Unit 149 (WUMBA) - District 13
Review Please 1999

Review Please
January-March 1999

WUMBA board meeting

Lots of talky talky but not much controversy. New officers have been elected for a two year term. Diane Vaughan (Presidente), Mike Selchert (Vive–president), Faye Velguth (Secretary), Theo Fourness (Treasurer).

The bylaws of District 13 have been ratified by its three units giving WUMBA five representatives. The WUMBA reps are Jayne Paquette (Marquette), Stephanie Schwingel (Coloma) and Mike Selchert, Diane Vaughan, Glenna Shannahan (all from Madison).

Green Bay is hosting our 1999 Regional (Aug. 17–22) and Madison will host the 2001 Regional.


It's matchpoints (anything goes!)

You open 1C(precisely, 16+HCP), west bids 1S, partner passes (usually 4– HCP), east bids 2S and, since you are going to bid at least 5C on your own hand, I bid 3S. West doubles and partner comes to life with a 4D call back to you. Since slam could be cold if partner holds as little as the 10xxxx of diamonds, I jumped to 6D and partner (a national player by his own admission) played the hand perfectly. He held xxxx, Qx, 10xxx,xxx and received a spade lead ruffed. He crossed to the heart queen to lead a diamond up hoping for Qx,Kx,or KQx onside. The last holding was the one and even a second spade could not defeat the contract.

It's matchpoints (anything goes!)

You open 1C(precisely, 16+HCP), partner bids 1D, you try 1H, and partner bids 2NT (red alert! 8+ HCP with 4–1–4–4 distribution). Since you have no idea how strong partner is, it seemed best (it was) to set trumps by bidding 3S, partner cue bids 4C, you cue 4D, partner cues 4H, you cue 5D and partner bids 6S (suggesting the auction is high enough). Partner holds KJxx,K,J109x,AJxx and (with the best lead of a club, slam depends on either 3–2 spades or 3–3 hearts. Well spades were 4–1 and hearts 4–2 but a club wasn't led so I made six anyway.

OK, here is a real squeeze (not executed at the table).

South is in four spades and the hand is cold! for six except on a club lead. My partner (east) opened one diamond so I led the nine and declarer won the ace. All declarer has to do is play off all the trumps holding the A 8 of hearts and the K of clubs in dummy and the J of diamonds in hand. East is squeezed in three suits!

On a heart lead, declarer can win the ace and play off all the trumps saving the A Q of diamonds and the K of clubs (east is then thrown in to lead away from the diamond king). On a spade lead, the same line develops.

Only the club lead holds the hand to five; east (or west) switches to the heart king at trick two and breaks up the squeeze.

Play or defend?

You arrive at 6S and west leads the club queen. How do you plan the play? Can you make the hand? Answer no! Best is to win the club in hand and lead a trump. If west wins and plays anything but a heart you are home free. If you make six you win the event; if you don't you suffer a humiliating defeat. You didn't and you did!

I bid 1S, west bid 2D, partner bid 3C and it's your call. I tried 3H and partner raised to four ending the auction. You have to play the hand on the lead of the diamond king. I ruffed, led the spade queen, covered, cashed the spade jack, and ruffed a spade finding the suit 3–3. Now what should you do?

Answer, you should cash the club ace (west drops the king) and pull trumps. You have five tricks in already and you will be able to force out the trumps (provided they are 4–2 or 3–3) and cash the fifth spade. I fumbled the play by ruffing a club high (jerk! west followed with the queen), cashed the diamond ace, ruffed a diamond and was allowed to score the trump six in the end game. Four clubs was down one at the other table (why?) so it was a big pickup.

Three no chance

You bid 1C(precisely), west comes in with 1S, partner doubles (5+ HCP), east bids 2D, I tried 3C, partner advanced 3S and I bid 3NT ending the auction.

