Unit 149 (WUMBA) - District 13
Review Please 2002

Review Please
January-February 2002


North opened 1C (precisely) and east butted in with 1D. I felt my hand was strong enough to double and then bid spades (showing 5+ spades and 9+ HCP). West bid 3D, north bid 3H, east bid 4D and I bid 4S (this was the contract at the other table on a different auction). This was passed to east who carried on to 5D. This bid came around to north who bid one more spade for the road. It's just as well that there was no further bidding as six diamonds is a make.

The opening lead was a diamond to the king and ace. If east shifted to clubs the hand will go down one or two, but east didn't know that his partner held the club ace so he continued a diamond giving me a ruff and sluff. If you pitch a club on this you will almost certainly go down. However, I ruffed in hand, pulled trumps, and when I led a heart to the ace, the hand became an open book. +680 and a disappointing gain of only two IMPS.

Destroy this hand with me

I opened 1C (precisely) and north bid 2C (5+ clubs, 8+HCP, game forcing). I saw no reason to bid diamonds and went by fast arrival to 3NT. North thought for a while and finally passed.

If a spade were led, 3NT would not fare well, but west led a heart from AJxx and suddenly I had eleven tricks when clubs divided 3–2. Five clubs is down on a ruff and four hearts has too many handling charges with the 4–1 break offside. Was this lucky or good?

Double squeeze

We ran into the feared double porko squeeze on this hand. It didn't have to happen but it did. Worse it happened at matchpoints.

East opened a strong 15–17 1NT. West transferred to hearts and then bid 3NT converted to 4H by east. I led the diamond ten; north took the ace and returned the suit. East played the ace and jack of hearts losing to the queen. North tried a third diamond and east started running the hearts. The problem is on the fifth heart. North feared that declarer would hold four clubs to the king and unloaded two spades. I feared that declarer would hold four clubs to the king and unloaded two spades. This was not a success.

The answer to the dilemma is: south: why didn't north throw a club. north: why didn't south throw a club. After you think about this for a couple of weeks, what to do becomes obvious.


Here is another way to lose IMPS. North opened 1NT (out of range; this is a very bad idea and it lost the hand). I bid stayman and had to figure out what to do over the 2D response. Since we should have 25 HCP or less and will most likely get a spade lead into the at most three card holding I passed. This contract was allowed to make five, but at the other table it went a strong NT, stayman follwed by a jump to 3NT. Making ten tricks presented no problem on a spade lead. The bidding should go: 1C by north. West will probably interfere but south will know that the hand has game going values. After a natural 1S bid, south will bid 2S (say) and 3NT should be reached (by north naturally).

Where's the queen?

It's IMPS. You (south) open 1H (precisely), partner bids 2D, you raise to 3D, and partner ends the auction with a 4H call. West leads the club king, you win, cross in spades, and lead a heart to the king which holds. What now? You could play off the spades and exit with a second heart, hoping to endplay west (you do!) but I led a second heart won by west with the ace. West cashed the club king and exited with a spade. You mess around a bit by playing off the spades and give east the trump trick and ruff the club return. Where's the queen?

If west has it, west has an eleven count and did not overcall. However, it looks like west has only four clubs and four spade and then holds three diamonds. Where's the queen?

I played the ace and another, finessing when west played low, and found the queen. Was this lucky or good?

Here you see your hand (south) and dummys (east). More IMPS. You open 1NT (precisely, 13– 15 HCP) and west bids 2H, raised to 4H by east. Partner opens the diamond deuce (third or fifth best from an honor), and declarer jumps up with the ace and leads a club. You take the ace and king and west follows small followed by the queen. You exit with the heart three and declarer wins the king. Next comes a spade to the ten and king and it's your play.

I could see that declarer was trying to count my points so I helped out by playing the diamond king which was ruffed (no surprise). Declarer then played a spade to the jack which held and it was crunch time. Where's the queen?

Declarer led the heart jack, I played low (good play!) and declarer went up with the ace for down one. +50 and we won 5 IMPS instead of losing 7. Was this lucky or good?

