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TGIF January 2017: Scores

1. Matchpoints. Both vul.
S Q 10 2   H A K 5 4   D J 9 8   C J 6 5  
West North East South  
1H 2NT (1) 3H (2) ?
(1) Clubs and diamonds.
(2) Competitive.

Your call?

Pass 10 100
3NT 2 50
4C 1 50
4NT 1 40
5C 0 30
5D 0 30
Dbl 0 30
Moderator: Gratz to Martin Henneberger who came tops overall for 2016 in the ACBL-wide version of this contest. Dianne Isfeld tied for 2nd.
Larry Cohen: Pass. I have so much more defense than offense, but not enough to double. Partner's likely shape is 2-1-5-5, which means 16 total trumps. That alone suggests defending. That and the HK and SQ 10 2 are useful on defense but not on offense.
Kerri Sanborn: 3NT. I want to compete, but I want partner to be declarer, as my RHO is likely to lead a heart. Also, 3NT might even invite the five level.
Stephen Vincent: 4C. Mostly in the hope they'll bid 4H where we have reasonable defensive prospects.
David Waterman: 3NT. I would not mind just picking a minor and bidding it, but I don't want to influence partner's lead - so let him choose. I am certainly not bidding above the 4-level.
Christopher Diamond: 3NT. A hot 2NT should be a good hand, so take a shot at the cheapest game.
Larry Meyer: 3NT. Double stop in opps' suit, support for both of pard's suit, and a stopper in the other suit - go for the most likely game.
Eugene Chan: Dbl. No certainty of beating 3H but +200 is worth the gamble. At teams I would try 3NT and +600.
Andrew Krywaniuk: Dbl. This hand is a long way from 3NT. Not even sure we can beat 3H.
Arun Chopra: 3S. Just need a partial spade check with North to make 3NT.
Hk Ho: 4D. Partner's shape is 3-0-5-5 more often than 1-2-5-5. His values are in the minors. If the opening lead is a spade (West should have the SA K for his opening), 2 or 3 tricks will be lost from the word 'go'. Max 10 tricks, unless the minor suit queens drop doubleton.
Paul Mcmullin: Pass. Where are the spades? I'm staying out of this.
Timothy Wright: Pass. We have a bare minimum double fit, and West is unlikely to take the push, so bidding here makes little sense.
Plarq Liu: 3NT. It is workable after a heart lead.
Chris Buchanan: 4C. Too much to ask partner to spike with 3 defensive tricks.
Ig Nieuwenhuis: Pass. I will not change a possible plus to an almost certain minus.
Kf Tung: 4C. Too bad they bid 3H. NS will score +110 on many tables but you don't have a good chance to beat 3H. Bid 4C and hope for +130 or -100.

2. Matchpoints. Both vul.
S J 8 7 5   H ---   D 10 9 6 4   C A K 10 7 4  
West North East South  
    1H Pass
Pass 1NT 2D ?

Your call?

