Bernard Magee`s Acol Bidding Quiz

Bernard Magee`s Acol Bidding Quiz
Number: 168
UK £3.95 Europe €5.00
December 2016
Bernard Magee’s Acol Bidding Quiz
This month we are dealing with the fifth bid of an auction. You are West in the auctions below,
playing ‘Standard Acol’ with a weak no-trump (12-14 points) and four-card majors.
1. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ K Q 3
♥ K 8 7 6
♦ A J
♣ A 7 6 5
WestNorth East South
15-17 balanced
2. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ K Q 3
♥ A K 6 5 4
♦ K Q 3
♣ 6 2
WestNorth East South
1♥ Pass1NTPass
2NT Pass 3♣Pass
3. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ A K 4 2
♦ 8 5 4
♣ A Q 9 4 3
WestNorth East South
1♠ Pass2NTPass
Answers on page 41
4. Dealer West. Love All.
♥ A K 4 3 2
♦ J 5 3
♣ A Q 7 6
WestNorth East South
5. Dealer West. Love All.
♥ K Q 6 5 4
♦ A 4 2
♣ K Q 5 4
WestNorth East South
6. Dealer West. Love All.
♥ K Q 6 5 4
♦ K Q 5 4
♣ A 7 3
WestNorth East South
1♥ Pass2♣Pass
Answers on page 43
7. Dealer West. Love All.
♥ A K 8 7 2
♦ K 4 2
♣ Q J 4 2
WestNorth East South
Fourth suit forcing
8. Dealer West. Love All.
♥ A K 8 7 2
♦ J 4
♣ Q J 9 4 2
WestNorth East South
Fourth suit forcing
9. Dealer West. Love All.
♥ A K 8 7 2
♦ K Q 4 2
♣ Q J 4 2
WestNorth East South
Fourth suit forcing
Answers on page 45
10. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ K 4
♥ 7 6
♦ 8 4 3
♣ A K J 7 6 5
WestNorth East South
11. Dealer West. Love All.
♥ Q 2
♦ A K 8 7 6
♣ A K 8 4 2
WestNorth East South
12. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ K Q 8 4
♥ K 2
♦ 8 7
♣ A K 6 5 4
WestNorth East South
1♠ Pass3♣Pass
Answers on page 47
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There is no possible way I
can sit down and write my
usual monthly editorial and
advertorial notes without
first reporting my sad news.
Believe me I have tried, but
as you know, it has been my
policy to talk to you as if
you were sitting here with
me in my office.
A few days after returning
home from hospital, she
died yesterday more or less
in my arms.
As the travel side of the
business has developed, so
her involvement became
more apparent and her
sudden death has come as
a great shock to us all.
Part of the price of writing
to everyone in an open
and friendly way, without
being economical with the
truth on all the bridgey
politics is to tell it
how I see it.
You will see from the
adverts inside the magazine,
as well as on the back page,
for cruises to celebrate
my forthcoming 30th
Mr Bridge Anniversary,
that she expected to play a
prominent part in these
celebrations. Indeed, only
a few hours ago we were
positively talking about
fitting in the river cruise
advertised in this month’s
centrefold and happily I
have been able to make the
necessary corrections.
Earlier this year we sailed
BRIDGE December 2016
from South Africa across
the Indian Ocean to Sri
Lanka and the following
month from Mumbai to
find ourselves Jordan before
flying home. We also
fitted in two Greek Island
cruises, one in the spring
and one in the autumn. It
was only the offer of a
cancellation bed for her
recent operation that
stopped her from travelling
on the current Minerva
cruise. You will gather from
my previous writings in
this column that I am a
somewhat reluctant
traveller but I will go
a long way for a quiet life.
There was no way she was
going to miss out on the
river cruise and you can see
from the dates that the
timings would have been
tight. Had I objected, she
would mutter that clever
management would find a
way. So I would go with the
flow. This may not sound
very much like the real me
but we were very much one.
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Page 3
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Features this month include:
1 Bidding Quiz by Bernard Magee
3Mr Bridge
5 Another Flat Board by John Barr
2 Ancient Greece, Sicily
& Spain with
Voyages to Antiquity
6 In My Opinion by Andrew Kambites
3 QPlus 12
8 Catching Up with Sally Brock
4 Clive Goff ’s Stamps
9 Lebensohl Part 2 by Jeremy Dhondy
6 Used Stamps
for Little Voice
12 David Stevenson Answers Your Questions
15 Defence Quiz by Julian Pottage
16 Seven Days by Sally Brock
19 More Tips by Bernard Magee
19 Declarer Play Quiz by David Huggett
20 Sally’s Slam of the Month
21 Declarer Play Answers by David Huggett
22 Further into the Auction by Bernard Magee
24 Listen to the Bidding by Michael Byrne
Technical Consultant
Tony Gordon
26 Wendy Wensum’s Diaries
Typesetting & Design
Ruth Edmondson
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28 Teachers’ Corner by Ian Dalziel
Proof Readers
Julian Pottage
Mike Orriel
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Page 4
27 Defence Quiz Answers by Julian Pottage
30 The Sheriff ’s Perfect Partner by David Bird
32 Julian Pottage Answers Your Questions
36 Not Just a Pretty Face by Shireen Mohandes
38 Are You on the Same Side as Partner?
by Andrew Kambites
40 Readers’ Letters
41 Bidding Quiz Answers (1-3) by Bernard Magee
43 Bidding Quiz Answers (4-6) by Bernard Magee
45 Bidding Quiz Answers (7-9) by Bernard Magee
47 Bidding Quiz Answers (10-12) by Bernard Magee
48 Why is the UK Almost Alone in Playing Weak and
Four-Card Majors? by Julian Pottage
50 Moments of Madness Update by Shireen Mohandes
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7 Mr Bridge
Festive Season 2016
10 Mr Bridge Bridge Events
11 Denham Filming 2017
15 Bernard Magee’s
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17 Norway Winter
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18 2017 Cruises
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20 Croatia with Mr Bridge
21 Mr Bridge Playing Cards
22 Bernard Magee DVDs
Sets 1-3
23 Bernard Magee DVDs
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29 Club Insurance
29 Travel Insurance
39 Designs for Bridge
40 Cities & Waterways of
Europe with Fred.Olsen
41 Renaissance
& Rivieras with
Voyages to Antiquity
42 Better Hand Evaluation
43 Madeira, Morocco
& Seville with
Voyages to Antiquity
45 Acol Bidding
with Bernard Magee
47 Declarer Play
with Bernard Magee
48 Designs for Bridge
Table Covers
with Bernard Magee
50 Charity Events
51 Italian & Adriatic
Highlights with
Voyages to Antiquity
52 Seville, Morocco
& Canary Islands with
Voyages to Antiquity
BRIDGE December 2016
Letters from Overseas
Another Flat Board
by John Barr
e recently had our patio extended and were surprised
at the number and variety
of machines that
appeared in our
garden. Between
them the tools
could dig, move
and measure the
earth and ballast
in our garden,
but the most important tool was
the machine used
to flatten the base
before the patio
is laid. Indeed,
the machine that
worked the hardest, and made
most noise, was
the flattening machine.
I recently had to
work hard to flatten a wild board
in a teams match.
♠ J 7 4 3
♦ Q 5
♣ A K 10 7 6 3
♠ K Q 2
♥ 9 5 2 N
♥ A J 10 8 7 4
♦ 10 3WE
♦ A J 9 4
♣ Q J 9 5 2
♣ 8 4
♠ A 10 9 6 5
♥ K Q 6
♦ K 8 7 6 2
After competitive auctions at both
tables the contract was 4♠ doubled and
BRIDGE December 2016
the opening lead was a heart to the ace.
At the other table, East wanted to keep
his diamond ace to kill the queen, so
continued hearts at trick two, which
was not a success, as dummy’s two
diamonds were quickly discarded and
declarer lost only one heart and two
spade tricks to score 790.
Against me, East cashed the
diamond ace, and continued the suit
as West had played the ten without
giving it too much thought. Had East
played a trump at trick three, the
contract would have been doomed.
I won the diamond trick in dummy,
cashed the top clubs and ruffed a club.
When East showed out on the third
round of clubs I had an almost perfect
count on the hand.
From his enthusiastic double of
the final contract, I placed West with
♠K-Q-x, to go with his three hearts,
two diamonds and five clubs.
In order to strip
him of safe exit
cards, I ruffed
my two winning
hearts in dummy
and ruffed two
further clubs in
my hand, coming
to the end position below.
I now played
the ♦K and West
was left without
If he ruffed
small I would
over ruff, and if
he ruffed high
he would be end
played – having
to lead away from
his second spade
honour into my
♠ J 7
♠ K Q 2
♠ A 10
4♠ doubled and made at both tables –
another boring flat board!
Page 5
In My O
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Mrs B Marks, London N2.
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Mr A Corker, Bromley, Kent.
Mr G Tomacelli, London SW3.
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Mrs J Breeze, Wolverhampton.
Mrs D Hibberts, Alsager.
Mrs U Ings, Beckenham.
Mr R Mitchell, Edenbridge.
Mrs E P Lewis, Southwold.
Buchanan Bridge Club, Glasgow.
Mr J Miller, Loughborough.
Mr Peter Ashby, London W13.
Mr Lothian, Gosforth.
Mrs M Shephard, Ferndown.
Mrs L Ross, Inverness.
Mrs M Johnson, Solihull.
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Mrs Hawkins, Guildford.
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Mrs Pam Nicoll, Aberdeenshire.
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A great big thank you from
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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa.
Please keep saving stamps
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Page 6
How the E
by Andrew
The September issue of BRIDGE starts with an opinion on why the number o
sometimes counterproductive way the EBU conducts itself. I would certainly not b
The Shareholders
Why is the EBU like this? The EBU is a
democracy. Counties are shareholders
and, each year, have the opportunity
to vote candidates onto the EBU board
and its committees.
Fine in theory, but how about in
You can divide players into many
categories, but it is not unreasonable
to divide them into two groups.
First there are social players who
want to improve their game but don’t
take it too seriously. Second, there are
competitive players for whom bridge is
often a huge part of their lives.
The first group is far bigger than
the second, but inevitably it is the
second group that puts up candidates
for EBU elections. The delegates who
volunteer to represent their counties
at the shareholders’ meeting also tend
to belong to the second group, so if a
more social player decided to stand
he won’t be known to the voters. So it
is inevitable that the EBU board and
committees are dominated by fairly
serious players. They mean well and
put a huge amount of unpaid effort
into the task, but they simply don’t
understand Mr and Mrs Bloggs who
play once a week for social reasons at
a small village club, or for that matter
the difficulties faced by Mr Director
who puts in a huge effort to run his
small club as a one man operation.
I have no obvious answer to this,
but the results are often detrimental
to the future of bridge and this has
been going on for years. The history of
EBUTA (the EBU teaching association
which is vital in bringing in new
players) demonstrates this.
In the early 1980s EBUTA was an elitist organisation. I had to pass a written exam to achieve the qualification
which included advance squeezes.
Membership of EBUTA was about 150
and there was a huge parallel world
of teaching that had no contact with
EBUTA. Then a new member of the
board was given responsibility for
education, Tom Bradley. He was probably the only member of the board
with any real interest in education so I
doubt if he had to fend off huge opposition, but it was a revolutionary move
because Tom understood that personal qualities were more important
to most bridge teaching than expert
bridge knowledge. Tom effectively
sacked the bridge elite (and had to put
up with enormous personal vilification) and appointed Pat Husband, a
retired further education teacher and
vice principal, to run EBUTA; Pat was
a visionary. She understood the need
for ‘Best behaviour at Bridge’ even
though the name was not there. Pat
understood the problem of introducing beginners to a club where a single
example of rudeness, criticism or other unpleasantness could undo years of
hard work by a teacher. She realised
that the first requirement of bridge
teachers was the ability to motivate
and communicate. She also realised
that the right approach was to bring
the parallel world of teaching into
EBUTA and help them gradually improve, both in their teaching skills and
bridge ability. There were an awful lot
of bridge experts who made simplistic and quite nasty comments about
members of EBUTA.
BRIDGE December 2016
EBU Works
Denham Grove
Near Uxbridge, UB9 5DG
w Kambites
of bridge players seems to be declining. The writer refers to the ineffective and
blame the EBU for everything, but it is interesting to look at how the EBU works.
I was privileged to work closely with
Pat. Membership of EBUTA soared
to above 1,000. Each year, we had a
weekend jamboree for teachers, and
frequently over 100 attended. There
were sessions to improve their teaching skills as well as sessions to help
their understanding of bridge. Teachers shared their experiences and skills
with others. Minibridge became part
of the learning process. Some years
later Sandra Landy was brought in to
help develop the ‘Bridge for All’ programme. The idea behind this was
originally to help teachers. Good materials were produced, and a simple
system of Acol called ‘Standard English’ was made available. I won’t say
that the process was entirely smooth
but EBUTA and teaching flourished.
However, the EBU board made a fatal
mistake. It decided that in order to recoup as quickly as possible the financial outlay they had made in ‘Bridge
for All’, teachers should be co-erced
to use the materials. It was made clear
that the EBU did not welcome other
teachers. The results were predictable.
Many teachers had been using their
own materials successfully for years
and would not be co-erced into paying
for materials they didn’t want. They
left EBUTA. Pat fell out badly with the
EBU and left. I was at the last jamboree with just 25 teachers present when
John Pain, now the education manager, had to explain that the EBU board
had recognised its mistake and that all
teachers were welcome in EBUTA. EBUTA has steadily recovered ever since.
This demonstrates that people without understanding make decisions that
tend to shoot themselves in the proverbial foot. Sometimes, the results can
BRIDGE December 2016
have very disturbing consequences.
I was heavily involved in junior
bridge in the early 2000s. Effectively,
teachers like me who believed it was
vital to involve the parents and take
an interest in the whole person (eg
encourage academic success) brought
juniors into the system and then saw
responsibility pass to the selection
committee who had little understanding of the issues facing young people.
I remember when Steve Eginton was
elected to the selection committee, he
told me that the first time he realised
they had responsibility for juniors was
at the first meeting. Steve took the creditable view that if he had responsibility
for juniors he should at least try to get
to know them, and attended some junior events, which is more than most of
them did. The consequences were dire:
the junior scene was full of unpleasant
behaviour, bullying and even drugs.
Young people with mental health
problems and personality disorders (eg
Asperger’s syndrome) were not understood and often dominated the scene.
I can remember having a frank exchange of views with the chairman of
selectors which ended with him telling
me that he was elected and I wasn’t, so
his views would prevail. I wrote to the
secretary of every county association
about the junior scene and with their
outrage, the EBU was forced to accept
its responsibilities. I am now out of
touch with junior bridge, but Michael
Byrne is to be highly commended on
his efforts with the Under 20s.
In summary, the EBU has to get
to the point where people who make
decisions listen to those it affects and
have an understanding of all the consequences. It has a long way to go. ■
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Page 7
Catching Up with Sally Brock
lot of this catching-up period
was filled with not doing particularly well in the World
Bridge Games in Wroclaw, Poland. It
was a nice town and the playing conditions were particularly good. The
venue was the Hala Stulecia, a magnificent collection of exhibition spaces set
in beautiful grounds. In the breaks, we
had lunch on a long terrace facing an
amazing array of fountains. Every so
often, the fountains ‘danced’ in time to
music that was played over loud speakers, magnificently choreographed,
with rainbows forming where the sunlight caught the water.
The town was very pleasant too, bigger than I had expected. Near our hotel,
the railway arches had been converted
into small eateries and bars – lovely to
sit out in the mild evenings and have a
drink and supper. The only drawback
was the distance between the venue
and the hotel, but taxis were cheap so
it was not a serious problem.
We plodded along in the Round
Robin, without inspiration, but never
in any danger of not qualifying. Theoretically, it is good to be in the top four
because then you can choose your opponents from fifth through eighth in
the other group. I guess that can be
quite an advantage if you are going to
finish first or second, but otherwise
it doesn’t really matter. And we can
all lose to anyone and beat anyone,
depending on the day. We qualified
in sixth place, and played our Round
of 16 match against Italy. We started
well, and continued even better, winning pretty decisively with all our team
playing well.
That qualified us for a quarter-final
match against China. We started OK,
but had a bad second set, leaving us a
dozen or so down. Sets three, four and
five were more or less level, so we had
everything to play for. However, the
Chinese played excellently in the last
set and we didn’t really have any opportunities. They ran out winners by
26 IMPs.
I was keen to get home, and so
Page 8
bought a new flight, leaving at lunchtime on the Wednesday. Briony picked
me up from the airport and it was good
to have a couple of extra days in my life
(though I obviously would have preferred to win).
The Thursday was the last brilliant
day of summer. I allowed myself to be
persuaded into actually getting into a
kayak. Once I got in it was lovely, paddling up and down the Grand Union
Canal though somehow Briony glided
along effortlessly while I seemed to
have to work quite hard to make little
progress. However, I’m definitely going
to do it again (but maybe not in winter).
The Sunday was Briony’s 21st birthday. Having been away for her eighteenth I was delighted that I was able to
be there for her twenty-first. In honour
of the occasion, Toby came out and we
had a lovely evening on the Saturday,
playing games, eating good food and
finally watching a truly terrible movie.
On the day itself, at her request, we
drove to Bournemouth where she and
Toby had booked a surfing lesson. In
the event the sea was too calm so they
had to settle for paddle boarding instead. Still, they had a good time. It was
a lovely day and I enjoyed sitting in the
sun watching them.
The following week was mostly spent
getting back to normal. On the Thursday, my American friend Karen and
husband Alex arrived. They had been
travelling in Poland after the World
Bridge Games finished and were due
some time in the UK before travelling
home. I arranged a dinner party in
their honour on the Thursday which
was good fun, and then on the Friday
we went into London and I played with
Karen at the Young Chelsea. It must
have been 25 years since we last played
but at least we managed to win. We all
stayed in Barry’s small flat. Then we
went off to Israel, while they travelled
to see relatives in the north in my car
before dropping it off at Luton Airport
for me to collect on my return.
Israel. What can I say? It was just
fabulous. We started with two nights
staying in the Old City in Jerusalem.
Everything was amazing, if a bit exhausting – so many steps. Then we
picked up a hire car and drove to the
Dead Sea. The main purpose of the trip
was Ben and Dana’s wedding on the
Friday, but on the Tuesday there was a
reception at her parents’ home just east
of Jerusalem. That was a great evening
that started with a walk through the
village’s pomegranate farm. The next
day we set off for Haifa for a couple of
nights, then took the car back to Tel
Aviv where we met up with the bus
taking other guests to the wedding. We
arrived at about four and after a quick
wash and change joined in proceedings.
After a drink and a snack we all went
a short way out of the village where
they had the chuppah on top of a hill.
They made their vows to each other,
the principal guests also gave blessing,
and we all had a glass of wine and some
bread. Then the sun set. Fabulous. The
eating, drinking and dancing went on
all night I believe but we gave up just
before midnight – suddenly I have
become one of the ‘oldies’ when once
upon a time I was one of the youngest.
How did that happen? In the morning
we woke up early and decided to walk
down to the village – about 2km. We
were slightly concerned that we might
get lost in the desert. When there, we
helped ourselves to breakfast – salad,
cheese, eggs, bread – and coffee and
tea brewed on an open fire. There were
various activities going on – a photography workshop which started at 6am,
camel rides for the stout-hearted, for
example. Then the bus arrived to take
us back to Tel Aviv. We got a taxi to
take us to our hostel in Jaffa – we have
mostly stayed in hostels – lovely old
buildings, with huge rooms, but fairly
basic facilities. On the Sunday morning, there was just time for a walk in
the old port, before heading to the airport. The journey home was without
incident, including the worrying bit
which was finding where Karen and
Alex had left my car.
BRIDGE December 2016
Conventions Part 24 with Jeremy Dhondy
Part 2
he Lebensohl article in the
previous issue covered what
happens after your side opens
1NT and the other side intervene at
the two level.
Once this idea became established
in the 1970s, minds turned to how
the principle could be extended. One
consequence of this is that it reduced
the number of times 2NT was natural
in any competitive auction. It used
to irritate a teammate of mine to the
point that he insisted that the phrase
‘unless 2NT is specifically discussed
it is always natural’ was written into
the team system notes. That, at least,
avoids misunderstanding but there are
situations where Lebensohl can help
make auctions more precise.
After your side
doubles a weak two
Consider the following pair of hands.
On each of them the auction has
double. On the second hand, you wish
to suggest game if he has a reasonable
hand. How do you do this? If you don’t
play Lebensohl, you pretty much have
to bid game on the second hand.
In principle, if you take out partner’s
double to a suit at the three level, you
could have a one count or a ten count
and partner has to guess. Lebensohl
removes part of the guess. With the
first hand, you bid 2NT and when
partner bids 3♣ you bid 3♥ to say, ‘All
I wanted was to play here.’ If you hold
the second hand you bid 3♥ directly
to say, ‘I have hearts and would like to
suggest game.’
What to do with
a very good hand
There is one very important difference
between these sequences and one
where 1NT was opened and the next
hand bid.
When the sequence starts:
You hold either of these hands:
West’s opening bid is within quite a
narrow range (say 12-14) and he will
always bid 3♣ now allowing East to
show his hand, but in sequences such
as the one above where it has started:
♠ 7 5
♠ 7 5
♥ K J 9 6 4
♥ K Q 9 6 4
♦ 8 4 3 2
♦ A 4 3 2
♣ Q 3
♣ J 3
On the first hand, you simply wish
to get out alive at the lowest level and
(probably) play in hearts. Partner will
have some hearts for his take-out
BRIDGE December 2016
Now East can have anything from a
shapely 12 count to a block busting 22
count so he cannot afford to rebid 3♣
on all hands.
Suppose the sequence has started as
above. The doubler might have:
♠ 9 6
♥ K J 8 6
♦ A Q 7 5
♣ K 9 5
With a minimum take-out double, he
would bid 3♣ and be happy to play in
a part score if partner had a weak hand.
