A fine test for those who dare face the facts

December 24, 1962

Unlike most year-end examinations, my bridge quiz is all in fun, and you can even take violent exception to the answers if you choose. But being a stern teacher, I must warn you that if you don't score 45 your game requires first aid. A total between 45 and 55 suggests you merely need a few reminders; with a 55 to 70 you will win in almost any company; a 70 entitles you to boast; and 80 or more means you took the test only to see how good I am

1 North-South vulnerable, and as South you hold:

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[9 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 NT
?

WEST
PASS

NORTH
2 [Club]

EAST
2 [Diamond]

What do you bid now?

2 Both sides are vulnerable, and as South you hold:

[Ace of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 NT
?

WEST
2 [Club]

NORTH
3 [Club]

EAST
DBL

What do you bid now?

3 As South, vulnerable, you hold:

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[Jack of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 [Diamond]
1 [Spade]
2 [Spade]
?

WEST

1 [Heart]
PASS
PASS

NORTH

DBL
2 [Club]
3 [Club]

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS

What do you bid now?

4 East-West vulnerable, and as South you hold:

[Ace of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

EAST

1 [Spade]
PASS

SOUTH

2 [Club]
?

WEST
PASS

NORTH
3 [Club]

What do you bid now?

5 As South you hold:

[Queen of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[2 of Clubs]

WEST
1 [Heart]

NORTH
2 [Spade]

EAST
3 [Spade]

SOUTH
?

What do you bid now?

6 As South you hold:

[3 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[5 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 [Heart]
?

WEST
PASS

NORTH
2 [Heart]

EAST
PASS

What do you bid now?

7 North-South vulnerable, and as South you hold:

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[4 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 [Spade]
2 [Club]
?

WEST

PASS
PASS

NORTH

1 NT
2 [Heart]

EAST

PASS
PASS

What do you bid now?

8 As South you hold:

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[King of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

SOUTH

1 [Spade]
?

WEST
PASS

NORTH
2 [Heart]

EAST
PASS

What do you bid now?

9 As South you hold:

[Jack of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[8 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

PASS
1 [Heart]
?

WEST

PASS
PASS

NORTH

1 [Diamond]
1 [Spade]

EAST

PASS
PASS

What do you bid now?

10 As South you hold:

[Ace of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 [Diamond]
2 [Diamond]
?

WEST

PASS
PASS

NORTH

1 [Heart]
4 [Heart]

EAST

PASS
PASS

What do you bid now?

11 As South you hold:

[5 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

NORTH

1 [Heart]
2 [Diamond]
3 [Heart]

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS

SOUTH

2 [Club]
3 [Diamond]
?

WEST

PASS
PASS

What do you bid now?

12 As South you hold:

[6 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[7 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[King of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 [Diamond]
PASS
?

WEST

DBL
1 [Heart]

NORTH

REDBL
2 [Diamond]

EAST

PASS
PASS

What do you bid now?

13 As South you hold:

[Ace of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 [Heart]
2 [Diamond]
3 [Diamond]
?

WEST

PASS
PASS
PASS

NORTH

1 [Spade]
2 NT
3 NT

EAST

PASS
PASS
DBL

What do you bid now?

14 As South you hold:

[Ace of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[4 of Hearts]
[King of clubs]
[Jack of clubs]
[10 of clubs]
[3 of clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]

NORTH

1 [Club]
1 NT
3 [Diamond]

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS

SOUTH

1 [Diamond]
3 [Club]
?

WEST

1 [Heart]
PASS

What do you bid now?

15 Neither side vulnerable, and as South you hold:

[King of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[7 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]

NORTH

1 [Spade]
3 [Heart]
PASS

EAST

2 [Club]
4 [Club]
5 [Club]

SOUTH

2 [Spade]
4 [Heart]
?

WEST

PASS
PASS

What do you bid now?

16 As South you hold:

[Ace of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[3 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 [Diamond]
2 [Heart]
?

WEST

1 [Heart]
PASS

NORTH

1 [Spade]
3 [Diamond]

EAST

PASS
PASS

What do you bid now?

17 As South you hold:

[King of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

NORTH

1 [Heart]
2 [Heart]
3 [Spade]

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS

SOUTH

2 [Club]
2NT
?

WEST

PASS
PASS

What do you bid now?

18 As South you hold:

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 [Diamond]
?

WEST
1 [Heart]

NORTH
DBL

EAST
2 [Club]

What do you bid now?

HERE ARE BIDS YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE

1 PASS—5 PTS. DBL—3 PTS.

Partner is expected to have at least eight points. Your pass will tell him you have neither a four-card major suit nor a hand with diamond length. Should he now bid a major, you can expect it to be five cards long, and can immediately contract for game. If he has no such major suit he will surely double, and the penalty should be rewarding.

2 3 DIAMONDS—5 PTS. PASS—3 PTS. 3 NO TRUMP—1 PT.

Partner's bid indicates a fine hand with few, if any, clubs. Opposite such a hand, all your high cards are gilt-edged. An immediate diamond bid describes your length, denies a four-card major and enables you to go to slam should partner jump to five diamonds. A pass may achieve the same end if partner bids a major suit but leaves you embarrassed for a good call if he bids three diamonds.

3 PASS—5 PTS. 3 DIAMONDS—3 PTS.

The bidding has warned of a dreadful misfit, and any undoubled contract should be welcome. There is no reason to bid three diamonds even if the opposition chooses to double three clubs. Your bidding has indicated your six-five distribution. A bid of three no trump deserves a two-point demerit and the suggestion that you buy a new shirt. You just lost one.

4 3 SPADES—5 PTS. 3 NO TRUMP—3 PTS. 4 CLUBS—2 PTS. 5 CLUBS—1 PT.