Bidding precisely?

Its IMPS again and your partner south (UNOHOO) opens 1C (precisely, 16+ HCP). You bid 1H (8+HCP, 5+hearts, game forcing). Partner bids 2D and you show another heart by bidding 2H. Partner jumps to 3NT and it's your call.

YUMYUM made the delicate call of 6NT and it looked right when I held KJ x, 4, A Q 10 9 4, A K 4 3. Even a 5–1 heart break won't sink this contract if the diamonds come home. However, the bad news is that hearts were 3–3 (Yuk!). The good news is that slam was missed at the other table.

Review Please
March-April 2002


You better be a good guesser on this one as the event at IMPS depends on this hand. Your partner opens 2C (standard american) and you bid 2S. Partner bids 4S (that's a minimum for a hand that was too strong for an opening bid of 2NT). However, you like your hand and when partner shows three aces in response to blackberry, you try for 6S. This contract has its chances and would be good if you had more entries to your hand to take finesses in hearts and clubs.

I was west and did not find the killing diamond lead but led a trump instead. This ran to the nine and the heart finesse won (good start). Now trumps were drawn and a second heart finesse won. Next came the club ace followed by the queen and east won the king and exited with a club won by the jack. Now all declarer needs is to find is a 3–3 heart split or guess the location of the diamond king.

If west holds the diamond king he would have to sluff a diamond on the club and then the ace and a diamond (ruffed) would bring down the king. If east holds the diamond king, declarer has to play a heart to the ace and ruff a heart, squeezing east between diamonds and clubs. Looking at all four hands, the winning play is clear. How would you have played it?

Suit management

You open 2D (precisely) and I managed to pass, leaving south to stew in her own juice. After west leads out the AKQ of spades (east shows out on the third round), cashes the heart ace, and leads a fourth spade it's your play. You can sluff a heart, ruff with the ace of diamonds, or ruff with the ten of diamonds? What's the best play?

Answer: ruff with the ten of diamonds. Any play wins against 2–2 diamonds, no play wins with 4–0 diamonds. Ruffing with the ten loses to stiff jack or queen on the right (two cases). Ruffing with the ace loses to QJx in either hand (four cases). Discarding loses to QJx on the left or stiff queen or jack on the right (four cases). So YUMYUM ruffed with the ten and went down when the stiff queen was on the right. Still –100 was worth 5/8 matchpoints since it is really hard to buy the hand at just two diamonds.

Here the play revolves around the heart suit. NS arrive at 3NT and I led a spade from jack fourth, won by the ten in dummy. Declarer then erred by playing a diamond to the ace and a diamond back to the ten and jack. East returned a spade and when declarer advanced the club king from dummy, I held off and took the second round of the suit. Now I cashed the diamond king and it's time to broach the heart suit. I led the ten (is this best?) and declarer won the king, played the ace next and was soon –50. We lost two IMPS on this board (don't ask – don't tell). How should the defense and declarer play the heart suit for the best percentage? (it's a quiz with no answer!).

As the stomach turns

This is IMPS and I opened 1D as south (precisely). Partner bid 1H and I bid 1NT showing 11– 12 HCP balanced. Partner raised to 3NT (so would I) and we missed a shot at a decent six clubs slam. The defense led a spade and I had time to work on the club suit. In fact the club king was singleton on the right and I took all thirteen tricks. At the other table the contract was 6NT! On a diamond lead this requires exactly the singleton club king on the right. It was and we lost a bundle of IMPS. Yuk!

We got a small payback in the last match when our teammates missed bidding six hearts on the collection shown above. However, the opponents after using RKCB for hearts deposited the hand neatly in six clubs!. If K J 10 of clubs is tripleton on the right you can make the contract but it was K J x x x on the right and declarer finished two down.