West led the diamond ten and the game was on. I ducked, east returned the club four, I won the ace and drove out the heart ace. West continued with a diamond and you better take it or you go down (I did and I didn't!). At the other table, declarer let the second diamond win (east was on lead and led the spade nine to the king and ace; then west shifted to the diamond four – good!) and things went from bad to worse – when the dust cleared declarer was down four!

2 or 6?

You have all heard of 5 or 7 hands where you have to take a finesse. If it works you make seven, if it fails you go down in six. The point is that you may as well bid the grand slam instead of the small slam. Here is a 2 or 6 hand.

You open 1C(Precisely), partner bids 1D (0–7 HCP) and you bid 2NT (22–24 HCP). Partner makes the reasonable call of 3NT and you get a spade lead (no surprise) to the ace and a spade back. You have to take the club finesse and if it loses you go down; if it wins you make six! It wins and you score 490 for a push at IMPS.

The lead's the thing

You bid 1C(Precisely), partner bids 1NT (8–13 HCP), you bid 2C (extended Stayman), partner bids 2NT (8–10 HCP, no four card major) and you bid 3NT. West leads a low heart out of turn and you can see that this is a lead you do not want. Partner doesn't know that, however, and accepts the lead and puts her hand down as dummy. Things do not start well when the queen is taken by the ace and east returns the heart jack; you duck and take the third heart. I crossed to the diamond ace to lead the spade ten. This lost and east had another heart so the contract went down. At the other table east led a heart and the ten held so the contract was safe. This hand, and a few others like it helped us to a first round exit from the Appleton KO.

Review Please
April-June 1999

WUMBA doings

At the Minoqua (i.e. Woodruff) WUMBA board meeting, it was decided to implement a WUMBA home page on the internet. Thanks to Stan Fuhrmann's efforts, this has come to fruition and you can access the web site (except when Stan is working on it, which is a lot lately) at http://userpages.chorus.net/sfuhrman and you can email Stan with comments and material at sfuhrman@chorus.net.

Among the stuff you can find on the web page are slightly reformatted versions of Review Pleases (1999 issues on).

Another issue that got lots of discussion (I avoided the marathon meeting so this info is second hand at best) was charging extra for non ACBL members to play in tournaments. There appear to be considerable administrative problems with implementing this proposed ACBL policy and it smacks of discouraging players who are not sure they want to be members from testing the waters.

The lead's the thing

Neither side is vulnerable at IMPS and you bid 1C (Precisely), LHO competes with 1S, and partner doubles showing 5+ HCP. I passed for penalty and you can see that declarer is about to take no tricks and go for 1700, more than the value of a grand slam. Unfortunately west redoubled to get out and north bid 2H now 9+ HCP with 5+ hearts. I bid 2S and partner bid 3C. I tried blackberry and east doubled north's 5D response. I pressed on with 5NT and when north showed two kings I made the greedy bid of 7NT. West led a club and if the spade 6 had been the spade ten, the lead had just broken up the double squeeze for the contract. After the lead there was nothing to do but hope something turned up and it did! When I played the spade ace and king, suddenly the whole suit ran.

Here is your chance to create three no chance! Neither VUL and LHO bids 3D and RHO bids 3NT. If you lead anything but a spade (partner has KQJ104 of spades and the J53 of diamonds) they make +430. After YUMYUM led a spade, declarer fumbled the play a little and scored –150.

Naturally you bid to 3NT and west (who has bid hearts over your 1C Precision opener) leads a heart and it's three no chance! I won the heart in hand led a diamond to the queen and king and took a spade finesse. Now I led a second diamond and west cleared the hearts east pitching a spade (why not a diamond?). I played the club king, but no one wanted that so I played the ace king and a spade (east should jettison the queen), and east was endplayed for the contract.

Three No Chance

I opened 1C, partner responded 1H(game forcing) and we soon arrived in 3NT. West led a small spade and it was now or never. I put up the spade queen, covered with the king and it was three no chance.

