BRIDGE Number: 172 UK £3.95 Europe €5.00 April 2017 Bernard Magee’s Acol Bidding Quiz This month we are dealing with responding to an opening one-level bid. You are West in the auctions below, playing ‘Standard Acol’ with a weak no-trump (12-14 points) and four-card majors. 1. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ K 6 3 ♥ Q 4 2 N WE ♦ 8 7 6 S ♣ K Q 8 6 WestNorth East South 1♣ Pass ? 2. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ 9 8 7 6 5 N ♥ K 4 3 WE ♦ J 8 3 2 S ♣4 WestNorth East South 1♣ Pass ? 3. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ A 8 7 6 N ♥ K 4 3 WE ♦ J 5 3 2 S ♣ 8 7 WestNorth East South 1♣ Pass ? Answers on page 41 4. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ A K Q J 10 4 ♥8 N WE ♦ K 9 4 S ♣ 6 5 3 WestNorth East South 1♦ Pass ? 5. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ A 8 7 N ♥ 8 2 WE ♦ A Q 8 4 2 S ♣ K 3 2 WestNorth East South 1♦ Pass ? 6. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ K 8 6 5 N ♥ J 9 4 2 WE ♦ 8 7 6 S ♣ 3 2 WestNorth East South 1♦ Pass ? Answers on page 43 7. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ A K 7 6 ♥5 N WE ♦ 6 3 S ♣ A Q 8 6 5 4 WestNorth East South 1♥ Pass ? 8. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ 8 4 N ♥ K 9 4 WE ♦ A 7 6 5 2 S ♣ 8 4 3 WestNorth East South 1♥ Pass ? 9. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ J 6 3 N ♥ 4 2 WE ♦ K Q 4 2 S ♣ A J 7 6 WestNorth East South 1♥ Pass ? Answers on page 45 10. Dealer East. N/S Game. ♠ K Q 7 5 4 ♥ A 4 3 N WE ♦ K 6 4 2 S ♣2 WestNorth East South 1♠ Pass ? 11. Dealer East. N/S Game. ♠ 7 6 N ♥ Q J 2 WE ♦7 S ♣ A 8 7 6 5 4 3 WestNorth East South 1♠ Pass ? 12. Dealer East. N/S Game. ♠ J 8 7 6 5 N ♥4 WE ♦ A 6 5 4 S ♣ 4 3 2 WestNorth East South 1♠ Pass ? Answers on page 47 2017 AUTUMN BRIDGE CRUISE ANCIENT GREECE, SICILY &SPAIN spain Mediterranean Greece Seville Cartagena Sea Athens Palermo Jerez Trapani Segesta Granada Santorini sicily Cadiz Malaga Valletta Heraklion Knossos malta crete DEPARTS UK OCTOBER 18, 2017 OCT 18 SEGESTA, SICILY OCT 19 OCT 20 14-day fly-cruise from £2,150 per person OCT 21 OCT 22 OCT 23 OCT 24 OCT 25 OCT 26 OCT 27 OCT 28 OCT 29 OCT 30 With Mr Bridge and friends Combine your desire to travel with your passion for bridge on a voyage across the Mediterranean Sea. Explore Minoan Santorini and Crete. Sail into the grand harbour of Valletta. Enjoy the monumental sites of Sicily and the magnificent Alhambra Palace at Granada before Aegean Odyssey sails inland along the Guadalquivir River to the heart of Andalusia and its splendid capital – Seville. OCT 31 Fly to ATHENS Greece Transfer to Aegean Odyssey in nearby Piraeus SANTORINI Greek Islands (Akrotiri) HERAKLION Crete (Knossos) At Sea VALLETTA Malta PALERMO Sicily PALERMO Sicily (Monreale) TRAPANI Sicily (Segesta) At Sea CARTAGENA Spain MALAGA Spain (Granada) CADIZ Spain (Jerez) CADIZ Spain River cruising along the Guadalquivir River SEVILLE Spain SEVILLE Spain Disembark and transfer to Seville Airport for flight home overnight overnight overnight AEG171018BR MR BRIDGE VALUE FARES Standard Inside from Standard Outside from Premium Outside from Odyssey Club Members enjoy an additional 5% discount on prices shown above. £2,150pp £2,650pp £2,795pp SINGLE SUPPLEMENT %† JUST 10 CALL NOW ON 01483 489961 OR VISIT www.mrbridge.co.uk Cabins can be held at no obligation for 7 days • • • • • • • • • • 10093 ABTA No.Y2206 FARES INCLUDE: 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. SHOT IN FOOT followed by supervised play, speedball and duplicate every evening. You can go by coach, rail or air. It’s your choice. NEW TO US I have sent out lots of promotional emails in the last three or four weeks. Then the magazine was sent out late with the result that the second-hand QPlus offer was out of date. As I still have some copies, do send £10 in postage stamps if you want one. I also have Acol Bidding and Declarer Play, secondhand, at £15 each in postage stamps. Send in with confidence. Expires 30 April 2017. I will send out an email on 28 April listing remainders. SAME OLD STORY Writing to you every month, as I do, follows a regular pattern. First of all, there is the thinking of something interesting to tell you about. Then some research. After that, I get side-tracked. I have just emptied my desk draw and exhausted all the other displacement routines. I’m told it is a man thing. I hope to make it different next month. 2018 RIVER CRUISE To be enjoyable, a river cruise boat needs to be dedicated to bridge if it’s to work satisfactorily. To fill a river cruise boat, the event needs to be advertised well in advance so next year’s cruise is featured in a special centrefold pull out. Bernard Magee and team offer the full programme including lectures BRIDGE April 2017 This year’s bridge event at the Trouville Hotel, Sandown, Isle of Wight was different. We used dealing machines for the first time. Until now, I have been very reluctant to introduce this but it seems that at least half of our regular weekend guests have computer dealt hands and print-outs at their local club. Those at the event to whom this service is new had nothing unfavourable to say, so I expect that we will be rolling this out by the end of the