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March 2018

Readers' Bidding Forum with Nigel Kearney, March 2018

The following comments were received from the readers of Australia's national bridge magazine, Australian Bridge, and other bridge enthusiasts. The same problems are also discussed in the magazine, by an international panel of Andrew Robson, Larry Cohen, Mike Lawrence, Bob Jones, Frank Stewart,
Eddie Kantar, and Zia Mahmood, as well as many top Australian players.

Click here to submit        
answers for May          

                Scroll down to see final scores
 
Hand One - West deals, both vul, Matchpoints. You are South.
 
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) AJ752
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 7653
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) KQ64
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) ---

 


West North East South
pass pass 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes)
pass 1NT dbl ?

  
 

Call Award %
Experts
%
Readers
2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 100 54 47
2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 60 12 7
2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 50 17 4
Rdbl 30 6 16
Pass 20 11 26
Other 0 0 1

Welcome to the first forum of 2018. I’m Nigel Kearney, the first of the guest moderators for this year. I’m a Kiwi, but I promise not to talk about rugby as long as you don’t talk about cricket.

The first problem is one of those messy low level decisions where nobody is quite sure who can make what. We could easily have a fit in red suit, or partner could be 2335 and we’ve already reached our last making spot. There’s also uncertainty about what the various calls mean. Putting partner to the test are:

Tim Trahair: Rdbl. Inviting a bid in hearts or diamonds.

Andrea Viscovich: Rdbl. Help!

Cathy Hocking: Rdbl. Asking partner to choose either spades, hearts or diamonds.

Alan Jones: Rdbl. I assume that redouble is for rescue.

Christine Chandler: Rdbl. Asking partner to choose their best suit.

Michael Burt: Rdbl. 1NTx looks to be one off, or more, for -200 which will be a bad score. Redouble for rescue. I hope partner can bid with either four hearts or diamonds.

Isn’t it possible we might redouble with a good hand when we think they may have made a mistake and would like partner’s cooperation in doubling them if they run? The large number of people picking a red suit themselves tends to support this view. If we just want to escape from 1NT doubled, why not this:

Steve Robinson: 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I hope I get a chance to redouble.

Peter Vlas: 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). No sweat yet. Partner promises 8-10 with some club values, but that's not good enough to stay for me, I run.

Maybe we should just try to make 1NT:

Robert Black: Pass. Having enquired that the double was for takeout.

Phil Hocking: Pass. As much as redouble looks appealing we may not have the balance of power so if it is a trap double we would be in more poo. Partner should recognise the deliberate spade bid.

Kees Schaafsma: Pass. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

Frank Stewart: Pass. I regret having overcalled and don't know what to do now. No guarantee goes with bidding either red suit. Is this a Committee hand where South huddled and North ran?

(We've included the answers from Frank, one of our expert panellists, after Brad accidentally left his answers out of the magazine.)

Nigel Guthrie: Pass. Partner bid 1N freely. Opponents might be in more trouble than we are.

Alex Kemeny: Pass. East can have a big hand and we might have a misfit. Let us wait to see what happens next. If it gets passed out, so be it.

Tony Treloar: Pass. I'll leave partner to sort out the mess. With that shape and two defensive tricks I think double is the best first round action.

Fraser Rew: Pass. I changed my mind a few times. But a lot of bad things can happen if I pull this, and LHO will normally bid 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) to get me off the hook. Even if we have an eight card fit, there's no guarantee that we'll do better in it than we would defending 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

The point about LHO running to 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is a good one, and if he doesn’t have clubs, partner could have enough of them that 1NT is better than two of a red suit. I just don’t see defending 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) in our future though. If the day ever comes that I don’t balance over 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) at matchpoints with 5440 shape, I hope someone phones an ambulance (or at least a hearse).

Some passers are hoping partner will run:

Ig Nieuwenhuis: Pass. Protect partner; if he has a shaded 1NT (1-55-Kx) he can bid/pass/Rdbl. But maybe he can double the (expected) bid from West ....

Roger Yandle: Pass. The 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) overcall is a bit thin but OK. I'm hoping the points are balanced, but I'm afraid they might not be well positioned for our side. If partner wants to run they can always redouble.

This may be optimistic when he doesn’t know we have both red suits and a club void. I think if we pass and LHO passes, partner will be left trying to make 1NT doubled to avoid -200.

The remaining readers picked a suit, with most preferring diamonds, the top scoring choice:

Dan Baker: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Not really interested in NT, and I’d rather suggest diamonds than that horrible heart suit. I lean slightly toward 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) rather than pass or double on the first round; it’s good enough for an overcall and the void and major gap in suit quality push me away from doubling. But it’s close enough that I wouldn’t argue too strongly against any of those.