One of my principles when contracting for what might prove to be a tight game is to attempt to make the hand with strength—in this instance East—do the leading. By cue-bidding three spades, I hope to entrust the play of three no trump to my partner so that his possible holding of Q-small or J-small in spades may provide a second guard in the suit or gain valuable time if East elects to lead some other suit.

5 4 DIAMONDS—5 PTS. 6 SPADES—3 PTS. 5 SPADES—2 PTS. 4 SPADES—1 PT.

If partner holds something like six spades to the ace-king and a singleton diamond it is easy to see a slam in spades. However, if East is honest about his cue bid, and you have every reason to suspect that he is, the enemy may be able to make six hearts—or even seven—if partner fails to open a diamond against their grand slam try. A strategic bid of four clubs might also work well.

6 3 HEARTS—5 PTS. 3 DIAMONDS—4 PTS. 4 HEARTS—3 PTS. PASS—1 PT.

Your values add up to only 14 points, and your partner's bidding shows at most 10. But if you pass you give the opponents a cheap opportunity to find their spade fit and subsequently to outbid you. If partner elects to carry on to game, you will probably make it if his values are in the red suits—exactly the situation that might make it possible for the opponents to make four spades, given a chance to get into the act.

7 3 HEARTS—5 PTS. 4 HEARTS—3 PTS. PASS—2 PTS. 2 NO TRUMP—1 PT.

Your partner's two-heart bid indicates distaste for both of your suits and some length in hearts. Game is not impossible if your partner is willing to continue after you raise. Your doubleton need not deter you from this bid, for partner must have either a six-card suit or an excellent five-card holding.

8 2 SPADES—5 PTS. 3 CLUBS—2 PTS. 3 SPADES—1 PT.

It is true that you have values in excess of your opening bid, but, with danger that you may have encountered a misfit, cautious behavior is indicated. A rebid of three clubs has the disadvantage of getting you too high and would also be construed as forcing.

9 3 SPADES—5 PTS. 2 SPADES—3 PTS. 4 SPADES—1 PT.

While slightly lacking the strength to insist upon a game, this hand is worth 12 points in support of spades. In light of your previous pass, partner knows you cannot have much more. If he has a sound opening, he will go on to four; if he has a shaded opening, you will have given him the chance to check out.

10 6 HEARTS—5 PTS. 5 HEARTS—4 PTS. 4 SPADES or 5 CLUBS—1 PT.

Your second bid of two diamonds was highly conservative. Now, in the face of partner's leap to four hearts, slam possibilities look bright. I am normally averse to slam invitations above the game level, but this is an exceptional case, and five hearts is likely to be quite safe.

11 4 HEARTS—5 PTS. 5 DIAMONDS—3 PTS. 4 DIAMONDS—1 PT.

Partner has heard your diamond preference and has asked you to proceed to game. He must have a very good heart suit, and your support is adequate. A raise to four hearts is superior to trying for an eleven-trick game. Four diamonds is avoiding the issue entirely.

12 2 NO TRUMP—5 PTS. 3 DIAMONDS—4 PTS. PASS—2 PTS. 2 HEARTS—1 PT.

It is your duty to advertise the heart stoppers; hence the no trump call is recommended despite lack of strength in the black suits. Partner's redouble has indicated a good hand, and his rebid may have been hampered by the opponents' heart call. Though your hand is only slightly more than a minimum, partner should be given one more chance to bid.

13 PASS—5 PTS. REDBL.—5 PTS.

Selection between the two top choices will be dictated by your estimate of partner's soundness. The important decision is not to run out of three no trump. Despite your warning against that contract, partner has seen fit to bid three no trump. He must, therefore, be well prepared.

14 3 SPADES—5 PTS. 4 NO TRUMP—3 PTS. 5 CLUBS—2 PTS. 6 CLUBS—1 PT.

Partner's rebid of one no trump as a free bid after the adverse heart call has denoted a good hand. Slam prospects are bright and a cue bid of three spades is the proper step in that direction. A Blackwood inquiry is acceptable, since we are willing to gamble on slam if partner has two aces. Other calls have little advantage.

15 PASS—5 PTS. DBL.—3 PTS. 5 HEARTS—2 PTS.

The pass leaves the final decision to your partner. Obviously you can double the five-club bid and expect to collect a profit, but this would also suggest to partner that the outlook for five hearts is not good. Since all your cards are well positioned, you should make what amounts to a forcing pass and leave the decision to partner.

16 4 SPADES—5 PTS. 3 SPADES—3 PTS. 4 NO TRUMP—2 PTS. 5 DIAMONDS—1 PT.

Even though your cue bid committed your side to game, four spades, rather than three, gives the clearer picture of your spade power. The conserving of bidding space is not important. If further action is forthcoming partner should be able to take the initiative, for you have described your hand. However, four no trump does have the virtue of paving the way to slam if partner happens to hold the missing ace.

17 4 HEARTS—5 PTS. 3 NO TRUMP—2 PTS. 4 SPADES—1 PT.

By rebidding hearts before mentioning the spades, partner has shown a six-four holding in the majors. He also promises a fairly good hand—with indifferent cards he could have passed two no trump. Your jack and one heart is now adequate support, and your partnership has eight hearts as opposed to seven spades. A repeat of no trump falsely suggests greater diamond strength.

18 DBL.—5 PTS. 2 SPADES—2 PTS. 2 DIAMONDS—1 PT.

The enemy is in an exposed position and you are ready to bombard him. Partner is probably short in diamonds, and a handsome penalty is in view in your hand, where your own prospects for game are not bright.

ILLUSTRATION

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)