Pass 5 100
2H 4 90
Dbl 3 80
3C 2 70
Moderator: Though there was a variety of answers to this problem, many panelists grumbled that they would have made a takeout double on the first round of the bidding.
Mike Lawrence: 2H. I did pass over 1H. If I double 2D, I will hear partner double 2H. Not wishing to deal with this, I bid 2H now, getting both black suits into the game while I can.
Mel Colchamiro: 3C. Partner probably has four hearts, so hearts are 5-4-4-0 or 6-3-4-0 around the table. I half expect lefty to chirp in with 3H over my 3C, after which my double should give partner a good shot at making the winning decision.
Josh Donn: Dbl. I will assume this is takeout-oriented, because it should be. I have no issue with the pass over 1H. Many people double with these very light hands with a void, but I think it leads to lots of trouble. Still, double would have been acceptable.
Sylvia Shi: Pass. Sounds like this might be a misfit auction, and I'm not sure if I want to get involved. I would play double as a takeout of diamonds, but then partner might double the 2H preference when it's wrong.
David Waterman: 3C. Double is misguided. We won't defend 2H, so just bid our suit.
Anssi Rantamaa: Dbl. . . a negative double?
Christopher Diamond: 3C. Tough hand. I don't want to sell out to 2H on their likely 9 card fit so I'll hope for a 3-4-2-4 opposite and try to push them up a level. Pass could be very right also.
Larry Meyer: Pass. It doesn't seem like they have much of a fit, so we probably don't have one either.
Eugene Chan: Pass. Signs of potential misfit. Pass for now awaiting developments.
Stuart Carr: 2NT. . . assuming balancing 1NT (less than 15). Lebensohl to sign off in 3C.
Andrew Krywaniuk: Pass. If I have a bid it's 2S, which could be a successful pre-balance against West's likely 2H preference. I'm not convinced the panel will take that gamble.
Hk Ho: 2H. Partner's re-opening 1NT shows 12-16 HCP with a heart stopper. His shape should be unsuitable for takeout because there is a short suit. 2H should be takeout and hope he has one or both black suits.
Paul Mcmullin: Pass. I do not hear that they have suit agreement yet.
Timothy Wright: Pass. Defending could be quite profitable.
Plarq Liu: 2S. We may find a 4-4 fit in spades.
Chris Buchanan: 3C. Bid what I have.
Ig Nieuwenhuis: Dbl. . . takeout in my agreements.
Kf Tung: Pass. You want to bid 3C, but you will do it on the next round, as West is going to bid 2H.

3. IMPs. Both vul.
S 9 4 2   H ---   D A J 10 2   C A K J 8 6 3  
West North East South  
2H 2S 5H ?

Your call?

5S 5 100
5NT 4 90
Pass 4 90
6S 1 60
6C 0 40
6H 0 30
Moderator: Another day, another high-level decision.
Jill Meyers: 6S. I would like to keep all three non-heart suits in play, but I think 5NT shows the minors and eliminates spades from the picture.
Daniel Korbel: Pass. This is surely a forcing auction. If partner doubles, I will have a problem, otherwise we will definitely be well placed.
Roger Lee: 5S. Seems optimistic to bid more than 5S with such weak trumps, and failing to raise spades with a heart void and spade support is just setting our side up for a headache.
Stephen Vincent: 5S. Supporting with three small at the 5-level is a recipe for disaster but I'm rather stuck. I'd like to bid 5NT as pick a slam but fear it would be misinterpreted.
David Waterman: 6H. Happy to play 6, and partner won't bid 7 without solid spades - what else could he have to justify 7? He will discount heart cards.
Anssi Rantamaa: Dbl. . . showing two aces.
Christopher Diamond: 6H. He doesn't need the world for 2S, but he might have it. There are probably other routes. I'm just not sure they will do a better job of asking for great trumps for a grand.
Larry Meyer: 5S. With first round control in all the side suits and 3-card support for partner, I have to raise.
Eugene Chan: Pass. . . forcing, intending to pull partner's likely double to 5S. Shows slam try with first round heart control in accordance with Bridge World Standard.
Stuart Carr: 5S. Allow for spade and diamond loser.
Andrew Krywaniuk: 6S. The opponents seem to think we have a slam, and who am I to disagree?
Hk Ho: 5S. Partner's 2S should have 5+ spades and opening strength or better. If he has SA K Q and CQ x, 13 tricks are available, but how can you check that he has them all?
Paul Mcmullin: Pass. I want to believe that this is a forcing pass.
David Gordon: 5S. Easy to bid. Hope we do not miss slam.
Plarq Liu: 5S. Actually, this hand is good for offence.
Chris Buchanan: Pass. Forcing pass.
Ig Nieuwenhuis: 5S. This ought to make.
Kf Tung: Dbl. At least you can double 5H and tell partner that the hand belongs to you, but you cannot be sure of 5S or other contracts.