Ron Lel: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). 1NT is highly unlikely to do well as partner is a passed hand and does not hold more than 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). I would xx with a regular partner to ask partner to bid a red suit, but this is largely undiscussed. I would not object to a x on the first round, but 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is fine.

David Matthews: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Either 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) or 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) could be right. It can't be right to leave 1NT in. Also, if I bid 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) there must be some tolerance for Hearts.

Dean Pokorny: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I prefer running to diamonds, not only because of suit quality issues and flexibility, but because East's heart length is surely greater than diamond length.

Peter Lipp: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). If redouble was for rescue that would be my choice

Dan Baker: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Not really interested in NT, and I'd rather suggest diamonds than that horrible heart suit.

Damo Nair: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Why not? I just like to get good suits in I hope there's a partial fit some where.

Martyn Rew: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). If hearts is our best suit, a double would have made it easier to find.

Herbert C. Wilton: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Pass could work (with luck) but I bid 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes); 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) is too likely to be penalized.

Ig Nieuwenhuis: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Why, oh why, did I bid 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) on the first round? I prefer 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) because redouble is not clear. Plus, I'd rather tell partner where my values are.

A number of readers questioned our action on the first round. We would have more confidence that 1NT was right if partner had chosen it after a double by us, when he could easily have bid a red suit instead. Of course we also have the benefit of hindsight telling us that partner can’t support spades. A majority of the expert panel preferred 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), as did:

Julian Foster: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). I would always overcall the 5c suit (especially here as 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) takes a lot of oppo's bidding space) - it will be very hard for us to find a 5-3 spade fit otherwise.

John R Mayne: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is obvious - all non-1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) bidders should go home and think about their lives. Now, redouble would show more strength, passing is going to lead to 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)-P-P, and we can show our other real suit right now.

Charles Scholl: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Not redouble, since we might be better off in a 4-3 diamond or 5-2 spade fit that East has trouble doubling than in a 4-4 heart fit where East has top hearts to go with his clubs. 1images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is clear on first round.

While I think most of the 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) bidders were just hoping to find a playable spot and get a small plus, some were more ambitious:

Ian McCance: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Natural and forcing ok with me.

Timothy Wright: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes). Doubling on the first round makes finding spades that much harder. At this point, I want partner to value her diamond honors more than her heart honors.

There was much less support for the other red suit. While it is true that the hearts are weaker and therefore less safe, it is a higher scoring denomination at matchpoints, we have a roughly equal chance of finding a fit in either suit, and the suit quality may be less of a factor since it’s not a hand where we will be drawing trumps in order to run side suit winners. More likely we will be using our trumps to ruff partner’s clubs.

Emil Battista: 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I have 4 do I not?

Rainer Herrmann: 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). This bidding shows distribution not strength particularly at matchpoints. If they double or bid 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) I will bid 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) Too bad if we belong in diamonds and opponents judge to pass 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes).

Neil Silverman: 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Double seems to get all the suits into play while here we may lose diamonds but don't see any reason not to show my hearts.

The full deal:

spades Q
hearts AQ104
diamonds J75
clubs J7532
spades K10864
hearts J92
diamonds 1032
clubs 106
spades 93
hearts K8
diamonds A98
clubs AKQ984
spades AJ752
hearts 7653
diamonds KQ64
clubs


Hand Two - West deals, nil vul, Matchpoints. You are South.
 
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) KQ2
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) J765
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 32
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) KT32

 


West North East South
2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) ?

  
 

Call Award %
Experts
%
Readers
Pass 100 67 39
5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 60 22 37
Dbl 30 11 22
Other 0 0 2

Are we going to let opponents push us to the five level with a balanced hand and so much strength in the opponents’ suit? If not, should we (or can we) double for penalty?

Some of the 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bidders expect to make:

Nigel Guthrie: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). In spite of the spade duplication. If 4N were natural that might be better.

Herbert C. Wilton: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). West is a favorite to hold the necessary key card(s) for the make.

Others expect 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) to be a sacrifice against their making 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) contract:

Brian Lawless: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). No defence at all! Nine tricks should be OK

Phil Hocking: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). E/W look like making 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) for 420 while N/S should go two off in 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)x for -300 so a sacrifice looks worthwhile.

Timothy Wright: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Partner needs the Rock of Gibraltar in order to make 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) a poor contract.