I opened 2Cprecisely this time, partner asked with 2D, and I bid 2NT showing two outside stoppers. Partner might have asked again, since if my stoppers are in diamonds and hearts 5C would be the best contract (it is on this hand anyway). However north bid 3NT and west led a small spade and it was now or never. The spade queen was covered with the king and it was three no chance. However, I ran the club and then led the heart queen. West decided not to take this and 3NT staggered home.


With respect to the question of ACBL members versus nonmembers (see above), ACBL membership is value for the money. The ACBL Bulletin alone is worth the cost. It contains lots of material for players at all levels. You may have seen the articles by Danny Kleinman on the various notrump ranges and why you might want to use one or another. I have some comments on the bidding of notrump based on what I have seen (done unto others as you would not wish to have done unto you).

The strong notrump (15–17 HCP) is less likely to be interfered with than the

A major advantage of the weaker notrumps is the preemptive value of the bid.

I held 2–2–6–3 distribution and a 13 count (bidding precisely). You could open 1D, let LHO bid a major, partner doubles (say), RHO raises and you have to decide whether the bid diamonds at the three level (you could have three but you do have six) with a minimum. I bid 1NT instead and stole the auction. You might wonder what constitutes balanced distribution. At the (ex) bunny club tournament I listened to Dick Benson's lecture and he really wanted to say that 2–2–7–2 was balanced.

Recently at a local game (playing SA) I held a 2–2–4–5 15 count. Naturally you open 1NT instead of messing around in the minors. LHO was able to overcall 2S but the opponents didn't have the room to explore and find out that they had the distributional values for game.

Opening notrump at the drop of a hat gets you to lots of notrump games. They don't all make (see above).


LHO opens 1C , partner overcalls 1S(7+ HCP), RHO doubles and you bid? I made the delicate bid of 4S and found partner with seven HCP, five spades to the ace and a stiff heart. Spades were 2–2 and hearts 4–2 so Ward had no trouble bringing the contract home (the opponents were not too thrilled with the result).

Bad Accident

North opened 1C(Precisely, 16+ HCP), I bid 2D (positive – to say the least!), north bid 3C and I dragged out Blackberry. Over north's 5D I bid 5NT showing all the aces and inviting seven. North just showed the kings but I bid 7NT anyway and we had 18 winners.

At the other table north used Roman Key card Blackwood and the 5C response was zero or three key cards. North was afraid to continue since the auction had not developed to the point where north could gauge south's strength. The bottom line is that north passed and the opponents were +440. The opponent did mention to our teammates that the bidding left something to be desired.

Review Please
July-September 1999

WUMBA Doings

We would give a Madison tournament report except 1. There hasn't been a Madison tournament recently and 2. WUMBA tournament reports will appear on the WUMBA web site [well, sometimes].

Miller Slam Convention

In the early 1960's the Bridge World had two articles (by Mr. Miller) dealing with slam bidding on balanced hands at IMPS. The theme was that you should seek out a four–four fit for safety. Here is an example (this convention comes up less than once a year). South opened a 19+ to 21 hcp 2NT and I bid 4NT quantitative. The Miller slam convention has one bid four card suits up the line at the five level with the middle of the NT range and at the six level with a maximum. So south correctly bid six diamonds and I bid a lazy six notrump (I should bid six hearts to see if we have a four–four heart fit). As you can see, six hearts is a better contract than six nortump. On a spade lead south guessed to play low and soon had a 75% chance for twelve tricks (in fact clubs broke and the diamond finesse was on so it makes seven hearts. Hearts was played at the other table so we lost one IMP.


As defender, if you like the lead, play a high card. As declarer, if you like the lead, play a high card.

You are in 3NT and west leads a heart. This contract is clearly hopeless, but you win the heart ace and lead a diamond to the queen which holds, and a second diamond taken by west's ace. West puts the spade ace on the table, east plays the eight, and you encourage with the seven. Sure enough, west cashes the heart king and then leads a second spade allowing the contract to make when the club queen drops.

