Mark Horton

Guess the bid – conclusion

Do you recall the classic Marx Brothers movie A Night at the Opera?

It includes the following exchange between Groucho and Chico (along with Harpo keen bridge players):

Groucho: “That’s in every contract, that’s what you call a sanity clause.”

Chico: “You can’t a fool a me there ain’t no sanity clause”

Now try your hand at this simple quiz and you may begin to understand why I have mentioned it.

You have the following hand as West at game all:


10 8 6 5
Q 10 6 3
K Q J 4


West North East South
  1 Pass 1NT*

Your mission, should you decide to accept is to guess what West decided to bid.

This is how a number of players approached the problem – and the comments of the questioner:


Pass? ‘You amateur.’
2  for the lead? ‘Third choice?’
2NT minors? ‘Pathetic.’
Shaded TO Double? ‘Ridiculous.’
Flawed 2 ? ‘Next.’

It was only then that light generally dawned – West overcalled 2 (no doubt intending to introduce his clubs on the next round). When North rebid 2  East (holding AK doubleton) raised to 3 and South’s bid of 4  (which was easily made) ended the auction. (It was flat board.)

When we observed to our informant that publication might lead to the termination of his partnership his reply was:  ‘Print it.’

1 Comment

LindaDecember 8th, 2008 at 3:46 am

I tried this one in the press room in Boston and I admit that it took me 6 tries to come up with the right bid, even though I KNEW it was ridiculous.

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