Tim Trahair: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). We have four respectable clubs to go with North's 5+ clubs a certain spade trick and little defence against 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Of course we don’t need to be sure about who can make what, in order for 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) to work:

Frank Stewart: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). To bid would be more attractive at IMPs, even though down one both ways is a likely result. It's a tough decision at matchpoints, but I am reluctant to pass with such a big club fit. Maybe a spade opening lead will set up a useful discard for partner.

Julian Foster: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). My spades are wasted values of course but if oppo have shape in the red suits 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) could easily be making. And so could 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) given the almost certain S lead. e.g. give partner - Axx Axxx AQxxxx So a two-way shot.

Cathy Hocking: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Not vulnerable, West is weak, my partner had a free bid at the three level and East jumped to 4 spades. It will either be a sacrifice or 5c will make.

Charles Scholl: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is too likely to make. 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) might make, or it might be cheap insurance, or it might push East to bid again.

Fraser Rew: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I've probably only got one defensive trick. Make them guess.

I think they’ve done all the bidding they are going to. We have the balance of high cards and their trump suit is flimsy. Some were not willing to be pushed around this much:

Alex Kemeny: Pass. Bad cards for attacking. Hope to beat 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Barbara Whitmee: Pass. Don't think they will make 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) but also don't think we will make more than 9 in clubs.

Dan Baker: Pass. Half of my points are worthless on offense; the other half are probably worthless on defense. I don’t think we can make 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), and I’m not certain they’re going down in 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Christine Chandler: Pass. I don't believe my hand is strong enough to support partner's bid or to double 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Steve Robinson: Pass. I not sure we can set 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) or that 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is a good save or it makes.

Damo Nair: Pass. If North doubles I'll run it out to 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Peter Heatherington : Pass. If partner has a void spade and a good hand he’ll reopen.

Peter Vlas: Pass. Not sure if this will make, quite sure 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) will go down. And probably too much if 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) makes. Closest for us would probably be 4NT to play, but partner needs at least three tricks in the red suits for that

Michael Burt: Pass. Partner didn't double with a spade shortage. This suggests partner only has reasonable values and 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) will go down. 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) doesn't look a sure thing. Pass and defend (and don't tell the opposition about where the spades are).

Larry Brose: Pass. We may have nine clubs, but too many losers for a 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bid.

Neil Silverman: Pass. We may have the balance of points but doesn't feel like we are favorite to make anything unless partner can make another call.

Tony Treloar: Pass. While I expect to beat 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) I don't think it is worth the double. 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) looks to need magic cards from partner.

David Matthews: Pass. Too many losers to bid 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). We may well be beating 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

Rainer Herrmann: Pass. Unclear who can make what.

Those are my thoughts too. It’s matchpoints so getting a small plus instead of a small minus is worth much more than it would be at IMP scoring. If the opponents can push us to a level we would not have considered otherwise, when we hold KQx of their suit, they can just about make us do anything they want. As we’ll see in the full hand below, there are people out there who don’t bid like us and there are clues here that RHO may be one of them.

There were also a number of doublers, not all intending it as pure penalty:

John R Mayne: Dbl. Horrible. This isn't pass-or-die penalty, so maybe we should just pass and take the coward's plus, but partner should pass this enough. 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) looks like -1 both ways.

Dean Pokorny: Dbl. Showing general values and denying a misfit in clubs. If partner runs, 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes)x might even be a maker.

Ron Lel: Dbl. 4NT would be 2 red places to play. 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is a possibility, but I doubt it will make.

Ian McCance: Dbl. Raising clubs maybe better but matchpoint decision after the magic 200

Andrea Viscovich: Dbl. Surely I won't pass, they won't make 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), maybe we can make 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), but not so easy. Probably my partner is void in spades and my KQ are worthless playing 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Ron Landgraff: Dbl. Take a plus, I hope! 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) looks down.

Todd Holes: Dbl. Would like more shape for 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Partner is probably void in spades.

Roger Yandle: Pass. This is a guess - as are most of my other answers! I'm just hoping to get a plus score. Both 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) and 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) might make, both might fail, or one might make and the other fail. I'm not sure given the limited information at my disposal if I can tell which is more likely.

That last comment may be contrasted with this:

Emil Battista: Dbl. Partner will be short in Spades and 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) may be good against a making 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). But did partner overcall a weak 2 opening with a rubbish hand? Roger Yandle would have values for 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) so I am getting the big stick out

Finally, a couple of readers decided to try a different kind of two way shot by putting in two sets of answers:

Robert Black: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) might make, despite their pre-empts and partner's strength.

Robert Black: Dbl. Partner's 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bid promises good cards and/or a good suit. If just the latter he can rebid 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Ig Nieuwenhuis: Pass. 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) will not make. Can 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) make? It might if partner is just a bit light. I'd like to maximise my chances for a plus score. I think passing does that.

