Bidding Quiz by David Bird
Beat Today’s Experts
Answers to Problems on Page 31
1. Game All. Dealer East. outside. What could be simpler, you might 4NT. This went three down when the defend-
think, than asking for aces at some stage? You ers ran six spade tricks.
find that partner has one ace and bid 6®. In How should the hands be bid? There is an
´ QJ ´ 6 the USA Open Trials semi-finals, all four excellent but rarely used convention: an open-
™ J86 ™ AKQ ing 4NT asks partner to name any ace he holds.
W E East/West pairs missed the target!
t A98763 S t 4
® 10 3 ® AKQ98765 Hemant Lall opened 2® and rebid 4NT, Here East opens 4NT and West responds 5t,
presumably thinking that this would ask for showing the tA. East then bids 6®. If West had
West East aces. No, it shows a balanced hand of 28-30 no aces, he would bid 5®, which East could
Milner Lall points. West suggested 6t as a contract and pass. (With the ®A, the response is 6®; with
2® Lall had to cut his losses by bidding 7®. South two aces, 5NT.)
2t 4NT cashed the ´A for one down. This simple convention would have saved
6t 7® four of the USA’s top pairs their embarrassment.
Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell opened
with a strong club and . . . ended in 5®! So did
Fred Gitelman and Brad Moss. Howard n Awards: 6® (10), 5® (4), 3NT (2),
WE START with a truly remarkable hand. East Weinstein and Steve Garner did even worse. 4NT/grands (1).
is missing two aces and has eleven solid tricks Their auction was 2® – 2™ – 3® – 3t – 4® –
2. Game All. Dealer West. 1NT and Ralph Katz makes a Stayman second turn. By introducing diamonds, he told
enquiry. Over the 2´ response he continues his partner that he was strong enough to con-
with 3t. What does this mean? template an eleven-trick contract at least.
´ A632 ´ K On that basis, West should have raised the
Such a bid, a minor suit at the three-level, is
™ AJ2 N ™ KQ64
t A84 W E
t K Q 10 3 2 natural and game-forcing. What would you diamonds at his third turn. Why not, indeed,
® K 10 9 ® Q83 say next on the West cards? with three aces in his hand?
Nick Nickell signed off in 3NT and an excel- At the other table, after the same first four
West East lent 6t contract was missed. Who is to blame, bids, Eric Greco did support diamonds; 6t
Nickell Katz do you think? was easily reached and just as easily made for a
1NT 2® It is a sound principle of bidding that when 12-IMP swing.
2´ 3t the partner of a 1NT opener shows a minor What if you are playing a weak 1NT? You
3NT suit in a game-forcing auction, he is prepared start 1´ – 2t – 2NT – 3™. Again it would be a
for you to support him (to go past 3NT). poor effort to sign off in 3NT now.
Suppose instead that East had held only 10
We move now to the final of the 2012 USA points and this shape. He would look for a n Awards: 6NT (10), 6t (9), games (5),
Open Trials. Nick Nickell opens a 15-17 point heart fit, yes, but he would then bid 3NT at his grands (1).
3. Game All. Dealer West. We will take one more deal from the USA If he held only two hearts, he would doubtless
Open Trials final. It has a similar theme to the hold an extra diamond, allowing 3NT to play.
´ 4 ´ A K 10 3 last one. You can see that East has splendid support
™ A 10 9 3 2 N ™ KJ7 Rodwell shows his hearts with a 3t transfer for clubs. If the defenders cashed their dia-
W E mond tricks, though, you would need some
t Q7 S
t J6 response, his partner duly rebidding 3™. What
® 10 9 6 3 2 ® AKJ5 should West bid next? luck in both hearts and clubs to make 5®.
With only 6 points in his hand, Rodwell was
West East too weak to expect 5® to be the best spot. He n Awards: 4™ (10), 5™/5® (5), 3NT (3), slams
Rodwell Meckstroth therefore rebid 3NT instead of 4®. This asked (1).
partner to choose between the two games:
3NT 4™ 3NT and 4™. Here Meckstroth held three-card
heart support and was happy to correct to 4™.
36 English Bridge October 2012 www.ebu.co.uk