How to win at IMPS

It's a seven board match and you 1. misplay 2C on the first board and go down one instead of making it 2. miss a game 3. bid a slam and go down one 4. miss a slam 5. miss a slam 6. watch the opponents stop in 3H making on the nose and 7. play 5D making 400 when 460 is available at 3NT. Clearly this is a winning set and when you compare you have won by 26 IMPS (don't ask, don't tell). You might wish to sign up the other pair for future events.

Destroy this hand with me

More IMPS. As you can see 5C is cold and that was the contract at the other table when NS were forced out of three NT (which can be beaten on the lead of the diamond king (or a spade) and any shift) (the heart finesse is off). However, we bid as follows: north opened 2C (precisely), I asked with 2D, north bid 2NT (showing 6+ clubs and two or three outside stoppers). I figured out that clubs had to run and asked again with 3C. Partner bid 3S showing spades and diamonds stopped and I figured that I had hearts stopped so I bid 3NT (wrong!). East led the diamond king and continued with the diamond ace and it was a push.

The science of bidding 6–6 hands

You hold:

and the bidding goes 1H on your left and 2D on your right and it's your turn to call. My partner held this hand and doubled. I bid 2S, then it went 3D, 4S (why not, you could have bid 4S originally), 6D, double by partner. Do you pass or bid on? You better pass as partner holds xxx, KJxxx,Ax, J10x and scores a diamond and a heart trick.

Review Please
May-June 2002


The interest in this hand is the end position which was arrived at as follows: The contract was three spades and west led a diamond to the jack, queen and ace. Declarer led a second diamond and west exited with the club three which ran around to the jack. Declarer really wanted to be in dummy so she led a second club to the queen and king. Next came an attempt to cash the club ace, but west ruffed with the spade ten and led a heart to east's ace. East led the fourth club and west got rid of the spade king. Now west exited with a heart and declarer cashed the last heart (good idea). Now a spade went to the queen and ace leaving this position.

When east led the diamond queen, declarer was caught between a rock and a hard place. There was no way to get to dummy to run the spade 87 past the nine, without breaking the position. Down two was +200 for most of the matchpoints.

The science of bidding 6–6 hands

I opened 1H and partner bid 2H. East doubled and I bid 4H. West bid 4S (that can be beat two tricks) but I continued on to 5H and got doubled. The defense was soft. West led a spade won by east's jack. A trump shift is in order, but east continued with a low spade. I ruffed, ruffed a club, played the diamond king to the ace (ruffed) and ruffed a second club and cashed the diamond king. Next came a spade ruff following by the club ace dropping the king. When I led another club it did west no good to ruff in front of dummy so he discarded the spade king. Now the problem was to decide whether to play a spade or a diamond. All clues pointed to west having four spades so I ruffed a diamond for the contract (four hearts down one at the other table for a big IMP pickup).


Both pairs (at teams!?) arrived at 3NT after south opened 2H. North led the heart seven and it's time for Defense. At the other table south took the heart ace and king and that ended the defense. It seems likely that west holds four hearts and hence two stoppers so you have to look elsewhere.

The only suit in which there was hope to develop tricks seems to be spades so I shifted to the spade jack after winning the heart king and that broke the contract. Was that lucky or good?

PNR corner

The Precise NeoRoman system (making a reappearance in Madcity) features canape bidding. So north opens 1S (11–15 HCP, in this case longer diamonds) and it's up to south to respond. 2C is nonforcing and 3C shows 16+ HCP and 6+ clubs so you have to respond 1NT! (forcing). North bids 2D (the canape) and it's back to you (what now?). You could bid 3C forcing and north would bid 3H (a fragment) and you still don't know what to do. So I just bid 5C and that was right on time. I actually made six when the discarding was imprecise. Was that lucky or good?

Points schmoints

Here is a nifty results at IMPS, both VUL. West opened 2H and north made a "weak jump overcall" to 2S. East bid 3D and I deemed my values sufficient to jump to 4S. This was passed around to east who found a double ending the auction. So we arrived at game with a combined holding of 13 HCP.