Ig Nieuwenhuis: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Two way shot: partner should be something like 0336 or 1245 with one more card and values in the reds. Since (probably; assuming images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes)A with West) I have only one defensive trick and can presumably ruff his diamond losers we might make this or go down less than 3 against a making 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes).

If partner couldn’t make 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) with thirteen cards the first time, what chance does he have with only twelve?

The full deal:

spades 98
hearts K
diamonds AK94
clubs AQJ984
spades AJ10763
hearts 983
diamonds J105
clubs 6
spades 54
hearts AQ1042
diamonds Q876
clubs 75
spades KQ2
hearts J765
diamonds 32
clubs K1032


Hand Three - East deals, NS vul, Matchpoints. You are South.
 
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 42
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 6542
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) A
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) Q97532

 


West North East South
    pass pass
1images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) dbl 4images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) pass
pass dbl pass ?

  
 

Call Award %
Experts
%
Readers
4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 100 72 70
5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 70 22 23
Pass 30 6 3
Other 0 0 4

For just about everyone, this was a choice of games problem. Hearts requires one trick less and scores better, however there’s some risk partner might not have four of them, or clubs might be safer even if he does.

Let’s start with the minority choice which was the safer option of 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Neil Silverman: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) could be right but feels like my hand is so much better in clubs as a 4-1 break might easily defeat 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) even if partner has 4 where I might be able to pitch hearts on spades in clubs. Certainly possible 6images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) is on but it would just be a guess.

Peter Vlas: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Considered 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), but finally choose the (in my eyes) safer 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). See no slam options with my hand.

Alex Kemeny: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). In these situations I think it is best to bid your long suit.

Todd Holes: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Just can't force myself to see the fourth heart. That looks like a three card suit.

Dean Pokorny: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Let's not go down a bunch if we don't have a game.

Tim Trahair: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). North is showing tolerance for all suits other than diamonds. Perhaps he has a 4414 distribution and good values.

Ian McCance: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Pass perhaps better.

John R Mayne: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Stiff opposite stiff means six is not in play. 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) and 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) are very close, but lots of bad things can happen in 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) (club ruff, 4-1 break, 4-2 break.)

Dan Baker: 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). This feels a bit conservative, but even though partner’s promised a big hand, I may well need even more than that to make slam. If 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) makes, it wouldn’t surprise me if 6images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) does as well, so even at matchpoints I’m bidding the minor game.

4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) was the most popular choice of both readers and experts, but there were varying degrees of confidence. Some were sure partner has four hearts:

Michael Burt: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Hearts generally scores better than clubs at matchpoints. Partner should have at least four hearts given the bidding and my hearts can be used to ruff spades.

Kay O’Connor : 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I think that partner wants me to choose a major.

steve robinson: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Partner asked me to bid a major

David Matthews: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Partner likely has a strong hand with both Majors (4-4 or 5-4).

Ron Lel: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Partner should certainly have 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) for his second double. If this gets doubled I will run to 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Brian Lawless: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Trust partner

Damo Nair: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). What's the problem? North asked me to take it out and I did.

Cathy Hocking: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Partner should have 4 hearts if not I presume he is strong, if he rebids spades then I would bid 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Christine Chandler: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)s as my partner is very reliable and can convert to the other 2 suits easily if single suited.

Timothy Wright: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). With short hearts, partner would be able to stand a runout to 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), so trying 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) here is safe enough. Trying 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) directly might find that 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) is the last making contract.

I trust that partner would not pass with short hearts, but that still leaves other shapes such as 4315, 5314 or 4324. Others tried 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) with less confidence:

Fraser Rew: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). It's pretty common for us to have three losers in whatever strain we play in.

Ig Nieuwenhuis: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). risk-reward is more important in MP's. At IMP scoring plus is more important; state-of-the-match I might gamble 6images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Alan Jones: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Assuming that we have a heart fit, we will be ruffing with the little ones if necessary.

Tony Treloar: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Even though there is the possibility of club ruffs I think trying for 10 tricks rather than 11 is sufficient compensation.

Rainer Herrmann: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I need a better suit to prefer a minor over a major

Robert Black: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Partner seems to want me to bid, so I bid.

Martyn Rew: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Partner's monster hand will help here.

Leigh Matheson: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Partnership style is critical here.

Nigel Guthrie: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). If doubled, then you can reconsider.

They may not be kind enough to double with heart tricks and minimal values elsewhere, if you have guessed the wrong suit under pressure. This highlights the other advantage of playing the safest game - they can pass if they expect to beat you and sacrifice in 5images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) if not.