If, on the other hand, he had:
♠ A 4
♥ K J 8 6
♦ A Q 7 5
♣ K Q 9
He would be worried about missing
a game. He might overcall 2NT over
the opening 2♠ bid with this hand, but
with only one stop and being playable
in the other three suits, he might prefer to double. After a double and a 2NT
response, his rebid should be 3♦ showing a diamond suit and a strong hand
(usually 18+). East could, of course, be
even stronger. Suppose he had:
♠ Q 7
♥ A J 9 5
♦ A K Q 6 2
♣ A Q
He would double the 2♠ opening and
after a 2NT response would be too
strong to bid 3♦ so would cue bid the
opponents’ suit. The auction would go:
West North
Page 9
Mr Bridge 2017
Now you are expected to bid 3NT, with
some help in spades and a few points,
and your lowest four card suit if you
have nothing, so with:
Trouville Hotel
♠ A 9 6
♥ 7 4
♦ J 4 3
♣ J 7 6 5 4
You would bid 3NT over 3♠.
If on the other hand you held:
Sandown, Isle of Wight
23-27 February £399
Slam Bidding
hosted by Bernard Magee
Inn on the Prom
St Anne’s on Sea FY8 1LU
7-9 March £245
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Hosted by Bernard Magee
7-9 July £189
Just Duplicate1
Hosted by Patrick Dunham
28-30 July £199
Game Tries
Hosted by Gwen Beattie
Full Board
No Single Supplement2
( 01483 489961
for any new dates
Please note there are no seminars,
set hands or prizes at these events.
subject to availability
Page 10
♠ 10 9 6
♥ 7 4
♦ J 4 3
♣ J 7 6 5 4
♠ 7 5
♥ K 7 5
♦ A Q 7 5 3
♣ A J 6
Here you will bid 3NT. You don’t have
four hearts but you know partner has
a spade stop, so you hope that will be
enough. 5♦ might be better but you
can’t find out and that is, of course,
why opponents pre-empt against you.
If you have game values but neither
a four-card major nor a stop you can
bid as follows:
You would bid 4♣ and cross your
Is all this perfect? Certainly not.
You can have hands which don’t work
very well for these methods. The point
is that if you and your partner are
prepared to do the work to learn the
methods, then more hands will work
for you than with standard methods.
When playing Lebensohl after a
1NT opening, you could also cater for
hands where partner had four cards in
the other major with or without a stop
and the values for game. You can do
the same after a weak two.
Suppose you have the following
hand after the auction has started:
This shows a hand with game values,
no stop and without four hearts. A
typical hand might be:
Two other common positions which
occur and you ought to have some
agreement about, even if it is only, ‘We
do not play it here,’ are:
♠ K 9 6
♥ A Q 9 6
♦ K 9 4 2
♣ Q 4
You have a game forcing hand and
the likely games are 3NT or 4♥ so you
want to keep both in the picture. You
can bid 3♠ with this hand. It shows
both a four-card heart suit and also a
stop in spades so partner can choose.
He could, of course, have an awkward
hand such as:
♠ 8 5 2
♥ A 9
♦ K J 7 6
♣ A Q 6 5
You may not get to a making game but
you will give yourself the best chance
of doing so.
Lebensohl Positions
l after your side have overcalled 1NT
lafter the opponents have opened a
1♥1NT 2♥
Imagine an auction above. The rules
here are very much the same as if
partner had opened 1NT. If you bid
at the three level, then that is natural
and shows some values. If your 1NT
overcall is 15-18, then a free bid at the
BRIDGE December 2016
three level should show about 6-8.
You might have:
♠ K 6 4
♥ 4 2
♦ K J 7 5 2
♣ 10 9 5
You can bid 3♦. If your hand had five
or six diamonds and fewer points,
you could bid 2NT first to show a
weaker hand. All the same rules about
showing stops and four cards in the
other major continue to apply. A hand
for bidding 3♦ via 2NT might be:
♠ 6 4 2
♥ 4 2
♦ K Q 7 5 2
♣ 10 9 5
♠ 7 5
♥ J 9 5
♦ K J 6 5 4 3
♣ 8 3
♠ 7 5
♥ A Q 7 5 3
♦ Q J 6
♣ 10 9 5
The auction might go:
If you were much weaker than this you
would just pass.
If your opponents open a multi then
you bid as if they have opened a weak
two. Suppose you hold:
You are able to show your decent
diamond suit when playing Lebensohl
because you also know you are not
promising the earth when you do so.
You have shown a few values, because
with absolutely nothing you just pass.
You have also caused your opponents
to be uncertain as to which major the
opener has.
When players make pass or correct
bids such as the 2♥ bid above, then
you should treat it as artificial so that
if you held:
The auction might go:
West North
All Pass
About 13-16 fairly balanced Pass or bid 2♠
West North
All Pass
About 13-16 fairly balanced
Pass or bid 2♠
Natural and about 8-11
near Uxbridge, Bucks, UB9 5DG.
13-16 Jan 2017
Friday – Monday
Friday – Sunday
Full Board
No Single Supplement1
Limited places for Thursday night available. £65pp single, £45pp double/twin.
A bid of either major is natural. Very
More Signalling
occasionally, you might hit their sixcard major, but so infrequently it is
4-4-4-1 Hands
better to bid naturally.
Drawing Trumps
Incidentally, as an aside to the
main purpose of this article, knowing
Five-card Majors
when you can bid your major after
a multi sequence reduces the conFundamentals of
fusion it can cause by a good 30%.
If you do have a game forcing hand
Supporting Minors
and nowhere clear to go you can double
2♥ on the auction above. This just
shows values and not necessarily
l If you choose to play 2NT as Lebensohl in situations other than after a
1NT opening, be careful to define what they are.
l Playing Lebensohl after the opponents open a weak two and partner
doubles is quite common, but you need to allow for the doubler to have
a very good hand. If he has, he is not compelled to bid 3♣, but may bid
a suit of his own (good hand) or cue bid the opponents’ suit (very good
l When defending against a multi, whether you play Lebensohl or not,
then know which bids of a major are natural.
BRIDGE December 2016
6 seminar sessions
with Bernard2
6 sessions
of supervised play3
Contact Mr Bridge
to book your place
or for further details:
( 01483 489961
Subject to availability 2Filmed
Not with Bernard Magee
Page 11
David Stevenson Answers Your Questions on Laws and Ethics
Double of 1NT
My partner
opened 1NT (1214 points) and my
RHO doubled. I asked his
partner, ‘Is it penalty?’
and he replied, ‘No, it’s
a take-out double.’
He should have
alerted it, but he didn’t,
therefore I passed and
then he changed his
mind and he passed.
I called the director
and his reply was that
he can change his
mind. I was under the
impression that he is
not allowed to change
his mind and that he
should be penalised.
Niranjan Doshi,
Harrow, Middx.
Doubles of notrumps are different
from the general
rules over alerting: they are
penalties without an alert.
Since you asked, it does not
matter whether it was alerted.
Any take-out double may
be passed, and perhaps a
take-out double of 1NT is
more likely to be passed
than other take-out doubles.
So if he plays it as takeout, but decided to pass it
because of his hand, that
is perfectly legal. It is quite
Page 12
dangerous to pass if you
have an unbalanced hand
and partner’s 1NT is doubled
for take-out: you should
probably bid anyway.
However, if he did change
his mind and decided it
was for penalties before he
passed, he should have told
you. The director should
have allowed you to take
your pass back. If he did not
do so and it was a penalty
double, then the director
might adjust the score.
The following
occurred at our
weekly duplicate
evening. Our opponents’
convention cards had
1♦ as 11-19 HCP. Dealer
(RHO) opened 1♦ with
a flat hand and only
five points, just the king
and queen in the fourcard suit. After I passed,
with another flat hand
and eight points, his
partner also passed.
His hand was also flat
but had seven points all
in the other three suits.
Surely he should have
responded 1NT in this
situation and had no
good reason whatsoever
for not doing so. My
partner with 20 points,
doubled (also a flat
hand). Dealer passed
and we finished in 4♠
in a seven-card fit.
We made the contract,
but got a bottom, as
the other pairs played
in 3NT making +1 and
+2. This was due to our
opponents’ bidding
preventing my partner
from opening the
bidding with 2NT.
Is the dealer’s opening
bid OK and is his
partner’s pass in this
situation somewhat
questionable? Finally
should we have asked
for the director’s ruling?
Ray Andrews by email.
Certainly, you
should ask for a
director’s ruling. It
does not matter whether
you know the rules or not,
if something happens that
you are suspicious about,
then you report it to the
director and if he says that
it is legal and acceptable,
then you accept that and
you have lost nothing.
In this case, as director,
I would have asked dealer
why he bid 1♦. I would
have asked responder why
he did not respond. What
I would have done next
depends on the answers.
For example, dealer may
have psyched, deliberately
opened on a very weak
hand so as to try to stop you
getting to your best spot. That
is perfectly legal, and seems
to have worked. On the other
hand, if this is a normal
opening bid for them, then
it is an illegal agreement,
the board gets cancelled
and you get average plus.
The failure to respond is
quite surprising. Of course,
players do some very
strange things and I have
certainly known people
pass on this sort of hand,
saying something silly to
partner such as, ‘I did not
have a biddable suit.’ That
is why the director should
ask him why he passed.
However, if it was a psyche,
then the pass looks like
fielding, in which case, the
director would cancel the
board, give you average plus
and penalise them as well.
South is poised to
open the bidding
when West
BRIDGE December 2016
starts to bid out of turn
by tabling a stop card.
South says it is his bid,
but what is the ruling?
West has obviously not
made a bid, but has
given unauthorised
Alastair Love,
Monkton, Combe, Bath.
Exactly: the call has
not been made, so
the stop card goes
back in the box, and it is
unauthorised information to
partner, though authorised
to the opponents. Partner
is required to avoid gaining
in any way from the sight
of the stop card. If it is felt
that he has taken any action
that could benefit from it,
the director might adjust
the score afterwards.
Playing in my
local club with
an occasional
partner, I held:
♠ 7 6 3
♥ A 10 9
♦ A 5
♣ A K 10 9 7
WestNorth East South
4NT Pass 5♦1
Partner started to bid 5♥, then
altered it to 5♦.
We hadn’t discussed
what form of Blackwood
we were using. It
seemed to me that she
had shown the key
card response, then
corrected it to standard.
Uncertain what to do, I
bid 5♠, trying to avoid
any suggestion of
being influenced by the
‘nearly’ 5♥ bid. What
BRIDGE December 2016
is the legal position?
Angela Gilbert, Cardiff.
Clearly the director
must be called. If
partner attempted to
bid 5♥ and changed it, I think
we may safely assume that
the call had come out of the
bidding box. In which case
the 5♥ call has been made,
and the director will decide
between two possibilities.
Your partner may have
meant to bid 5♦ all along
and accidentally pulled
the wrong card out: if the
director decides this is
what happened, then he
will allow the change to
5♦ and it is as though the
5♥ bid never existed.
Your partner may have
meant to bid 5♥ originally
and changed her mind,
possibly realising that you
had not agreed on a form
of Blackwood. Assuming the
opponents do not condone
the change (they do have that
right), the 5♥ bid stands, and
the attempt to change to 5♦
is unauthorised information
for you. You must do your
best to take no advantage
of the attempt to change the
bid. Since from your hand,
you know that 5♥ shows
♠A-K but denies the ♠Q, it
may not matter, since any
final contract except 6♠ (or
possibly 6NT) seems unlikely.
Alerting (except
for doubles) is
based mainly on
two simple rules. First, you
alert artificial calls. Second
you alert natural calls with
a surprising meaning.
So fourth suit forcing
is alerted because it is
artificial. The fact that it
is part of basic Acol these
days does not matter.
On the other hand,
standard trial bids are
natural. Of course, they can
be made on three card suits
sometimes, but so long as
they show three or more,
they are natural. Since they
are not a surprise, being
the normal way to play such
bids, they are not alertable.
My partner wants
to play a 2NT
opening bid as
5-5 either in the majors
or the minors. The
Blue Book I read says
we may only do this
in the minors. Is this
the current ruling?
Tony Richards, Woking.
Owing to a change
by the EBU Laws and
Ethics Committee,
which loosened the rules
for 2NT openings, this is
now permitted in events
in England and Wales.
Several trained
directors are
telling me that
fourth suit forcing is
alertable as it is a
convention. I think I
have read an article
somewhere saying that
FSF, as part of the basic
Acol system, does not
need to be alerted.
Perhaps trial bids also
fit into this category?
Liz Bretherton, Birmingham.
I am secretary
of The Sidmouth
Bridge Club
and have received a
complaint from two
keen bridge playing
members regarding the
shuffling of the cards.
This is usually done by
members prior to the
beginning of a session. It
seems some are dealing
three or four cards into
a hand at a time, thus
producing many six-card
suits per deal. These
members claim that this
is illegal – and interferes
with the probabilities.
We do not belong to
the EBU and set our
own Constitution. Are
they correct? How does
this affect probability
assessment? Surely it’s
the same for everyone
so still a fair competition.
Is this just a moral
issue? I would be
grateful for your advice
before I take any
action to rectify this as
the complainers want
the shufflers to sign
when they shuffle.
Jean O’Donnell, Sidmouth.
Whether you are
a member of the
EBU or not, you
are playing duplicate
bridge and that means the
rules must be followed.
To deal in threes is illegal
and you should stop the
practice. The laws of bridge
state that when dealing,
consecutive cards may not
go into the same hand.
In the following
hand, South
opened 1♦
and West overcalled
with 3NT. There is
no conventional
agreement between
the E/W partnership.
♠ 7 2
♥ 4 3
♣ A K Q 9 8 6 5 4
Can you please tell
me whether the 3NT
bid is alertable?
Dilip Mithani by email.
Page 13
If there is no
agreement, then the
call is not alertable.
Soon after I
began playing
duplicate, I
learned from a director
that at the start of each
session, he decided –
based on the number
of tables/boards – how
much time would be
allowed for the requisite
number of hands being
played. He compiled his
timetable on a scrap of
paper and based his
timetable on a simple
formula: five minutes per
board + five minutes.
A three-board format
gives 20 minutes, a
four-board format 25
minutes. At the end of
that period, he called,
‘Move Please,’ and if
dummy’s cards were not
down, the table would be
told that they could not
play that hand and would
take an average. Many
years later, when I began
directing, I followed
the same practice.
Recently, when play
seemed unusually slow at
one or two tables, I asked
the director how long
he allowed and he said
it was standard practice
now to allow 21 or 22
minutes for three boards.
What do you think?
Ted Gibbins, Alsager.
I suppose the most
common view is 22
minutes for three
boards, but in a club it really
depends on what players
are used to. A senior director
has recommended seven
minutes a board plus one
minute: my own view is that
seven minutes per board
plus two minutes is closer.
Page 14
The method taught to
you by the director all those
years ago is illegal. Once
the bidding has started, the
board may not be stopped.
It is not just illegal but
unnecessary: if you move the
room and some tables are
behind they usually catch up.
You should not allow a board
to be played at all if they
have not started the bidding
when you move them. Even
then ‘taking an average’ is
not acceptable: normal is
average minus unless only
one pair is at fault, in which
case the non-offending
side get average plus.
East was declarer
and on lead.
After some
thought, he selected a
card from his hand and
lowered it to the table.
It didn’t touch the table
but both opponents saw
the card (♦7). He then
returned the card to his
hand and played the ♠5.
North and South
protested and then called
the director. East said
that he had changed his
mind and decided that
he didn’t want to play the
♦7 after all. The director
ruled that because the ♦7
was seen by North and
South, he couldn’t retract
it. What would you have
ruled? What about his
change of mind? And
what becomes of the ♠5?
David Bowers by email.
A card is not played
by declarer until he
puts it on the table
and leaves it there, or holds
it stationary just above the
table. So if he takes it out
of his hand, takes it down
towards the table and takes
it back immediately then
it has not been played
and can be changed.
Whether it actually touches
the table, and whether it
is seen by either or both
defenders is irrelevant.
you ask for
comments about
Russian Scoring. I have
used this method or a
similar scoring table – so
called Russian method.
I agree it is a bit of a
bother to compare and
IMP after each hand, so
I tend to do this after
a round of Chicago – ie
after four deals. This can
be quite an interesting
exercise just as when
your teammates return
to the home table.
I am not entirely happy
with the actual scores
listed. For example, a
3NT contract is generally
possible with 25-26 high
card points and, if made
exactly, would score at
normal duplicate either
400 or 600 depending
on vulnerability. The
Russian scoring gives
considerably lower
scores. This is an obvious
fault and begs the
question as to how these
scores were formulated.
Tony Cordery by email.
I believe they were
based on a lot
of deals in major
events. With 25-26 high
card points, I would certainly
expect to play in 3NT but I
would not expect to make
it that often. At teams, you
are expected to reach 45%
games not vulnerable, and
36% games vulnerable, so
when you bid 3NT on 25
points you would expect to
go off at least half the time.
Sitting East, as
declarer, I named
the card to be
played from dummy. My
partner said, ‘You are
in hand.’ South said he
accepted the lead from
dummy. I said I would
lead from my hand, but
South said it was his
prerogative to choose
which hand I led from. I
complied with his request.
However, on checking
Law 55 B2, it seems I
should have led from the
correct hand. What is the
ruling in such a case?
I also see from Law
43 that dummy should
not have told me I
had played from the
wrong hand. I know we
should have called the
director, but the South
player has experience
as a director and I
accepted his statement.
Elaine Slinn,
Easter Kinkell, Dingwall.
It is true that dummy
has no rights to tell
you when you have
led from the wrong hand,
even though dummies often
do. He is allowed to warn
you not to before you do
so, but once you have done
so he should stay quiet.
Any lead out of turn may
be accepted by the opponents
and this is often done without
the director. So South was
right that he could either
accept or refuse the lead. Law
55A says the defenders may
accept the wrong lead, Law
55B deals with refusing the
wrong lead.
E-mail your questions (including your postal address)
on bridge laws to: [email protected]
BRIDGE December 2016
by Julian Pottage
(Answers on page 27)
ou are East in the defensive positions below playing
matchpoint pairs with North-South vulnerable. Both sides
are using Acol with a 12-14 1NT and 2♣ Stayman.
1. ♠ 10 5 2
♥ A K 6
♦ A K 8 6
♣ K 9 4
10 8 7 4
3. ♠ A 3
♥ Q J 9 6
♦ A Q J
♣ A 9 7 4
Q 10
K Q 10 6 5 3
WestNorth East South
Pass 4♠ All Pass
6-10 with six spades
WestNorth East South
1♠ Dbl 1NTPass
2♠ DblPass 3♥
All Pass
Partner leads the ♣7. You
win with the ♣Q. What is
your plan?
Partner leads the ♣2: ♣4,
♣Q and ♣8. What do you
return and why?
l Making
in No-trumps
l Making Overtricks
in Suit Contracts
the Hand
l Trump Reductions
& Coups
l Playing Doubled
l Safety Plays
l Basics
2. ♠ A 10 9
♥ Q 6
♦ K J 6
♣ Q 10 6 5 3
WestNorth East South
Pass 2♣2♥3♣
3♥4♠ All Pass
Partner leads the ♥A. What
is your plan?
4. ♠ A K J 10 7 3
♥ A K J 6
♦ 8 5
♠ 5 4
♦ K J 10 3 2
♣ J 9 8 7 5
WestNorth East South
1NT Dbl Rdbl12♥
Pass 4♥4NT2Pass
5♣5♥ All Pass
An unspecified 5+-card suit
Both minors
Partner leads the ♣K (from
A-K or K-Q at the five level
or higher). What do you
play on this trick and if
partner switches to the ♦A?
l Weak Twos
l Strong Hands
to Weak Twos
l Defence to 1NT
l Defences to
Other Systems
l Misfits and
Strong No-Trump
Opening Bids
& Responses
l No-Trump
l Support
for Partner
l Slams £66
& Strong Openings
l Rebids
l Minors
& Misfits
l Pre-empting
l Doubles
l Overcalls
l Competitive Auctions
l Acol
(see p45)
(see p47)
l Defence
(see p49)
( 01483 489961
System: MAC OSX (Intel chip), Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10, CD ROM
BRIDGE December 2016
Page 15
Seven Days
by Sally Brock
I get up early – I have somehow got
into bad habits and have so much
going on that early is better. I do my
exercise regime – I really need the
actual exercises, I think, maybe more
than the cardiovascular stuff. I feel so
creaky these days – it’s so hard to put
my socks on, or put nail varnish on my
toes. Then I get on with work, but the
first day home is mostly dealing with
emails etc, so apart from clearing the
decks I don’t achieve much. Later on I
drive into London to play at the Young
I’m sure I must have mentioned in
these pages that I am now in charge
of the English U26 women. I started
out intending to have squad weekends
like the other squads (as well as
mine, there are age group squads for
both sexes: U26, U21 and U16), but
that didn’t seem to work so well so I
have come up with several different
initiatives, and one of them is that on
the first Monday of the month, any
squad members who can make it to
the Young Chelsea will be able to play
with a top class female player. This is
the first of those, and although there
is only a small take-up, it seems to go
well and everyone likes the idea. I play
with Laura, and Margaret plays with
11-year-old Jasmine. Margaret and I
are both impressed with the level of
play of our partners. We go through
the card in the bar afterwards and as
usual it is surprising how much comes
up in one evening. I can have a drink
or two as I am staying over at Barry’s.
When I have driven to Barry’s and
stay over, I need to get up to feed the
meter at 9 o’clock. So on a normal day
that means I might as well leave then
to drive home. I am expecting a visit
Page 16
from my computer whizz, Lee. Every
now and then he comes to update both
my computers and keep me more or
less up to date – that’s as well as being
on hand if any crisis strikes. We have
known each other for 15 years or so,
and it’s good to catch up. I get some
work done and later on Briony and I go
out for dinner to The Giggling Squid,
a small Thai franchise that has opened
up in Berkhamsted. We were attracted
by the name, which I didn’t really feel
it quite lived up to. Later on, we enjoy a
movie together and get an early night.
option, which makes it easy for us to
pass it from time to time. I have passed
it previously on hands where I knew
we had no major-suit fit but I talked
about it with my Canadian friends
in Poland and they told me of a hand
where one of them passed it with K-Qx-x-x-x in spades and they played in 2♦
going seven down when they had a 6-6
spade fit. But the opponents were cold
for slam. Accordingly, when Barry
opens 2♦ at love all and the next hand
passes, I pass too, holding:
I’m being good this week at getting up
early and doing my exercise regime.
