August 2014 English Bridge
Tips to remember
• Since RKCB checks on the three top
trump honours, you can use 5NT to
carry the meaning 'pick a slam'. And
very useful it is!
• It's not against the law to pass a
forcing bid when the situation looks
ominous. Discuss with your partner
if you should allow each other this
• When partner has denied the ace or
king of a side suit, a subsequent
cue-bid will show the queen.
• Be wary of using RKCB when you
intend to play in a different suit
eventually. For example, you may
realise too late that your intended
sign-off is now asking for the queen
• If partner's response to your overcall
could be natural, it is natural. Do
not assume that he is agreeing your
suit, unless you have discussed the
This deal comes from a semi-final of the 2014
White House Juniors event, with Norway facing
Harald Eide, one of three bridge-playing
brothers from Norway, heard a positive
response in hearts and devised the 'perfect
continuation'. He would bid 4NT, asking how
many key cards East held (with hearts agreed
as trumps). If East showed one, then 6®
would be the final contract; if he showed two,
7NT would be cold.
Kristian Ellingsen showed one key-card
(using 1430 responses) and Eide closed the
auction in 6®. That was his intention, anyway,
but his partner promptly bid 7™! What had
East's 4™ is poor, as I see it. He has a void in
partner's suit and little playing strength. In
any case, he can pass and later bid 4™ over
South's 3´ if that is how he judges it.
There was no reason for West to view 4™ as
anything but natural. If East's hearts had
included the queen as well, 4™ might well have
been made. Sadly, he bid 5® and persisted
with 6® over 5™! This was doubled and three
down for 9 IMPs away.
West North East South
Mihov Marashev Stefanov Tsonchev
Pass 3™ Pass 3´
Pass Pass 4™
At the other table 4™ went two down.
n Awards: 3´ by South (10), 4™ (7), 5®/5™
(4), slams (1). ´ ™ t ®
Our experts stumbled more than once and
scored a sub-par 36/60, leaving you with a
good chance of beating them. Let's look for
some bidding tips.
´ 9 ´ A K Q 8 7 5 3
™ A Q 3 2 ™ J 9 4
t A K Q J 2 t 8
® Q 10 2 ® A J
5.N/S Game. Dealer East. Are you happy with your results from the traditional
Acol Gambling 3NT opening, showing
a solid minor suit and little outside? It
works fairly well but when responder chooses
to pass 3NT the contract may be wrong-sided.
For example, the defenders may lead through
a king in responder's hand.
Tony Forrester and David Gold prefer to use
3NT to show a good 4™ or 4´ bid. Forrester's
4® asked partner to transfer into his long suit
(useful if responder has no high honour in the
majors and cannot tell which suit partner
has.) 4™ showed spades and 4NT was RKCB,
5® showing three key-cards. 5t asked for the
´Q and the 6´ response showed that card but
no side-suit king. 7NT depended on a 3-2
spade break, which duly materialized.
Phil Stephens and Alex Wilkinson produced
a near identical auction to flatten the board for
Scotland in the Camrose: 3NT - 4® - 4™ -
4NT - 5t - 5™ - 5NT - 7NT. East's 5t
showed three key-cards, using 1430 responses.
n Awards: 7´/7NT (10), 6´ (7), games (3).
A little known part of Blackwood is that you
can bid a side suit at the six-level, asking partner
to bid a grand slam if he holds third-round
control. Recalling this (how he wishes he
hadn't!), Ellingsen duly bid 7™. 7NT doubled
went one down and Norway lost 14 IMPs
against 6® made at the other table.
A trump was led against 6®, preventing a
spade-ruff entry to discard a heart on the tK.
North held ™A-Q-4, however, so no heart
guess was required.
Norway held on to win by 2 IMPs and won
the final comfortably on the next day.
n Awards: 6® (10), 6NT (7), games (6), 6t
(4), grands (1).
6. Love All. Dealer South.
4. N/S game.dealer West.
We end with an instructive deal from the final
of the 2014 Bulgarian Trials. Bulgaria is a very
strong bridge nation, so don't dismiss the deal
as a hopeless effort by weak players.
South opens with a Multi 2t (usually a
weak-two in one of the majors) and West
overcalls 3®. North's 3™ means that he is willing
to play in three of partner's major. So far
West North East South
H. Eide Ellingsen
2® Pass 2™ Pass
4NT Pass 5® Pass
6® Pass 7™ Pass
´ A K Q ´ 5
™ 6 3 ™ K J 10 8 2
t A t K J 10 9 6 3
® A K Q J 10 4 2 ® 7
´ A 3 2
™ Q J 9
t A J 7
® 9 7 4 2
´ Q 6 ´ K 9
™ 5 4 ™ K 10 8 7 6 3 2
t Q 5 4 t K 10 9 3
® A K J 8 6 3 ® Void
´ J 10 8 7 5 4
t 8 6 2
® Q 10 5
West North East South
Chernev Nanev Karakolev Gunev
3® 3™ 4™ Pass
5® Pass 5™ Pass