The remaining 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) bidders were interested in maximising their Matchpoint score (and they all selected the option saying they would bid 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) at IMPs):

Emil Battista: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)A and Club suit will come in handy for that valuable extra trick at MP. If 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) fails, a bottom is a bottom.

Julian Foster: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). If we make 11 tricks we need to be in hearts at Matchpoints. But 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) does look a safer game overall - if hearts break badly we might be able to pitch ours on partner's spades.

Roger Yandle: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). It looks like opponents are taking advantage of the favourable vul but that might still mean we don't have game on. If both games are making then at MPs I want to be in hearts. If both games are failing then I think there's much less chance of going for a big number in clubs hence at IMPs that's my choice.

Phil Hocking: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). North must have a strong hand so ruffing opportunities.

The full deal:

spades KQ10
hearts KQ103
diamonds 75
clubs AK106
spades AJ98
hearts A98
diamonds Q963
clubs J4
spades 7653
hearts J7
diamonds KJ10842
clubs 8
spades 42
hearts 6542
diamonds A
clubs Q97532


Hand Four - West deals, EW vul, Matchpoints. You are South.
 
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) AT3
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) QJ654
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) AJ87
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 4

 


West North East South
pass 1images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) pass 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes)
pass 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) pass ?

   2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes), if you bid it, will be natural and forcing.
 

Call Award %
Experts
%
Readers
2NT 100 44 5
2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)-2NT 90 17 28
2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)-3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 70 6 11
2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes)-2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) 60 33 18
Other 0 to 40 0 38

The choice is between an exploratory approach and a simple, quantitative bid. For those who chose 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes), this was a two part question with different scores available depending on what they would do next. Wasting no time bidding the most likely game were:

Alex Kemeny: 3NT. Partner should not have three hearts for the 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bid - should prefer a three card raise with that. Hence give LHO a choice between the spade and diamond lead. A 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) bid now will definitely see a spade led to my eventual 3NT.

Emil Battista: 3NT. What is problem? AT3 in spades will give us 2 stoppers!

3NT is an overbid with this misfit and also prevents partner from helping us find a better spot if he happens to have three hearts or maybe 4-6 in the minors. But it does have the benefit of keeping the defence more in the dark about our strength. Most of the NT bidders were content with an invitational bid.

Herbert C. Wilton: 2NT. And bid 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) after partner's forcing 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Second choice: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) which might be the winning bid,especially if partner raises

Mick McAuliffe: 2NT. I like the multiple choices now being offered for the same bid with some of the questions. The answers will now be very interesting.

Ron Landgraff: 2NT. Its Matchpoints! If the clubs produce 5 tricks 3NT will likely make. if Partner is max for his bidding, 3NT will usually have play.

Fraser Rew: 2NT. With those tens and Jacks, bidding suits seems slightly misguided. If partner continues with 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes), I'll bid 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) to show doubt.

Others chose 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) which suggests five hearts and also invites preference on a doubleton, so strain is still an issue over partner’s 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). This explains the lower scores for those who then insisted on hearts:

Charles Scholl: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). With two aces and these hearts, I want to be in 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) if partner's 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) bid includes one or both heart honors and a hand willing to accept my invitation. But if partner does not have that hand, I don't want to be in 3NT.

Dan Baker: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). With shortness opposite partner’s long suit, inviting seems right. Whether to invite with 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) or 2NT seems to be the tougher question. 2NT suggests the shape a bit more clearly, but if I’m passed there I suspect I’d rather be in 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes).

Julian Foster: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Don't understand why I wouldn't bid game with a good 5431 12 count. Even opposite today's opening bids!

Roger Yandle: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). if NT is the right spot then I'm better off bidding it now and not giving the opps any more information than necessary, but that means giving up on a heart game which I'm not prepared to do at this stage.

Phil Hocking: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Not comfortable I have many entries to North in NT.

Steve Robinson: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Partner should have three hearts

Neil Silverman: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). This one seems routine to me but my partner would always have 3 hearts to bid 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). If that is not the case then I would bid 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) over 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) to explore for best game.

Todd Holes: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). WTP -- am I missing something?

When we bid hearts again we suggest a six card (or maybe good five card) heart suit which we don’t have. At the other end of the scale were the pessimists:

Martyn Rew: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then Pass. I don't have a lot more than those two bids show

Steve Greenwell: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then Pass. If it were new minor forcing, I would bid 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) after partner's 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I presume pard knows that I would leave in 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) with 6-10.