East led the heart ace and has to shift to a trump to defeat the contract. However, east cashed the diamond ace and it was too late. North won the club shift, cashed the spade king and cross ruffed six minor suit tricks. She was left with the spade AJ at the end and we were +790. Our partners were – 300 (note that the hand can be held to two hearts with double dummy defense so it is easy to get too high on the east–west cards.

Get the count

East opened 3S (VUL vs not), I passed (cluck,cluck) and west raised to 4S. North bid 4NT (two or three suit takeout) and I bid 5C catering to north holding clubs and hearts. However west carried on to 5S (this is only down one) and I bid 6C. The defense started with ace and a heart (no ruff!) and I pulled trumps in two rounds, ruffed the spade king, and played two more hearts throwing diamonds away. East followed to one round of trumps and two rounds of hearts so how many diamonds does east hold?

Review Please
July 2002

STA strikes again!

I opened 1H and partner responded 2NT (Jacoby). I bid 3C showing shortness and partner made the delicate bid of 6H. There wasn't much to the play and I was soon +1460 when the king third of trumps was with west. At one table the contract was 4H doubled! That's the striped tailed ape double and the score was only +1390 for a poor result for NS. You have to redouble and the opponents run (to clubs) like a stripe tailed ape!


This is IMPS and partner opened 2C (precisely) and I had to bid 2D (asking), Naturally partner rebid 2S and suddenly the hand was unbidable. I just bid 3NT, got a heart lead and had time to take the spade finesses which lost but I still made +630. At the other table, north declared 6NT!, got a diamond lead and did not have time to set up the clubs. The result was five down for -500 and 15 IMPS to us.
Was this lucky or good?

Unsafe safety play

North opened 1C and I bid 1D as east, south bid 1S and NS were soon in 4S and west led the diamond ten. This went to the jack, queen and ace and south cashed the spade king and led a spade to the nine, ten and queen (a safety play!). This was matchpoints and this play holds NS to ten tricks but it got worse. I shifted to a heart (it looked right at the time). South won the jack, cashed the king, and crossed to dummy with the spade ace - drawing the trumps and causing defeat of the contract (try it). A normal line seems to be to win the diamond lead, ruff a diamond, finesse the heart, cash the heart king, play the king and ace of spades and crossruff for eleven tricks.

Blind pig finds acorn

North opened 1C (precisely), and I made the conventional response of 1NT. Several bids later, I confessed to 11-12 HCP and four diamonds and four clubs. The final contract was 3NT and the play's the thing at matchpoints.
West led the heart seven ducked to east's ten and east returned the heart queen to wests ace. Another heart cleared the suit and set up a winner for east. You now have nine tricks off the top and the question is how to find a tenth trick. If you make ten tricks you get 10/12 matchpoints; if you make nine tricks you are below average on the board. I ran four rounds of diamonds and east was squeezed and let go two spades. Now it was safe to run the spades ending up in dummy. The third round of spades squeezes east again and east had to release a club to save the heart winner. Now should you play a heart and make east lead away from the club king (which she doesn't have!)? Or should you play ace and a club? For no good reason I played ace and a club and got lucky when the jack and ten were sent packing, setting up the club nine at trick thirteen.

Play in the shorter fit

It's matchpoints (Yuk!) and the idea is to make a lot of tricks. North opened 1H (so would I) and I bid 1S as south. North raised to two, I bid four and we had an easy twelve tricks (slam is hard to bid, and if partner's minor holdings were reversed only eleven tricks would be available at either spade or heart game contracts). However, here the four-four fit is best as the club loser can be discarded on the hearts once trumps are drawn.

Four no chance

At IMPS, east opened 2S (both VUL) and I bid 3H. West tried 3S and north pushed on to 4H. This was passed out undoubled (good!) and now it's up to you to make the contract. West led out the ace and king of diamonds and shifted to a low spade. The winning play is to play low (you can always ruff out east's king). West erred by not leading the spade ten and east decided that west was protecting the spade ace, so east put up the spade king and suddenly you were +620 at both tables. Yum!