4. IMPs. None vul.
S K J   H A Q 10 8 7 3   D Q   C A 9 8 7  
West North East South  
3D Dbl Pass ?

Your call?

4H 9 100
4D 3 70
3H 1 50
4C 1 50
Moderator: A difficult hand to navigate both strain and level.
Kerri Sanborn: 4D. . . choice of games. Granted, facing 5-2 in the majors I prefer hearts, but we can't have it all.
Geoff Hampson: 4H. There is no great option. We could easily belong in 4S or 5C, but I have extras and my hearts are pretty strong, so I will plant us here.
Stephen Vincent: 4H. 4C might strike gold but is more likely to lead to an inferior game.
David Waterman: 4H. I am afraid that if I bid 4C partner may pass with CK Q x x, Hx x, and not much else.
Christopher Diamond: 4C. Too good for 3H, a cue bid will only make a messy auction messier, so 4C and hope pard can do something intelligent.
Larry Meyer: 4C. Can't bid spades or notrump, so bid out my shape.
Eugene Chan: 4H. I have a little extra. Heart suit is suspect but I have been in worse games.
Andrew Krywaniuk: Pass. Every bid is awkward. Might as well just take our +300.
Hk Ho: 4C. Partner should have the black suits and less than three hearts. It's best to tell him what you have.
Paul Mcmullin: 4H. Missing heart honors should be onside; 4D might be interesting but I fear partner would take that for possible spade support.
Timothy Wright: 4C. East can easily have diamond support and a flat hand, so 3NT is a big gamble here.
David Gordon: 4D. Pull partner's 4S bid to 5C.
Ig Nieuwenhuis: 3H. Will raise clubs if partner bids them.
Kf Tung: 4H. The value bid.

5. IMPs. Both vul.
S A K Q J   H A 3   D Q J 5   C A 10 9 7  
West North East South  
  2H (1) Pass 2NT (2)
Pass 3C (3) Pass ?
(1) Weak two-bid.
(2) Forcing, asks for feature.
(3) Maximum with CK.

Your call?

4H 5 100
3S 4 80
3NT 3 60
3H 1 50
4C 0 50
4NT 1 40
Moderator: The majority of the panel bail out in 4H citing that the CK was not the feature they were looking for.
August Boehm: 4H. We need diamond shortness (or no diamond lead), plus solid hearts for slam. I could try 3S, hoping to elicit a 4D shortness cuebid. But then, is 4NT clearly Blackwood for hearts?
Barry Rigal: 3S. Because 3H is not forcing, I must do more. I think 3S is value-showing, looking for 3NT, because I can bid spades directly with 2S then 3S. I'll try 3S and explain what it means to partner later.
Steve Robinson: 3NT. Four spades, two clubs, two hearts and one diamond is nine tricks. Partner has to have at least one red king to have a maximum. 4H might go down if partner holds: Sx HK x x x x x Dx x x x CK Q. They might get two diamonds, a diamond ruff and another trump trick.
Stephen Vincent: 4C. Trying to coax partner into showing a singleton diamond.
David Waterman: 3S. . . and 5H over 4H. We are telegraphing the lead, but I think they will find it any event.
Christopher Diamond: 3S. I don't really want to be at the 5-level with 2 losing diamonds so I hope he cues with a singleton there. Then I can RKC and find out if he has the HK Q.
Larry Meyer: 4H. Even if pard has HK Q J x x x together with the CK, then he won't have DA or DK because he opened a weak two, so there are probably 2 quick diamond losers.
Eugene Chan: 3S. New suit is GF. See what else partner has.
Julie Smith: 3S. Why are all these problems so hard???
Stuart Carr: 3S. See if partner can cuebid diamonds.
Andrew Krywaniuk: 3NT. Choose the safest game. There isn't room for partner to have DK and HK Q.
Laurence Betts: 3D. Best chance to discover a stiff diamond or blow off the diamond lead, not a bidding contest favourite.
Hk Ho: 3D. Hope partner's maximum comprises HK Q, DK and CK. He should bid 3NT to show DK x. If he has HK Q and CK Q, he should bid 3H with Dx x or 4D to show a singleton.
Paul Mcmullin: 4H. How does one ask for another feature here?
Timothy Wright: 3NT. Trying for slam is too risky without a shortness-ask. So, it's either 4H or 3NT. And I cannot come up with a maximum 2H call without one of the red kings.
David Gordon: 4H. Likely 2 diamond losers.
Plarq Liu: 3S. This hand is heading towards slam, cue for spade ace.
Chris Buchanan: 3NT. 9 tricks look to be easier than 10 here.
Ig Nieuwenhuis: 4C. Could he also have a singleton diamond?
Kf Tung: 4H. You want partner to hold the DK for a slam, not the CK.