I’m not sure it is doing my aches and
pains any good – but I guess it will
take time. Briony and I both have dates
in London today and get the same
train in. She has a meeting, and I am
playing with Allie at the Acol. We have
switched to a strong no-trump, fivecard major system so there are a few
inevitable bidding misunderstandings,
but generally things go our way and
we score over 68% to head the 50-pair
field. Afterwards we go through the
boards, and then I get the train home.
I do some work for a while and then go
with Briony for a swim. Apparently, in
Chesham there is the only ‘eco-pool’
in the country. It is a heated outdoor
pool, open all the year around, with
no chlorine. Certainly it is lovely –
surrounded by plants and flowers. I
plod up and down eight lengths in the
same time it takes Briony to do 18.
Later she goes off to work while I have
an online session with Richard and
This board was fun. We play that
a Multi 2♦ opening has no strong
♠ K J 9 7 5 4 2
♥ J 7 6
♣ 5 3
That leaves fourth hand a bit stuck as
he holds:
♥ 5 3 2
♦ A K Q J 9 6
♣ A Q J 6
After much thought he settles for a
pass. Barry has no aces and only four
small cards in the minors. He makes
no tricks at all but the opponents are
cold for a grand slam in either minor
or no-trumps. However, the standard
of the BBO game is not that high and
we only gain 3 IMPs.
In the evening I get the train
into London to stay at Barry’s in
preparation for our quarter-final Gold
Cup match tomorrow.
We roll up at the Young Chelsea for
our 11am start. Our opposition are
Simon Cope, Peter Crouch, Joe FawBRIDGE December 2016
cett, Nicola Smith and Roman Smolski. Roman is
a friend from a long time
back. About 25 years ago, he
got married and moved to
Bermuda. A year or so ago
his wife died and he is back
on the scene – one of my favourite people, it was a real
pleasure to see him again.
The match starts well.
We gain on the first three
sets and are 34 up when
we break for a buffet lunch.
This is one of our gains:
Dealer West. Game All.
♠ J 10 6 3
♥ 7 6
♦ K 8 6
♣ A J 10 8
♠ A K 9 8 5
♠ 7 2
♦ 10 4 WE ♦ Q J 9 7
5 3 2
♣ Q 9 7 4 3
♣ K 5 2
♠ Q 4
♥ A Q J 10 9 8 5 4 3
At the other table, West
opens 2♠, showing 5-5 in
spades and a minor. That
goes round to South who
bids 4♥, making 11 tricks. At
our table, West and North
both pass, and East decides
to be a bit imaginative and
opens a strong no-trump. I
overcall 4♥ and West bids
4♠. Barry doubles and East
removes to 5♦. I bid 5♥ and
West’s double ends the auction. West unwisely starts
with a diamond and now it
is a simple matter to make
an overtrick for +1050 and a
9 IMP swing.
I don’t know what they
put in the food, but it did
us no good. We lose most of
our lead over the next couple of sets and with one set
to go we are just 5 IMPs up.
This set is mostly flat with
the odd IMP here and there,
BRIDGE December 2016
but we miss a non-vulnerable game for a 6 IMP swing
out. Luckily, the three single IMP swings are in our
direction, though, so after
some nervous scoring we
win by 2 IMPs.
We go to Barry’s local
Indian for a curry and the
post-match hand analysis.
Then it’s all eyes on tomorrow and our semi-final
match against the Allfrey
The first set couldn’t have
gone better – we are 35
IMPs up at the end of it. For
the rest of the match, we
more or less manage to hold
on to our lead – up a few,
down a few – so that we are
still 30 up with one set to
go. Our card is so-so for the
first seven boards. It is possible we’ve lost some ground
but nothing terrible. This is
the final deal:
Dealer West. N/S Game.
♠ A 9 7 3
♥ A K 8
♦ A K 9 7 6
♠ 8 6 5 2
♥ 10 9 5
♥ Q 7 6 3 2
♦ J 8 5 4 S
♦ 10 2
♣ Q 9 7 5 4
♣ 10 3
♠ K Q J 10
♥ J 4
♦ Q 3
♣ A K 8 6 2
WestNorth East South
Pass 1♦1♥2♣
Pass 6♥Pass7♠
All Pass
I guess we are lucky they
didn’t psych entirely. I
(South) don’t know what to
do after Barry’s double. I
have such a good hand. 3♠
by me would be forcing, I
think, but (a) I don’t want to
risk it, and (b) I feel that it
doesn’t really get my hand
across. My spades are so
good I don’t mind if it is a
4-3 fit, so I think I will try to
suggest a slam-going hand
with no heart control. Barry
is now interested in a grand
slam and so cue bids his
first-round heart control. I
think I have enough to accept, but it is a bit nerveracking, thinking that the
match could depend on this
decision (though in fact it
There is nothing to the
play. I win the heart lead,
club to the ace, ruff a club
high, back to a trump, ruff
a club with the ♠9, back to
hand with a trump, draw
trumps and claim – for a
flat board. We lose 8 IMPs
on the set to win by 22.
After a drink in the Young
Chelsea bar, we go home,
exhausted (it’s hard playing 64 boards a day), via the
Japanese takeaway. All to
play for tomorrow.
It is not to be. We start badly, and then get worse, and
worser. We stage a mini rally
in the set after lunch, but
that still leaves us 50 down.
In the seventh set we decide
to swing it a bit and see what
happens, but we just lose
more and concede before
our deficit reaches three figures. Still it was a lot to ask
for from a team of four (we
have added another pair for
next year), and generally we
are pleased to have reached
the final (for the second year
running in our case). After
the bridge we are invited
back to the home of our opposing captain, Simon Gillis,
for a drink – or in my case,
rather too many drinks! ■
Sails from Southampton
20th January 2017
15 nights • Balmoral • L1702
Southampton • Alesund,
Norway • Harstead, Norway
• Alta, Finnmark, Norway
(overnight) • Tromso,
Norway (overnight)
• Molde, Norway • Bergen,
Norway • Southampton
Daily bridge on board, bridge fees
included. Mr Bridge welcome
& farewell drinks parties. Partners
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Great value Mr Bridge
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of lounges and facilities including a purpose built bridge room.
The CMV emphasis is very much on offering exceptional value and
Medieval Cities & River Seine Experience
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Sunday 28th May 2017
5 nights aboard Magellan
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12 nights aboard Magellan
London Tilbury - Antwerp (Belgium) - Rouen (France) Cruising River Seine - Le Havre (France) - Newport.
Includes coach from Newport to Tilbury
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9 nights aboard Magellan
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14 nights aboard Magellan
London Tilbury - Amsterdam (Netherlands) Hamburg (Germany, overnight) - Copenhagen (Denmark, overnight) Aalborg (Denmark) - London Tilbury.
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Benefits of travelling with Mr Bridge
• Mr Bridge host and team members on board
• Evening bridge every day
• Bridge on afternoons when the ship is at sea
• Any passengers travelling as a single will be found a bridge partner
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More Tips from Bernard Magee
Note the suits that need
leading from a particular hand
As declarer, when dummy
comes down, you should
assess which suits might need
to be led from a particular
hand, thus requiring an entry
or more to be used. Making
a plan to use your entries at
the right time is important.
4♠ by W. Lead: ♣K.
♠ K Q J 10 8 7
♠ A 6
♥ K Q 3 N
♥ 8 7 5
♦ A 4 WE
♦ 9 8 7 5 2
♣ 8 7
♣ A 3 2
You have eight top tricks so
need two more extra tricks.
Looking at dummy will tell
you that trumps and both
minor suits can be led from
either hand, but hearts
require a little more care. You
would like to try to make two
tricks from your hearts, but to
do this you need two things –
you require South to hold the
♥A, but you also need to lead
hearts twice from the East
hand. To lead hearts twice
from dummy, you need two
entries, which you do have,
but they will be used early on.
Win the ♣A and lead a
heart to your king, which
wins. Play ♠K and ♠A and
then lead a second heart.
If South has the ♥A you will
have made sure of two heart
tricks to make your game.
There is a slight risk
of an adverse ruff, but
having made a plan, you
needed the two entries
so had to take the risk.
Here is another example
(hand in the next column).
You have nine top tricks, so
making your contract will be
easy, but you are after as
many overtricks as possible.
BRIDGE December 2016
3NT by W. Lead: ♣Q.
♠ A Q 4
♠ 8 7
♥ A Q J 2WE
♥ 8 7 3
♦ K J 3 S
♦ A Q 10 9 2
♣ A K 3
♣ 9 4 2
Looking at the two hands
together, you can see that
both hearts and spades
need leading from dummy;
assuming the heart finesse
works, the suit will need to be
led twice and adding another
lead for the spades means
you need three entries to
maximise your chances. The
strength of your diamonds
should allow you to make the
most of all your high cards.
You win the ♣A and play a
small diamond to the ♦9.
Next comes your first finesse,
a heart to the jack, then back
to dummy, overtaking the ♦J
with the ♦Q. Another heart
finesse wins and then the ♦K
is overtaken with the ace. Two
more diamonds are cashed
throwing a small club and a
small spade. Finally you take
a spade finesse and when
that wins too, you cash your
three remaining winners, with
your last chance being a 3-3
heart break. If it all works
out, you could end with 13
tricks, but only if you used
your entries very carefully.
It can be tempting to play
one suit at a time, because
of the difficulty involved in
combining tactics. However,
you will often need to time
your plays carefully. Looking
at your two hands together
and trying to work out which
suits need leading from
where, will allow you to
create a plan and make the
most of all your high cards.■
by David Huggett
(Answers on page 21)
ou are South as declarer playing teams or rubber bridge.
In each case, what is your play strategy?
♠ 7 6 5
♥ Q J 2
♦ A J 8 6 2
♣ K 3
♠ K 4 2
♥ A K 6
♦ K 5
♣ A Q 10 8 2
You are declarer in 3NT
and West leads the ♥10.
How do you plan the play?
♠ K 10 7 5
♥ A 6
♦ K Q 7
♣ 10 9 6 3
You are declarer in 6♠ and
West leads the ♥K. How
do you plan the play?
♠ 10 9 7 6
♥ A 6 4
♦ K Q
♣ A 7 6 4
♠ A Q J 9 3
♥ J 4
♦ A 8 3
♣ A K J
♠ A K 7 2
♥ A 10 7 6 3
♦ 7 5
♣ K Q
You are declarer in an
optimistic 6♥ and West
leads the ♦K. How do you
plan the play?
♠ 6 5
♥ K 8 5
♦ A J 2
♣ A 10 7 6 4
♠ K Q J 3
♥ 9 5 2
♦ A 6 5
♣ K 9 2
You are declarer in 4♠ and
West leads the ♥Q. How
do you plan the play?
Page 19
Sally Brock Looks at Your Slam Bidding
2-16 May 2017
Slam Clinic
Bernard Magee
Where did we
go wrong?
This month’s first deal was sent in by
Katherine Bradnock:
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The climate is warm and semi-dry, with
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Hotel Eden is wedged right between a
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Rooms: All rooms are equipped with a
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are available, details on application.
Singles: There is a sole occupancy
supplement of £11 per room per night. If
you are a single bridge player, please do not
worry about being on your own. We will
always be able to find you a partner and you
can always have a game.
Beaches & Pools: The playful curves of
the pool offer refreshment in the summer
with a salty breeze coming from the natural
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away. The vast outdoor pool will cool you
down after a day of lounging in the freely
available deck chairs.
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( 01483 489961
♠ A Q 10 8 7 6
♥ J 6N
♦ A J 10
♣ J 5
♥ A Q
♦ K 8
♣ A K 10 8 6 4 3 2
West North
1♠ Pass3♣Pass
3♠ Pass4♣Pass
All Pass
When East forces with 3♣ and then
rebids the suit it should set trumps –
often a solid suit, but a strong eighttimer, as here, is OK too. I have found
that one area where club players are
often on shaky ground is cue bidding.
Here, with nothing to be ashamed of
and facing an unlimited hand, West
should have tried a 4♦ cue bid over 4♣.
Then East would bid 4♥ and West 4♠.
If East were feeling really enterprising
now, he/she could even take a pot at a
grand slam – expecting a doubleton
club opposite, or maybe a singleton
honour, and hoping West had a little
extra. However, maybe settling for the
small slam is enough – in no-trumps
perhaps, because of the matchpoint
Slam of the Month
The ‘Slam of the Month’ was sent in by
Richard Small.
♥ A K Q 10 N
♦ A 8 4 3 WE
♣ A 10 8 2
West North
All Pass
♠ K Q 9 7 3
♥ 6 4
♦ K J 10 9 6
It may seem that this was made easier
because East/West were using Lucas
Twos, whereby an opening bid of two
of a major shows five cards in the
major opened along with a four-card
or longer minor, with 5–9 points, or so.
Here, West could bid 2NT to enquire
for the minor and then use RKCB to
ask about the trump king. The slam
made even though trumps broke 4-0.
This was an excellent board as most
pairs languished in 3NT.
Without using this convention, East
has to choose between pass (likely)
and 1♠. I guess if he opens 1♠, West
would start with 2♣ and East rebids
2♦. Now West will get very excited and
drive to slam (probably discovering
that the ♦Q is missing after RKCB).
Assuming East starts with a pass,
West has a tricky choice of opening bid.
I would vote for 2NT as all alternatives
seem worse. Then East would transfer
into spades (West obeying, as to bid
anything else would show a good
spade fit), and then bid a natural 4♦.
This should be at least a mild slam try,
so again West should appreciate that
he has an excellent hand and not let
the bidding stop below slam.
Send your slam hands to [email protected]
Page 20
BRIDGE December 2016
Answers to David Huggett’s Play Quiz on page 19
♠ 7 6 5
♥ Q J 2
♦ A 9 8 6 2
♣ K 3
♠ A J 8 3
♥ 10 9 8 5 4 N
♦ J 3 S
♣ 7 4
♠ K 4 2
♥ A K 6
♦ K 5
♣ A Q 10 8 2
♠ Q 10 9
♥ 7 3
♦ Q 10 7 4
♣ J 9 6 5
You are declarer in 3NT and West leads
the ♥10. How do you plan the play?
The duplication in the heart suit is
tedious, but with eight tricks on top
the ninth shouldn’t be too hard to find.
However, you do have to be careful and
think of the worst possible scenario. If
you just play clubs from the top and find
that you have to give East a trick before
you have established your ninth, then a
spade back through your king will lead
to defeat if the hand is as shown. So
play safe by playing the club king and
then finessing the ten. You may lose an
extra trick in the process but you will
have guaranteed making the contract by
guarding the king of spades.
♠ K 10 7 5
♥ A 6
♦ K Q 7
♣ 10 9 6 3
♠ 8 2 ♥ K Q 10 9 3 N
♦ 10 6 5 S
♣ Q 8 2
♠ A Q J 9 3
♥ J 4
♦ A 8 3
♣ A K J
♠ 6 4
♥ 8 7 5 2
♦ J 9 4 2
♣ 7 5 4
You are declarer in 6♠ and West leads
the ♥K. How do you plan the play?
BRIDGE December 2016
With a certain loser in hearts if the club
finesse is wrong, it looks as though you
are going to need the queen of clubs to
be with East, when in fact you might even
make an overtrick. But the odds are much
better than evens in fact, because if you
draw trumps and eliminate diamonds
you can then exit with the jack of hearts.
If West started with the king and queen
of hearts, he will be forced to either lead
a club up to your tenace or concede a
ruff and discard. Only if East unkindly
wins the heart exit will you need the club
queen to be well placed.
♠ 6 5
♥ K 8 5
♦ A J 2
♣ A 10 7 6 4
♠ 10 4
♥ Q 2 N
♦ K Q 10 8 3 S
♣ 9 8 5 3
♠ A K 7 2
♥ A 10 7 6 3
♦ 7 5
♣ K Q
♠ Q J 9 8 3
♥ J 9 4
♦ 9 6 4
♣ J 2
You are declarer in an optimistic 6♥ and
West leads the ♦K. How do you plan the
The contract isn’t a great one to be
fair, but it does stand some chance.
With an almost certain trump loser, you
have to find a way of ridding yourself
of your losing diamond and the two
small spades, so it looks as though you
will need some luck in the club suit as
well as a 3-2 trump break. So cash the
two top clubs in hand at tricks two and
three and then play the two top trumps
ending in dummy. As it happens, both
defenders follow suit and the club jack
appeared at trick three, so now all you
have to do is play the ace of clubs and
throw your losing diamond. Whether East
ruffs or not makes no difference as you
can continue to play club winners. (The
jack of clubs appearing doubleton was a
bonus, but a 3-3 break would have been
just as useful, together with some other
♠ 10 9 7 6
♥ A 6 4
♦ K Q
♣ A 7 6 4
♠ A 2
♥ Q J 8 N
♦ 10 8 7 2 S
♣ Q 8 5 3
♠ K Q J 3
♥ 9 5 2
♦ A 6 5
♣ K 9 2
♠ 8 5 4
♥ K 10 7 3
♦ J 9 4 3
♣ J 10
You are declarer in 4♠ and West leads
the ♥Q. How do you plan the play?
One thing you cannot afford to do is to
try to draw trumps immediately because
the defenders will take the trump ace, two
hearts and a club at the end, so you have
to get rid of one of your losers early on.
Win the heart ace, cash both diamonds
in dummy and enter the closed hand
with the king of clubs. Then you play the
ace of diamonds throwing a heart from
dummy and only now is it safe to tackle
the trump suit. You can win whatever
they return and will ultimately make four
trump tricks, one heart, three diamonds
and two clubs. Mr Bridge
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Standard Faces,
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Page 21
Bernard Magee DVD
the A
1 Ruffing for Extra Tricks
2 Competitive Auctions
3 Making the Most
of High Cards
per DVD
& Bidding Slams
5 Play & Defence
of 1NT Contracts
6 Doubling & Defence
against Doubled
8 Losing Trick Count
9 Making a Plan
as Declarer
10 Responding to 1NT
his DVD aims to deal with
the latter parts of uncontested
After the first two bids, what comes
next? I start by discussing the opening
bidder’s plan: when you choose to open
the bidding in a suit, you should have
a plan for your second bid, because if
your partner responds in a new suit,
he expects you to make another bid.
Making this plan can make quite a
difference to your choice of opening
♠ A J
♥ A J
♦ Q 10 6 3
♣ J 8 7 5 4
13 Hand Evaluation
14 Pre-Emptive Bidding
& Cue Bids
set of 6
17 Play & Defence at Pairs
18 Thinking Defence
Mr Bridge ( 01483 489961
Page 22
♠ A 2
♥ A K 8 4 3
♦ A Q 6 3
♣ 6 4
11 Signals & Discards
When you open in no-trumps, you
do not have to plan a rebid because
you have already described your hand.
The DVD moves on to the various
choices of rebid that the opener has:
balanced hands, supporting hands,
weak hands, strong hands.
understanding the flexibility required
with some medium to strong hands:
Without a plan you would open this
hand 1♣ and then when partner
responds 1♥ you would need to pause
for thought. Do you really want to
rebid 2♣?
Of course, you have little choice –
a 2♦ rebid would show a strong type
of hand – a reverse. Reverse bidding
is a subject that the DVD deals with
slightly later on.
Instead of thinking ‘later’, you
should do your thinking at the start:
‘plan your rebid’.
Your hand is not balanced, but with
two strong doubletons and a very
poor five-card suit, I would prefer to
lie slightly about the shape, rather
than rebid in clubs. Your best choice
of opening bid is 1NT: 12-14 and
You open 1♥ and your partner
responds 1♠, what do you rebid?
You have 17 HCP and you would like
to show your strength, but the natural
way to do that would be to jump to 3♦
– this would be forcing to game and
since your partner might have just
6 HCP, this cannot be right. Instead,
you make a simple rebid of 2♦: this is
not a forcing bid, but if your partner
has any kind of fit he will often make
another bid. The 2♦ rebid is not ideal,
but it gives the partnership flexibility.
Another option might be to rebid 1NT,
but with such weak clubs this is not
To make a jump rebid in a new suit
at the three-level requires 19+ points,
so that when partner has just six you
still have a good chance for game.
Your partner held the hand in the
next column. He chooses to pass 2♦
and you make a comfortable partscore.
BRIDGE December 2016
Ds – Number Twenty
her into
19 Defensive Plan
20 Further Into the Auction
♠ Q 8 4 3
♥ 7 6
♦ K 8 7 4
♣ J 3 2
The second half of the DVD deals
with the responder’s rebid and the
problems he faces. With two weak
hands, your job is to find the best
partscore, keeping the auction low.
However, with more strength, there
are more options available including
the fourth suit forcing. Having a bid
available to you to keep the auction
going is very important: it helps the
partnership make the final step to
the right contract. Here is a classic
♠ A 9 8 3
♥ 7 6
♦ A J 8 7 4
♣ K 2
♠ K Q
♥ A 9 8 5 2
♦ K Q 3
♣ 8 4 3
West opens 1♦, starting with his
longest suit: he plans to rebid 1♠ if he
can, although over a 2♣ response he
would simply rebid 2♦. East responds
with a natural 1♥, allowing the simple
1♠ rebid. Note that although spades
are higher ranking than diamonds,
1♠ is not a reverse because the bidding
BRIDGE December 2016
is still at the one-level: a reverse is a
bid above the barrier (two-of-youropened-suit). East now has a problem:
he has the strength for game, but
which game is best: should it be 4♥, 5♦
or 3NT?
Without employing guesswork, East
needs his partner to give him one more
piece of information about his hand,
so he uses the fourth suit forcing. 2♣
(the fourth suit bid) is not used in a
natural sense, so West alerts the bid:
it shows nothing about clubs, it simply
asks partner to make one more bid
to describe his hand. One particular
aspect that is desired is whether West
has a club stopper – to allow no-trumps
as an option. ♣K-x might not seem
much of a stopper to you, but if West is
playing the contract, then the lead will
be coming up to him, so it is enough.
Bearing this in mind, West bids 2NT
and now East can raise to 3NT.
3NT is a great contract, with nine
tricks off the top and, on a club lead,
there is an overtrick.
Note, that it needs to be played by
West – had East gambled by bidding
3NT over 1♠, then a club lead might
have spelt disaster.
