Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge

Answers to what is it all about?

Here are the comments from those who took time to share.

Problem 1. Teams. Dealer West. East-West Vulnerable.

As South. You hold AKQ762  Void  AQ43  K107 


West North East South
1 Pass Pass ?


The auction so far and what would you bid?  

Action             Score                Votes

Double            100                   14

2                   80                     3

1                   20                     1


I am not convinced double with a void is the stand out bid. The concern for most is how to tell partner the strength of their hand. Understandably most doubled.

John Carruthers : “Double. If partner has a penalty pass, it’s ok with me at this vulnerability. If not, I expect to get close to game – we may not make it, but we’ll get to game or close to it.”

David Granger (with Daniel Korbel, Doug Fraser) : “Starting with double.  Good hand, boss suit, no other choice really. Intend bidding spade later or cue bid heart.”

Karen Cumpstone : “good problem. Too strong for spade overcall, partner is not going to pass the double unless with good trumps. vulnerability is right for this action.”

Is comforting to see long time partners and friends bid the same.

Bryan Maksymetz (with Keith Dowdall, Dan Jacob) : “Double is the obvious choice – it is hard to see any option” 

Others worried that they may have missed a bigger catch with the double.  

Walter Fontaine : “Think double is best. The probability of partner converting to penalties is extremely remote and if he does I expect 800 minimum. In the more likely event that he bids a minor we can cue bid next.  Slam is possible in spades or either minor with a useful 6-9 points that had no call over one spade ”

Robert Lebi : ” Double, double, double!!! Maybe cold for a Grand in any suit but if partner passes, they are going for a big number”

John Rayner : “Cannot imagine doing anything but double. At this vulnerability, if partner leaves it in I’m thrilled. Otherwise my hand is most suitable for play in the other three suits, not just spades. We could have a slam in one of the minors. Perhaps the more difficult problems will follow, but I double for now.”

Surprise! you lost 5 imps as they bid and made 6 at the other table. Worse, they bid and made 7   or 7 .

How about the intermediate overcall, good hand with six card suit?

Bob Todd (with Nader Hanner) : “Double, too strong for intermediate 2S overcall and they are vulnerable.”

If you don’t double, then what is the alternative? So far nobody address the pitfall of doubling with a void in trumps.

Nicolas Lecuyer : “This is an awkward situation. 1. love to double but partner is likely to leave it in, which may lead to a bad result since I have no trumps to lead through declarer. It is however tempting with the colors. 2. love to jump in spades but no guarantees we can make anything. 3. could try a” tactical slow approach” of 1S with the small risk of playing in 1S when wrong. My final answer 1S.”

Not taking any chances that partner may covert their takeout double. All the people with first name that starts with B thinks big and alike! 

Boris Baran: “2H – not Michaels in this position.”

Wishing he is playing with Edgar, who said ” Takeout doubles are for takeout!”

Brad Bart : “2H-think there is a slam in these cards but OK with double as long as partner does not sit for it”

Bob Crosby : “I would bid 2H ( Goren Q bid ) As I do not want 1H doubled converted by partner. Make a bid that prevents partner from making a mistake.”

Covering all bases. Will let the Koach have the last word.

Eric Kokish: “Double. Other choices include 2H (some strong two-suiter) and 3H (a strong one-suiter lacking a stopper, intending to convert to 4S) As both of the other choices are sufficiently flawed and the bad guys are vul. I can live with a penalty pass. The main downside in doubling.


Problem 2. Teams. Dealer West. East-West Vulnerable.

As North. You hold 8 1097543 K10 AQ65

West North East South
 1  Pass  Pass  Dbl
Pass ?    


What is your bid?

Action                Score              Votes

Pass                  100                    8

                    80                     5

3                     70                     1

1NT                    20                     1


What can we expect a takeout double to look like? Normal expectation is a balanced or semi balanced, stronger hand, five card suit is possible.

Some chose to pass but not without reservations. Understandably most converted partner’s takeout double, seduced by the vulnerability, they were willing to exchange a big penalty for the possible game bonus. Something about a bird in hand is better then two in the bush.