year on all our ships and at all our venues. NEW DIARY DESIGN My 16-month bridge diaries for 2018 are in the course of production and should be ready by the end of April. The design has been changed. The ball point pen is now held in the spine, thereby giving a more streamlined finish. They have the same colour covers and unchanged prices. stamps are at a worthwhile discount. Give him a call on ( 020 8422 4906. UNWANTED MAIL If you want to stop unwanted mail, then register with the Mailing Preference Service, FREEPOST, 29 LON 20771, London W1E 0ZT UNWANTED CALLS Similarly, if you are fed up with unsolicited telephone calls (and who isn’t) then register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SS. ( 0845 0700707 These details will take a while to make a difference, but you should find it does eventually reduce both these nuisances. OUR FRED.OLSEN CRUISE COLLECTION GOFF STAMPS With postal rates rising this month, it is timely once again to remind you of Clive Goff’s Stamp Service, see page 4. The new rates are 65/56p respectively and his supply of unused British Below is a listing of forthcoming bridge charity events known to me. It is here for the last time, in this publication. I will try and continue to find other ways to circularise the details. Additionally, please send the details much more in advance. Even if you don’t want the free advertising, do ask for prizes. Don’t feel shy, these are always provided. It is called enlightened self-interest. Please don’t be backward in coming forward. MAY 2017 12 CHILDREN’S CHARITIES Doddington Village Hall, March. 10am for 10.30am start. £16. Val Topliss ( 01354 653696 25 STAMFORD BURGHLEY ROTARY CLUB Bridge tea in Tinwell Village Hall, PE9 3UD. 1.15 for 1.30pm. £8.00. Alan Kinch ( 01780 444276 [email protected] 31 MACMILLAN CANCER CARE & DOWNHAM MARKET FESTIVAL COMMITTEE Festival duplicate bridge with tea. 1.15 for 1.30pm. £6.00. Town Hall, Downham Market. Ann Taylor ( 01366 388408 [email protected] JUNE 2017 …TO THE CARIBBEAN On the back cover is an invitation for you to join Bernard Magee and team for lots of seminars and supervised play on days at sea, of which there are many. CHARITIES As you can see from the above picture, I have once again posted a collection of Mr Bridge cruises on board the Fred.Olsen flagship, Balmoral. In addition to using Southampton and Newcastle, we have added Rosyth for the benefit of Scottish Readers, with a June cruise around the Baltic Cities. All good wishes, 16 GT STUKELEY CONSERVATIVE CLUB Village Hall, Gt Stukeley. 10am for 10.30am start. £15. Kay Brownlow ( 01480 880663 Sheila Stephenson ( 01480 457338 JULY 2017 14 GT BARFORD CHURCH Village Hall, Gt Barford, Beds. 10am for 10.30am start. £15. Graham Evans ( 01832 293693 Gill Wilkes ( 01234 870428 [email protected] OCTOBER 2017 6ST NEOTS MUSEUM St Neots Outdoor Bowling Club. 10am for 10.30am start. £15. Jean Searle( 01480 212298 Mr Bridge Page 3 BRIDGE Ryden Grange, Knaphill, Surrey GU21 2TH ( 01483 489961 [email protected] www.mrbridge.co.uk shop: www.mrbridge.co.uk/ mrbridge-shop Publisher and Managing Editor Mr Bridge Bridge Consultant Bernard Magee bernardmagee @mrbridge.co.uk Cartoons & Illustrations Marguerite Lihou www.margueritelihou.co.uk Technical Consultant Tony Gordon Typesetting & Design Ruth Edmondson [email protected] Proof Readers Julian Pottage Mike Orriel Catrina Shackleton Richard Wheen Customer Services Catrina Shackleton [email protected] Events & Cruises ( 01483 489961 Jessica Galt [email protected] Megan Riccio [email protected] Sophie Pierrepont [email protected] Clubs & Charities Maggie Axtell [email protected] Address Changes ( 01483 485342 Elizabeth Bryan [email protected] Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Company www.magprint.co.uk Page 4 Features this month include: 1 Bidding Quiz by Bernard Magee 3Mr Bridge 5 Defence Quiz by Julian Pottage 5 Declarer Play Quiz by David Huggett ADVERTISERS’ INDEX 2Ancient Greece, Sicily & Spain with Voyages to Antiquity 3 Charity Events 6 A Tale of the Saucepan by Shireen Mohandes 4 Clive Goff ’s Stamps 8 Is Bridge a Sport by Jeremy Dhondy 9 QPlus 12 10 Find the Lady by Michael Byrne 11 Club Insurance 12 Robin’s Change of Plan by David Bird 14 It Pays to Trust Your Partner by John Barr 15 Defence Quiz Answers by Julian Pottage 16 Sally’s Slam of the Month 17 Declarer Play Answers by David Huggett 18 A History of Playing Cards by Paul Bostock 20 Blackwood – Friend or Foe by Ian Dalziel 11 Travel Insurance 14 Bernard Magee’s Tutorial Software 16 Designs for Bridge Tables 17 Mr Bridge Playing Cards 18 Duplicate Bridge Rules Simplified 18 Clive Goff ’s Stamps 22 David Stevenson Answers Your Questions 18 QPlus 12 29 All You Need to Know About Planning Dummy by Andrew Kambites 19 Croatia with Mr Bridge 31 About Advanced Planning Dummy Quiz by Andrew Kambites 21 Bernard Magee DVDs Set 7 32 Defence as Partner of the Leader by Bernard Magee 25 Rhine Cruise & Swiss Delights with The River Cruise Line 34 About Advanced Planning Dummy Quiz Answers by Andrew Kambites 32 Bernard Magee DVDs Sets 1-3 36 Wendy Wensum’s Diaries 33 Bernard Magee DVDs Sets 4-6 37 Julian Pottage Answers Your Questions 40 Catching Up with Sally Brock 41 Bidding