There is a lot of information in
this DVD, covering the elements of
decision making for both the opener
and the responder. However, you have
the chance to go over and over the
subject matter and most of the ideas
will come up on most hands you have
the chance to bid. Therefore you will
have a real opportunity to absorb
many of the ideas and hopefully
improve your constructive bidding. ■
21 Weak Twos
22 Trump Control
per DVD
Bridge Memory
25 Defence as Partner
of the Leader
26 Aggressive Bidding
at Duplicate Pairs
27 Strong Opening Bids
28 Take-Out Doubles
29 Suit Establishment
in Suit Contracts
30 Landy / Defending
Against a 1NT Opening
31 Counting Defence
32 Extra Tricks
in No-Trumps
set of 6
Distributional Hands
36 Coping with Pre-Empts
Mr Bridge ( 01483 489961
Page 23
Michael Byrne on Playing with the Odds
Listen to
the Bidding
nowing the right text book
percentage play for a particular
suit is all well and good, but if
you can’t realise that the bidding at
the table affects what is happening (or
going to happen), then your knowledge
of percentages will come to naught, for
applying the logic and realising when
to disregard it is paramount.
Let’s look at an example with no
opposition bidding, and then with
opposition bidding:
♠ 5 4
♥ K 10 9 3 2
♦ 10 8 5 2
♣ K 6
♠ A K 3
♥ A J 8 6
♦ J 4 3
♣ A Q 2
West North
Pass 1♥
All Pass
You arrive in the fine contract of 4♥
and the opponents lead the queen of
spades – how do you play it?
If you shrugged and said, ‘I cash
the ace and king of hearts and if they
break 3-1, I go down quickly,’ then
you would make a good rubber bridge
player, since you will at least get a lot of
hands in during every session!
However, good bridge players look
Page 24
for every extra chance, and the right
thing to do would be to give yourself
an extra chance if the trumps are 3-1.
Win the ♠A and decide who, if
anyone, might have a void heart. It is
pretty unlikely that either opponent has
a void, but the logic goes that if West
held a void he might have overcalled or
doubled (we already know he has a Q-J
sequence in spades), so cash the ace
of trumps at trick 2. If East has a void,
you can nod several times, declare, ‘I
thought so,’ a few more and take the
marked finesse, ten tricks will be easy.
Assuming, of course, everyone follows to the ace of hearts, your plan will
be to cash the king next. You can try
leading the jack out of hand if you want
(only a really foolish defender will cover when they can see ♥K-10-9-x-x on
the table, however to paraphrase a famous writer, ‘no-one ever went broke
underestimating bridge players’ intelligence’). Let’s assume you guess wrong
and one hand has ♥Q-x-x, you’re not
dead yet, you can cash the ♠K and ruff
one, then cash the clubs and exit with a
heart. The end position will be:
♦ 10 8 5
♦ J 4 3
To beat you, the defenders will have to
take three diamond tricks and either
they might not be able to (one might
have a singleton honour, or A-Q, K-Q
or A-K doubleton) or they might make
a mistake and block the suit.
In practice, you improve slightly on
your chance of the hearts being 2-2, as
well as giving the defenders a chance
to go wrong.
The full hand might be something
like this:
♠ 5 4
♥ K 10 9 3 2
♦ 10 8 5 2
♣ K 6
♠ Q J 10 2
♥ Q 7 4 N
♦ A Q S
♣ 9 8 4 3
♠ A K 3
♥ A J 8 6
♦ J 4 3
♣ A Q 2
♠ 9 8 7 6
♦ K 9 7 6
♣ J 10 7 5
Now imagine East has opened 1NT
(12-14) and again you finish in 4♥ by
South. West leads the queen of spades
as before.
How do you play it this time?
Perhaps this problem is now too
easy as it becomes a simple lesson in
counting to 13.
East has announced 12-14 points,
yet appears to hold nothing in spades,
the most number of points he has in
the side suits is ♦A-K-Q, ♣J to make
ten – he simply must hold the queen of
trumps to make 12 points.
So ignore the percentage play in isoBRIDGE December 2016
lation and play one to the king and one
to the jack, confident that it will win.
♠ 5 4
♥ K 10 9 3 2
♦ 10 8 5 2
♣ K 6
I think we all know the solution here,
lead low to the ace and low back to the
jack. Hence this one:
start by assuming that trumps are 3-2
(if they are 4-1 we are already down)
and now there are only ten different
combinations for West to have:
A-9 A-J-9A-9-8
A-8 A-J-8A-8-7
A-7 A-J-7 A-9-7A-J
♠ Q 10 3 2
♠ K 6 5 4
♠ A K 3
♥ A J 8 6
♦ J 4 3
♣ A Q 2
Although it was more likely that the
queen of hearts was doubleton with
West rather than tripleton with East to
start with, once we take into account
the bidding it becomes a non-problem.
The bidding is effectively stronger
evidence than the a priori odds, since
the bidding occurs after people look at
their cards – East knows whether or
not he has the queen of hearts when
he decides to open the bidding, and he
would have passed without it.
We will now see another example
where clues from the bidding guide us
into the right percentage play.
Let’s say you have this trump suit,
how do you play it for one loser?
...becomes simple, low to the king
and low back to the ten. This makes
sense intuitively, since if we assume
the trump suit is 3-2 (we need it to
be one way or another) then the jack
being with West is more likely than
the jack dropping doubleton with East
regardless of the position of the ace.
However let’s look at a hand and put
in opposition bidding:
♠ Q 10 3 2
♥ K Q J 7 6
♦ K 2
♣ 9 4
♠ K 6 5 4
♥ A 2
♦ A 10 4 3
♣ 8 7 6
If we lead low to the king and then
low back to the ten, we will make the
contract if West has:
A-9 A-8
When we put it like that there is a
better line of play.
Cross back to the ace of hearts and
lead a trump to the queen and then
another one off the dummy. If the
jack appears from East on the second
round, we cover it and claim our game,
otherwise we duck.
We will make the contract if West
A-9 A-8
A-9-8A-8-7A-9-7 A-J
we will only go off if he has:
♠ K 6 5 4
A quick tip for those of you unused to
percentage play: if you have an unfamiliar suit combination, add one onto
the value of every honour card until it
becomes a combination you recognise.
Thus the trump suit above is the
same as this one:
♠ K J 3 2
A-J-9 A-J-8 A-J-7
♠ Q 10 3 2
A-J-9 A-J-8 A-J-7
and we will go off if he has:
A-J ♠ A 6 5 4
BRIDGE December 2016
West North
2♣ Pass 4♠
All Pass
Landy, showing the major suits.
West cashes the king of clubs then
plays the jack, which East overtakes
with the ace to switch to a diamond, we
stick the ten in and collect the queen
of diamonds from West which we win
with dummy’s king. What now?
With two losers in the bag (or
should that be out of the bag?) we need
to bring in trumps for one loser. If
there had been no opposition bidding,
then low to the king and low to the
ten would be the right play, but does
the fact that West is marked with the
ace of trumps have any bearing on the
Actually, yes it does. We have to
The knowledge of where the ace of
spades is affects our play, and we must
use that knowledge accordingly and
try to make our game as often as we
The full hand:
♠ Q 10 3 2
♥ K Q J 7 6
♦ K 2
♣ 9 4
♠ A 9 7
♠ J 8
♥ 8 4 N
♥ 10 9 5 3
♦ Q J 7 6 S
♦ 9 8 5
♣ K Q J 2
♣ A 10 5 3
♠ K 6 5 4
♥ A 2
♦ A 10 4 3
♣ 8 7 6
Page 25
The Diaries of Wendy Wensum
Episode 56: A Cornish Jaunt
Part 1: A Grand Occasion
pouse and I were on a short
holiday in Cornwall, a county
where the most familiar road sign
seems to be a cow in a red triangle.
Indeed cattle appear to have more
traffic lights enabling them to cross
roads than school children or senior
citizens. Perhaps cows are particularly
valued in the West Country or maybe
they are as common in Cornwall as
people are in the rest of Britain.
On a warm sunny day, we visited the
Lost Gardens of Heligan. We strolled
through the lovingly-restored formal
gardens and along the woodland paths
in the valley which were a walker’s
delight. The following day saw us at
the Eden Project, its enormous domes
glinting in a weak sun. It was a lovely
experience, especially as the viewing
gallery at the top of the large biosphere
was open giving an inspiring vista of
the plants beneath. The next day a
bitter wind greeted us as we ambled
across the causeway to Saint Michael’s
Mount. By late afternoon the tide had
turned and a bouncy ferry ride carried
us back to Marazion.
Enjoyable as these excursions were,
there was, as yet, no opportunity for
bridge. This lamentable state of affairs
was to change. It was no coincidence
that Dave and Sally and their walking
club were also in Cornwall. We had
arranged to meet them after their day’s
trek, and stay for a few nights at the
same hotel. As we arrived, a minibus
was discharging its weary band of
windswept ramblers. Sally, Dave,
Spouse and I were soon reunited,
and the two males immediately got
to grips with the real ales on offer
in the bar. After dinner, the walkers
entertained themselves with a karaoke
evening, while the four of us settled
down for our version of rubber
bridge. We play four deals maximum
and then score up as an unfinished
Page 26
rubber, if necessary. We then switch
partnerships and start again. Dealing
is allowed to be regulation or goulash.
Dave and Spouse announced they
were ready as soon as each had a pint
of beer close at hand. On the very first
deal, this spectacular distribution of
cards appeared.
Dealer South. Love All.
♥ A 10 9 8 6 2
♦ A Q J
♣ 8 3 2
♠ K 10 8 6 5 4 3 2
♠ Q J 9 7
♥4 N
♥ K Q J 5 3
♦Void WE
♣ K Q J 7
♣ 10 5 4
♦ K 10 9 8 7 6 4 3 2
♣ A 9 6
As dealer of the goulash, I now had
to decide how to open this nine-card
diamond hand, and finally chose five
diamonds because of the low point
count. With only four losers, Dave
overcalled five spades. Spouse had the
best hand at the table; he assumed that
I probably had an outside ace or void
for my opening bid and punted seven
diamonds. Unusually for Sally, she
thought for ages before finally coming
up with a pass. In summary, the short
but speculative auction was:
North East
All Pass
On Dave’s lead of the king of clubs, I
realised I had two losers in that suit.
One could be pitched on the ace of
spades but the other one clearly needed
to go on a heart. Dave’s overcall and
lead suggested he did not hold many
red cards. Hopefully, ruffing heart
finesses might bring the contract home,
but sufficient entries to dummy could
be a problem. Winning the first trick,
I played my singleton heart to the ace
and then discarded a club on the ace
of spades. Next I led the ten of hearts,
Sally played the jack and I ruffed with
the six in case Dave had a singleton.
A diamond to the ace removed the
only trump not in my possession, and
I led the nine of hearts from table on
which Sally dutifully placed the queen
and I ruffed. Repeating the procedure,
I went back to dummy with a trump
and played the eight of hearts. Sally
obligingly played the king and I
ruffed. The losing club could now be
deposited on the master heart and
the grand slam came home to much
celebration around the table, so much
indeed that the men’s glasses required
immediate refills. In their absence,
Sally noted that the contract needed
to be played by South, as a diamond
lead would remove a vital entry to the
hearts if played by North. She also
admitted she had considered doubling
for penalties or sacrificing in seven
spades before eventually passing.
In all, we played three partial
rubbers, one with each partner and
Sally was the overall winner on the
evening. Two more pints of beer for
our men cheered them up, and they
soon forgot the insulting slur on their
manhood emanating from a female
Just as we finished, an inebriated
bunch of walkers returned to the bar
from their session of karaoke. A noisy
end to the evening became inevitable.
A number of ramblers would have
sore heads in the morning. Hopefully
Dave and Spouse would not be joining
BRIDGE December 2016
Answers to Julian Pottage’s Defence Quiz on page 15
♠ 10 5 2
♥ A K 6
♦ A K 8 6
♣ K 9 4
♥ J 9 5 3 2WE
♦ Q 10 7 3 2 S
♣ 7 2
♠ K Q J 8 7 6
♣ J 10 6 5 3
West North
All Pass
♠ A 9 3
♥ 10 8 7 4
♦ J 9 5
♣ A Q 8
West North
All Pass
6-10 with six spades
Partner leads the ♣7. You win with the
♣Q. What is your plan?
You can see two club tricks and a trump
trick. Even if partner has both red queens,
it is hard to see how you can make any
extra tricks in the side suits. Partner will
not have led the ♣7 from a suit headed
by the J-10. Since the lead is likely be top
of a doubleton rather than second from a
poor suit, you cash the ♣A and continue
with a third club, hoping for a ruff.
If all follow to three rounds of clubs,
perhaps partner holds a singleton ♠Q or
♠K. You would duck the first trump, of
♠ A 10 9
♥ Q 6
♦ K J 6
♣ Q 10 6 5 3
♠ J 3
♠ Q 6 4
♥ A 10 7 2
♥ K J 9 5 3
♦ Q 9 7 3 2 S
♦ 8 5 4
♣ J 4
♣ K 7
♠ K 8 7 5 2
♥ 8 4
♦ A 10
♣ A 9 8 2
BRIDGE December 2016
Partner leads the ♥A. What is your plan?
Since you are keen to cash the ♥K, you
begin by playing an encouraging ♥9.
After taking the ♥K at trick two, you must
find a safe exit card. Neither black suit
is safe to lead. Partner might hold the
jack in either suit – and nor do you wish
to spare declarer a possible two-way
finesse in trumps. Since any diamond
finesse is working anyway, the suit is safe
to lead.
Having exited safely with a diamond,
you will not cover the ♠10 but you will
cover the ♣Q – the latter promotes partner’s ♣J.
♠ A 3
♥ Q J 9 6
♦ A Q J
♣ A 9 7 4
♠ K J 9 8 6 2
♥ A 8 3 N
♦ K 10 2 S
♠ 7 5 4
♥ K 10 7 5
♦ 8 7 6 4
♣ J 8
♠ Q 10
♥ 4 2
♦ 9 5 3
♣ K Q 10 6 5 3
West North
1♠ Dbl1NT Pass
2♠ DblPass 3♥
All Pass
Partner leads the ♣2: ♣4, ♣Q and ♣8.
What do you return and why?
The lead is easy to read. Partner would
not lead low from a doubleton, which
means that it was a singleton. If you
return a club, your partner will be able
to ruff. Does it matter which club you
When delivering a ruff you should give
a suit-preference signal to say which
suit you would like back. With nothing
in diamonds but with the ♠Q facing
partner’s likely ♠K, you have a clear
preference for a spade. So return the
♣10, high to ask for the higher-ranking
suit. Although declarer can later ruff the
third of clubs high to avoid a second ruff,
at least your side scores a spade trick to
stop a possible overtrick.
4. ♠ A K J 10 7 3
♥ A K J 6
♦ 8 5
♠ Q 8 6 2
♠ 5 4
♥ 9 4 N
♦ A 7 6WE
♦ K J 10 3 2
♣ A K 6 3
♣ J 9 8 7 5
♥ Q 10 7 5 3 2
♦ Q 9 4
♣ Q 4 2
West North
All Pass
An unspecified 5+-card suit
Both minors
Partner leads the ♣K (from A-K or K-Q
at the five level or higher). What do you
play on this trick and if partner switches
to the ♦A?
With the singleton in dummy, your
signal at trick one should be suitpreference, so play the lowly ♣5 to show
interest in the lower-ranking diamond
suit. Then, to reinforce your interest in
diamonds, you encourage with the ♦J
under the ♦A. Your side thus takes the
first three tricks.
Note that if you fail to signal effectively
for diamonds, your partner might try
placing you with a void in spades and
attempt to give you a ruff. Your diamond
winners then run away.
Page 27
Teachers’ Corner – Teaching Tips from Ian Dalziel
The Human Side
of Bridge
How do we measure our success as
bridge teachers? I don’t think the EBU
do OFSTED-type inspections and
there are no student exams, but there
are some yardsticks.
lHow many students remain till the
year end?
lHow many friendships are made at
the class?
lHow many join a learners’ bridge
lWhat standard have they reached?
It’s important they join a club of some
sort as home games rarely last and
are not practical for many. Lots of my
students say their greatest benefit from
taking up bridge is the friendships they
made which is great, but the hardest
part of the teacher’s role is to get the
students to a level where they feel
competent in a game. The ‘naturals’
will get there anyway no matter who
is the teacher, but such people don’t
really need a bridge class.
Does their skill really matter? If they
enjoy the game and make friends, isn’t
that enough? Not really, for although
winning isn’t everything, I don’t know
any bridge player who wouldn’t like
to be better. If the social side of the
game was all that mattered, teaching
could be done with a fraction of the
The main problem is that students
learn at vastly different rates. Some
have played bridge or other card
games before, but that is only a
temporary advantage. If the teaching
Page 28
is of good quality, progress depends on
their attendance rate, the homework
done, how often they play between
classes but, above all, their aptitude
for the game. Any class has a wide
range of natural ability, so some need
to work much harder than others.
Unfortunately, those who most need
to do homework are least likely to do
it. Perhaps such people only learn with
the cards in their hands and written
notes and quizzes just don’t help much.
I find those who take up bridge are
usually very busy people even though
lots are retired. Many say they intend
to do the homework but can never find
time. Actually, what they mean is that
it’s not a high enough priority, because
some of the busiest people somehow
get the homework done.
I run classes up to fifth year and
while most are ready to move on
at the end of each year, there are
always those who would benefit from
repeating the year. No-one does, of
course, for they want to remain with
their friends and to stay back would
be seen as a humiliation, reminiscent
of the ‘dunce’s cap’. Hence by the fifth
year, the range of ability in the class
can vary widely. Unless someone has
a good grasp of the basics, they will
gain nothing from the more advanced
lessons; indeed it will just confuse
them. I can understand that players
want to know more about the game,
but for some, ‘talking the talk’ seems to
take priority over ‘walking the walk’.
Even though conventions are the last
thing most learners need, some feel
‘deprived’ if you don’t teach them and
may go elsewhere for lessons.
One year I gave up ‘whole class
teaching’ and they worked in groups
using self teaching exercises, and everyone progressed at their own pace.
I produced extensive ‘home lessons’
which replaced the spoken lessons in
class. Those who went off for long holidays just slotted in where they left off.
I thought I had finally ‘cracked it’, but
I had to abandon it after six months as
so few were doing the homework.
My conclusion is that bridge lessons
in class will never be the most efficient
method of learning, people are just too
different. With a self-selecting group
of people, all we can do as teachers
is make the lessons as enjoyable and
effective as possible and some learning
will take place. Those who seriously
want to be good can use the classes as
a springboard for their real learning
which must done by home study
backed up by playing a lot.
I draw for partners at my classes, but
they chose their own partners at the
bridge club. Some partnerships work
very well but others are unequally
yoked. If your partner isn’t as good
as you but you enjoy the partnership,
that’s great. However, if you are
constantly frustrated by your partner,
but stick it out because you ‘couldn’t
hurt their feelings’ then you are
making a big mistake. You need to
grasp the nettle and politely end it;
you have the right, be kind to yourself.
In any case, your partner may realise
themselves that they are holding you
back. A bridge partnership is not a
BRIDGE December 2016
marriage or even a contract. Just say,
‘I feel our partnership isn’t working
and think we should both seek new
partners, but remain friends.’ Not easy
to do, I admit, but you won’t regret it.
Honestly, it will be such a relief and be
best for both of you.
I have met so many nice people
through bridge and I’m sure you have
too. Most bridge players are polite,
educated, law abiding citizens. At the
bridge table, all are treated equally
regardless of race, religion, age, wealth
and gender – that is honestly my
experience. Imagine a country where
everyone was the sort of person who
becomes a bridge player; there would
be no crime apart from traffic offences,
our doors wouldn’t need locks, there
would be no litter on the streets and
no bad language. Do you think I’m
being idealistic?
Unfortunately, a minority of these
esteemed citizens, pillars of the
community, who do great charitable
work, transform into table terrorists
(TTs) when playing bridge. Indeed,
when I try to persuade my students to
go to a bridge club, they don’t ask about
the standard of play, the comfort of
the premises, the ease of parking, the
systems played, how well it’s organised
or the speed of play. They simply ask,
‘Is it a friendly club? Are the players
fierce? Will I get told off if I do the
wrong thing?’
Of course, all bridge clubs claim to
welcome newcomers; just as all brides
and babies are beautiful. It’s like
motherhood and apple pie. While the
club welcomes newcomers, some of
its inhabitants might be anything but
welcoming. Many bridge clubs have
best behaviour policies, but from the
stories which still come to my ears and
from the letters I read in BRIDGE,
the TTs are still alive and kicking and
putting people off the game as they
always did. Why does such bridge
lawlessness continue to exist among
the most law abiding of citizens?
I’m sure the TTs don’t intend to
spoil the enjoyment of others; they
just lack the self awareness to know
they are doing it. The trouble is
that no-one tells them, people just
BRIDGE December 2016
mutter amongst themselves about the
problem and some just vote with their
feet. Sometimes the TTs are the club’s
best players or committee members
who do a power of work for the club so
no-one wants to offend them. They are
often the nicest of people away from
the bridge table.
Edmund Burke said many years ago
that the only thing necessary for the
triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing. And that is the nub of the
problem – people put up with it and
don’t complain. It’s just not British to
do so; no-one wants to be a grass. So if
your club has such a problem then the
members are to blame even more than
the TTs.
Don’t suffer in silence. If someone
is rude to you, do something. Call
the director, who might be at a loss
– it might cause embarrassment,
who cares. If everyone did this, the
problem would be solved very quickly.
If you are stunned into silence by an
unexpected onslaught, then complain
to the director or the club president at
the end; failing that write a letter to
the club secretary. Even if you are a
newcomer, don’t hold your peace, the
club needs you more than you need it.
There are lots of clubs competing for
new members, you are of great value.
If the club gives a dismissive response
to your complaint, then seek another
club, but not before.
Behaviour problems are less common
at the bridge class as the teacher can
usually spot it and deal with it tactfully
or with humour. But don’t think you
know everything that goes on at your
class, as some people are very cunning
and do their bullying when the teacher
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Page 29
Robin Hood’s Bridge Adventures by David Bird
The Sheriff’s
Perfect Partner
he Sheriff was entertaining
the 21-year-old niece of Lord
Galwaite for a few days. A keen
rider, she had been looking forward to
some deer hunting. The weather had
been unaccommodating, however,
and the high winds and heavy rain
seemed set to last until her departure.