Peter Vlas: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then Pass. Since 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is forcing I must have a hand somewhat like this. If P can't produce more than 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) it's over for me.

Opening bids are getting lighter all the time so I have sympathy with the passers, but the experts were unanimous in bidding on. If we don’t want to commit to game after partner’s 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) the logical choice is 2NT.

Brian Lawless: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2NT. I have to bid something with these values. 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) seems obvious and the follow-up 2NT describes the hand perfectly

Rainer Herrmann: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2NT. I understand that ‘4 card suits up the line’ means we do not play Walsh, in which case this sequence describes the hand quite well.

Andrea Viscovich: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2NT. Maybe I could say 3NT after 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) but I don't like my hand too much.

Nigel Guthrie: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2NT. Non-forcing and right-siding.

Cathy Hocking: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2NT. Showing 4 diamonds 5 hearts and cover in spades with almost enough to get to 3NT.

John R Mayne: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2NT. This looks pretty easy. There's always just the shoot-3N, but this seems like we get everything in play. And if partner passes 2N, we're probably huge winners.

Otherwise we can force to game and continue exploring with 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) or just bid 3NT, leaving partner the option of returning to hearts with three of them.

Frank Stewart: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Still seeking the best contract. If I were sure partner has three hearts, I would bid 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), but he — or I, at least — would have raised directly on many minimum hands with three-card support.

Christine Chandler: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) is forcing and then I would bid 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) over partner's 2images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) as it's 4images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) GF to allow partner to bid 3NT or 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) as appropriate.

Timothy Wright: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) should show this shape (or possibly 4-5-4-0) and roughly this strength. Partner's possible Qx in spades means that she should be bidding 2NT or 3NT, not me.

Dean Pokorny: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). After 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) I will offer 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), finding often the best game.

Robert Black: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). And 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) over 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) or 3images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes).

David Matthews: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Give me 12 points opposite my partner's opener and I want to be in game, most of the time. This allows exploration.

Ig Nieuwenhuis 2: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). my subsequent 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) bid gives room for partner to confirm/deny three hearts if 3226/3235 (he'll rebid 2NT with spade values or 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) with six clubs if only two hearts).

Robert Black 2: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). That seems to show the shape and quality of my hand.

Damo Nair: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Worth a game try I think in spite of the 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bid.

Tony Treloar: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 3NT. I think this pattern describes your hand best with 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) being a natural bid in the auction.

Kees Schaafsma: 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) then 3NT. Jx-xx-Kxx-AKJxxx may be enough.

Most experts valued the hand as worth 2NT only, so bidding that either directly or after 2images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) was the highest scoring choice.

The full deal:

spades Q9
hearts AK
diamonds Q92
clubs Q109732
spades K8654
hearts 8732
diamonds 653
clubs J
spades J72
hearts 109
diamonds K104
clubs AK865
spades A103
hearts QJ654
diamonds AJ87
clubs 4

Some of the minority options (rejected by the panel) were initially given a score of zero, causing a flood of complaints and a delay in the publication of the results. All the reasonable options for Q4 and Q5 have now been upgraded to between 20 and 50 points, and the scores will be re-published. - Brad


Hand Five - West deals, NS vul, Matchpoints. You are South.
 
images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) QT9863
images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) KQJ97
images/diamondsm.gif (109 bytes) 75
images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) ---

West North East South
pass 1images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 2images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) ?

  
 

Call Award %
Experts
%
Readers
4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 100 67 34
4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 70 22 32
3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) 50 6 13
3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) 50 6 0
Other 20 to 50 0 21

An immediate 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) might kill slam chances as partner won’t expect a hand this good. However we have no defence so we’d like to keep opponents out if we can.

First, the pessimists:

Frank Stewart: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). I expect votes for 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), but I would prefer at least a bit more in high-card values for that bid.

Ron Landgraff: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) might find slam but almost certainly draws a club sacrifice. 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) is not a lock.

Andrea Viscovich: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) splinter could be ok, probably they are going to defend at 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Nigel Guthrie: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). A 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) fit jump might direct the wrong lead.

Peter Vlas: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). And 5images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) over 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) (from opps that is). I can imagine slam but don't see a good way there. 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) could do the trick but I don't like slam investigation with an aceless hand.

Ian McCance: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Hoping to play there.

Alan Jones: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Let West worry about where they ought to be!

Steve Robinson: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Not strong enough for a stronger bid

Ron Lel: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). This seems obvious. I lack the strength or the hand for a splinter.

Rainer Herrmann: 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes). Unless partner doubles 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) I will take the push to 5images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes), but with no controls in the unbid suits I can not do more.

