Tricky Answers (09)

You are South each time.
1. Match Points Dealer S NS Vul
Your hand:



What would you bid?

The ‘book’ bid is 3D: 15-17 and a ‘good’ six card suit. The problem with that is that partner will pass with about 6 HCP and five hearts, or bid 3NT with nothing in diamonds and a bare spade stop. I must agree with Bob: “3H. Partner will bid 3NT if that’s right.” Three card raises are sometimes necessary, though 2H may work out better at match points. A new slant from Dean: “2C Forcing”. When I questioned this he told me it was 100% forcing and I should tell my panelists so, and ‘bring them into the 20th century’. A hundred years too late, Deano, it’s already the 21st century!

2. Match Points Dealer N Nil Vul
Your hand:


The bidding has been (believe it or not!):


a) What is your bid?
b) what would DOUBLE mean?

Clearly double is for penalties, just hope that West isn’t lurking with an 8 card spade suit. Best defence would have defeated 3S by three, beating all the club games that made seven! Yes, the ridiculous bidding by opponents has just talked you out of a slam, in fact a GRAND slam that nobody bid and nor did anyone bid the small one, which was certainly biddable against sane opponents. And no, they were not a clever pair of experts, just the opposite!

3. Match Points Dealer W EW Vul
Your hand:


The bidding has been:


EW are playing ‘4 card’ natural openings in all suits and a weak 1NT. East’s bid is after a lot of thought after the stop card has been shown and removed. What would you bid?

This was not a problem for anyone. 5H is a standout because there is little chance that 4S will fail despite our ace of spades, and no chance that opponents will be pushed into a slam, so take the certain sacrifice and then defend 5S if they go there. Only one dissident, Gerry suggests 6H to give opponents a guess and push them to a slam that he hopes would not make. Actually, that would have resulted in 6H doubled down three only, so worth it unless opponents bid 6S which was, as the cards were, unlikely.

4. Match Points Dealer South All Vul

South North


You open 1NT and partner raises to 3NT. West leads the five of clubs. How would you play this?

The danger is obvious: if South wins the first tricks, a heart switch is inevitable. But at match points, is it worth putting in the queen, going for all the match points, or as Peter suggests, playing low from dummy and hoping North has both the king and jack, and if not, finessing the next time, which should still bring in nine tricks. But would nine be enough at match points? Who knows, all I can tell you is that when this deal came up, South had a SINGLETON KING and North a singleton queen of diamonds, so the ‘safety play’ (or is it?) of ace at trick one followed by king of diamonds then a diamond finesse, would have scored most of the match points.