‘I’ve arranged a game of bridge for
us this afternoon, Lady Helena,’ said
the Sheriff. ‘I shall partner you against
Gisborne and one of his men. They’re
fairly clueless players but you may find
it entertaining.’
‘This is Lord Galwaite’s niece,
Lady Helena Lockart,’ announced
the Sheriff, as they entered the oakpanelled state-room. ‘If her bridge is as
accomplished as her riding, we should
have a good game.’
Dealer West. Love All.
♠ A 9 8 6 2
♥ A Q J 4
♣ Q 6 5
♠ K J 4
♥ 8 6 N
♥ 10 5 3 2
♦ A 9 7 3 2 S
♦ Q J 10 6 4
♣ K J 8
♣ 10 4 2
♠ Q 7 5 3
♥ K 9 7
♦ 8 5
♣ A 9 7 3
Guy of
Lady Gisborne
Sheriff Fyggis
1♦ Dbl3♦3♠
All Pass
Page 30
A spade game was reached on the
first deal and Gisborne led the ♦A,
East following with the ♦Q to show
his sequence of honours. Lady Helena
pushed back a lock of shiny black
hair and won the ♥8 switch in her
hand. Gisborne surely held the ♣K to
make up his opening bid, so all would
depend on escaping for just one trump
loser. If trumps were 2-2, any play
would do. What was her best chance if
trumps broke 3-1?
At trick 3, Lady Helena led the
queen of trumps from her hand. A
somewhat surprised Gisborne covered
with the king and dummy’s ace won
the trick. The young declarer turned
towards East, keen to see the card that
he produced. Ah, how splendid, it was
the ♠10.
Gisborne won a second round of
trumps with his jack and returned a
third round. When declarer eventually
led a club towards dummy’s queen, the
king did indeed prove to be onside and
the game was hers.
‘A fine horse rider and a fine player
of the cards!’ exclaimed the Sheriff.
‘Did you see her play in the trump suit,
Gisborne? You might take a note of it
in case you play a similar deal one day.’
‘Are you serious, my Lord?’ Gisborne
demanded. ‘Leading the queen would
be clear to any good player.’
The Sheriff smirked. ‘Indeed it
would,’ he said. ‘I was suggesting that
you, also, might like to add it to your
Gisborne gritted his teeth. ‘Amusing,
as always, my Lord,’ he replied. ‘You
speak in jest, as I’m sure Lady Helena
On the very next deal the young
aristocrat had a chance to claim the
first rubber.
Dealer North. N/S Game.
♠ A Q 7 5
♥ K Q J 8
♦ A J 6 5
♠ 10 9 3
♠ J 4
♥ 6 5 N
♥ 10 9 7 3
♦ K 8 3 S
♦ Q 10 9 7
♣ Q J 8 7 3
♣ K 10 6
♠ K 8 6 2
♥ A 4 2
♦ 4 2
♣ A 9 5 2
Guy of
All Pass
Lady Sheriff
1♦Pass 1♠
4♠Pass 6♠
‘By the Saints, her bidding is as spirited
as her riding!’ exclaimed the Sheriff.
‘What think you of it, Gisborne? Are
you impressed?’
‘We would bid similarly if we held
any cards,’ Gisborne replied.
‘Sourness does not become you,’
reprimanded the Sheriff. ‘You must
forgive him, Lady Helena.’
Gisborne led the ♠10 against the
slam and the Sheriff laid out his
‘A fine hand, my Lord,’ observed
Lady Helena. Now, how many tricks
would she have if she drew trumps
BRIDGE December 2016
in three rounds? Three trump tricks,
four hearts, two aces and the last two
trumps scored separately. That was
only eleven. It seemed that she would
need two club ruffs in dummy and one
diamond ruff in her hand.
Lady Helena won the trump lead
with dummy’s queen, retaining the
two low trumps for ruffing. A club to
the ace was followed by a club ruff. To
clear a ruffing route to her hand, she
then made the smart move of ducking
a round of diamonds.
Sgt. Fyggis won with the ♦9 and
returned the jack of trumps to dummy’s
ace. A heart to the ace was followed by
a second club ruff with dummy’s last
trump. The young declarer played the
♦A and re-entered her hand with a
diamond ruff. It remained only to draw
the last trump with the ♠K and score
three more heart tricks in dummy.
‘Bravo!’ exclaimed the Sheriff.
Galwaite’s niece was a moderate
player, doubtless, but having such an
expert partner seemed to inspire her.
‘A fine piece of cardplay, Gisborne, do
you not agree?’
Gisborne nodded morosely. The
Sheriff had never commended him,
for taking a ruff or two in dummy
and drawing trumps. Put a freshfaced girl opposite him and every play,
however basic, was rated as manna
from Heaven. ‘Yes, indeed, my Lord,’
he replied. ‘She played it well.’
The light from outside was beginning
to fade when this deal arose late in the
third rubber:
Dealer South. Game All.
♠ J 8 5 2
♥ 6 3
♦ A 8 6 2
♣ 9 8 3
♠ Q 9 7
♥ J 4 N
♥ Q 10 9 7 5
♦ K Q J 9 4 S
♦ 10 7 3
♣ A 5 2
♣ K Q 6 4
♠ A K 10 6 4
♥ A K 8 2
♣ J 10 7
Guy of
Lady Sheriff
All Pass
Gisborne led the ♦K and down went
the dummy.
‘So little for me, my Lord?’ queried
Lady Helena. ‘In the game we play at
court, a free bid promises extra values.’
‘Anyone not raising with four trumps
and an ace understands nothing of the
game,’ replied the Sheriff. ‘Do your
best, anyway.’
Lady Helena won with the ♦A and
ruffed a diamond in her hand. The
contract would be easy if trumps split
2-2. If they did not, she would like to
score three diamond ruffs in her hand.
When declarer played two top
trumps, East showed out on the
second round. What now? It seemed
that she had four certain losers in the
black suits. Still, it was hardly her fault
that the Sheriff didn’t understand the
notion of a free bid.
Lady Helena continued with the ace
and king of hearts, followed by a low
heart. It would not assist Gisborne to
ruff with his master trump, since a club
loser would be thrown from dummy.
He discarded a diamond and declarer
ruffed with the ♠8. A diamond ruff
in her hand left these cards still to be
♣ 9 8 3
♣ A 5 2
♣ J 10 7
♣ K Q 6 4
The ♥8 appeared on the table and,
once again, Gisborne could not ruff
profitably. If he discarded the ♦Q
dummy’s ♦8 would become good, so
he had to throw a club. Lady Helena
ruffed with the ♠J and reached for
the ♦8, ruffing with the ♠10. Because
Gisborne had been forced to retain the
♦Q, he could not overruff. Contrary to
earlier expectations, declarer now had
ten tricks before her.
Magnificent play!’ cried the Sheriff,
smiling broadly across the table.
It suddenly occurred to him that
Lady Helena would make him the
most perfect wife imaginable. Some
might decry an age difference of
four decades, it was true. But when a
splendid-looking woman was equally
proficient in the saddle and at the
bridge table... Well, he was prepared to
overlook such a small matter! ■
BRIDGE December 2016
Page 31
Julian Pottage Answers your Bridge Questions
What Do I Need to
Force After
an Overcall of
My Partner’s Opening?
After partner
opens 1♦
and RHO
overcalls 2♣, what
is the minimum HCP
strength I should have
for a response of 2♠?
Jim Straffon, Stockport.
You need at least five
spades to bid 2♠. If
you have only five
spades, you should regard
10-11 as the minimum. If you
have a good six-card suit or
a seven-card suit, a point
or two less would be OK.
1. Playing Benji
Acol, when
opener bids
1♠ and responder bids
2♥, am I correct in
saying that responder
should have at least ten
points and five hearts?
My partner wants to
know why four hearts
are not sufficient.
2. In response to
another question you say
that Gerber is a terrible
convention and should
not be played. My partner
and I play RKCB after a
suit bid and Gerber after
no-trumps. The following
Page 32
bidding sequence
occurred between us
After partner’s 2♥, I
was forced to bid 2NT.
Usually, I would have
bid 1NT showing 15-16
points. Partner then knew
my points were 15-18 so
4NT was quantitative.
If partner had enough
points for slam but
wanted to decide
between 6NT or 7NT he
could have bid a Gerber
4♣ to ask for aces. Is this
a good use of Gerber?
Dawn Henderson by email.
1. Firstly, playing
Acol, I normally
recommend nine
points and a five-card suit as
being sufficient for a twolevel response. In general,
depending upon vulnerability
and scoring method, only
a poor or moderate nine
would respond 1NT. Any
hand with the values for
game facing a strong 1NT
should not respond 1NT to
an opening suit bid when
playing a weak 1NT.
The reason why a 2♥
response to 1♠ shows a
five-card suit is that this
enables you to find both
4-4 and 5-3 fits. If you
have a 4-4 fit, you will find
it after responding two of
a minor because partner
can rebid 2♥. By playing the
2♥ response as promising
a five-card suit, opener
can raise with three, thus
enabling you to find a 5-3
fit. How would you find a 5-3
heart fit if the 2♥ response
did not promise five?
2. There are several
reasons why Gerber is
a bad convention.
(a) The main determinant
for a successful slam contract
is the playing strength for
twelve (or thirteen) tricks.
The knowledge that the
partnership has three or four
aces does little to help in
that regard. On the auction
you cite, partner is rather
more interested in whether
you have 17-18 rather than
15-16. Asking for aces
would not disclose that.
(b) There are so many
other possible uses for a bid
of 4♣, that it is inefficient
to devote it to ace asking.
Depending upon the earlier
bidding, 4♣ might be useful
as natural, a cue bid or
a splinter, for example.
(c) For a successful slam
you need a good trump suit
and controls in all the suits.
Often you cannot establish
that this is the case below 4♣.
If you watched any of
the world championships
in Wroclaw, I suspect you
could have watched for
the whole fortnight without
seeing Gerber used. If
all experts agree that a
convention is a terrible one,
they are invariably right.
Suppose you bid
the opponents’
suit at the three
level eg (1♦)-Dbl-(2♦)-3♦.
Does this show a control
in the opponents suit for
a possible 3NT contract
or is it asking doubler
to show her best suit?
Roger Jones by email.
On the particular
auction you give, the
fourth player has the
option to make a responsive
double. This suggests
that the cue bid ought to
mean something else,
although perhaps simply a
stronger hand, unsure of
denomination and wishing
to set up a force. If the third
player had passed, then a
cue bid would be asking the
doubler to choose a suit.
On most auctions, a bid
BRIDGE December 2016
of the opposing suit will
either be showing a fit and
values or be asking for a
stopper. An immediate cue
bid after partner has opened
or overcalled is usually
showing a fit and values –
many of these cue bids will
be at the two level, though
they can be at the three
level (eg (1♦)-1♠-(2♦)-3♦).
Cue bids later in the
auction or by other players
tend to be asking for a
stopper (eg 1♦-(2♣)-2♠(Pass)-3♣) or in some cases
just showing extra values
(eg 1♦-(2♣)-Dbl-(Pass)-3♣).
Cue bids at the four level are
most often control showing
for slam purposes – you do
not ask for stoppers when
you are already past 3NT.
I would really
value a recap on
unusual openings
– eg 3NT. As it hardly
ever happens that I
have seven or eight solid
clubs (or diamonds),
I have forgotten the
responses, with or
without intervention.
Margerita Milne by email.
The standard actions
for responder after
a gambling 3NT
opening are as follows:
To play, indicating
stoppers in the
other suits
Pass or correct:
opener passes with
clubs or bids 4♦
with diamonds
Singleton enquiry
To play
Invitational, typically
asking for an
eighth winner
Pass or correct:
opener passes with
clubs or bids 5♦
with diamonds
BRIDGE December 2016
After the 4♦ singleton
enquiry, opener rebids:
4♥/4♠ Singleton in suit bid
No singleton
5♣/5♦ Singleton in the
other minor
West, dealer,
opened 1♣. A
new partner
on BBO decided to
pass my 2NT overcall,
having a singleton in
each of my suits. Is this
acceptable in your view?
She could not bid three
of the other suit either,
because her suit was
opener’s suit. I believe
a cue of opener’s suit
usually shows a powerful
hand, yet her bid would
have been successful.
The full deal
was as follows:
♠ 10 7
♥ A Q 8 7 3
♦ A 10 7 5 3
♠ K 8 6
♠ Q 9 3 2
♥ K 10 5 WE
♥ J 9 6 2
♦ K 6 S
♦ Q 9 8 4 2
♣ K Q 8 4 3
♠ A J 5 4
♣ A J 10 7 6 5 2
Geoff Simpson,
Torphins, Aberdeenshire.
As it happens, I
encountered a similar
situation recently.
My partner overcalled 2NT
showing both minors. I
had K-J-x-x in the unbid
spade suit and K-Q-10-9
of the opposing hearts;
the winning action would
have been to pass my
partner’s 2NT overcall.
On your layout,
passing 2NT seems
reasonable. I do not think
3♣ would be natural.
For the average
or below club
player what are
the best two devices that
are fairly easy to adopt?
We can assume that they
already use weak takeouts and pre-empts.
John Wyatt by email.
You ask a tricky
question. Negative
doubles after your
side opens the bidding and
the next player overcalls are
a strong candidate for one
of the bidding treatments
to add. Playing double for
take-out of opposing preempts is another possibility.
There are so many things
that it is difficult to narrow
the list down to just two.
There are a
few discard
systems. What
are your thoughts?
Colin Liddle by email.
On your first discard,
it can be important
to be able to show
your strength to partner. If
you play standard attitude
signals (high encouraging,
low discouraging) when
following suit to partner’s
lead, you can do the same
when discarding. Likewise,
if you play reverse or upside
attitude (low likes, high hates)
when following to partner’s
lead, it is logical to do the
same for your discards.
Some prefer to play suit
preference discards (high
asks for a high-ranking suit,
low asks for a low-ranking
suit). The downside with those
is that you cannot signal
for the suit you discard.
Revolving discards (high
asks for the suit above, low
for the suit below) are in
theory slightly better than
suit preference because you
can signal for spades (or
hearts if spades are trumps)
without using a high card.
With one regular partner, I
play reverse attitude signals
both following suit and as
discards. With another, I
play standard attitude both
following suit and as discards.
Aside from
conventions like
Landy where
you are looking for a
major suit fit, could you
advise on the strength
and distribution required
to overcall after a weak
no-trump opening?
I am particularly
interested in finding a
minor suit part score.
Tony Hodge by email.
When the opponents
open a weak notrump, game may be
on your way, which means
overcalls, except when you
have passed, need to have
some constructive intent.
Vulnerable, you need to
have an opening bid values.
Non-vulnerable, you can
have a point or two fewer.
Remember, any overcall will
commit you to at least the
two level, so a hand that
would not have been worth
a two-level overcall over a
suit opening is probably not
worth an overcall of a 1NT
opening. In terms of shape,
a 5332 is generally not good
enough. You are looking
for a six-card suit or some
sort of 5-4 shape or better.
Since you are more likely
to win a competitive battle if
you have a major suit
and you are more likely to
Page 33
make game with a major,
conventional defences tend
to focus on the major suits.
Playing Landy, you can show
just diamonds with 2♦, both
minors (at least 5-5) with
2NT and just clubs with 3♣.
You will need reasonable
playing strength for the latter,
particularly when you are
vulnerable, because you are
bidding at the three level.
A more sophisticated
version of Landy is Multi
Landy. With this, a 2♦
overcall shows one major
(similar to a Multi 2♦
opening) while a 2♥ or 2♠
overcall shows the major bid
and an unspecified minor
(like Lucas 2♥/2♠ openings,
but slightly stronger). Unless
you are already familiar
with the Multi and Lucas,
you will probably want to
stick with simple Landy.
When is a bid
forcing for one
round or forcing
to game? I know that
no-trump bids are
often non-forcing.
Irene Martin by email.
It is difficult to cover
every possible
sequence in the
space available. What follows
are some principles that
hold true on most auctions.
In general, bids of a
suit that either member of
the partnership has bid
previously and no-trump bids
are non-forcing. A return
to partner’s suit after an
invitational 2NT bid tends,
however, to be forcing.
Bids of a new suit below
game, especially at the three
level, are often forcing if
partner has bid. Bids of the
opposing suit and, if there is
an agreed suit, bids in other
suits tend to be forcing too.
Most artificial bids are also
Page 34
forcing. The main exception
to having a new suit as
forcing is that a non-reverse
new suit by opener after a
one-level response is not
forcing. A non-jump change
of suit response by a passed
hand or (if playing rubber
bridge), a bid (other than
a jump shift response) that
suffices for game because
of a previous partscore
would also be non-forcing.
Common bids that are
forcing to game are a jump
shift by either opener or
responder, an opener’s
reverse after a two-level
response, a 2♣ opening
(unless followed by a 2NT
rebid). It is also common
to play that opener’s 2NT
rebid after a two-over-one
response is game forcing.
Jacoby over
majors is popular
and I can see
the value in most
instances. However,
when partner has a fit,
as well as a good suit
of his own, I find that
if you do not show it
at once it is difficult to
convey its worth later.
In old fashioned Acol
you would automatically
bid it to give partner
a picture of the hand,
but now one must bid to
the level of the hand. A
double fit is worth quite
a few isolated points.
What is your opinion?
Gavin Pike by email.
A game forcing
Jacoby 2NT raise
keeps the bidding
quite low so gives the
partnership space to explore
whether their hands fit well
in other respects. Some
people play that opener bids
a second suit and others
that opener bids a shortage.
In either case, one is able
to identify how well the
hands fit in the side suits.
You only bid high
quickly with weak hands,
not with strong hands.
I am in fourth
seat, vulnerable
after three
passes. I have 11
measly points of
aces and spaces.
Whenever I go for
it, partner has 7 HCP.
Whenever I cave in,
partner has 11 HCP.
Any guidelines please?
Vicky Fisher by email.
Accepted wisdom on
marginal openings
in fourth seat is to
add your HCP to your spade
length and open if the total
comes to 15 or more. So with
11 HCP you would open if
you have at least four spades
and pass with three or fewer.
The reason why your spade
length is so important is
that on a partscore deal,
the side with spade length
is in a better position to
win the declaration.
The rule of 15 might not
work every time but at least
it saves you guessing and
gives you something to quote
if your decision backfires.
If I hold a hand
with an eightcard suit and 19
points, how do I open
the bidding so that my
partner is able to know
my bid at the four level
is not a pre-empt?
Joy Holloway,
Woking, Surrey.
A four-level opening
is consistent with an
eight-card suit but
not with 19 HCP. Even facing
a passed partner, you risk
missing a slam if you open
such a strong shapely hand
with a pre-emptive bid.
If you play strong two
openings, as in Acol, you
open two of your long suit
unless it is clubs. If you play
Benjamin, you open 2♣. If
you are not playing either or
if you are playing Acol but
your long suit is clubs then
you open at the one level
and hope to catch up later.
There seems to
be two schools
of thought
regarding weak two
openings. I play three
weak twos with one
partner and weak
twos in the majors
with another. What
are your thoughts?
Gloria Parks by email.
Playing weak twos in
diamonds as well as
the majors has the
merit of simplicity, although
the pre-emptive benefit of a
weak 2♦ opening is limited,
unless partner raises. I do
play a weak 2♦ with one
partner, albeit more from
his choice than from mine. I
think there are better uses for
a 2♦ opening – weak hands
with a long minor often end
up defending. A 2♦ opening
is not really high enough to
pose the opponents major
problems in the auction,
while the information that
one hand is weak with
long diamonds tends to
help them in the play.
With my most regular
current partner, I play
Benjamin, which gives a lot
of options with no-trump
ranges as well as a way to
show near game hands.
Some people play 2♥ and
2♠ openings as constructive,
BRIDGE December 2016
using a Multi 2♦ for weaker
hands with a major – I
have not tried that myself.
Playing SAYC
with 15-17 1NT,
I understand
the received wisdom
with a no-trump shape
is to open a minor and
rebid 1NT with fewer
than 15 points and
2NT with more than
17. However, if partner
inconveniently responds
2♣ over your opening
1♦, what then? Does one
just have to rebid 2NT
regardless of whether
one has 12 points or 19?
Michael Paine, Surrey.
If you are playing
a two-over-one
response as stronger
than in Acol, but not game
forcing, then I do not think
you can rebid 2NT with 18
points. I think you would
need to jump to 3NT. The
1♦-2♣-2NT sequence is
an awkward one in any
case, because responder
(if holding 11 points) is
guessing whether opener
has 12 points (when it is
right to pass 2NT) or 14.
After an
opening 1NT
(12-14 points),
responses of 2♦ and
2♥ are conventionally
transfers to hearts and
spades respectively. I
have played against
pairs who include in
their repertoire a ‘superaccept’ of the transfer.
If the opener has the
full 14 points and four
of his partner’s suit he
responds 3♥ or 3♠. This
seems to me to work
out pretty well most of
BRIDGE December 2016
the time, but I met one
teacher who did not like
it on the grounds that
the responder to 1NT
may have a long major
but very few points, in
which case 3♥/3♠ might
be too high. What do
you think? Vulnerabilitydependent maybe?
Obviously if the opening
1NT is strong (15-17),
the risks are much
less. My feeling is that,
even with a 12-14 point
1NT, if the responder
is extremely weak, the
super-accept might
have some pre-emptive
value, and is therefore
always worth a go.
Jim Miller, Loughborough.
Transfer super
accepts are a good
idea. It can be very
useful to know whether the
fit is 5-4 or 5-3 because
this affects how many points
the partnership needs for
a game or a slam. They
are, as you suggest, slightly
more useful playing a strong
no-trump and slightly more
useful when non-vulnerable
or playing teams. Vulnerable
at matchpoints and playing
a weak no-trump, losing 200
for two off on a partscore
deal is a factor to consider.
Often, except against timid
opponents, if you have a 5-4
fit and all you can make is a
two-level contract, you will
find yourself outbid if you try
to stop at the two level – in
this case it is better to go to
the three level straight away.
Whether your side’s major is
spades or hearts is a factor
as well. Opponents are much
more likely to protect over 2♥
(when they might outbid you
at the two level) than over 2♠.