For those with higher ambitions, here is one way to proceed:

Michael Burt: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Forcing bid. We could well be in slam territory, show my suit and see what happens.

Robert Black: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). I can support hearts later, but meanwhile we may have a double fit.

Dean Pokorny: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Let's check what does partner have in spades, to begin with.

Kay O’Connor : 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). My intention is to play in hearts at some level, so we both need to give each other more information.

Tania Black 2: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). No hurry!

Ian Patterson: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Prepared to bid 5images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) over 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Julian Foster: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Rightly or wrongly I am prepared to bid 5images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) over 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) (which is quite likely what will happen at this vulnerability) - therefore I think it's better to start with this rather than a direct raise.

Dan Baker: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). We’re about to get preempted hard in clubs, so I show my side suit intending to bid hearts next - possibly at the six level if it goes 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes)-P-P back to me.

John R Mayne: 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). OK, I'll bite. The simple 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) has lots of ways to win, but I don't want to miss a slam opposite AK4 T8654 AQ3 43. 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) gives us max information.

The problem is that we’re suggesting more values and fewer hearts. In that last example, it won’t be too good if partner converts our 6images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) back to 6images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). It would be nice to be able to show spades and heart support at the same time.

Robb Gordon: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). Fit jump

Timothy Wright: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). This is why we play fit-showing jumps!

Ig Nieuwenhuis: 3images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes). This will not win me any forum-points, but is the system-(fit-)bid in my agreements.

Unfortunately these are not part of the system, so our only options to show a good heart raise are the cue bid and splinter. First the cue bidders:

Eileen Humphery: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) as a cue raise in hearts.

Christine Chandler: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bid shows a good raise in hearts and if partner rebids 3images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) I would raise it to 4images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) and if they bid anything more inviting I would investigate slam.

Christo Moskovsky: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I play this as limit raise in hearts or better

Neil Silverman: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I thought of all the ways I could walk the hand up but the problem is partner may be the one with the good hand and we will miss an easy slam. Yes they probably have a good save in one of the minors but if it’s diamonds maybe this will be just enough to keep them from bidding them.

Emil Battista: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Let’s start with a cue bid and await developments.

Phil Hocking: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Need a forcing bid so a fit showing cue bid so create space for some dialogue.

Tim Trahair: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Showing 3+ support for North's hearts and 10+ HCP. Game is likely and on a good day slam is on.

Damo Nair: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). The all-purpose cue-bid.

Roger Yandle: 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). this hand looks like a good heart raise (5LTC) so that's what I'm bidding. A splinter might also work but I'd play that as having more high card potential.

I foresee the 3images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes) bidders having some guessing to do later but at least they keep their options open without creating a force and painting a picture of a hand quite different to the one we actually hold. The splinter was the top scoring choice:

Fraser Rew: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes) is misguided in terms of both strength and shape. By my lights I'm minimum for this bid, but still in range.

David Matthews: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Agreeing hearts with the splinter will allow partner to judge whether to go on or not.

Tony Treloar: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I think we have to start with the splinter even though it might suggest more defensive strength. It should help them decide what to do should the auction get contested at the high level.

Leigh Matheson: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I want to put partner in the best position to choose what to do after I bid 5images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) over 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes).

Todd Holes: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). I’m not stopping short of game. Why not describe my hand along the way? Though I could respond 2images/spadesm.gif (111 bytes), showing the Heart support later, Partner could misconstrue the strength of my hand. The splinter accomplishes three things in one bid; it shows support, defines my range, and points out the shortness.

Brian Lawless: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Nothing is right here. When opponents bid 5images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes), partner needs to know I don't have much defence.

Martyn Rew: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Partner has a lot of points in spades and/or diamonds to cover my losers.

Charles Scholl: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Seems right: game-forcing heart raise with mild slam interest.

Alex Kemeny: 4images/clubsm.gif (113 bytes). Heart support and short clubs and slam interest. Give partner a perfect minimum like Kx,Axxxxx,AQx,xxx and 6images/heartsm.gif (112 bytes) is great.

This is identical to Patrick Huang’s example in the magazine. The splinter gets the 100 points and will definitely find some good slams when partner has nothing in clubs. However when he does have club values he might start doubling earlier than we would like.

The full deal:

spades 54
hearts A106532
diamonds Q4
clubs AK5
spades J72
hearts
diamonds 109863
clubs J10642
spades AK
hearts 84
diamonds AKJ2
clubs Q9873
spades Q109863
hearts KQJ97
diamonds 75
clubs

The May questions are online now, here, and the March magazine should have arrived by the time you read this (or a couple of weeks later for Sydney readers -- the Sydney West Mail Facility has completely abandoned all reasonable service standards).

