Tricky Questions (1)

Vil is starting a new series that he's sure will be both interesting and helpful for those who enjoy a challenge or two. All hands come from recent sessions and you can join an email list for direct access by contacting Vil at The questions are floated past a panel at time of publishing here. In this series Vil will comment on the responses in his following article but, for this first one his thoughts follow on. Cover up the prognostications at the end while you work through the hands with your favourite partner.

You sit South for each hand and play at matchpoints:

1. Dealer S Nil Vul


You open 1S, five card spades. West bids 2D and North 2H.
a) What is your bid?
b) if you were to bid 2NT, does that show 15-16 or 12-14?

2. Dealer S All Vul


You pass, West passes, partner opens 1C. Double from East. You bid 1H, pass from West. Partner bids 2S. You bid 3D and partner bids 3H.
a) What do you bid now?
b) was 2S forcing to game and was 3H passable

1. I was entirely at fault here. All our panelists bar one insisted that 2NT should be 15-17 or even stronger. So, is there no difference between 1S-2H and 1S-(2D)-2H? But at least one 2NT bid, from Russell, who thinks there is no real alternative. Bad luck if partner bids 3NT and it doesn’t make. If this sequence and a 2NT rebid shows 15-17 then give me Standard American please. I can’t agree with those who would have opened 1NT with that, but there were some such suggestions. Ok, I give in.

2. All agree that 2S was a game force, but I think that, once more, should be taken in the context of the bidding, with the DOUBLE from West. Yes, some match point players double with any opening bid, so let us agree that the jump shift to 2S is indeed intended to be game forcing. Can you blame North for passing 3H? In the event, North did pass, and made five for 90% of the match points!