Quiz Answers (1-3) by Bernard Magee 42 What is the Best Range for a 1NT Rebid? by Julian Pottage 43 Bidding Quiz Answers (4-6) by Bernard Magee 44 Readers’ Letters 45 Bidding Quiz Answers (7-9) by Bernard Magee 46 Can You Defeat 4NT? by Heather Dhondy 47 Bidding Quiz Answers (10-12) by Bernard Magee 48 More Tips by Bernard Magee 49 Seven Days by Sally Brock 35 Denham Filming 2018 43 Declarer Play with Bernard Magee 45 Designs for Bridge Table Covers 48 Acol Bidding with Bernard Magee 50Defence with Bernard Magee 51 Seville, Morocco & Canary Islands with Voyages to Antiquity 52 A Passage to the Caribbean with Voyages to Antiquity REDUCE THE COST OF YOUR POSTAGE Postage stamps for sale at 90% of face-value, all mint with full gum. Quotations for commercial quantities available on request. Values supplied in 100s, higher values available as well as 1st and 2nd class (eg 2nd class: 100x38p+100x18p). ( 020 8422 4906 e-mail: [email protected] BRIDGE April 2017 DEFENCE QUIZ by Julian Pottage (Answers on page 15) Y 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. ♠ A Q 9 2 ♥ Q 2 ♦ A K ♣ J 9 6 4 3 ♠ N ♥ WE ♦ S ♣ 43 A K 10 6 5 862 Q 10 2 WestNorth East South PassPass Pass 1♣1♥1♠ 2♥3♠Pass4♠ All Pass Partner leads the ♥4. What is your plan? 2. ♠ 10 8 7 2 ♥ A Q J 2 ♦ A 2 ♣ 10 6 4 ♠ N ♥ WE ♦ S ♣ J3 865 J865 AKQ8 WestNorth East South Pass1NT Pass 2♣*Pass 2♠ Pass 3♠Pass4♠ All Pass Partner leads the ♣5. What is your plan? BRIDGE April 2017 DECLARER PLAY QUIZ 3. ♠ J 9 3 2 ♥ K 9 3 2 ♦ J 5 ♣ A 9 5 ♠ N ♥ WE ♦ S ♣ A6 10 7 5 A9862 762 WestNorth East South 1♠ Pass 2♠ PassPass Dbl 3♠ All Pass Partner leads the ♦K. What is your plan? 4. ♠ A 6 ♥ Q 9 2 ♦ K Q J 8 7 5 ♣ 9 7 ♠ K 4 3 N ♥ K 6 5 WE ♦ 6 4 S ♣ A 10 8 5 2 WestNorth East South 1♠ Pass 2♦Pass3♠ Pass 4♠ All Pass Partner leads the ♥J, covered by the ♥Q, ♥K and ♥A. Declarer leads the ♠Q, which your ♠K wins. What is your plan? by David Huggett (Answers on page 17) Y ou are South as declarer playing teams or rubber bridge. In each case, what is your play strategy? 1. ♠ 7 6 4 ♥ K J 8 2 ♦ A J 3 ♣ K 7 6 3. N N WE WE S S ♠ K 5 ♥ 9 6 4 ♦ K Q 10 7 ♣ A 8 4 2 You are declarer in 3NT after 1NT-3NT and West leads the ♥7. How do you plan the play? 2. ♠ Q 8 6 ♥ K 6 5 ♦ A 7 ♣ K 10 9 7 5 4. N You are declarer in 5♣. West leads the ♠A and switches to a low diamond. How do you plan the play? ♠ 8 4 3 ♥ K 6 2 ♦ Q 10 5 ♣ A Q 6 4 N WE S ♠3 ♥ A J 10 3 ♦ J 5 ♣ A Q J 8 6 4 ♠ A Q 8 6 4 ♥ A K 7 3 ♦ A 2 ♣ A 7 You are declarer in 6♠ and West leads the ♣K. How do you plan the play? WE ♠ 5 3 2 ♥8 ♦ K Q J 8 7 5 ♣ 8 6 4 S ♠ Q 10 5 ♥ A J 10 ♦ A K 6 ♣ 7 5 3 2 Fourth in hand you open 1NT and accept partner’s invitation to 3NT. West leads the ♠7 and East plays the ♠J. How do you plan the play? Page 5 A Blast From the Past by Shireen Mohandes A Tale of the Saucepan (and One Other Macabre Rubber Bridge Story) A s in tournament bridge, in rubber bridge there can be a mixture of spectacular plays, good card reading and calamities, but the involvement of financial risk gives everything extra spice. Let’s face it, which of us is not interested in reading about a gruesome deal, especially one which involves hundreds of pounds? Rob Sheehan’s book, The Big Game, is a delightful collection of deals and stories from London’s money games. Here’s a calamity (for one side) from the collection, sportingly described to Sheehan by the perpetrator and victim, David Perkins. Dealer South. Love All. Rubber bridge at £5 a hundred. ♠ A K J ♥Q ♦ K 10 7 ♣ A Q 9 7 4 3 ♠ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 2 ♠ Q 3 ♥ J 2 N ♥ 7 6 ♦VoidWE ♦ Q J 9 5 4 3 S ♣ 10 6 2 ♣ K 8 5 ♠Void ♥ A K 10 9 8 5 4 3 ♦ A 8 6 2 ♣J The original rubber bridge auction, from the 1980s: West North East South David Perkins 2♥1 Pass 3♣Pass 3♥ Pass 4NT Pass 5♥2 Pass 7♥ All Pass Page 6 Acol two, showing eight playing tricks, forcing. 2 Responding to ordinary Blackwood, showing exactly two aces. 1 The 2017 teams auction: West North East South 1♥ Pass12♣2Pass 2♦3 Pass 2♠4Pass 4♥5 Pass 4NT6Pass 5♣7 Pass 7♥ All Pass Tempted to overcall spades to get in the way? Perhaps 3♠ messes things up for the opposition? Let’s assume that West lies low. 2 Best not to force with 3♣ because the suit isn’t good enough. 3 The choices are to bid 2♦ (forcing for one round) or jump to 3♥ (game forcing, since partner responded with a suit at the twolevel). 4 Fourth suit forcing. 5 Almost self-supporting suit, at least seven, possibly eight cards (so 11 or 12 red cards). 6 Roman Keycard Blackwood. 