Apologies for the delay with the final scores. The complicated nature of this month's awards caused many readers to receive unwarranted zero scores for bids that the panel rejected. These scores have now all been upgraded, resulting in major changes to the leaderboard.

Thanks for joining us again, and we'll see you back here in the first week of May. – Brad



Top scores for March
1Artur Wasiak POL500
2David Appleton ACT490
3Pat O'Connor NSW470
4Paul Sontag CAN470
5Peter Heatherington 460
6Harald Berre Skjran 460
7Bram Amsel460
8David Matthews WA460
9Niklas Andrn 450
10Tom Moss 450
11Peter Stride Qld450
12Charles Scholl USA430
13Fredrik Jarlvik SWE430
14Bjarne Andersen DEN430
15Peter Qvist SWE430
16Vlad Dragalchuk420
17Andrew Macalister GBR420
18Rainer Herrmann GER420
20Gary Lane NSW410
21Damo Nair USA410
22Ig Nieuwenhuis NED410
23Mark Laforge410
25Barbara Whitmee Qld410
26Steve Kipperman 400
27Leigh Matheson NSW400
28Conny Wahlgren SWE400
29Robb Gordon USA400
30Ron Landgraff USA400
31Christer Enkvist SWE400
32Niek Van Vucht ACT400
33Bastiaan Korner NED400
34Arthur Porter SA400
35Ian Patterson Qld400
36Tania Black 400
37Herbert C. Wilton 390
38Patrice Fincias390
39Geof Brod USA390
40Rick Lu NSW390
41Ron Lel LAO390
43Martyn Rew NZL390
44Dan Baker USA390
45Alexander Schennikov 390
46Christo Moskovsky NSW380
47Cor Lof NED380
48Brian Lawless GBR380
49Kevin O'Dea 380
50Kay O'Connor380
51Par Ol-Mars 380
52Cathy Hocking NSW380
53Fraser Rew NZL380
54David Woulds GBR380
55David Winter Vic380
56Dennis Raymond NSW370
57Steve Greenwell 370
58Timothy Wright 370
59Larry Brose USA370
60Derek Pocock WA370
61Andrew Spooner ACT370
62Barbara Hunter NSW360
63Steve Robinson USA360
64Peter Tarlinton NSW360
65Peter Nuoristo SWE360
66Tony Treloar Qld360
     

Leading scores for 2018
1Artur Wasiak POL500
2David Appleton ACT490
3Pat O'Connor NSW470
4Paul Sontag CAN470
5Peter Heatherington 460
6Harald Berre Skjran 460
7Bram Amsel460
8David Matthews WA460
9Niklas Andrn 450
10Tom Moss 450
11Peter Stride Qld450
12Charles Scholl USA430
13Fredrik Jarlvik SWE430
14Bjarne Andersen DEN430
15Peter Qvist SWE430
16Vlad Dragalchuk420
17Andrew Macalister GBR420
18Rainer Herrmann GER420
20Gary Lane NSW410
21Damo Nair USA410
22Ig Nieuwenhuis NED410
23Mark Laforge410
25Barbara Whitmee Qld410
26Steve Kipperman 400
27Leigh Matheson NSW400
28Conny Wahlgren SWE400
29Robb Gordon USA400
30Ron Landgraff USA400
31Christer Enkvist SWE400
32Niek Van Vucht ACT400
33Bastiaan Korner NED400
34Arthur Porter SA400
35Ian Patterson Qld400
36Tania Black 400
37Herbert C. Wilton 390
38Patrice Fincias390
39Geof Brod USA390
40Rick Lu NSW390
41Ron Lel LAO390
43Martyn Rew NZL390
44Dan Baker USA390
45Alexander Schennikov 390
46Christo Moskovsky NSW380
47Cor Lof NED380
48Brian Lawless GBR380
49Kevin O'Dea 380
50Kay O'Connor380
51Par Ol-Mars 380
52Cathy Hocking NSW380
53Fraser Rew NZL380
54David Woulds GBR380
55David Winter Vic380
56Dennis Raymond NSW370
57Steve Greenwell 370
58Timothy Wright 370
59Larry Brose USA370
60Derek Pocock WA370
61Andrew Spooner ACT370
62Barbara Hunter NSW360
63Steve Robinson USA360
64Peter Tarlinton NSW360
65Peter Nuoristo SWE360
66Tony Treloar Qld360
     
Thank you to all the readers and visitors who entered this month's forum.
Click here to try your luck at the next set of problems, to be answered in the
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March issue to see what the experts said about this month's hands.