November Bidding Contest: the results!

Bidding Contest


Answers gathered from the experts
Deal 1: Defences against a multi
Deal 2: The direct route
Deal 3: Scoring or taking risks?
Deal 4: A weak two-suiter
Deal 5: Rising or delaying the inevitable?
Deal 6: Is the fit too late?
Share your opinion with us!

Answers gathered from the experts

Deal 1: Defences against a multi

Donne 1
(*) Multi

If the opponent had opened weak 2♥, you would have wondered what this problem is about. I would have got 18 votes for Double and nothing to comment on. But here it is a multi 2♦ opening. Of course, this convention has its disadvantages, but in some cases, it can cause more trouble than a classic weak 2 opening. Some play a specific defensive system consisting in overcalling with 2♥ to show a take-out double of hearts, a convenient convention in the present case.

Rocafort: “2♥. My defence against a multi is: 2♥ is a take-out double showing a heart shortage” or Adad: “2♥. Take-out double of hearts. Partner reacts as if the bidding went 2♥-Double.” I will need to check what they would do with ♠K42 ♥AQJ1084 ♦Q108 ♣3. However, with all balanced hands of 13-15 HCP and hands of 18+HCP, the most common defence against multi 2♦ is a double.

Quite surprisingly, Double was chosen by six experts only. Pacault: “Double. Diamonds and opening strength or 19+ HCP.” Rombaut: “Double. And I will make another take-out double of hearts to show both my strength and distribution.” Nathalie Frey: “Double. Too many points to pass on the first round.” Justin Hackett: “Double. And I will double again if they bid Hearts. Too strong to pass and double later.” That is the tricky part. Can you consider doubling after 2♦-Pass-2♥-Pass-Pass with this hand as with ♠A852 ♥10 ♦K1053 ♣A632, that is 8 points less (classic protective double over a weak 2♥)? Hard to find your way around after that.

This opinion is not shared by the majority of experts who prefer passing. Either the double means something else, like for France Seniors pair Schmidt-Toffier: “Pass. The double shows either a balanced hand not falling into the 2NT range or a hand with which we would have doubled a weak 2♠ opening. We must wait until it comes back to us after the opponents bid Hearts.” Or the double shows a flat hand if it promises more than 18 HCP.

That is in substance what some experts say. Kokish: “Pass. Usually, you should be able to make a take-out double of hearts later and it won’t be considered as a protective double. Doubling now would show a balanced hand of 14-16 or 19+ HCP.” Jill Meyers: “Pass. If the opponents bid Hearts, I will double at any level. It is the best way to describe my hand.” Kerlero: “Pass. For me, the double is used with balanced hands of 13-15 HCP or some strong hands of 19+ HCP. With a major singleton, I pass and then I double.” As a result, the protective double is unlimited. It is better to know that to choose flexible responses.

Multi 2♦ is becoming more and more popular. So, you must agree on your defence in that case and more specifically on the meaning of doubles, which are always a source of potential disasters.

Deal 1 – Scores

Pass: 100 (10 votes)
Double: 60 (6 votes)
2♥: 20 (2 votes)

Deal 2: The direct route

Donne 2

The majority of experts were unambiguously in favour of clarifying the sequence by raising directly to 4♦. Let us look at their explanations. Pacault: “4♦. A hand with slam and fit possibilities allowing a Blackwood later.” Kerlero and Saporta focus on the same problem: “4♦. My first idea was to bid 3♥, but it would be the best way to play in 6 Diamonds with Ace-King of Hearts to lose.”

Same interest in simplification for Rombaut: “4♦. To set the trump suit straight away and check that there is no control issue in Clubs or Hearts.” and Nathalie Frey: “4♦. I prefer simplifying the rest of the sequence than starting with 3♥.” Kokish, as usual, summarises the situation: “4♦. The chances of making a slam are too high to bid 3♥ and pass over 3NT or bid 3♠ and get into trouble if North supports to 4♠ or goes back to 4♦. 4♦ sets the trump suit and allows to bid 4♠ over the 4♥ cue bid, highlighting the club problem. Since North doesn’t hold the King of Diamonds, it is highly likely that he has controls in Hearts and Clubs. And too bad for the risk of going down in 5♦ opposite ♠- ♥AK4 ♦AQJ10542 ♣J63 if we lose a club ruff!”.

Despite that they made a compelling case, some members of the jury chose another bid. Their explanations deserve to be heard. Schmidt: “3♠. Whatever my partner bids, I will bid again (5♦ over 4♠, 4♦ over 3NT…). I hope that it will give my partner more elements to assess the situation than bidding 4♦ immediately, a bid that – I admit – also has many advantages.” Lévy: “3♠. Followed by 4♦ over 3NT. There is one card missing in Diamonds to support to 4♦. Note that 3♠ is ambiguous. Length or no stopper in Hearts (it is even the priority).”

Tignel: “3♥. My first idea was to simplify the sequence by bidding 4♦ since Partner promises nice Diamonds. But my religion doesn’t prevent me from bidding 3♦ with ♠J73 ♥AK4 ♦AJ10952 ♣A…, a hand with which I want to play in 7♠. 3♥ conventionally shows either a problem in Clubs or at least five cards in Spades (3♠ would show a problem in Hearts without 5 spades). If North raises (3♠ = balanced, 4♣-4♥ = shortage in Clubs-Hearts), I will play in Spades. Otherwise, it will be time to move towards Diamonds.”

Jill Meyers: “4♥. Blackwood with Diamonds as trumps. Since I have the King of Diamonds, I am convinced that my partner holds controls in Clubs and Hearts.”

Adad: “3♠. I will bid 4♦ over the likely 3NT bid. By bidding 4♦ now, I am afraid that I won’t be able to play in 5-3 Spades.”

When you think that you can make a slam, you must always try to make the sequence easier by setting the trump suit quickly to avoid wading at high levels.

Deal 2 – Scores

4♦: 100 (13 votes)
3♠: 20 (3 votes)
4♥: 5 (1 vote)
3♥: 5 (1 vote)

Deal 3: Scoring or taking risks?

Donne 3

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  1. Hello, I have joined the November bidding contest. But I have realized that by mistake I have typed in my user name as “Mobley90”. Could you please kindly add my won diamonds in to my correct account, which is “Hank90”? Thank you very much for your understanding and support. Kind Regards

    • Hi Hank90,
      Following your participation, I have credited your account with 10 Diamonds.
      Best regards,
      Jonathan – Funbridge team

  2. In Deal 6, 3NT is listed as gaining 30 points. Should this be 4NT gaining 30 points? There are many users in the spreadsheet who were not awarded points for a 4NT response, and many who were…

    • Hi mottsauce523,
      Thank you for your vigilance. We did make a mistake in the blog post. It is indeed the 4NT bid that earns 30 points and not the 3NT bid. The error has been corrected.
      Kind regards,

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