1 The Great Rose (TGR) The much admired, talented, and lunatic Glaswegian Irving Rose (1938-1996), nicknamed The Great Rose, was the manager of St James’s Bridge Club, and before that, the manager of the bridge room at Crockford’s and The Eccentric Club. The St James’s club moved in the 80s and changed name. The owners paid tribute to their friend and manager by renaming the club in his honour. Nowadays it is located at 19C Craven Rd, London W2 3BP, UK. Rose with Jane Priday, Rixi Markus and Tony Priday At tournament bridge, Irving Rose’s partnerships were very successful. Notably Rose and Sheehan earned a silver medal at the 1981 European Teams Championships. Rose was married to Honor Flint’s daughter, Annette. Honor’s second husband was Jeremy Flint. Left to right: John Matheson, Terence Reese, Irving Rose, John MacLaren BRIDGE April 2017 Zero or three key cards, obviously three in this case. 7 Pairs who play Acol twos (or Benji) would have a similar start to the original auction. Maybe they would bid Roman Keycard Blackwood. If you don’t play strong twos, then the hand isn’t strong enough for 2♣, and perhaps too strong for 4♥. The opening lead was the ♠10. Looking at just the North/South hands, if trumps break there are 13 tricks (two spades, eight hearts, two diamonds and one club). To make the slam, declarer’s best line is to win with the ♠A, play the ♥Q, then take the safest route to hand, a spade ruff, to draw trumps, claim, and enjoy writing 1,510 in the plus column (£75 at that stake; after adjusting for inflation let’s call it £200 in today’s money). So what misadventure could possibly take place? South thought to himself, ‘If I play the ♠J, if West has the ♠Q he is bound to be annoyed for a minute or so. If East has it, then his hopes may be raised. He may think I am short of a trick, and I’ll have to look elsewhere. I can have a bit of fun antagonising them.’ So, declarer played the ♠J and East played the ♠Q. Declarer ruffed the first trick and played a heart to dummy’s ♥Q. At this point declarer realised that he needed to reach his hand safely to draw trumps. Had he originally won the first trick with the ♠A, then ruffing a spade back to hand would have been pretty safe. But his tomfoolery resulted in having to make a decision. Which minor is safer to use? Holding seven cards in both minors, Kevin Castner BRIDGE April 2017 choosing either needs the suit to break better than 6-0. What an awkward position to find yourself in. If there were kibitzers at the table, surely they were sitting still. The protagonist of this episode chose to play a diamond to hand. When West trumped the ♦A with his last trump, declarer must have looked at it with horror. One assumes that dummy looked at declarer with disgust. If Robert does write a second volume, it will no doubt have a section on a man known to many London players as Saucepan, a very fine player who sometimes suffers from bad luck. Here is an eye-watering deal involving Kevin Castner and Saucepan, as recounted by Castner. January 2017 at TGRs The Saucepan giveth At a Chicago game, Castner partnered Arthur Malinowski, the talented current manager (Rose would tip his cap, most likely to both Malinowski for raw skill, and to Saucepan for insanity). To his left, one of the nicest individuals in bridge, Andrew Kay. To his right, Saucepan. At favourable vulnerability with a 60 partscore, Castner held: ♠Q ♥ 9 8 7 ♦ A K 5 4 ♣ J 10 6 3 2 N back to Malinowski, who reached to the back of the bidding box before his gaze fell to the scoresheet, and there was just a fractional readjustment as he emerged with the green pass card. That last bit was lost on Saucepan, as it should not be for any rubber bridge player with a scintilla of a survival instinct, because he was multi-tasking at the time, taking in the Manchester United game on the wall-mounted TV. Without pause for thought, Saucepan bid 2♠. This got back to Malinowski who now had no difficulty in finding a red card, with the dexterity of a seasoned symphony conductor. Saucepan glanced once more at the telly, looking for succour perhaps, and tried 3♦. Castner joined in with a double. Kay retreated to 3♠, and a moment later Saucepan was declaring 3♠ doubled. This was the entire deal: ♠ 10 9 3 ♥ J 10 5 ♦ Q 10 9 ♣ K Q 5 4 ♠ Q ♥ 9 8 7 N WE ♦ A K 5 4 S ♣ J 10 6 3 2 ♠ 7 6 5 4 2 ♥ 3 2 ♦ J 8 7 6 2 ♣A ♠ A K J 8 ♥ A K Q 6 4 ♦3 ♣ 9 8 7 WE S Carnage auction – 2017: West Malinowski opened 1♥ (showing five plus hearts). The Saucepan passed and Castner responded 2♥. This was passed American Kevin Castner is a keen rubber bridge player and often plays at TGRs. He describes Saucepan as, ‘… in person our young Pole is of medium height, mid-30’s, balding and endlessly humorous. He is never seemingly unhappy; rather, an irresistible positive energy follows him around. Saucepan does everything fast, and when something goes awry is always ready with a broad smile and his usual idiosyncratic, “What I’m supposed to do?” to which most of his current partners snarl, “Not that.” His real name is the usual Eastern European jumble of an extraordinary number of consonants with a “y” or two tossed in for flavour….’ Castner North Kay East South Malinowski The Saucepan 1♥Pass 2♥ PassPass 2♠ Pass Pass Dbl 3♦ Dbl 3♠ Dbl All Pass Castner led a heart, and the defence played three rounds. Saucepan ruffed and tried a trump. Armageddon. Malinowski overtook the ♠Q, drew trumps, cashed the rest of his hearts, and played a diamond. Just three tricks for declarer and a score of minus 1,700. At this point, Saucepan threw his hands up in the air, smiled and said, ‘What I’m supposed to do?’ The almost always even-tempered Andrew Kay suggested, ‘Nothing, you @^*#.’ ■ Page 7 About the EBU by Jeremy Dhondy Is Bridge a Sport? My name is Jeremy Dhondy and I am the Chairman of the English Bridge Union. This column is to answer questions or comments about the EBU that you might have. If you have a comment or a question I would be happy to hear from you. [email protected] Q A Why is it important that bridge might be recognised as a sport? Is there much chance of this happening?’ This is a timely question as, in January of this year, the High Court ruled that the English Bridge Union could not proceed further in its quest to have bridge recognised as a sport. That represents the end of the road as far as legal action is concerned, at least for the moment. So why does it even matter? Is it just about money? What is a sport anyway? When this topic is discussed, it frequently starts with a pub-like disagreement as to what constitutes a sport, with points about physical activity and competition being made. There was a good moment in the EBU’s first hearing against the imposition of VAT on competition entry fees, when the HMRC lawyer went on at length about anything that was a sport, not only involving physical activity but having participants who were fit and healthy. ‘I expect you mean darts,’ came from our lawyer (sotto voce) to the amusement of at least one of the judges. I suppose the first point is one of fairness. Why is bridge defined as a sport in some countries, including ones in the EU, but not in the UK? Why are some activities defined as sports and others not? The list of those that are in England is more than a touch arbitrary. Baton twirling? Model Aircraft flying? Dragon Boat Racing? It sounds like an evening in watching Eurosport 2. Of course, widening the list means the funding may have to go more ways, but it is perhaps not unreasonable to suggest that the list should be a bit more consistent and logical. Page 8 One of the ways in which bridge’s status as a possible sport might be determined is by reference to Parliament. The last time they spoke on the matter, it was to include bridge in the definition of sport used by a body such as the Charity Commission. Bridge now has a charity EBED (English Bridge Education and Development) and around 20 affiliated clubs are now registered as charities. One argument put forward by our lawyers was that Sport England should use a modern definition made by Parliament, rather than relying on an 80 year old law. The IOC and Sport Accord both recognise bridge. Erasmus+, an EU sport funding programme also recognises bridge. Sometimes people use the expression Mind Sport, which includes not only bridge but other activities such as chess and go. Why does it matter? Sport, Mind Sport, Game, Activity. What’s the difference? In the 1930s, when bridge was relatively young, it got a lot of publicity at national level. Bridge matches between Great Britain and the USA were widely publicised as tests of skill, yet the police arrived at a bridge congress in Harrogate in 1935 because of, they said, the existence of gambling. Last year, a number of bridge players, including UK expats, were disturbed by the police in Pattaya during a duplicate and arrested. There was apparently a crackdown on vice ordered by the military government. The battle to have bridge regarded as a game of skill and not a gambling game went on in the UK for more than fifty years. As long as people, in general, and the Government, specifically, regarded it as a gambling game, it wasn’t going to be promoted in schools, for example. The view of some head teachers was that all card games involved the ‘devil’s play things’ and were not to be countenanced. However, this battle has been won and you should not expect the police to turn up at your weekly game, well not for anything to do with gambling anyway. In 1970, over 250 schools took part in a national competition sponsored by the Daily Mail and Peter Donovan, its bridge correspondent. In some schools, teaching bridge is linked to mathematical skills, but there is no formal link to the national curriculum and nor will there be until there is more formal recognition of the game. That battle has been won in some European countries such as Sweden. A quote from a USA citizen who came to observe a youth training event, ‘To see seventh and eighth graders sitting and concentrating for three hours, it never happens except in bridge.’ It would be foolish to suggest that money has nothing to do with the arguments. Bridge clubs benefit from grants from, for example, local authorities. Recognition would unlock greater possibilities of funding from the National Lottery. There was a story in the press at the start of this year about a bridge club (unaffiliated), which applied for and got funding to help some club members participate in a director training course, run by EBED and the EBU. This council may have been more enlightened than some, but a rise in recognition and reputation can only help. As to why there should be recognition and funding – it is a good idea to look at how our game can assist society. Benefits of bridge Introducing bridge, or its younger brother mini bridge, into schools can BRIDGE April 2017 improve mathematical skills and social skills. It gets volunteers involved. However, the two hardest things in increasing this do not include funding. It is a matter of getting volunteers and once that is achieved, being able to get into schools and past those who think of bridge and smoky rooms, green eyeshades