Find the mistake with Cédric Lorenzini

In this quiz, East-West managed to reach the right contract. One or the other (or both) has, however, committed bidding errors along the way.

Find the errors. Award yourself 2 points for every error you correctly identify.

Level 1 - Sequence 1


Level 1 - Sequence 2


Level 1 - Sequence 3


Level 2 - Sequence 1


Level 2 - Sequence 2


Level 2 - Sequence 3


Solutions

Level 1 - Sequence 1

Two faults: 3 (West) and 3♠ (East)
West’s raise to 3 is too pessimistic: west has 18HCP and a singleton; and a hand worth 20-odd points. That’s enough to play game opposite 1. Raising to 3 is therefore insufficient. The right bid is a Splinter of 4. The use of the double jump shows a fit in Hearts with Diamond shortness in a game forcing hand. The second fault is East’s cue-bid of 3♠. With only 9HCP and no key card, this hand is too weak to explore a slam. The normal bid is to accept the game invite, nothing more (4). On the other hand, facing a Splinter of 4, East can indicate interest by showing a control via 4♠.

The right auction:



Level 1 - Sequence 2

One fault: 2♣ (West).
A simple overcall of 2♣ with such a powerful hand is a mistake that could well lead to you missing many makable game contracts. You have nearly eight winners and should therefore prefer a take-out Double. This call will also allow you to find a major-suit game if your partner’s hand is something like ♠64 K109543 Q85 ♣52. With this, they’d pass opposite 2♣ when you are close to making slam in Hearts.

The correct sequence is:



The 1NT response to the Double shows some points, 7-10HCP. Consequently, the 2♣ bid is forcing for one round (to double, then freely bid a new suit, shows at least 17HCP).

Level 1 - Sequence 3

Two faults: 2 (East) and 2 (West) and there’s even a third one...
After West’s 1♠, rebid, East unfortunately has no way to suggest playing 2 Diamonds because 2 is fourth suit forcing, an artificial bid showing opening values rather than a natural and weak bid. They must bid 1NT despite having 5-5 in the red suits. West has an unbalanced hand in the 15-17 range. Consequently, opposite fourth suit forcing they should have jumped to the three-level and bid 3. A simple raise to 2 is insufficient because it shows 12-14HCP. This fault leads to a third one, which happens to be quite benign in this case. When using fourth suit forcing, East promised to bid again, but in this specific case... we understand that they pass.

The right auction:


Over 1NT, West chooses to bid on and says 2, showing something like a 4-3-1-5 and 15-17HCP.

Level 2 - Sequence 1

Two faults: Double (East) and 3 (East). 
The first mistake is East’s negative Double which, with such a strong hand, absolutely guarantees four Hearts. The most suitable bid for this situation is a cue-bid of the intervention (2♠). The second error is East’s jump to 3; this bid is non-forcing. To trigger a forcing process after a Double, he would have to first cue-bid 2♠ and then raise Diamonds later. West can then bid 2NT to show his Spade stopper and East will sign off at 3NT.

The right auction:


West must respond 3♣ to the 2♠ cue- bid in order to describe distribution, then bid 3NT over 3, showing a stopper and an ordinary hand.

Level 2 - Sequence 2

One fault 5 (West).
The start of the auction is normal until we get to North’s pre-empt of 4♠. East has a huge hand, which is worth 5 1/2. East could just say 5 or attempt to leap to slam by themselves, but there is a technical way to invite slam. 4NT here is not asking for Aces, given that East-West have not yet agreed a trump suit. Instead, it is asking partner to choose a contract at the five-level. If East continues with 5 when West bids 5m, this shows exactly what East has: an invite to the Heart slam. West should have bid 5♣ to show 5-5 in the minors but they misread the 4NT bid and instead responded to RKCB in Hearts, showing two keycards. East then bid the slam, reassured by partner’s “choice”, which wasn’t one.

The right auction:


Level 2 - Sequence 3

Three faults: 1NT (East), 3 (East) and 4NT (West).
We can find several errors in this slam sequence. First of all, responding 1NT is debatable: with five Diamonds, it seems better to raise Diamonds to indicate the fit.

West’s jump to (3♣) now shows a strong hand, game forcing, and East should have shown their powerful fit by jumping to 4. Their 3 bid is nothing more than showing preference with an unremarkable hand with three or four Diamonds. Finally, West’s 4NT bid is also bad. There is no point asking for Aces with a Spade void and all the key- cards in the other suits. The right bid is to show controls by cue-bidding 4♠, which would allow East to show a possible Club King by bidding 5♣. Here, they hold the Ace of Spades, which they show by way of 5♠ because they also have a maximum hand. Despite a turbulent flight, the plane still arrived at its destination!

The right auction:


Count your score

Count 2 points for every error you found - what was your score out of 20?

This article was written by Cédric Lorenzini

and was originally published in Bridgerama+.

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5 comments on “Find the mistake with Cédric Lorenzini”
  1. Level 1 Sequence 1. "Solutions

    Level 1 - Sequence 1

    Two faults: 3 (West) and 3♠ (East).

    That should be 3H by West.

  2. Thanks Cedric. I would find it easier to follow if you could restate the problem where you show the solution. I find it troublesome to scroll back up to the diagram so I can follow your explanations.

  3. On 1-3, why jump to 3H? I agree that you want to show more than the 12-14, but if 2D is 4SF to game, then I'd think fast arrival says 3H is a min and 2H allows more room to explore slam.

  4. On 2-3 it is a tad difficult to find errors beyond what the bidding box shows ;-). An improvement in the format and scoring would be to show every bid as an option and have the system keep score while deducting points for bids chosen as wrong which were in fact correct, and give an overall assessment of where the person managed to score. A difficulty of course arises after wrong bids have been made, ie, given that I did not make the correct call before what is the correct call now? For me that was the most difficult part of the test, and perhaps should somehow be reflected in the bidding. All said though, thanks for the contribution and I hope to see more, with or without the suggested improvements. Good show!

  5. Level 2 - Sequence 2 : The 5H response to 4NT on hand five is also incorrect. Since he has the presumed queen of trump his bid would be 5S.

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