5H, 4+ minor weak), RHO=Double, You=Pass, Lefty 3C, Pass, Pass, to you? (Opponents do not play Lebensohl here)



Dlr South

Opponents pass throughout,

You 1D, Pards 1S, You 2S (no mini-splinter available), Partner 4NT, you 5D (1 or 4), partner 5S, you?

Posted later in the day:
Hand one: I want to pass like Sartaj, but I have a Pavlov’s dog’s reaction to it – I feel like pass has been punished too often to try it one more time, so I too am with the 4 spaders. I feel like I had one similar quite recently against Cayne and paid the price for passing – if I can find the hand I’ll post it.

Hand two: Totally agree with Ben. Why not redouble the first time? Now I’m sulking and passing. I really hate having to guess what to do now.

Hand three: My first thought was that what I do have is working and exactly where I’ve bid it. At least what I have is likely to be relevant. My second though was that partner could have asked me for the trump queen and hasn’t. Presumably that means it is a wasted card – insofar as the queen of trumps can be. Earlier today my call was pass but I reserved the right to change my mind. Actually I’ve become quite attached to pass as the day’s gone on. Sort of like a grown-up bid. I like it.

For more comments go
here including Peter Gill’s highly amusing analysis.


Entry filed under: bidding. Tags: , , , .

Bidding problems Bridge: how do you play this?

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. marlowepi  |  August 14, 2008 at 9:34 am

    1) 4S is automatic. Quite generally, a third-chair preempter could have a fair hand, though since he has spades rather than a lower-ranking suit there is a bit less to gain by such a tactic. Nevertheless no way i am going to double for +100 (or much less) when we can easily have a game. if we did a simulation it would not even surprise me much to find out that we are FAVORITES to make 4S. In any case, pass or double has only one way to win–both contracts go down. 4S has (count them) 3 different ways to win: a) 4S makes, b) 3NT makes, c) opponents do wrong thing over 4S. really i regard anything but 4S as a non-starter, though obviously on any given deal something else could be the winner.

    2) Like Ben, I want to rewind the auction, but I want to go a bit further, to the point where we were filling out a convention card. The opening bid to show a weak 5-4 is in my opinion the silliest treatment I have ever encountered at bridge-Yes by all Means, let’s first drive the opponents into a game they wouldn’t otherwise bid, with the really lovely compensation of telling them exactly how to make it. OK, so I am forced to assume I am being well paid to play this convention, in which case I cannot begin to think about imagining why I didn’t redouble the first time. The bottom line is that if my judgment is so poor as to play this awful convention AND to pass over the double, I have no chance of winning anything ever, so what difference does it make what I do now, or ever? Oh, right, I am being paid. Well if I’d redoubled like a living creature, I would know by now if pd had any extra diamond length, but since I don’t I am just going to pass and try to beat this. It doesn’t look as if game is that likely, hearts will break bad, and any partner who insisted on playing this opening bid is surely going to misplay the hand if he is declarer and misdefend otherwise. The only alternative to pass is 3NT, and at these colors I’ll just be happy with any plus at all as I think 3NT is seriously odds-against to fetch.

    3) Some assorted cooments on the conditions and on other correspondents’ remarks: a) the opening 1D is automatic; b) agree with the 2S rebid though partner might easily bid 4S when we want to be in slam–the hand just isn’t good enough for 3S; c) Why am I playing methods where I can’t show a void over 4NT? d) Addressing the actual problem, anything but pass is a complete violation of discipline and partnership trust. Even if we do make an easy six, we will gain because of this deal, as it will provide us with impetus to change our system to add both mini-splinters and ways to show a void in response to 4NT.

  • 2. cathychua  |  July 23, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Bill pointed out the obvious: bunches of hands where partner didn’t ask for the trump queen because already off two key cards…. To quote: ‘Partner can’t have KJxxx-AKQx-x-KQx? Or a million other hands with two cashing losers?’. Okay Bill. You are quite right, of course.

  • 3. Jonathan  |  July 22, 2008 at 10:06 am

    1 4S confidently. We won’t be surprised to hear 5C from someone. Double is a reasonable shot, but pass feels unenterprising.

    2 Double. I suppose I passed first time round to make it harder for them to find their best fit if LHO is 3433. But had I redoubled, I still wouldn’t know what to do, though 3D would be safe. As it
    is I’m guessing.

    3 Pass. We’re missing two keycards. Even if partner doesn’t have HA, he’ll certainly have H-stuff and I don’t see why we should guess to go on. He could have gone more slowly

  • 4. Simon  |  July 22, 2008 at 4:14 am

    1) I double – I am aware of the downside risk – I’m obviously playing declarer not to have 3 spades. 4S our way is more than likely to have 2 losers in clubs, 1 in diamonds and 1 in spades.

    2) x

    3) Pass – there are some attractive aspects to bidding on, but they are not to be countenanced.

  • 5. Sartaj  |  July 22, 2008 at 1:26 am

    1) Pass
    If partner wants to open an adverse vulnerability preempt in third seat, then he sounds like the kind of guy who wants to run his own show. I refuse to participate.
    If we have a game, he should have opened 1S.

    2) Double

    3) Pass
    Discipline pays. Or so they tell me.

  • 6. Bill Jacobs  |  July 22, 2008 at 1:07 am

    1) 4S. Rather than defeat 3NT by one trick, I bid 4S and go down by one trick. The price of insurance.

    2) Double. If it makes, too bad.

    3) Pass. Wouldn’t have opened. As for gambling that one of our two missing key cards is the heart ace, it’s not like I’ve got vast extra values to compensate.

  • 7. Ben Thompson  |  July 21, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    1) 4S. RHO will most likely have either lots of clubs or a strong NT. In the first case he’s very likely making 3NT and in the 2nd he’s a decent fighting chance (try putting DA with LHO, or SAxx with RHO). I reckon we’re probably 1 off in 4S, maybe making on a lucky day, so 4S feels about right.

    2) I rewind the auction to my first turn and redouble. By passing I’ve taken partner out of the auction and unnecessarily given myself a problem. Anyway, it looks like partner probably has diamonds (note there was no correction from RHO), which makes me feel good about DQ. So I bid 4H. My opponents will rightly think I’m a nutjob, but that’s the price of muffing my first bid.

    3) Pass. If partner had no heart control he would have gone for a cueing auction. Let’s say partner has something like Axxxxx KQJxx x x. Is that Blackwoodable? Not unreasonable I say.


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