and dubious practices in the same breath. Is it fair? Of course not, but when our national press illustrates a story on bridge with photos showing some retired colonels dressed in plus fours in golf clubs, sipping large gin and tonics before the sun has gone over the yardarm, it is perhaps not that surprising. I invited one of the bigger press photo agencies to the EBU Summer Congress to take some more realistic pictures for their libraries but was ignored, sadly. It is not, of course, just about schools. We are living longer and many want more social and leisure activity after retirement. Taking bridge lessons from scratch or, perhaps going back to something you learnt forty years ago, can give you access to a whole new social environment, so when we hear government bang on about social inclusion, then bridge has an important part to play whether it is at home, in the local club or at the local U3A group. Then there are health benefits. There is some evidence that activities such as bridge (or the Sudoku puzzle for that matter) can help to delay the onset of dementialike illnesses by keeping the brain active. Bridge, on the whole, is more sociable than some other activities like completing the crossword. Much of the evidence comes from the USA, such as the BRIDGE April 2017 2008 finding published in the American Journal of Public Health. It suggested that social ties through community groups, involving activities such as bridge, can preserve brain health, therefore EBED’s attempts to add to the body of evidence, in England, will be important in the fight for greater recognition. Participation The number of universities with bridge clubs is smaller than it once was. The winning team, in the British Universities Championship for the Portland Bowl, qualifies to play in a European Universities event, except that it doesn’t. Because bridge is not recognised as a sport by the British Universities and Colleges Sport, participation for our teams in this event is denied. I think that for the first time in quite a lot of years, the EBU will have more than 500 junior members in 2017 (still not quite 1% of membership). That’s a welcome landmark but when you compare it with countries such as France, Poland or the Netherlands, it is a drop in the ocean. In Poland, bridge is recognised by the Polish Olympic Authority. Bridge is taught and played in many schools, they have well over 10,000 juniors, they pick up a disproportionate number of medals in the junior events and, in due course, this will filter through to the full open team. For the future If we can get to a position where there is more recognition for bridge and other equivalent activities, then we will all be better off. Those who play will get help and acknowledgement. Society as a whole will benefit from mind sport-type activities both in the field of health and also social inclusion. It’s already happening in other countries. I’ve mentioned European countries already, but bridge will be a part of the Asian Games next year and it was on the short list, but not eventually chosen, for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. In short, I would argue that whether you end up calling bridge a sport, a mind sport or neither of those, it should be high on the list of activities to be promoted by our government to all age groups, because it has a public benefit. The EBU may have lost its recent court battle (not the first time this battle has been fought), but I think the national organisation should be seeking to raise the profile of the game and promote it. If you agree let your local MP know. Several MPs turned up recently at a match between school children and members of the House of Lords, organised by the EBU, and they were impressed by what they saw. If bridge got the recognition it asks for and perhaps some access to funding or relief from VAT, then amongst the things that could happen would be: Q PLUS 12 l A nationwide programme of minibridge in schools using accredited teachers. l The production of learning material for beginners at all levels. l Grants for clubs to help them upgrade their facilities. lReduced entry fees for competitions. lTraining weekends for players at all levels. lTraining programmes for bridge teachers. ■ Send in ANY bridge software, together with a cheque for £50 and receive QPlus 12. Really user-friendly bridge-playing software FEATURES INCLUDE l Help button – explains the features for bidding and card play advice l Displays on HD and large screens l Comprehensive manual l Feed in your own deals l Minibridge option l 5,000 preplayed hands for teams l 4,000 preplayed hands for matchpoint pairs l Save match function l Closed room – button to view other table £99 including p&p TRADE-IN OFFER Mr Bridge ( 01483 489961 www.mrbridge.co.uk System: 8mb RAM, CD-ROM, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10 Page 9 Michael Byrne on Playing with the Odds Find the Lady L ast month we looked at situations where you were missing the jack of the key suit and needed to consider carefully what to do if the suit broke badly; this month we will concentrate on the classic situation of missing the queen and having to negotiate the suit. Let’s start at the beginning and