Need a website? Free website templates by professional designers at WTO.

Discipline at the ANC

From Marnie Leybourne

As has already been reported, the WA women's team took top honours at the ANC this year. The team comprised Alison Stralow (NPC), Viv Wood, Jane Reynolds, Suzie Futaesaku, Wendy Driscoll, Leone Fuller and me. Leone had had a quiet goal of winning, as it would have meant wins for her with four different partners, playing four different systems! (Leone has previously won ANC team events with: Sharon Evans playing forcing pass; Alida Clark playing Acol; and Val Biltoft playing Standard 2/1). This year, we were playing Moscito (which is a strong one club opening system similar to Precision).

In these sorts of events themes can emerge, and one of these was that of discipline in bidding. I will not claim that our bidding choices were 100 per cent correct, however they worked for us this year. Here are the scenarios:

1. Sitting West you hold - AKQ9863, KQ983, K. South is dealer and opens 1S. What is your bid?

2. Sitting East - you hold 764, J2, JT762, T62. Your left hand opponent opens 1S. Your partner overcalls 2H, and your right hand opponent bids 2S. You pass and LHO bids 4S. Your partner now bids 5D, pass, pass and LHO bids 5S, passed back to you. What is your bid?

3. Sitting West, you hold 98, 94, T9, AQJT652. South is dealer and opens 1S. What is your bid?

Whatever your bid was (unless it was 7C!), South ends up in a contract of 6S. What do you lead?

4. You are dealer, vulnerable against not, and hold AQT8753, T3, 65, 74. What is your opening bid?

5. You hold QJ, AK7632, 9753, 8. Your partner is dealer and passes, and your RHO opens a 15-17 1NT. What do you bid?

6. All vulnerable, you hold K53, K75, AKJ64, K5. Your partner is dealer and opens 4H. What action do you take? What contract do you end up in (partner holds two aces and the Queen of hearts)?

1&2 Teams final, stanza 4, board 9

Board 9
South Deals
E-W Vul
10 9 5
10 7 5 4
A 9 8 5 3
A K Q 9 8 6 3
K Q 9 8 3
7 6 4
J 2
J 10 7 6 2
10 6 2
A K Q J 8 3 2
A 5
Q J 7 4

At our table, the bidding was:

2 2 Pass4 
5 PassPass5 
5  by South

Leone's bids were disciplined (particularly in comparison to West at the other table, as will be seen). My pass was also disciplined, as while I knew we had a good sacrifice in diamonds, any action I took could well either cost more than the non-vulnerable spade game given the vulnerability, or could push them into a making slam.

At the other table, West overcalled six hearts! North bid 6S, and West compounded her error by doubling, racking up +1310 for our side against -480 at our table, worth 13 imps.

3. Teams final, stanza 6, board 29

South Deals
Both Vul
K J 10 7 3 2
J 7 5
A K 2
9 8
9 4
10 9
A Q J 10 6 5 2
Q 10 8 3
Q J 8 7 6 4 3
8 4
A Q 6 5 4
A K 6 2
K 9 7

This was the second to last hand of the tournament and generated 13 badly needed imps for us, thanks to Leone's disciplined bid that gave declarer a completely wrong picture of the hand.

Over 1S, Leone bid a quiet 2C:

2 4 ♣(splinter)Pass4 (cue)
Pass4 Pass5 (cue)
Pass6 PassPass
6  by South

Six spades can make on any lead (a trump is best). All declarer needs to do is to play two rounds each of spades, hearts and diamonds and then duck a club to West, forcing West to return a spade (ruffing an Ace return, and running the club to the King on the return of a low club). One declarer in the open final found this play following a very revealing pre-emptive club overcall.

However, after Leone's simple 2C overcall, declarer placed her with fewer clubs and more points, so she tried to endplay Leone (with a club) after drawing trumps and playing three rounds of diamonds, hoping that she would be forced to either play clubs or lead a heart away from her presumed Queen. Leone did find the heart return, however unluckily for declarer, I held the QT over dummy's Jack, so the slam went down one for +100, to add to our team-mates' +650 at the other table.

4. Butler stage two (open round 13, women/seniors round 3), board 5

South Deals
N-S Vul
A K Q J 2
9 3
A K Q 9 6
K J 6
K Q 10 8 7 2
J 8 5
9 4
9 7 6 5 4
A J 4
10 3 2
A Q 10 8 7 5 3
10 3
6 5
7 4

If you opted to open this hand with 3S, congratulations - you chose the same bid that most people picking this hand up did (and this was stage two of the national butler, so was the bid selected by many very experienced players).

However, 3S was not the winning bid on this hand. We chose to open it at the two-level (2S if you play weak twos, 2D if you play multi-two diamonds or, 2H if you, like us, play optimal twos). Our bidding (with opponents silent), was:

   2 (1)
Pass2 NT(2)Pass3 (3)
Pass4 PassPass
4  by South

(1) 2 (either weak spades or 5/5 & a minor)
(2) 2NT (forcing relay)
(3) 3♠ (very weak spades)

We picked up 12 imps for bidding and making 4H, thanks to the disciplined "weak two" bid we chose to make. Vulnerable against not, a weak 7222 hand is awful. Over a 3S opening, North has no room to explore other options than bidding the non-making 4S, which is what happened at most of the other tables across all three fields.

There was nothing in the play: A diamond was led and continued. Declarer won the spade return with the Ace, cashed two clubs and ruffed a club high (in case they were 4-2) and then drew four rounds of trump followed by the established clubs, letting East win one more trick with her fifth heart.

5. Butler stage two (open round 13, women/seniors round 3), board 9

North Deals
E-W Vul
9 6 4 2
Q 9
6 2
J 10 7 6 5
K 8 5 3
J 5
K J 10
K 9 3 2
A 10 7
10 8 4
A Q 8 4
A Q 4
A K 7 6 3 2
9 7 5 3

Over East's 1NT opening Leone, being disciplined, opted to pass holding the South cards, as (given my pass) it was unlikely that we would win the auction. East ended up declaring in 3NT. Leone led her sixth best heart and happily found me at home with the Queen, allowing us to take the first six tricks.

At most other tables, once South entered the auction East/West steered clear of 3NT, playing in either spades or diamonds instead (or, in one case, doubling South's 2H bid).

6. Women/seniors butler stage one, round five, board 10

South Deals
Both Vul
K 5 3
K 7 5
A K J 6 4
K 5
A 9 6 4
Q 10 8 7 5 2
Q 10 8 7 2
10 9 7 6 4 3 2
A Q J 10 9 8 6 3
9 3
A 8

This was our (or my) lucky board. Over Leone's opening bid of 4H, I bid 4NT (keycard), and Leone bid 5S, showing two Aces and the heart Queen. My correct bid is now 6NT, as I can count 12 tricks. However, I erred and bid 6H, and felt sick when the diamond seven was led and ruffed by East. Fortunately for us, the seven was not a clear signal and East returned a club, so Leone made 6H, using the marked finesse in diamonds to discard her losing spade.


Contributors should note that the right to modify submitted material is retained by the Editors.