Stop the Endplay

South is in four hearts and west led the diamond ten (Rusinow), east following with the deuce. South pulled trumps in two rounds and played a second diamond (east following with the four) and led a low spade toward the queen (this was not the best play). West won the king. What now? What now is that if you don't lead a club to the queen (east then exits with a spade), south can cash the spades and lead a club inserting the eight if west plays low (that happened at the table).

Points Shmoints

I opened 1D, LHO bid 1S and partner bid 2 H. What do you bid? I bid Blackberry and we were soon in six hearts for a big pickup when slam was missed at the other table.

Entry Trouble

This is matchpoints so every trick counts. I opened 1NT as south and north put me in 3NT after trying Stayman. West led the diamond seven and the play's the thing. You seem to have three clubs, three diamond, two hearts and two spades but you have to give up the lead three times and the opponents can work on spades. So I won the diamond queen in hand and played the club king at trick two. West took this and led a heart to east's entry. To west's dismay, east was unable to return a diamond and played a heart back. Now you have a very good idea of the distribution. I crossed to the club queen, played off the heart jack (throwing a spade) and led a low diamond towards the jack. West took this (blocking the suit) and unkindly returned another club messing up your entries. However the opponents could not withstand the pressure. When I played a spade to the ace and cashed the fourth club, east had to give up the spade control to save a heart winner so I could throw the heart loser away and squeeze west between diamonds and spades. +630 for an unknown number of matchpoints.

Avoidance Play

Here is another entry to the now defunct Bridge World "That's ridiculous" contest. Clearly ace Bobby Wolff had a ghost for this The Aces on Bridge hand which appeared in the newspaper recently. The contract is four hearts.

The analysis suggests that, on a clublead, east should cash two clubs and then shift to a spade. If east continues with a third club, declarer is supposed to cash the top trumps, concede a trump to east, win the spade return, draw trumps and take a successful diamond finesse (why should this work?). The analysis (sic) suggests that a spade shift at trick three defeats the contract when declarer cashes the trump ace, then ruffs a spade in dummy, back with a club ruff, concede a trump, but then get stuck on dummy when east returns a diamond. 1. One doesn't have to get stuck in dummy if declarer cashes one top diamond when in dummy with the spade ruff (an avoidance play) or 2. ruffs the spade before drawing any trump and uses the second trump as a hand entry (isn't this obvious?). Conclusion: avoid this column.

Pick a Strain

I opened 1H and north bid 2D. North doesn't have spades, so I bid 2NT (does not show extra values) and it's north's turn to place the contract. Usually 4H plays best, but not this time (it was down one at the other table) and north raised to 3NT. 3NT is cold on any lead! In fact west led the club nine to the king and ace and east could not do anything dangerous. If the diamond ace is in the other hand then 4H makes and 3NT is down. A lucky swing at IMPS.

Review Please
October-December 1999

WUMBA Doings

WUMBA isn't doing much.

Don't give up

When partner (north) opened 1D, I bid 1H and partner raised to two. I raised to four hearts and got the lead of the spade ten. As you can see the hand is not cold. I played the spade jack (why?), it was covered, and I won the ace. Don't give up! East won the heart ten with the queen, cashed the spade king, and shifted to a club which I ruffed. The heart nine was won by east with the ace and he still didn't have any spades so I was able to draw trumps and run the diamonds discarding the losing spade. We won 17 IMPS on this board when the other pair played diamonds doubled at a high level.

Cheap trick

As north, I opened 1H, RHO bid 2Cand partner made a negative double. I didn't want to bid 2NT without a club stopper so I bid 2H and partner went directly to 3NT. As you can see this contract is not cold. Holding A 9 3 of clubs, west led the club three (OK). RHO held K J 8 4 2 of clubs and played the jack (not OK). South had no choice but to win the club and play on hearts. East took the ace and returned the club six. My partner (a national player by his own admission) made the good play of the seven, inducing west to win a cheap trick with the nine and block the suit (not OK). When the heart ten dropped we made 3NT.