With most partners, I
play that a jump to three of
responder’s major shows a
minimum with four trumps
while other transfer breaks or
super-accepts are descriptive
and show a maximum with
four trumps. Vulnerable
at matchpoints, you might
decide not to show the fourcard support on some hands.
When do you
cover an honour
with an honour?
Bridie Cushion by email.
In brief, you cover
an opposing honour
to promote a lower
honour (or sometimes a
high spot card) in your hand
or your partner’s hand.
The shorter you are in the
suit and the better your
intermediate cards, the
more likely it is to be right
to cover. Covering is less
likely to be right if you know
partner is short in the suit
(when covering might crash
an honour with partner and
you know partner cannot
have anything to promote)
and is also less likely to be
right if the honour led is a
touching card (when it is
generally best to wait to cover
the last touching honour).
Suppose what you
can see is as follows:
♠ Q 7 4 3
♠ K 5
Covering the queen with
the king will gain a trick if
partner has J-x or 10-x-x and
will give declarer a guess if
partner has 10-x. Covering
the queen will lose a trick
if partner has a singleton
ace and saves declarer a
guess if partner is void.
Usually you can tell
from the bidding whether
declarer is more likely to
hold a four- or five-card suit
rather than a six- or sevencard suit. If declarer simply
opened or responded 1♠
or bid spades in reply to a
Stayman enquiry, you would
reasonably hope that partner
has two or three spades
and cover. If, however,
declarer had opened 2♠ or
3♠, you would not cover.
I am looking into
how and why
players win at
bridge and one of the
aspects is randomness.
Have you written or
do you know of any
software that calculates
what the ‘par score
for a hand based on
the optimum realistic
result’ would be for
each hand, checks the
movement and works
out what the final results
would be for each
pair number in those
movement positions?
Mike Bowthorpe,
Sorry I am not aware
of any such software.
You would need a
human (teacher, coach or
whatever) to analyse the
deals. You are right that you
cannot just use standard
software. That looks at all
four hands and so drops
singleton kings offside, gets
all the two-way finesses right,
never misses even the most
complicated strip squeeze
and thinks you should be in
a makeable slam even if it
needs three finesses and a
3-3 break.
E-mail your questions (including your postal address)
for Julian to: [email protected]
Page 35
A Blast From the Past by Shireen Mohandes
Not Just a
Pretty Face
merican John R Crawford
(1915-1976) enjoyed his teenage
years in the Culbertson era,
when the popularity of bridge was at its
height. He was a boy wonder and went
on to win three world championships.
He was regarded as a good looking
man, sharp witted, flamboyant, and
a strong technical player. He has been
much talked about and quoted. Judy
Kay Wolff describes him as ‘well built,
magnificently groomed and with
steel gray eyes, to boot’. If you play
backgammon, you may well be familiar
with the Crawford rule – named after
him. Apart from a successful career
as a bridge and backgammon player,
Crawford wrote books on these
games, but he also wrote about other
card games: Canasta, Samba, Calypso,
and others.
Years of Bridge, by Australian JNR
Pairs. Dealer South. N/S Vul.
♥ A K 10 8 7 6 3 2
♦ Q 9
♣ Q 10 2
♠ A K Q 8 4 2 ♠ 10 9 6 5
♥ 9 ♥Void
♦ J 10 4 S
♦ 8 6 5 3
♣ J 7 6
♣ A K 9 8 4
♠ J 7 3
♥ Q J 5 4
♦ A K 7 2
♣ 5 3
The 1944 auction:
WestNorth East South
1♠ 2NT3♥ Dbl
3♠ 4♥ 4♠Pass
All Pass
The deal below is from a pairs
tournament in the USA, in 1944. It
was reported in the book The Golden
Page 36
Well – where do we start? You may
wonder, ‘What on earth is going on?
Have the proof readers gone to sleep or
Crawford, sitting South, opened
light. At that time in the USA, 1♥
was the correct opening bid, whereas
nowadays almost all Americans play
five-card majors. Schenken, a world
class player himself, was presumably
intending to get his side doubled
and discourage his opponents from
bidding spades (which might make,
or be a reasonable sacrifice). East
wanted to make the position clear
for his partner, and cue bid 3♥ which
The Backgammon
Crawford Rule
This rule is designed to make match
play more equitable for the player in
the lead. If a player is one point
away from winning a match, that
player’s opponent will always want
to double as early as possible in
order to catch up. Whether the
game is worth one point or two, the
trailing player must win to continue
the match. To balance the situation,
the Crawford Rule requires that
when a player first reaches a score
one point short of winning, neither
player may use the doubling cube
for the following game, called the
Crawford game. After the Crawford
game, normal use of the doubling
cube resumes. The Crawford rule is
routinely used in tournament match
play. It is possible for a Crawford
game never to occur in a match.
Source: Wikipedia
BRIDGE December 2016
meant, ‘I am supporting your spades,
partner.’ Griffiths commented that
East did not bid 3♣ (instead of 3♥)
because he thought he might be left
there, or raised to 5♣.
And so Crawford and Schenken
made their way to 6♥. West, who
had had enough, doubled (not
unreasonably) and led a top spade.
Before we look at the play, let’s consider
a more modern ‘honest’ auction,
which may not be nearly as much fun.
West North
1♠4♥4♠ Pass 5♥ All Pass
If West had opened a weak 2♠, it
would have been undervaluing the
hand. North might think, ‘Partner is
a passed hand, so slam is unlikely; let
me make it hard for the opponents to
judge the right contract,’ and bid 4♥.
East has a nice hand in context, and
whether the partnership play weak or
strong no-trump, four- or five-card
majors, 4♠ is clear.
A lazy South may just bid 5♥. A
more thoughtful and considerate
South will try to help partner with a
description of their hand, in case the
adversaries buy the contract. Since
South is a passed hand, 5♦ can be
bid comfortably, knowing that it is
showing both diamonds and hearts,
and suggesting – very strongly – that a
diamond should be led. West, looking
at three diamond losers, and knowing
that a diamond will be led has no
more to say at this stage, and will pass.
Remember there is another chance to
bid because South bid 5♦.
North signs off in 5♥ and the
spotlight is now on East. With decrepit
diamonds, and diamond strength in
South, he expects that partner would
lose two or three diamonds alone. So it
doesn’t seem that 5♠ is likely to make.
Should East sacrifice? It is surprising
how often it is right to bid on in
these situations, but looking at an
A-K facing an opening bid, East will
probably decide to defend. East makes
a disciplined pass, as do the next
two players. In this case, thoughtful
bidding helps North-South.
The Play
Now, turning to the play in 1944, where
the final contract was 6♥ doubled, by
South. Crawford must have taken
great delight in seeing the ♠K hit the
green baize. He trumped and played
six rounds of trumps. The discarding
would have been agony. This is the
ending that Crawford reached:
♥ 2
♦ Q 9
♣ Q 10 2
♥— N
♦ J 10 4 S
♣ J 7
♦ A K 7 2
Two anecdotes about
Crawford from the
ACBL website:
Late in the evening, Crawford
reached a grand slam in clubs
holding seven clubs to the
A-K-Q-10 opposite a singleton. If
he made the contract, that deal
would be the last of the night, so
when Crawford noticed that the
kibitzers had not stirred, he drew
the inference that the slam was not
lay down. Backing his judgment,
Crawford played the singleton
trump from dummy and finessed
the 10, the only play to make the
slam since his right-hand opponent
held four clubs to the jack.
♦ 8 6 5 3
♣ A K
When dummy plays the ♥2, East is in
trouble. If he sheds a club honour, then
a club is ducked and the remainder of
the tricks are taken by declarer. If he
lets go a diamond, then the long diamond in hand is established. This play
is called ‘squeeze without the count’.
The background behind the name is
that although East is squeezed, he does
go on to win a trick later. Most squeezes involve the defence taking their
tricks, and then being squeezed when
declarer has only one possible loser.
And so the doubled slam was made
by Crawford. Was he modest or did he
gloat? We will never know.
BRIDGE December 2016
Looking at all four hands, have you
noticed that West can make 6♠ on a
heart lead, ruffed in dummy? Once
spades break 3-0, with South likely to
have eight cards in the red suits, the
correct play is to cash two top trumps
and plan to double finesse the clubs.
The third and final round of trumps is
the entry to hand to take the second
club finesse. ■
Never at a loss for words, Crawford
brimmed with confidence and
hubris. He was once approached at
a tournament by a player who
wanted his opinion on a hand.
‘Before you give me the hand,
who’s my partner supposed to be?’
Crawford asked.
‘It’s unimportant,’ answered the
‘I have to know,’ said Crawford. ‘It
might make a difference.’
‘Okay then – another good player.
Make it yourself or your twin
‘Who are my opponents?’
‘If you insist on that, too, make it
two more Johnny Crawfords.’
Crawford said, ‘I’m sorry, I
wouldn’t play in that game, it’s too
Page 37
Improve Your Defence with Andrew Kambites
Are You on the Same
Side as Partner?
ridge players specialise in
sadism. The worst example of
torturing partner I have ever
seen was in a close match when I was
in 3NT and West led the ♦J. Having
four small diamonds in each hand I
wasn’t worried until East showed out.
West had ♦A-K-Q-J-10 and I had the
rest. Surely there is nothing to say
about this hand, but wait and see. West
followed with the ♦Q, ♦K and ♦10 in
that order. East was trying to make
some sense of this sequence and took
longer and longer over each discard.
Finally, West produced the ♦A and
burst into laughter. The board was flat:
3NT-1 in each room. However East
was furious that partner had put him
through the mental torture of trying
to work out what West was trying to
convey, just for fun. Already tired
from the exertions of a long match,
East’s concentration disintegrated.
Not all acts of mental cruelty are
deliberate. Look at Example A.
Example A
♠ A 3 2
♥ 10 8 5
♦ 10 5 3
♣ A K Q 2
♠ 7 6 4
♠ Q J 10 5
♥ Q J 7 2WE
♥ 9 6 4
♦ Q J 8 6 2 S
♦ K 9
♣ J 10 9 8
♠ K 9 8
♥ A K 3
♦ A 7 4
♣ 7 5 4 3
Page 38
West North
All Pass
West led the ♦6 and East’s ♦K won
the trick. Declarer took the diamond
continuation with his ♦A, cashed the
♥A-K and ♠A-K and tried three top
clubs. When they failed to break 3-2,
he was prepared to concede, but exited
with his ♣2. East then cashed a top
spade, leaving this position with East
on lead:
East knew West’s remaining cards
were the red queens, both winners,
but instead of switching to his ♥9 he
cashed his ♠J.
West had lost track of the small
cards and did not know whether he
should keep the ♥Q or ♦Q. He guessed
wrongly and declarer took trick 13
with dummy’s ♥10.
East was quick to chastise West for
loss of concentration and West just
accepted the blame, but I blame East.
Why did East need to cash the ♠J and
torture his partner?
Good defenders anticipate partner’s
problems and go out of their way to
help partner avoid error.
Example B is most instructive.
Example B
♠ 9 6 5 4
♥ 10 9 3 2
♦ K J 10 9
♠ 10 8 3
♥ 7 5WE
♥ A K Q 4
♦ 7 6 5 3 2 S
♦ 8 4
♣ A 4 3 ♣ 10 9 8 7 6 5 2
♠ A K Q J 7 2
♥ J 8 6
♦ A Q
♣ Q J
West North
2♠Pass 4♠
All Pass
In a teams of four match, both West
players led the ♥7. East cashed the ♥Q
and ♥A and continued with the ♥K.
One West player was not going to
risk partner getting it wrong. He knew
how to beat 4♠. He ruffed East’s master
♥K and cashed his ♣A.
The other West tried to signal his
desire for a club switch by discarding
the ♣4.
The trouble was that this didn’t look
very high to East. East had to choose
between leading a club, hoping partner
BRIDGE December 2016
had the ♣A, or leading a fourth heart,
trying for a trump promotion. He
reasoned that if West had the ♣A he
could have ruffed the third round of
hearts to cash it, so if West left East
on lead he must have a good reason.
That reason could only be a trump
promotion. East continued hearts
which would have been the right
defence if declarer held:
♠ A K Q J 7
♥ J 8 6
♦ A 5
♣ A J 3
As it was, declarer ruffed with the ♠J,
drew trumps and discarded his clubs
on dummy’s diamonds. 4♠ made.
The lesson here is: never look for an
obscure way to tell your partner what
to do when you can do it yourself.
In Example C, West leads the ♦K.
East follows suit with the ♦7 and West
continues with a second diamond.
Declarer easily makes his contract by
ruffing the third diamond, drawing
trumps and driving out the ♣A. Of
course, a club ruff could have beaten
Which defender should bear
Example C
♠ A Q J
♥ A Q J
♦ 10 9 6
♣ K Q J 10
♠ 4 3
♠ 7 6 5
♥ 10 9 WE
♥ 8 6 4 3 2
♦ K Q J 4 S
♦ A 7 5 3
♣ 8 7 5 4 2
♠ K 10 9 8 2
♥ K 7 5
♦ 8 2
♣ 9 6 3
2NT Pass 3♠
All Pass
There is no way that East can persuade
West to switch to a club at trick 2, but
East could, and should, have taken
the initiative. If East overtakes the ♦K
BRIDGE December 2016
with the ♦A, cashes the ♣A and leads
a low diamond back to West it is not
hard for West to work out that a club
ruff is required.
Layout D was a real test of
partnership empathy.
After South opened 1NT and North
raised to 3NT, West led the ♠K. It
looks easy for the defenders to cash
five spade tricks, but it didn’t always
work out that way.
Layout D
♠ 10 2
♥ K J 2
♦ A Q 9 8
♣ A Q J 10
♠ K Q J 9
♥ 9 8 5 3WE
♦ 5 4 2 S
♣ 8 7
♠ 7 4
♥ A Q 7
♦ K J 10 6
♣ K 4 3 2
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Many Wests cashed the ♠K-Q-J,
leaving East with a guess. Some Easts
overtook with the ♠A, which would
be necessary if West had started with
♠K-Q-J tripleton. The ♠9 now blocked
the suit.
One West saw that his partner might
have this problem. He reasoned that
East knew he had the ♠Q from his
opening ♠K lead, so he would play this
card last giving East no temptation to
overtake any of the previous spades.
He continued with the ♠J at trick 2,
and then the ♠9 at trick 3. East was not
tempted to overtake the ♠9.
How hard is all of this? Looking at
all four hands it looks easy enough,
but most bridge players find it very
hard to anticipate how things look to
As the hand develops, each
player acquires knowledge, but not
necessarily the same knowledge.
Players find it incredibly hard to
understand that just because they
know something, that information
might not be available to partner.
A partner who can anticipate
your problems in defence and take
the pressure off you is truly to be
cherished. ■
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Page 39
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Kiki Muir (Letters, BRIDGE
167, p40) asks why it is not
possible to double partner
to show that we have a
misfit. There is a very simple
answer: what happens when
partner passes your double?
This sounds like a wheeze to
me; every time partner bids a
making contract you double
and collect double the score.
I think opponents could have
a point of view about this.
Let’s get back to the roots
of bridge. Double says to
the opponents, ‘You are not
making your contract,’ and
redouble says, ‘Oh yes, we
are.’ In the days of bridge
whist, the earliest – Victorian
– form of bridge, this was all
it meant. Auction bridge then
came along with both sides
allowed to bid, and it did not
take much time for players to
realise that penalty doubles
at a low level did not work.
Instead the take-out double
was introduced. In its earliest
form it was used over a 1NT
opening bid. In auction
bridge it was considered
normal to open 1NT with 2½
quick tricks and three suits
stopped. Two aces and a king
in a third suit would do and
you can easily see that that
was the forerunner of today’s
weak no-trump in contract
bridge. Double simply told
partner to bid something
over the opponents’ 1NT.
Later it was realised it
could be extended to suit
situations as well and the
principle has proved so
useful that now we have
10/10/2016 09:03
Page 40
negative doubles, competitive
doubles, responsive doubles,
re-opening doubles, etc, etc,
all of which enjoin partner
to ‘do the right thing’. Sally
Brock has even written
a complete book about
doubles, Double Trouble.
Even in the early days,
there were players not happy
about this. Sidney Lenz, one
of the foremost experts in
auction bridge in America,
thought there should be a
distinction between double
for penalty, and double for
take-out. He wanted there
to be a new bid ‘challenge’
that took the place of the
take-out double. But other
people tried it and found it
unnecessary. Partner had
to remove the ‘challenge’
and was not able to convert
a challenge into a penalty
double by passing. In other
words, it was unilateral and
unpartnerly and therefore
not good bridge. But
note that it still involved
challenging something the
opponents bid and not
anything partner had bid.
OK, let’s get back to Kiki’s
problem. Kiki has a misfit
with partner and wants
partner to bid any other suit.
Kiki would like to double,
but for reasons above we
can’t use ‘double’. We can
though, give Kiki a new card,
let’s call it ‘change’ and print
it on sky-blue pink. Believe
me, Kiki, we don’t need this
‘change’ card, your problem
is not a problem at all; we
just let the system we already
have operate as it should.
Let’s see some examples:
Partner deals and opens
1♠, the next player passes,
and we have this hand:
♥ 10 7 6 4
♦ Q 8 7 6
♣ K 7 6 5 3
Easy peasy – we have fewer
than 6 HCP. We pass and
quite likely the fourth player
will bid something and take
us off the hook. Even if this
doesn’t happen, partner
most likely will have five
or six spades and the end
of the world won’t come.
If partner has only four
spades, partner’s hand
will be balanced but too
strong for 1NT, so partner
will have 15-19 HCP. We
don’t need to worry.
Let’s make our
hand stronger:
♥ K 7 6 4
♦ Q 8 7 6
♣ A J 7 5 3
Here we have 10 HCP, so
we can freely introduce our
own suit at the two-level. Bid
2♣. The change of suit is
forcing so partner will rebid.
She may support clubs, or
introduce a red suit which we
will happily support. She may
bid 2NT showing 15+ HCP
so we will, with admittedly
a little trepidation, go 3NT.
Or she may rebid 2♠. This
should show a six-card suit,
so we just pass. With misfits,
just stop as quickly as you
can. Anyone who even
considered 2NT here should
go to the back of the class;
partner has limited her hand
to 11-15 HCP, there is a misfit
and there is unlikely to be a
good source of tricks for p42
BRIDGE December 2016
2161 Mr Bridge third page ad 170527BR_Layout 1 2
Answers to Bernard Magee’s Bidding Quizzes 1-3
on the Cover
1. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ K Q 3
♠ A 10 9 6 5
♥ K 8 7 6 N
♥ A 2
♦ A J S
♦ 8 6 5
♣ A 7 6 5
♣ 9 8 2
West North
1NT1Pass2NT Pass
15-17 balanced
You showed 15-17 points by rebidding
1NT and now your partner invites game
with 2NT, so with 17 HCP surely you just
raise to 3NT? You certainly want to go for
game, but why not offer 4♠ as an option
if your partner has five – by bidding 3♠,
you are accepting the invitation to game,
but also showing three-card spade
Here, your partner will be delighted
with your bid and raise to 4♠. 4♠ making
ten tricks is better than 3NT making nine.
There are conventions (eg Checkback)
that allow the responder to find his fit
earlier in the auction, but they are not
part of standard Acol.
2. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ K Q 3
♠ 8 7
♥ A K 6 5 4 N
♦ K Q 3
♦ 9 6 5
♣ 6 2
♣ K Q 9 8 7 5 3
West North
1♥ Pass1NT Pass
Your partner has shown 6-9 HCP and
with a good 17 you felt justified in trying
BRIDGE December 2016
for 3NT. However, your partner has now
bid 3♣. What is he showing you?
1NT encompasses a lot of hand types:
with any semi-decent hand with long
clubs your partner can just bid 3NT; his
3♣ bid should show long clubs and little
else outside. If you have a high club to go
with his suit, you might gamble on 3NT,
but with a small doubleton you should
leave 3♣. You should expect partner’s
hand to be entryless and thus most of
your tricks in a no-trump contract would
have to come from you. 3♣ is likely to
make nine tricks, whilst 3NT would be
lucky to make more than six.
3. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ A K 4 2
♠ 8 5
♥7 N
♥ A K 6 5 4
♦ 8 5 4 S
♦ K J 10 2
♣ A Q 9 4 3
♣ 7 6
West North
1♠ Pass2NT Pass
Your partner should have a stopper in
diamonds (the unbid suit) and 11-12
points. Although, traditionally, you would
expect just 11, when hands are misfitting
you tend to need more combined
strength to make 3NT.
You have described your hand: 5-4
in clubs and spades, so your partner’s
choice of no-trumps seems reasonable.
With 13 points and a 5-card suit you
might feel you have a little bit of extra
strength to go for game. However,
keeping in mind the misfitting nature of
the hands you should be pessimistic. 26
points are usually needed for misfitting
hands to make 3NT.
2NT might not always make, but it is
much more likely to do so than 3NT. ■
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Page 41
Better Hand
Bernard Magee
Better Hand Evaluation is
aimed at helping readers to
add greater accuracy to their
bidding. It deals with auctions in which you and your
partner, against silent opponents, can describe your
hands fully to each other
and, by evaluating them accurately, find the best final
contract. The emphasis of all
good, accurate bidding is on
hand evaluation.
There are two general types of
auction: a) a fit is found and b)
no fit is found.
When you do not have a fit,
you are aiming to describe the
strength of your hand as soon
as possible, most often using
no-trump bids. This book begins by discussing balancedhand bidding in Acol, as it
is very important that both
members of a partnership
have an accurate knowledge of
how to show hands of different
When a fit is found, there is
much re-evaluation of the
hand to be done; point count,
though still important, needs
to be evaluated together with
distribution. The best way of
reaching an accurate assess­
ment is to use the Losing Trick
Count; this is an important
method of hand evaluation and
takes up a number of chapters.
Finally, we move on to different
forms of evaluation including
game tries and splinter bids.
You can never know enough
methods of hand evaluation;
the more you learn, the better
you get at judging your hand.
Although the Losing Trick
Count is used more easily in
tandem with your partner, a
large proportion of the ideas
in this book can be used by an
individual. For example, evaluating your hand to be worth
an extra point is going to help
anyone you partner – as long
as you get it right.
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Page 42
no-trumps. Just let partner
play. She will make a
few high cards, a few of
her trumps and with luck
will scramble eight tricks.