try and work out why we play certain combinations the way we do. A simple every day ♠ K 3 2 combination with two N choices about how to WE S play it. You could play the ace and king, which ♠ A J 4 will gain if the queen drops doubleton, or you could cash the king and lead a low card to the jack, which will gain if the queen is ‘onside’ (with East). Of course it is not a close decision – the queen will only drop if the suit breaks 5-2 (which happens about 30% of the time) and even then the queen must be in the two card holding not the five card holding, combined odds of barely 9%. The finesse meanwhile will succeed a full 50% of the time, assuming there are no other factors to influence us. Let’s see a hand where other factors might be at play: ♠ Q 4 3 ♥ K J 7 ♦ K Q 4 ♣ 6 5 3 2 N WE S Page 10 ♠ A K J 10 7 6 ♥ A 3 2 ♦ 5 2 ♣ Q 7 You reach 4♠ and the defence leads a club to the ace, returns the jack to the king and exits with the ♣10. You ruff and draw trumps and then try a hopeful diamond to the king (if the ace is with West, then you have a discard for your losing heart). East foils that plan by winning with the ace and returning the jack. How do you play the hearts? Of course, you know enough to suspect a trap when you see one, and I hope all eager readers are demanding to know the bidding…. well here it is: West Pass All Pass North East South Pass 1NT 2♠ 3♠Pass 4♠ So, East has shown 12-14 points and has turned up with the ♦A-J and the ♣A-J: ten high-card points. He simply must have the ♥Q to make up his point count, so your only chance is to cash the ace and king and hope the queen drops. What about if you have more cards between the two hands? Then isn’t the queen more likely to drop? The finesse is still 50%. ♥ A 4 3 2 Even with seven cards N the queen will only drop WE S doubleton 16% of the time, which represents a ♥ K J 6 third (2 out of 6) of the 48% for a 4-2 break. Now it is a little closer, ♥ A 4 3 2 but the queen will only N drop doubleton 27% of WE S the time. If you needed four tricks (perhaps this ♥ K J 6 5 is your trump suit in a somewhat dubious grand slam) then you will need the suit to be 3-2 and the finesse right, half of 68% (34%) so the odds are getting a little closer. Now we have nine cards, surely it is time to N play for the drop? CorWE S rect – but only just. Cash the ace and then a ♥ K J 7 6 low one to hand. When the next hand follows it is close but playing for the drop just has the edge. The queen will drop 52½% of the time (40% for 2-2 and 12½% for singleton queen), but the finesse will work just under 50% of the time (since some of the time the suit will be 4-0). You can see that nine is the critical number when the play changes from taking a finesse to playing for the drop. If we increase the number of cards then it becomes pretty obvious: You cash the ace, if ♥ A 5 4 3 2 everyone follows you N can lay your cards on WE S the table, since the queen is certain to drop. ♥ K J 8 7 6 Actually your odds of making all the tricks with this combination are even better than that, since if East has all three, his partner will show out and you can finesse on the second round. Digressing slightly, this combination shows the importance of being able to count to 13 – I have seen improving players who cash the ace and lead another one, when the next hand shows out they assume the queen is guarded and duck the trick, losing to a now singleton queen. It is very important that you count how many cards you have between the two hands and consequently work out how many you are missing. So far we have looked at combinations where all your pips were very poor, but what about if you have some more intermediate cards – does that make a difference? Have a look at the hand below, where ♥ A 5 4 3 2 BRIDGE April 2017 you bid confidently to 6NT only to find that the cruel duplication of shape makes it harder than it should be: ♠ K Q 2 ♥ K J 6 ♦ K J 10 4 ♣ Q J 4 N WE S ♠ J 8 3 ♥ A Q 3 ♦ A 6 3 2 ♣ A K 6 first diamond (the jack) or lets it go and covers the second diamond. ♠ K Q 2 ♥ K J 6 ♦ K J 10 4 ♣ Q J 4 ♠ 10 9 7 ♥ 10 8 2 N WE ♦ Q 9 7 5 S ♣ 9 7 3 ♠ J 8 3 ♥ A Q 3 ♦ A 6 3 2 ♣ A K 6 ♠ A 6 5 4 ♥ 9 7 5 4 ♦8 ♣ 10 8 5 2 CLUB INSURANCE Every club should be covered and my inclusive package, to suit clubs of up to 300 members for less than £75 per year, is the right package at the right price. Contact FIDENTIA for a quote ( 020 3150 0080 [email protected] The opponents lead the ♠10 to the king and ace and play one back. Since you need to stake your house on finding the queen of diamonds you should cash most of your spades, hearts and clubs before making a decision. If this article were on counting, then there would be some crucial clues to help you along your way, but sadly both opponents follow to the rounds of the suits. In this case, you have nothing to go on but the odds. How should we play the diamonds? The critical factor here is the presence of the ten, but the absence of the nine. You appear to have what is called a ‘two-way finesse’: you could play the ♦K and run the jack round, or cash the ace and play low to the ten, but the two plays are not equal. It is true that if diamonds were 3-2 then it is a coin toss, but consider the possibility that