Here is a sickening slam from a team game

Partner opened 1C(precisely), east jumped in with 2D, I bid Blackberry and when partner showed two aces (5H) I bid 6H. West led the diamond nine (out of turn) but north accepted the lead and six hearts rolled home (I cleverly played for a showup squeeze in spades and clubs and made only six). At the other table north converted to 6NT(naughty!) but west led a spade and declarer had no choice but to take the finesse. Making seven (yuk!).

Here is a sickening hand from a team game.

They are VUL and you are not. RHO opened 1C and I decided not to interfere, LHO bid 1H and partner tried 4S. East bid 6H and it's your turn. Do you bid on with this powerhouse? I bid 6S promtly doubled by west and we were down 800 after the defence dropped only one trick. The hand is on for seven hearts so it was a disappointment to lose three IMPS to +710 at the other table.

This one was better.

I started with 1D, west bid 1S, partner said 2C, east tried 4S, I bid 5C, west bid 5S and it's back to you (both VUL ). It wasn't clear that we could beat five spades so I soldiered on with 6Cwhich was passed out. Partner held the heart ace and the AK sixth of clubs so we made 1390 to go with –200 at five spades doubled at the other table.


After two passes I (east) opened 1S, south doubled, west bid 4S passed back to south who tried 6H. West led the diamond deuce (looking for a cross-ruff) and declarer was done in by the 4–0 club division. Note that six clubs makes. The same contract was reached at the other table, but east decided to pitch a club on the umpteenth heart and blew 17 IMPS.

Take gas

Here is a sickening result from a team game

We play a convention (Flint) over 2NT which enables you to check out at 3D. I opened 2NT as south (19+–21 HCP). Ideal! Partner bid 3C, (relay to 3D) and passed the relay bid. Not good! The club finesse is on and you make 3NT. Worse! Diamonds and clubs break and you make 5D. Worse! At the other table north bid 5D over 2NT (a super aggressive call). You lose a bunch of IMPS.

What do you play and why?

You are in six and the trumps are K J 7 4 versus A 9 8 6 2 (south). Everything else is solid.It's matchpoints so you don't want to lose a trick needlessly. On the other hand, you don't want to go down. Is there a way to combine a safety play while still being able to play for stiff queen or a 2–2 break?

Answer: Yes! Play low to the king. On the actual hand west shows out and you take all the tricks you were entitled to.

Precision corner

Here is a disappointing result from a team game

North opened 1C(precisely 16+HCP) and I responded 2C (8+HCP, 5+ clubs). North bid 3C (trump quality asking) and I bid 3NT showing 6+ clubs to one of the top three honors. North tried Blackberry and, when I showed no aces, settled in six clubs making on 29 HCP. This resulted in a loss of 2 IMPS when the other pair got to six hearts.

Stac it to me

For a number of reasons (we won't go into that here) attendance at Sectional tournaments is down. The Sectional Tournament at the Clubs overcomes many of the problems and offers a chance to play in a large game for a modest fee without leaving home.

The WUMBA November Stac games were a big success and Madison area pairs won most of them. Winners were: Monday pairs (88 paris) Lorraine Frailey, Doris Young; Tuesday pairs (98 pairs) Stan Fuhrmann, Eileen Cripps; Wednesday pairs (56 pairs) Ward Johnson, Ronald Grosh, Thursday Pairs (69 pairs) Jacob Morgan, Eileen Cripps; Friday morning pairs (8 pairs) Glenna Shannahan, Brian Carlson; Friday afternoon pairs (28 pairs) Len Bak, Kate Barta.

Board of Directors meetings

Lowlights included: 1. Prices are on the rise and the ACBL is losing money (perhaps the marketing should be examined (again!)). 2. Although places for future NABC's were not firmed up, the dates were and they are Summer 2004, New York $$$$$, Fall 2006, Honolulu $$$$$, Fall 2007, San Francisco $$$$ (looks like San Francisco is cheaper).