Guy Coutanche: ” Pass, hope there is no overtricks.”

Stephen Brown: “I pass. I expect to beat the contract at least 1 trick vul. Game is some what unlikely on our side. Opponents likely have a 4-4 spade fit. +200 and if we are lucky maybe +500 is better than whatever we will likely contract for. It is a long way to 5C. 3NT may be down off the top. Who knows maybe partner has a stiff that is useful. Vulnerability is the key. Even is the opponents make 1H – big deal.”

Sabine Auken : ” Pass- can’t think of a convincing reason why not.” 

Some suspected there was a lead problem. There was, only if you lead a low trump.

Laurence Batts : ” Is this a lead problem?”

Ross Taylor : ” I suspect I should bid naturally and affirmatively in clubs, and see where we get to. At least I won’t be guessing (or making a unilateral action) nearly as much as if I pass the double.

I suspect at the table I would pass the double; lead a low trump and hope to score between 200 and 500, and expect if I am wrong – it is a partial at worse a game in clubs (or even NT) our way. Pass – maybe the instinctive response, but no guarantees of course. If our trump lead does not find the 8 or stiff honour with partner, declarer is en route to five trump tricks eventually (six on a very bad day), plus perhaps an Ace.”

John Duqutte : “Pass, best chance for a plus as they are vulnerable. Wonder how bad ace of club lead will be?”

Joan Eaton : ” Pass and lead a trump. Worry about making game in club and expecting to beat it at least 500.”

Deja vu for one. Can we expect partner to have at least one trump for his takeout double?

George Mittelamn : “It is interesting that Zeke Jabbour had a hand similar to this against me but he had 109876 passed 1H doubled. Led the 10 of heart, Dummy had Jx I foolishly played the J and went for 1100. So remembering that I pass at that vulnerability.

Mazal Tov. Congratulations are in order, just home from the hospital Roy Hughes reported that both mother-Erika and son-Evan are well.

Roy Hughes: “1NT. it is a little mis-directed, since we might have four top losers in the heart suit and belong in a trump suit, but 3C on a four card suit is not appealing. 2C is reasonable if can be this strong. 1NT is safer if there is no discussion.”

“I can see clearly now” by Johnny Nash.

Fred Gitelman : “In match point I probably pass. In imps I might also pass. I could see bidding 2C instead.”

Pony Nehmert : ” 2C. Where are the spades? RHO hasn’t got them and LHO didn’t bid them. Got the strong suspicion partner is sitting on a very good hand with spades. Will make another move if I bid now. Also partner may have some clubs with a void in heart. We might make 6C and if I pass, they might make 1H on a terrible day”

Bernard Ludewig : “Interesting problem. I bid 2C, I am a coward. I don’t think I can beat 1H more then 1 trick, if at all. Opposite a normal takeout double (4144 10-15) They may find spade if I pass. Second choice 1NT.”

Kiz Fung : “I bid 2C because I don’t see beating one heart opposite most balance double and we could be cold for six club if partner has a good hand. If there is a chance in balancing, we prefer to double.”

David Turner: “‘Simple’ 3C. Should have more clubs to jump opposite 4th seat double but here you have a good idea that partner’s shape will be classic or big in spade. Hate to miss game opposite a minimum KJxx x Axx Kxxxx.”

Ever the good partner.

David Lindop : “2C, perhaps 3C. Don’t want to punish partner for balancing. Trumps not good enough.”

You be warned, if David ever double you for penalty, run like the wind.


Here is the board in question. Lederer 2009. Match 7. Board 32. 

Dealer: West

Vul: E-W

North gold  
West Carroll East Garvey
J104 953
AKQ82 J6
J76 9852
43 J982
  South Townsend  




SekharOctober 23rd, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Since slam is possible opposite an appropriate 3 count (club Q, diamond J10 and 10xx of spades)

I start with 2H.

MichaelNovember 4th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

There are 22 bridge clubs in greater Vancouver area. Each week there are some 33 ACBL sanctioned games. On Fridays, both the day game @10.30am and evening game @7.30pm, at the Vancouver bridge Centre are well attended.

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