side: you are almost certain to get a heart lead
through partner's holding, and without a second
heart stop from partner you will be embarrassed as
soon as you lose the lead. 2® rather puts your eggs
all in one basket - when it's right to play in 2® or
3® you'll do well, but it makes it hard to reach other
strains when that is right, and it is also the most
likely contract to go for a penalty.
Marks: (A) 10; (B) 6; (C) 5.
6. ´ K Q 8 ™ K Q 6 t A K 7 6 4 2 ® 3
You open 1t; partner responds 1´. What call do
(A) 2™; (B) 3t; (C) 3´.
Most would bid 3t on these cards, aware that they
may struggle to find a 5-3 spade fit when it's right.
3´ could work well, even on a 4-3 fit, but it is a
gamble to commit to spades at this point. That
leaves 2™. The extra space makes it easy to find a
5-3 spade fit. 'What if partner raises hearts?' I hear
you cry. Well, if partner has four hearts, he must
have a fifth spade. You can correct hearts to spades
at any level.
Marks: (A) 10; (B) 6; (C) 4.
SECTION B (Question 7)
You are West, holding the hand shown. Which lead
would you make after this auction? You will be
given a mark out of 10 for your choice.
7. ´ K 6 3 ™ K Q J 9 t 7 4 ® K Q 10 5
West North East South
Dble 2t 2´ 3t
What lead do you make?
(A) ´3; (B) ™K; (C) t7.
This is the sort of lead problem we all like to have.
Two great sequences to choose from, plus partner
has bid a suit! However, on this hand, you should
spurn them all, preferring to lead a trump. Your side
has spades, hearts and clubs all sown up, so, besides
a couple of outside aces, the only place declarer can
go for tricks is diamonds. Lead a trump to try to
stop the potential ruffs in the dummy.
My second choice is a heart, leading from such a
February 2015 English Bridge
solid sequence is much better than leading partner's
suit, which won't always be as strong as we might
Marks: (C) 10; (B) 8; (A) 5.
SECTION C (Questions 8-9)
In each case which of the three example hands
would bid according to the sequence given? What
should the other two do differently? Again,
assume you are playing duplicate pairs and the
vulnerability is Love All.
You will receive 6 marks for the correct answer -
in Mike's judgement - and 2 marks each for giving
the correct alter native bidding for the other
8. Partner opens 1´; you bid 1NT; partner bids
2™, which you pass.
a) ´ Q 4 ™ K 7 6 5 2 t K 3 ® 8 6 4 2
b) ´ J 6 ™ Q 10 7 t A 8 6 3 ® J 10 3 2
c) ´ 8 ™ Q 5 3 t Q 6 2 ® A 10 9 7 6 4
Hand a) has far too much potential to pass. It is
clear to raise partner. Hand b) should give
preference to spades - a 5-2 fit rates to play better
than a 4-3 fit, and, if partner makes a try for game,
you would be happy to accept. Hand c) should pass
2™: this has much more chance of making than 3®,
which will often be dead in the water should partner
have a singleton club.
9. Partner opens 1NT (12-14 points); you raise to
a) ´ 10 8 4 2 ™ Q J 6 t K Q 10 ® Q J 10
b) ´ K Q 8 ™ A J 4 t 7 6 4 2 ® J 5 2
c) ´ K Q 9 4 ™ 7 4 t A 9 3 ® Q 10 6 2
Hand b) is too weak to invite game. Not all 11point
hands are created equal! Occasionally you will
miss a good 3NT, but even opposite a full 14-count,
game rates to be marginal.
Hand c) is right on values, but must investigate a
major fit first. Bid Stayman, planning on following
up with 3´ over 2´, or 2NT over 2t or 2™.
Hand a) should raise directly to 2NT. With such
uninspiring shape and every outside suit well
stopped, no-trumps rates to take as many tricks as
spades. The tens make this a much stronger hand
than Hand b), so it's right for you to make a try for