Keep your mouth shut

IMPS both VUL and north opened 2S and it was passed to west who decided (bad decision) to reopen with a double. North passed and east bid 3H drawing a double. This succeeded beyond all expectations. I led the club king (north encouraged), I shifted to the diamond king (north encouraged). Next came the diamond ace and a ruff, back to the club king. The fourth diamond was ruffed with the nine, overruffed with the jack. Now the spade king, ace and a ruff and we took the first nine tricks for +1400.

Review Please
November 2002

Mouse catches cat

EW VUL at matchpoints. You open 1S in third seat and west overcalls 2D. North bids 2S passed to west who bids 3NT! This comes around to you and you know what it means and counter with 4S. West has a paying sacrifice at 4NT but went quietly and +420 was worth 8/11 matchpoints

Silence is golden

NS VUL at matchpoints. West opened 1H, north overcalled 1S (limited to a maximum of 15 HCP), east passed and I bid only 2S. West would be advised to pass!, but he bid 3C. North bid 3S (competitive), but I bid 4S anyway. This made five for 9/11 matchpoints.

The curse of matchpoints

I opened 1H in first seat, north bid 2D, I bid 3C, north bid 3S and I bid 3NT ending the auction. West led the spade nine won by the king and I played a diamond to the ten, queen and king. West played a club won perforce by the ace and you lead to the heart ace to play a diamond. When west follows small do you finesse the nine assuring the contract, or go for the gusto and try to drop east's possible jack-ten doubleton. At IMPS you must finesse but this is (cursed) matchpoints. There are restricted choice overtones to consider, so I finessed and made ten tricks for 9/11 matchpoints

Lead out of turn

I opened 1C in first seat, north bid 1NT, I bid 2C (asking), north bid 2D (8–10 HCP, four hearts, may have four spades) and I bid 3NT. West led the club queen out of turn and we did well to accept the lead as east was going to lead a spade and we would be down one. I made 430 for 5.5/8 matchpoints (tough game!).

Too many cards

I opened 1NT in first seat, west passed, and north bid 2C (stayman). I bid 2D and north bid 3NT. West led the heart eight. This contract needs a three–three break in one of the minors so I led a club to the king after winning the heart queen. The entries are somewhat blocked so I continued with a club to the queen and ace (not best!). However, west cashed the heart ace next on which east signaled with a high spade. The spade shift went to the queen and king and the spade return was won perforce by the ace. I tested clubs (no luck) but when I led to the heart queen, east was squeezed in three suits and had to release a diamond, eliminating any problem in that suit. +400 was worth 7.5/8 matchpoints.

Better lucky than good

At matchpoints LHO opened 2D, partner passed, and RHO bid 3D. I bid an aggressive 3S and had second thoughts when west bid 4D and partner raised to 5D! I tried to get out at 5S, but partner raised to six (you can hardly blame him for that). The auction finally ended and west led the club five. That looked like a singleton to me (it was) so I rose with the ace and dumped the jack on the trick (why not?). This is almost a claimer, but on the spade ace east showed out (ouch). So I led a low club from dummy and east helped out by ducking so the nine won and we made six after all (surprise, it was a top).

There used to be a rule — stay fixed when the opponents preempt. Now the opposite is true.

At IMPS VUL versus not east opened 2H, I passed, and west bid 5H. What should you do as north? Partner bid 6C and the question now is what should south bid? I was tempted to bid seven but passed and north found the spade queen to make the slam. Was this lucky or good?

After playing 24 boards to an 84–84 IMP tie!, you are in a four board playoff and are faced with this problem.

You are in four spades and west makes the excellent lead of a small trump. I won in hand with the nine and led a club to the ten and queen (winning the trick). This looks like A10 doubleton on the left (it was) so you have to switch gears and find the heart queen. Who has the queen?

I drew the trump and played the king of hearts and a heart to the jack (winning) so I made four spades. This was a push when, at the other table the defenders cashed out the minor suit winner and the hand was easy. Was this lucky or good?