Well passed, partner.
Ok so what happens
when we have 6-9 HCP?
♥ K 7 6 4
♦ J 8 7 6
♣ Q J 7 5 3
We just bid 1NT. This is
the ‘dustbin bid’. 6-9 HCP,
no convenient suit to bid
at the one-level. Anything
partner now bids you can
pass, including of course
2♠. You gave partner the
opportunity to change and
she chose not to. Job done.
This is the beauty of the
1NT dustbin response. It
says to partner I have a few
points but not enough to
bid at the two-level. Partner
has been warned both of
the misfit and the lack of
points. It does not promise
any kind of balanced hand.
I hope, Kiki, I have
convinced you that 1NT is
the ‘change’ card you are
seeking. Perhaps like the
‘change’ card it could be
printed on sky-blue pink to
make you feel more confident
when using it. But until that
happens just imagine it and
happily expect partner to
‘change’ when you use it. If
partner doesn’t change there
will be reasons, so just pass
and let partner get on with
it. Bridge doesn’t need to be
made more complicated;
some of us would say it is
challenging enough already.
Ned Paul, Twickenham.
I must say that the comment
under the final letter in the
October issue of BRIDGE
seemed ill-judged.
The writer is entitled to
his view (mind you he gets
things wrong. For example,
the Corn Cairdis gets not
one penny of EBU funds
and has not for many years)
and if you choose to allow
him to remain anonymous
that is your entitlement,
but to allow him to do so
because he has made the
completely unsubstantiated
slur about retaliation seems
more than a bit much.
Who is the ‘they’ that have
attracted ‘retaliation’ from
the EBU? I invite him or her
to provide evidence that this
is actually true rather than
a cheap and somewhat
defamatory remark.
To criticise the EBU for its
actions is one thing. To make
unsubstantiated allegations
and slurs quite another.
Jeremy Dhondy,
Chairman of the EBU,
Aylesbury, Bucks by email.
Quite so. I agree with you
and unreservedly apologise.
Jeremy Dhondy (Some
Answers, BRIDGE 167,
November 2016, p40)
is mistaken in implying
that the best means to
ensure fairness in a bridge
competition is to minimise
the number of boards in
play. The major factor to
bring about fairness is to
ensure that the overall skills
of each pair’s opponents
are as equal as possible.
Thus when a movement
ends in what is called a
‘revenge’ round, ie one in
which players play against
the same pair in the final
round as they played
against in the first, the pair
who oppose the champion
pair in the revenge round
will complain that the fact
that they, and they alone,
have to play the champions
twice makes the movement
unfair, even though it might
be the only movement in
which each player does
indeed play every board.
Put another way, suppose
you are coming up for the
last round of a movement.
You are given a choice:
choose which boards
you would like to play, or
choose which opponent
pair you would like to play
against. It’s a no-brainer,
you would chose the club
dunces, for want of a better
word, showing that quality
of opposition is a more
dominant consideration
than type of board.
Of course, in the higher
ranks of the game in which
the EBU rule makers operate,
all players will be more
or less of the same high
skill level, so they naturally
think that second-order
considerations – ie the
requirement that each board
should be played by as many
pairs as possible, and hence
the number of boards in play
should be as few as possible
– are the issue. Given
however that competitions
at club level are inherently
unfair anyway, because of
the variations in skill levels
that will inevitably exist, the
introduction of the 70% rule
(the violation of which makes
the event ineligible for master
points) seems to me to be
irrelevant; and I agree with
Andrew Kambites who, in
page 7 of the same issue,
reaches the same conclusion
based on his experience of
running bridge holidays.
John MacLeod,
I would be grateful for a
simple bridge definition of
each of the following words.
Convention, Law, Rule.
I struggle to give a BRIDGE December 2016
2161 Mr Bridge third page ad 170503BR_Layout 1 2
Answers to Bernard Magee’s Bidding Quizzes 4-6
on the Cover
4. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ K Q J 5 4 3
♥ A K 4 3 2
♦ J 5 3
♦ 9 8 6
♣ A Q 7 6
♣ J 8 2
West North
Generally, when you have two relatively
weak hands bidding together, their job
is to try to settle on a contract at a low
level. The best method for this to work is
that the responding hand usually cedes
to the opener – choosing one of his two
suits, even if the fit is not great. Only very
rarely should the responder take over – a
rebid of responder’s suit should show a
good six-card suit which is happy to play
opposite a singleton in partner’s hand.
The responder is overruling the opener
– he is saying, ‘partner I know that you
have shown me two suits, but looking at
my hand, I am pretty sure that 2♠ is the
right contract.’
East has the classic hand – a one suited
hand that knows that playing in spades
is correct otherwise his hand is relatively
5. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ Q J 7 6 3
♥ K Q 6 5 4 N
♥ 9 2
♦ A 4 2 S
♦ Q 8 6 5
♣ K Q 5 4
♣ J 6
West North
BRIDGE December 2016
Two more weak hands trying to find their
best partscore, but this time, your partner
has come back to your first bid suit. Is it
time to get excited, after all you have 14
HCP and a singleton (just five losers)?
It is important to remember that your
partner will not always have a fit for you,
and he can be very weak. Furthermore,
your partner’s strength in spades may
well be misfitting opposite your singleton.
I suppose playing teams you might
try to push for a thin game, but more
realistically you should pass and hope
you can scrape together eight tricks.
6. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ 8 4 2
♥ K Q 6 5 4 N
♥ 9 2
♦ K Q 5 4 S
♦ A 6 3
♣ A 7 3
♣ K Q J 6 5
West North
1♥ Pass2♣Pass
2♦ Pass2♥Pass
This hand looks very similar to the
previous one, but there is one important
difference: your partner responded at
the two-level, so should have at least ten
You cannot be sure of a good heart fit,
but you can be sure that the partnership
can afford to go at least one level higher
to explore what the best final contract
might be. Bid your hand out naturally:
you have shown five hearts and four
diamonds, a 3♣ bid now would describe
your shape perfectly and put your partner in a good position to decide the final denomination. East would push on in
clubs: 5♣ being a reasonable contract.
East’s second bid is tricky: he might
have tried 2♠ (fourth suit forcing), but he
is a little weak for that so he gave false
preference for hearts.
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Page 43
satisfactory answer to
others when questioned.
Also, reading my letter
which you kindly printed in
the latest issue of BRIDGE.
I wonder what is meant
at the end by ‘HUMS
do not’? Does it mean
HUMS do not contravene
the laws of bridge?
Kiki Muir by email.
Simple answer – yes.
I have a story that might
interest you and your readers.
Most Fridays, I go to visit
my 88 year old father in
Chester. After lunch, we have
a couple of hours playing
Chicago bridge with his two
friends (Geoff 95 and Harold
in his 80s). Last Friday, when
the bridge came to a close
after playing 20 hands, the
scores were level at 1,620
to each pair. Given their
ages, it was a surprise to me
when they said that none
of them had ever played
bridge where the scoring
finished as a ‘dead-heat’.
However, when I called
again yesterday, Geoff told
me that his daughter (a very
keen bridge player living in
Canada) phoned him last
weekend to say that her
bridge afternoon (that
same Friday) had finished
dead-level, adding that
neither she nor her friends
had ever previously
played bridge where
that had happened.
I presume it must be
rare for one such situation
to arise, but for two, on
the same day, in different
countries, with the father in
one country and his daughter
in the other. What are the
odds of that happening?
My father subscribes to
your magazine and I said
that he should write to
you, but I doubt he will.
David Finney by email.
Page 44
Just realised that I still
haven’t replied to your
question of how we’re doing
re. raising funds for charity.
As you know, the supply
of stamps has fallen
dramatically and I now
augment this source by way
of bridge suppers and events
at my bridge club. My next
event is on November 8th
and the proceeds of that
will boost our effort for the
year to roughly £2,000.
I still live in the hope
of receiving a valuable
collection of stamps but
not so far. There are,
nevertheless, some wonderful
people out there who engage
their friends and various
club members and pool
their collecting endeavours.
Christmas mail will shortly
be arriving and of course that
always results in an upsurge.
Be assured that I will continue
to do my best and thank you
for your continued support.
Malcolm Finebaum
by email.
8 Mountford House,
Crescent Road,
Enfield EN2 7BL.
If you and partner have an
eight-card fit, what are the
odds opponents have at
least an eight-card or better
fit? Nine-card or better fit?
If you and partner have a
nine-card fit, your opponents
must have an eight-card
fit (26-(13-9)=22, divide
22 by 3) or better, what
are the odds they have a
nine-card fit or better?
Michael Green,
Brighton, Sussex.
holds a 13-card suit. If he has
ever held one, it’s most probably his friends pulling his
leg. Even a hand with eleven
occurs just three in a million,
so he’ll never see one again.
Tom Smith by email.
I have just received a
printed copy of BRIDGE 166;
a most welcome and
pleasant surprise, as it’s
so much easier to read
than the digital copy.
Thank you very much.
However, I notice that
neither this issue, nor
no.165 is available on
the website. Have you got
behind with this job again?
David Barker,
Aylesbury, Bucks.
Having watched your
magazine evolve over
the years, may I, as both
bridge player and marketing man, congratulate you
on the October 2016 issue.
Its friendly image and feel,
clean layout and typeface,
good colour quality and
highly rated contributors,
are all very welcoming.
The subscription price
of £50 for 36 issues of
BRIDGE compares with
Bridge Magazine (with which
I have no connection) priced
at £19.99 for 12-monthly
issues plus unlimited on-line
access and index to over 60
issues they have published
in recent years. At this time,
the latter seems for me the
better choice but, as one
nearing retirement, the
temptation of your cruises
keeps growing stronger.
J French by email.
Charlie Richardson (letters
BRIDGE 166) can relax. If
he plays bridge a lot, say a
hundred boards a week, it
will probably be tens of thousands of millennia before he
Bridge Magazine is only
available online.
Reading BRIDGE 166, I
am concerned to see that
Wendy Wensum would
seem to be both a little
older and now teetotal.
As my wife and I usually
play crisp and wine social
rubber bridge with a
couple of friends, I wonder
whether I should decrease
the alcohol intake.
Malcolm Freeth,
Bournemouth, Dorset.
It was sad to see the obituary
of Patrick Jourdain. I first met
him in 1961 at the fair for
Cambridge freshers, both of
us lurking around the stall
for the university bridge club.
We had both been playing
at school but I felt a bit
superior as my school was
immediately adjacent
to Sidcup Bridge Club
and I had been playing
there for a year or so
with David Huggett, one
of your columnists.
After our first session at
the university club, I decided
that Patrick would soon
be a better bridge player
than I would ever be.
We played together for
three years and in the Varsity
match in 1964. I remember
once the club was due to play
a match against Norwich
Bridge Club. Someone had
hired a van whose steering
and brakes were rather
dodgy and at one point,
although going very slowly,
the driver lost control and
the van turned on its side.
Patrick was coming to the
end of a story about some
amazing bridge hand and I
saw him falling towards me
as the van fell. Amazingly,
we all scrambled out
completely unhurt (except
oil from somewhere had
leaked onto the driver’s
clothes). As we all stood
around somewhat confused,
Patrick’s first words were
the punchline of his story.
I never remember him
uttering a cross word to p46
BRIDGE December 2016
Answers to Bernard Magee’s Bidding Quizzes 7-9
on the Cover
7. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ A K 9 4 3
♥ A K 8 7 2 N
♥ 6 5
♦ K 4 2 S
♦ 8 7 3
♣ Q J 4 2
♣ A K 5
West North
? 1Fourth suit forcing
2NT. The partnership has bid three suits
naturally and then your partner makes a
bid in the fourth suit. You alert his bid as
fourth suit forcing: an unnatural bid, not
promising anything in diamonds – he is
asking you to describe your hand a little
more. Top of the list of what he might
need to know about your hand is whether
you have a stopper in the fourth suit; if
you have, you should bid no-trumps.
K-x-x might not seem much, but it
is enough when you are declaring the
contract. A diamond lead means you will
make a trick in the suit; you will only lose
out if the ace is wrong and the defence
find an accurate sequence of plays.
Here, you bid 2NT, not showing any
extra strength, but suggesting something
in diamonds. It is just what East wanted
to hear and he raises to 3NT.
8. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ A K 9 4 3
♥ A K 8 7 2 N
♥ 6 5
♦ J 4 S
♦ 8 7 3
♣ Q J 9 4 2
♣ A K 5
West North
? 1Fourth suit forcing
3♣. Once again, you alert your partner’s
bid, but with little strength in diamonds
you cannot bid no-trumps. Your job is to
describe your hand further and with that
BRIDGE December 2016
in mind, you should bid your second suit
again, promising five cards. Do not be
tempted to bid 2♥ to keep the auction
lower just because you are weak: you
chose to open with 11 HCP because of
your shape and here is your chance to
exhibit it.
Over 3♣ your partner can be sure
that clubs are best and will probably bid
MAC or
9. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ A 10 9 4 3 2
♥ A K 8 7 2 N
♦ K Q 4 2 S
♦ A J 9 6
♣ Q J 4 2
♣ K 3
West North
? 1Fourth suit forcing
3♦. You have a nice hand and, once
again, are being asked to make a third
descriptive bid: you have shown five
hearts and four clubs, what would be the
best descriptive bid next?
Thinking naturally will get you the
answer: 3♦. 3♦ shows good diamonds
and finishes the perfect description of
your hand, leaving your partner with a
pretty picture. You have shown a three
suited hand (very short in spades) with
reasonable strength.
You might have considered 2NT (or
3NT) to show your diamond stopper,
but this misrepresents the potential of
the hand. Remember that after your 3♦
bid, your partner can bid no-trumps if
he wishes, knowing you have a diamond
You might ask why your partner used
2♦ on the hand he held – well, with six
spades and a game going hand, he
needed more information from you before settling on the contract. Your 3♦ bid
should persuade your partner to push towards a diamond contract, perhaps even
reaching the giddy heights of 6♦.
Throughout 200 deals split into
ten chapters, Bernard evaluates
your bids, praising the correct
ones and discussing the wrong
l Opening Bids
and Responses
l Slams and
Strong Openings
l Support for Partner
and Responses
l Opener’s and
Responder’s Rebids
l Minors and Misfits
l Competitive Auctions
Mr Bridge, Ryden Grange,
Knaphill, Surrey GU21 2TH
( 01483 489961
Page 45
me at the bridge table. I
stopped playing bridge
after leaving Cambridge
and lost touch completely.
When I began playing
club bridge some years
later, it was no surprise to
see that he had achieved
fame in the bridge world.
Cliff Pavelin, Oxford.
I have known Patrick
for many years having
been a kibitzer at many
Camrose matches and
also a board monitor.
My enduring memory
of his excellent card play
was in the following,
when he was declarer
in a contract of 6♥ in a
Camrose match in the
1980s (I think) against
England in Wales. I was
there as an England
He held ♥K-10-8-7-62 and dummy held ♥A-9.
He had to play this suit for
just one loser. After much
thought he played the ♥2 to
the ♥9, when his left hand
opponent (LHO) played low.
His LHO held ♥Q-J-5-4.
The whole vu-graph room,
with many Welsh supporters
was jumping for joy.
Philip Watson by email.
Excellent though your
magazine is, I am only of
rubber bridge standard,
having had some classes
in my late 60s. My
memory used to be good,
but I find the thought of
duplicate and Chicago
daunting to say the least.
Some of your articles,
though useful, are way above
my level. Please remember us
less experienced players too.
I shall continue to
subscribe and read and
enjoy the bits I understand.
Angela Clifford by email.
Page 46
I was most excited to see
there is finally a Mr Bridge
app for iPad and have
just downloaded it.
However, it does nothing
to enhance the reputation
of Mr Bridge and if I had
not been to seminars and
subscribed to your magazine,
I would be asking for an
immediate refund. Please
would you explain when
you are going to provide
an update to make the app
even remotely comparable
to that of Omar Sharif’s.
I am most disgruntled.
Mrs Liz Bragg,
Reading, Berks.
Absolutely nothing to do
with me whatsoever.
I live in Perth, Australia for
nine months of the year
and play bridge regularly.
Unlike the situation in
England, the popularity of
the game is increasing.
Most of the clubs here
(of which there are many)
belong to the Australian
Bridge Federation, thus
enabling them to allocate
master points which provide
an incentive. Most clubs
have their own premises,
are efficiently run and use
the latest technology.
Apart from this, however,
I wonder if the main reason
for bridge’s continued
popularity could be that
the majority of sessions
take place in the afternoon,
unlike in England where
they are in the evening.
From my experience, a
large number of people take
up bridge when they are
older and have more time to
spare. Certainly in Western
Australia, such people are
encouraged by the fact that
they can enjoy their hobby in
a safe environment with good
parking facilities and above
all, they can play during
daylight hours. Could this be
something worth pursuing?
Margaret Williams
by email.
‘The more you understand
bridge, the fewer people
you will enjoy playing the
game with.’ I was shocked
when I heard a well-known
teacher tell his intermediate students this. But the
more I think about it, the
more I appreciate his point.
For me, the fundamental
flaw of bridge is coded
into its partnership ethos:
1. The more information
you can communicate
to your partner, the
more you will win.
2.Winning is a good thing.
Bridge is not a partnership
game like tennis or
badminton where good
players routinely pass secret
signals to their partner. In
those sports, making the
right shot well is the really
difficult thing, a technique
acquired over years of
training. In bridge, the
equivalent physical action
– that is, pulling a card out
of your hand and placing
it on the table – is no effort
for 99% of players. It is the
selection of the right card or
bid that is the really difficult
thing in bridge. As we have
seen in recent years from
the top bridge players who
cheat, partner can illegally
communicate information
that makes this selection
dilemma far less difficult.
Like many games and
sports which were originally
invented as social pastimes,
there is almost zero social
content in the game when
played at the highest level
when winning is paramount,
possibly for financial reasons.
Diagonal screens and
expressionless faces are
almost mandatory. There is
talk even of having players
in separate rooms bidding
and playing via electronic
devices as if on the Internet.
At the other end, the
social game still exists as a
post-dinner party activity,
but in much lower numbers.
Knowledge of the game is no
longer the prerequisite it once
was to building a social circle
in a new neighbourhood. A
love of bridge is not always
passed on to the next
generation: I know of many
who will not touch the game
because they recall as a child
their parents arguing bitterly
after an evening’s bridge.
Caught in between these
two extremes is the duplicate
club, where prestige is the
only prize to be gained from
winning. It is immensely
saddening to see a pair
resort to cheating in this
environment. But like your
anonymous writer, I also
believe there is a need for a
far simpler set of rules and
rectification procedures than
the WBF currently offers.
I almost think it wrong to
encourage young players to
learn the game today. In my
days as a student, it barely
mattered what quality of
degree you got. The last thing
a student today needs is to
become addicted to a flawed
game which could deprive
him or her of a good degree.
The ingredients needed
for a good game of bridge
– in particular, exactly four
players of not-too-different
ability – are becoming
scarcer. While hundreds of
thousands of youngsters
are paying good money
not only to play computer
games but also to watch
others play them, the bridge
world must realise it cannot
compete for their attention
as a viewing entertainment.
It could be that the take-up
of bridge soon falls off a cliff,
as youngsters – even those
presented with the BRIDGE December 2016
Answers to Bernard Magee’s Bidding Quizzes 10-12
on the Cover
10. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ K 4
♠ 7 6 5
♥ 7 6 N
♥ A K 8 5 3
♦ 8 4 3 S
♦ K Q 2
♣ A K J 7 6 5
♣ Q 3
West North
2NT. Your partner has bid a second suit
and so should have a decent hand: 10+
points. His new suit is forcing for one
round, trying to get you to show a little
more about your hand. The bid is similar to fourth suit forcing, but it is natural
in that it shows strength in the suit bid.
Your job is to contemplate the fourth suit,
spades – have you a stopper?
The answer is yes – your ♠K-4 constitutes a stopper, if you bid no-trumps –
so go for it: 2NT. You are trying to help
your partner decide the final contract.
Your 2NT after your two club bids suggests long clubs along with a high card
in spades. Your partner can raise to 3NT
and you have reached the best contract.
East’s 2♦ was a clever bid – ostensibly
it is showing a four-card suit, but he was
using it to guide the partnership to the
best contract.
11. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ 9 8 7
♥ Q 2 N
♥ K J 7 6 5
♦ A K 8 7 6 S
♦ 9 4
♣ A K 8 4 2
♣ Q 9 3
West North
3♣. You rebid 2♣ to keep the auction
low, but you have a strong hand, particularly if you have a decent fit. The ♥Q is a
BRIDGE December 2016
valuable card (in partner’s suit), so with
just five losers you should definitely pursue the chance of a game contract. Once
again, try to bid your hand naturally, bidding clubs again to show equal length in
your minors and encourage partner to
choose the best fit – remember that your
partner will often give preference to your
first suit, thinking that it might be longer.
With such a weak hand your partner
will choose to pass 3♣, expecting game
to be a step too far.
MAC or
12. Dealer West. Love All.
♠ K Q 8 4
♠ 9 2
♥ K 2 N
♥ A Q J 5 3
♦ 8 7 S
♦ 6 5
♣ A K 6 5 4
♣ Q J 7 3
West North
1♠ Pass3♣Pass
3♦. Your partner’s jump to 3♣ shows an
invitational hand with good club support.
Holding a robust 15 HCP, you hope that
game is on, but which one?
If your partner can stop the diamond
suit, then 3NT might be best: to find out
if he can, you need to use fourth suit forcing. This time, it has come up a little later
in the auction as one of the other suits
has been bid twice. 3♦, with clubs agreed
and the majors bid, is almost demanding
that your partner bid 3NT if he has a diamond stopper. Here, East would rebid 3♥
to deny diamond strength and suggest
hearts as an option. You could take East
up on this offer: honour doubleton opposite a five-card holding might be a good
contract: ten tricks are usually easier than
eleven, so a raise to 4♥ would get you to
the optimum contract.
Fourth suit forcing tends to offer the
partner flexibility in their choice of contract – forcing the auction and allowing
the partnership to think together about
their options.
Bernard develops your
declarer play technique in
the course of ten
introductory exercises and
120 complete deals.