Panel's Answers
  1 2 3 4 5 Total
Sylvia Shi Pass Pass 5NT 4H 4H 490
Mike Lawrence Pass 2H Pass 4H 4H 480
Barry Rigal Pass Pass Pass 4H 3S 470
Jeff Meckstroth Pass 2H 5NT 4H 3S 460
August Boehm Pass Pass 5S 3H 4H 450
Steve Robinson Pass Pass 5NT 4H 3NT 450
Daniel Korbel Pass Pass Pass 4H 3NT 450
Geoff Hampson 3NT 2H Pass 4H 4H 430
Larry Cohen Pass Dbl 5S 4H 4NT 420
Mel Colchamiro Pass 3C 5NT 4H 3NT 420
Jill Meyers Pass 2H 6S 4D 3S 400
Josh Donn 4C Dbl 5S 4D 4H 400
Roger Lee 4NT Dbl 5S 4C 3S 350
Kerri Sanborn 3NT 3C 5S 4D 3H 340

Local Heroes
    1 2 3 4 5 Total Points
1.    Michael Dimich Pass Pass 5S 4H 3S 480 154.00
2.    Brad Bart Pass 2H 5S 4H 3S 470 96.25
2.    Larry Pocock Pass 3C 5S 4H 4H 470 96.25
4.    Martin Henneberger Pass Pass Pass 4C 4H 440 53.90
5.    Julien Levesque Pass Dbl 5S 3H 4H 430 28.23
5.    Rod Coote Pass Dbl 5S 3H 4H 430 28.23
7.    Jack Aaron Pass 3C 5S 3H 4H 420 22.00
8.    Julie Smith Pass Dbl 5S 3H 3S 410 19.25
9.    Larry Meyer 3NT Pass 5S 4C 4H 400 16.26
9.    Eugene Chan Dbl Pass Pass 4H 3S 400 16.26
11.    Jack Qi Pass Dbl 5S 4C 3NT 390 14.00

World Leaders
    1 2 3 4 5 Total Points
1.    Paul Mcmullin (Usa) Pass Pass Pass 4H 4H 490 105.00
2.    Bob Todd (Canada) Pass 3C Pass 4H 3S 440 78.75
3.    Leonid Bossis (Canada) Dbl Pass 5S 4H 4H 430 52.50
4.    Timothy Wright (Usa) Pass Pass 5S 4C 3NT 410 36.75
5.    Leo Weniger (Canada) Pass 3C 5S 3H 3S 400 21.00
6.    Chris Galbraith (Canada) Pass 3C 5S 3H 3NT 380 16.25
6.    Ig Nieuwenhuis (Netherlands) Pass Dbl 5S 3H 4C 380 16.25
8.    Dennis Caswell (Canada) 3NT Pass 5S 3H 3NT 360 13.13
9.    Kf Tung (China) 4C Pass Dbl 4H 4H 350 11.08
9.    Gerard Laquerriere (Usa) Pass 2S 5S 3H 4H 350 11.08


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