Suit Establishment
in No-trumps
Suit Establishment
in Suits
Ruffing for
Extra Tricks
Entries in
Drawing Trumps
Using the Lead
Trump Control
Endplays & Avoidance
Using the Bidding
Mr Bridge, Ryden Grange,
Knaphill, Surrey GU21 2TH
( 01483 489961
Page 47
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Page 48
istory is probably part of the
reason for the difference in
system. People generally continue with what they learn and teach
what they play, so once the majority of
people are playing a particular system
it tends to continue. Just as the UK is
not alone in driving on the left, it is not
alone in playing Acol, though playing
Acol is rather less prevalent worldwide
than driving on the left is.
In the early days of Acol, the system
featured a variable no-trump; weak
non-vulnerable and strong vulnerable.
Over time, players preferred not to be
playing different methods at different
vulnerabilities. Since playing a weak
no-trump and four-card majors is a
more natural system – you never have
to open a three-card suit in preparation for a 1NT rebid – this is what has
held sway.
Both the Culbertson and Goren systems, as were very popular at one time
in the USA, allowed four-card major
openings. Modern American bidding,
which has influenced systems across
much of the world, features five-card
majors. A strong no-trump opening
has always been the norm in America.
Over the last 10 years, an increasing number of players in the UK have
switched to playing a strong no-trump
and five-card majors. When I first
moved from England to Wales 11 years
ago, hardly anyone in England was
playing strong and five. Nowadays,
a significant minority at many clubs
have switched. The fact that many international players are using strong
and five has no doubt filtered down to
tournament players and thence to club
players. In the World Championship
in Wroclaw, Gold-Bakhshi were playing five-card majors and a variable
no-trump; the other two English open
team pairs and all three English women’s team pairs were playing strong
and five. Online bridge has also been
a factor because strong and five is the
norm online.
With one regular partner, I play a
weak no-trump and four-card majors.
With another I play strong and five. I
shall go through the advantages and
disadvantages of each shortly. Overall,
the technical advantage of one method
over the other is small, although some
would say small differences can be significant in the long run. For many, it
is more a question of personal preference. When playing Acol, I do like to
play a strong no-trump third in hand
vulnerable, because game is unlikely
with weak no-trump values facing a
passed hand and the fourth player will
quite often have enough to double a
weak no-trump.
A few people combine a weak notrump with five-card majors, as GoldBakhshi were doing non-vulnerable.
If you can live with doing something
offbeat on opening hands with a 4-44-1 shape and 12-14 points (either
opening 1NT despite the singleton
club or bidding the diamonds twice
with four), you can certainly try that.
As promised, here are some of the
main pros and cons. I shall express
this in terms of the weak no-trump
and four-card major system that the
majority of readers play:
Advantages to
weak and four
1.Opening 1NT as often as possible
maximises the difficulty the opponents have in competing. If they
wish to overcall, they have to overcall at the two level or higher.
2.Opening 1NT as often as possible,
BRIDGE December 2016
Frequently Asked Questions
most Alone in Playing
our-Card Majors?
since this limits opener’s shape and
strength and maximises responder’s ease in judging the correct level
and denomination.
3. Playing a natural rather than a prepared 1♣ opening helps responder
judge how high to compete and perhaps what to lead if opener opens
1♣ and the auction becomes competitive.
4.Certain hands that are in the 15-17
range but with unsuitable shape for
a strong 1NT opening, for example,
a 1-4-5-3 15-count, are more or less
impossible to bid using strong and
five. You cannot sensibly open 1♦
and rebid 2♦ over 1♠ with 15 points.
Nor, with the misfit, do you really want to stretch to a 2♥ reverse.
Playing a weak no-trump, you can
open 1♦ and rebid 1NT over a 1♠
5.On 5332 hands in the 15-17 range,
having the option to open a suit and
rebid in no-trumps means that you
rarely miss a 5-3 major suit fit. Playing a strong no-trump, unless you
play five-card Stayman, you can
miss a 5-3 fit (after opening 1NT),
particularly if responder is 5-3 in
the majors.
Disadvantages to
weak and four
1. If partner is weak, opponents might
double a weak 1NT opening and extract a penalty.
2.Vulnerable at matchpoints, going
two or three down even undoubled
in 1NT tends to yield a poor score if
the opponents cannot make game.
3.Opening 1NT means that you can
miss a 4-4 major suit fit if responder
is too weak to make a constructive
Stayman enquiry. Although this
BRIDGE December 2016
can happen with a strong no-trump
opening too, hands in the 12-14
range are more common and responder needs less to make a constructive Stayman enquiry facing
4. If the opponents compete over your
major-suit opening, particularly if
they jump, not knowing whether
the opening bidder has four or five
in the suit opened can cause responder problems.
5. Having a 12-14 hand declare, as will
happen if you play in no-trumps or
if responder uses a transfer, does
not help as much as having a 1517 hand declare. The stronger the
opening hand the more likely it is
to contain tenaces and the more
likely it is to be stronger than the
responding hand.
Playing in the European championships in Budapest, my partner and
I were using a weak no-trump and
four-card majors, conscious that in
doing so we were playing against the
field. We did not concede any massive
penalties, though we had one or two
close shaves. We did have one unlucky
board when our auction went 1♠-2♥2NT-4♥ and the opponents scored a
diamond ruff on the first trick. Most
other pairs played that contract from
the strong hand after a 1NT opening
and some sort of transfer, thereby putting the hand with the void in diamonds on lead.
I have not tried to convince you to
switch method, partly because I think
Gold and Bahkshi (not to mention the
originators of the Acol system) have
got it right in advocating a variable
no-trump. The only problem with that
is that you will have difficulty finding
a partner who wants to do so!
MAC or
Bernard develops your
defence in the course of ten
introductory exercises and
120 complete deals.
Lead vs
No-trump Contracts
Lead vs
Suit Contracts
Partner of Leader
vs No-trump
Partner of Leader
vs Suit Contracts
Defensive Plan
Stopping Declarer
Counting the Hand
Mr Bridge, Ryden Grange,
Knaphill, Surrey GU21 2TH
( 01483 489961
Page 49
APRIL 2017
St Neots Outdoor Bowling Club.
10am for 10.30am start. £15.
Jane Lambert
( 01480 861581
[email protected]
Eacon Soton Church.
10am for 10.30am start. £15.
Jean Searle( 01480 212298
Doddington Village Hall, March.
10am for 10.30am start. £16.
Val Topliss ( 01354 653696
Bridge drive at SportsAble,
Braywick Sports Ground,
Maidenhead, SL6 1BN.
1.15pm for 1.30pm start.
Finish: 5.00pm.
£30 per table to include
excellent tea. Fun raffle.
St Neots Outdoor Bowling Club.
10am for 10.30am start. £15.
Val Corrigan
( 01480 213682
MARCH 2017
Village Hall,
Hemingford Abbots.
10am for 10.30am start. £15.
Jenny Lea ( 01480 455810.
Village Hall, Roxton, Beds.
10am for 10.30am start. £15.
Catherine Wootton
( 01234 772127
( 01234 870234
MAY 2017
JUNE 2017
Village Hall, Gt Stukeley.
10am for 10.30am start. £15.
Kay Brownlow
( 01480 880663
Sheila Stephenson
( 01480 457338
JULY 2017
Village Hall, Gt Barford, Beds.
10am for 10.30am start. £15.
Graham Evans
( 01832 293693
Gill Wilkes ( 01234 870428
[email protected]
St Neots Outdoor Bowling Club.
10am for 10.30am start. £15.
Jean Searle( 01480 212298
E-mail your charity events: [email protected]
Moments of Madness – Update
(See BRIDGE 166, page 6)
The case of the two American teams who sat the same way: it
will be heard in Orlando, Florida, at the end of November 2016.
The European Bridge League (EBL) has investigated the
partnerships of Fisher-Schwartz (Israel), Fantoni-Nunes
(Monaco) and Piekarek-Smirnov (Germany).
The German pair were the only pair to have pleaded guilty.
They are banned from EBL competitions for four years, and for
life as a partnership.
Former Italian players, Fantoni and Nunes are banned for
five years, from playing together for life, and must pay the costs
of the investigation.
The same judgement has been made for the Israeli pair, Fisher
and Schwartz.
One other pair has been referred to the EBL disciplinary
Page 50
Gavin Wilson,
Claygate, Surrey.
write on it quite easily.
However, why do they
need to write down their
answers anyway? There
are only three questions
on each column which are
answered on separate pages.
Surely they can retain three
answers in their memory till
they read the solutions?
If they can’t remember their
answers they will need to
turn back to the cover every
time they check an answer
to see if they are correct. If
you write them on a separate
piece of paper you have
them all in front of you when
you read the solutions.
It’s true that the glossy
cover does reflect the light
but that problem is easily
resolved by just altering
the angle you hold it.
I regard the magazine
as a work of art and would
no sooner deface any of
the pages than I would
deface a valued painting.
I think I have nearly all your
excellent magazines since
they first came out and there
is not a mark on any of them.
Ian Dalziel,
Troon, Ayrshire.
opportunity – decide it is
not worth the investment
of their time and mental
energies to learn a game
which is losing critical mass
among the people they
want to socialise with.
In conclusion, I have to say
that, for disillusioned bridge
players, there is much to be
said for Diminishing Whist:
it is a game for individuals,
not partnerships. Each
game contains a round of
‘bidding’ where the player
who won the last hand
nominates trumps, and
each player then says how
many tricks they hope to
get, with the proviso that
the last player to bid cannot
name a number that rectifies
the total number of tricks
available. The game has
several merits: you can apply
intelligence, there’s plenty of
room for bluff, and above
all, it recaptures the spirit of
fun which seems so sadly
missing from bridge today.
I love the glossy cover of the
magazine and I’m sure most
of the readers do, too. I am
appalled that you may be
changing it because a few
people can’t be bothered
to write their answers to the
quiz on a piece of paper.
I’m also shocked that
anyone would deface the
beautiful magazine by writing
on the cover. However, if
they really want to write
on it, then a Staedtler
permanent marker will
The EBU and its fixation
on duplicate to the
exclusion of social rubber
bridge in the UK and its
preoccupation with rule
minutiae, as evidenced
in David Stevenson’s
column, means potential
players are scared off.
Hence the game does
not welcome newcomers.
Mr Mike Bell,
Axminster, Devon.
Write to Mr Bridge at: Ryden Grange,
Knaphill, Surrey GU21 2TH
or e-mail [email protected]
E-mail correspondents are asked
to include their name, full postal
address, telephone number and
to send no attachments.
Letters may be edited for length and clarity.
BRIDGE December 2016
Italy Adriatic Dubrovnik
Brindisi albania
Paestum Lecce
Corfu Butrint
Mediterranean Sea
SEP 15 Fly to ROME Italy
Transfer to Civitavecchia and board Aegean Odyssey
(Pompeii & Herculaneum)
Cruise past Capri and Amalfi Coast
SALERNO Italy (Paestum)
SEP 19 Cruise past Stromboli and through
the Strait of Messina
SEP 20 At Sea
SEP 21 CORFU Greek Islands
SARANDE Albania (Butrint)
13-day fly-cruise from £2,150 per person
with Mr & Mrs Bridge
SEP 22 LECCE Italy
SEP 24 SPLIT Croatia
Cruise around Italy to the pleasures of beautiful Sorrento and
Sicily, and along the glorious Adriatic coast to Venice. Begin with
an extended stay in Sorrento with time to explore the ruins of both
Pompeii and Herculaneum. Sail past romantic Capri and south
to Taormina with its magnificent Graeco-Roman theatre. Get a
flavour of the Greek Islands in Corfu and visit charming Croatian
ports en route to one of the world’s greatest destinations – Venice.
Premium Inside from
Standard Outside from
Premium Outside from
Odyssey Club Members enjoy
an additional 5% discount
on prices shown above.
NOW ON 01483 489961
Cabins can be held at no obligation for 7 days
ABTA No.Y2206
Disembark and transfer to Venice Airport
for flight home
Scheduled economy class flights
Expert guest speaker programme
Mr Bridge drinks party
Duplicate bridge every evening
Morning seminars and afternoon bridge
when at sea
Sightseeing excursions in all ports of call
All meals on board in choice of two restaurants
Complimentary wine with dinner on board
Gratuities for on-board cabin and restaurant staff
Overseas transfers and baggage handling
Mr Bridge fares are per person and subject to availability at time of booking. They may be
withdrawn at any time without notice. Please see website for full terms and conditions.
†Single accommodation is available only in certain categories and is subject to availability.
Strait of Gibraltar
La Palma Islands
Fly to MALAGA Spain
Transfer to Aegean Odyssey
NOV 10 At Sea
NOV 11 River cruising along the Guadalquivir River
12-day fly-cruise from £1,795 per person
with Mr & Mrs Bridge
This fascinating journey takes you from Moorish Spain to the
treasures of the Canary Islands and the very best of Morocco with
a land tour to the great cities and sites, including hotels stays in Fez
and Marrakesh. Cruise through the Strait of Gibraltar and inland
to moor in the centre of Seville. Sailing out into the Atlantic Ocean,
you’ll visit the sun-blessed Canary Islands and visit Lanzarote’s
famous Fire Mountains and the verdant landscapes of La Palma.
NOV 13 CADIZ Spain (Jerez)
Morning drive to Fez
for afternoon sightseeing
Morning drive to Rabat.
Rejoin ship in Casablanca
Drive to Marrakesh for
afternoon sightseeing
Rejoin ship in Agadir.
Afternoon sightseeing to Taroudant
NOV 18 LANZAROTE Canary Islands
NOV 19 LA PALMA Canary Islands
NOV 20 TENERIFE Canary Islands
Disembark and transfer to
Tenerife Airport for flight home
Cabins can be held at no obligation for 7 days
ABTA No.Y2206
Standard Inside from
Standard Outside from
Premium Outside from
Odyssey Club Members enjoy
an additional 5% discount
on prices shown above.
NOW ON 01483 489961
Scheduled economy class flights
One night hotel stay in both Fez and Marrakesh
Expert guest speaker programme
Mr Bridge drinks party
Duplicate bridge every evening
Morning seminars and afternoon bridge
when at sea
Sightseeing excursions in all ports of call
All meals on board in choice of two restaurants
Complimentary wine with dinner on board
Gratuities for on-board cabin and restaurant staff
Overseas transfers and baggage handling
Mr Bridge fares are per person and subject to availability at time of booking. They may be
withdrawn at any time without notice. Please see website for full terms and conditions.
†Single accommodation is available only in certain categories and is subject to availability.
*No bridge during hotel stays.
Cruise the Danube to Vienna & Budapest aboard ms Serenity – October 2017
Join Sandy Bell & Team
to celebrate the
30th anniversary of
Mr Bridge on this
exclusive river cruise
ms Serenity & Budapest
Rh in
The Danube
Join Sandy Bell and her Team to celebrate the
30th anniversary of Mr Bridge
aboard ms Serenity
Cruise the Danube
to Vienna & Budapest
Main Danube
Ilz D
anu Dürnstein
Melk Vienna
By coach: 12-21 October 2017; by air: 13-20 October 2017
Discover the delights of the Danube as you enjoy seminars and daily bridge* on one of the most scenic journeys through the heart of Europe.
From the pretty city of Passau on the Austrian border to the Hungarian capital of Budapest, we cruise in comfort and style
aboard the ms
Serenity, passing through the beautiful scenery of the Wachau valley and dipping into the history and culture of amazing cities along the way.
With a full day in the musical city of Vienna and Budapest as well as a visit to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, this is a wonderful opportunity
to sail the waters that are beautifully immortalised by the composer Strauss, in the classical waltz The Blue Danube.
Day 1: UK – Germany (Coach)
Travel by coach to Dover from your chosen
departure point and take the ferry to Calais, where
we continue to the overnight hotel.
Day 2: Germany – Passau (Air)
After breakfast we travel by coach and board our
ship in Passau, known as ‘the three rivers city’ due
to its unique location where the Danube, Inn and Ilz
rivers meet. Those travelling by air join today.
Safety briefing and welcome meeting from the ship
and Sandy Bell as we set sail and cruise towards Melk.
Day 3: Melk – Vienna
This morning we arrive in the small town of Melk
which lies in the beautiful Wachau valley. Here
you can join an optional excursion to visit the
most famous monastic house in Austria, the
Benedictine Abbey, situated above Melk in the
Wachau valley. Return to the ship late morning and
enjoy afternoon bridge as we sail to Vienna for an
overnight stop.
Bratislava Castle
This evening there will be a Mr Bridge pre-dinner
drinks reception in the Lido Bar followed by dinner
as we arrive in Vienna.
Day 4: Vienna
We spend a whole day in Vienna experiencing
the delights of this beautiful city. In the morning
you can join an optional city tour to experience
its grand palaces, baroque castles, magnificent
squares and striking monuments and after lunch on
board we have an optional afternoon excursion to
Schönbrunn Palace, or alternatively you may wish
to join an afternoon bridge session. Enjoy evening
bridge on board as we cast off and cruise towards
To book or for more information contact Mr Bridge 01483 489961 or visit
 Coach travel to Dover from selected local pick-ups
 Return ferry crossings from Dover
 7 nights’ cruise on a full board basis
 2 nights’ half board hotel accommodation
 Return flights from London Heathrow or fly direct
from Manchester or Birmingham at a £30pp
supplement (subject to availability)
 Coach transfers between airport and ship
 7 nights’ cruise on a full board basis
12 October (coach)
13 October (air)
Cabin prices per person
Deck options
Main Deck
Middle Deck
Panorama Deck
No. of
Ferry crossing/
Tour code: DANUB
By coach
By air
All prices shown are per person; a limited number of cabins
for sole occupancy are available with a reduced 25%
supplement (thereafter 50% supplement applies).
Travel Insurance – from £39.95 per person
Deposit – £350 per person, payable to The River
Cruise Line
Includes house wines, house beers and soft drinks served
in the restaurant at lunchtime and evenings
*Bridge programme may be subject to change
ms Serenity – restaurant
Day 5: Budapest
After breakfast there will be a bridge seminar
in the Lounge Bar before we sail into Budapest
with commentary on the city as we arrive. Then
spend time in one of the world’s most beautiful
cities and explore both sides of Hungary’s capital
– traditional ‘Buda’ and cosmopolitan ‘Pest’. Start
with an optional tour to become acquainted
with the city known as the “pearl of the Danube”
and in the evening you can choose to either play
more bridge or experience Budapest by night
on another optional excursion, enjoying a city
tour, glass of wine and a folklore show in a local
Day 6: Budapest
Enjoy free time in Budapest or opt to take our
excursion taking you through the sweeping
plains of Hungary to Lajosmizse. Here we visit
a traditional stud farm and enjoy a tour of
the grounds in a horse-drawn carriage, before
watching a live Puszta horse show. We then sail
to Bratislava with a seminar and set hands in the
afternoon followed by after-dinner bridge in
the evening.
Day 7: Bratislava
Early morning arrival into Bratislava.
After breakfast, join our optional walking tour
to take in the sights of the Slovakian capital,
dominated by its castle and unique suspension
bridge, to experience its rich culture. Later in the
day we set sail towards Dürnstein and there will
be afternoon and evening bridge sessions.
Day 8: Durnstein
Dürnstein is crowned by the ruins of the castle
that once imprisoned Richard the Lionheart.
Join our optional walking tour to admire the
pretty courtyards and buildings, before stopping
at one of the Wachau valley’s wine cellars for
some wine tasting. We then set sail for Passau
with a bridge seminar to enjoy on the way and
pre-dinner bridge in the Lounge bar. Preceding
tonight’s 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner there
will be a drinks party and prize-giving.
Melk Abbey ..............................................................£21
Vienna city tour .....................................................£21
Schönbrunn Palace ..............................................£20
Budapest city tour ................................................£21
Budapest by night ................................................ £23
Puszta horse show ............................................... £32
Bratislava city tour ................................................£19
Dürnstein tour with wine tasting..................£26
Mr Bridge recommends you prebook at his special package price
Saving per person
Day 9: Passau – Germany (Coach) / UK (Air)
Those travelling by coach disembark after
breakfast and travel by coach to the overnight
hotel. Those travelling by air also disembark this
morning for their return flights to the UK.
Day 10: Germany – UK (Coach)
After breakfast you will continue by coach to
Calais, taking the ferry to Dover for the return
journey to your chosen pick-up/drop-off points.
Gratuities – all gratuities are discretionary
Please have your passport and insurance details to hand when calling to book
Departure Points
Chieveley Services
High Wycombe
Milton Keynes
Exeter Services
Newton Abbot
Thurrock Services
Greater London
Fleet Services
Portsmouth – The Hard
Birchanger Green
Hemel Hempstead
South Mimms Services
Routes D1 to D12 – ferry crossings from Dover to Calais
St Albans
Welwyn Garden City
Herne Bay
D9 D10 D12
D1 D3 D4 D12
Tunbridge Wells
Bury St Edmunds
Leicester Forest East
Market Harborough
Great Yarmouth
Sussex (East)
Sussex (West)
Bognor Regis
Burgess Hill
Haywards Heath
Bridgwater Services
Taunton Deane Services D8
Passengers using our complimentary coach transfer service should be aware this may involve an early departure/late return. This may on occasion be the day before the
Lounge Bar
Deckfor those who live a long way from the port. Regional
departures are subject to availability and are operated subject to
date of departure/day after the date
of return
Middle Deck
minimum numbers of people.
Main Deck
West Midlands
Hopwood Park
Services M42
Sutton Coldfield
*SW Birmingham to service
Bromsgrove & Redditch area
Malvern Link
Yorkshire (South)
North Wales
South Wales
Cardiff West Services
Magor Services
Port Talbot
Outward: Heathrow to
Munich 08:55/11:45
Return: Munich to Heathrow
Regional departures from
Manchester or Birmingham
subject to availability at £30pp
supplement – ask for details
Please note: All details are provisional
& subject to confirmation.
Sun Deck
Panorama Deck
Panorama Deck
Lounge Bar
Cabin facilities
Middle Deck
Lido Bar
Middle Deck
Main Deck
Main Deck
Main Deck
Middle Deck
Panorama Deck
To book or for more information contact Mr Bridge 01483 489961 or visit
Please have your passport and insurance details to hand when calling to book.
You will need to accept the terms & conditions when making your booking – for full terms & conditions visit the Mr Bridge website or call for a copy.
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