diamonds are 4-1. Now since you need four diamond tricks, cashing the king and running the jack wouldn’t help you, because when East has ♦Q-x-x-x, he will cover the jack and there will be a fourth round loser. The right play is to cash the ace of diamonds and finesse the jack. If it loses you go down, but if it wins and East shows out, you cross back to your hand with your last winner (note the careful way I said ‘cash most of your winners’ in the first paragraph) and take the finesse again. The full hand is in the next column. To prove the point if you swap the East-West hands, then even with the sight of all four hands, the contract can’t be made whether East covers the BRIDGE April 2017 The general rule about cashing the ace first is also worth a final look – how would you play this combination with five winners needed? Holding eight cards we ♥ A 5 4 3 2 know the finesse is the N best play, but which top WE S honour do we cash and who do we play for the ♥ K J 10 queen? Actually, the first question is misleading, because if we play the suit correctly we won’t cash either. If the suit was known to be 3-2, then again it would be a complete guess between cashing the ♥A and leading to the ♥J (gaining if the queen is with East) or cashing the ♥K and leading the ♥J round, gaining if the ♥Q was with West. However, the 4-1 breaks tell us what to do. If West has four cards to the queen, then we have a loser however we play, since we lack the middling cards (the nine and the eight). The good news is that if East has four cards to the queen we can pick it up, so that is what we play for. Start by leading low to the jack. If it wins come back and lead low to the ten. Note that we mustn’t cash the ace first, since we will be putting the ten beneath it, and that is a card needed to win a trick. The general rule is cash a high honour first if you can put a low card under it, if you can’t then take a first round finesse. However foolish you will feel when you lose to a singleton queen, there are four other singletons which you will benefit from by taking a first round finesse. ■ For those with Pre-existing health conditions (No Age Limit) l Travel Insurance with online Medical Screening l Cover for medical conditions, up to a high level of severity, even a terminal prognosis l No age limits l Instant online cover We fully understand that you may wish to speak to us direct about cover and your medical conditions and assure you of the best attention by senior staff on a direct phone line that does not require you to hold or press buttons for departments. ( 01268 524344 We look forward to speaking with you soon Email: [email protected] Website: www.genesischoice.co.uk Genesis Choice Ltd are an appointed representative of NDI Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No.446914 Page 11 Robin Hood’s Bridge Adventures by David Bird Robin’s Change of Plan ‘W here are you going?’ demanded Maid Marian. ‘Just heading for a quick one in the Drunken Partridge,’ Robin Hood replied. ‘It’s their pie night and Tuck feels self-conscious if he’s there on his own.’ ‘But it’s Thursday,’ Marian replied. ‘Surely you remember that we agreed to play an evening’s bridge with Ingrith and Rhoswen.’ ‘Perhaps Nazir could make up a four,’ Hood suggested. ‘Don’t be ridiculous!’ reprimanded Maid Marian. ‘I promised them that we’d play tonight. When have I ever played with Nazir?’ An hour or so later, Robin and Marian were seated in the comfortable main room of the log cottage owned by Ingrith and Haryld Grosse. Play started and this was an early deal: Rhoswen Beddle, who always wore one of her prettiest dresses when playing bridge, led the ♥9. She looked flirtatiously at Robin. ‘I trust this lead will make it difficult for you,’ she said. ‘I expect it will,’ Robin Hood replied. It was not attractive to take the heart finesse, since a club return would then put the contract at risk. Hood leaned forward to play dummy’s ace. He continued with the ♦A-K from his hand and returned to dummy with a low spade to the ♠8. His next move was to lead the ♦J, discarding the ♥10 from his hand when East played low. West won with the ♦Q and returned a fourth round of the suit, allowing her partner to ruff the established ♦10. Robin Hood overruffed with the ♠Q, retaining his two lower trumps. He then crossed to dummy’s ♠10 and led the ♥Q. Ingrith Grosse covered with the ♥K and Hood ruffed with the ♠K. He was then able to lead the ♠9 to the ♠J and discard a club on the ♥J. A subsequent club to the king lost to the ace, but the contract was made. ‘Your ♥9 lead made it easy for him, partner,’ Ingrith declared. ‘It told him that I had the ♥K. If you lead a diamond instead, he’d probably take the heart finesse and go down.’ ‘I don’t think so,’ said Robin Hood, chuckling to himself. ‘On a diamond lead, I win and cash the other top diamond. Then I can draw trumps, ending in the dummy and lead the ♦J, discarding a club. I make six spades, three diamonds and the heart ace.’ Dealer South. Love All. ♠ J 10 8 ♥ A Q J ♦ J 10 5 4 ♣ 8 5 2 ♠5 ♠ 7 6 2 N ♥ 9 8 7 3 2 ♥ K 6 4 WE ♦ Q 9 8 2 S ♦ 7 6 3 ♣ A Q 4 ♣ J 10 9 6 ♠ A K Q 9 4 3 ♥ 10 5 ♦ A K ♣ K 7 3 West North East Rhoswen Marian Ingrith South Robin 1♠ Pass 2♠Pass 4♠ All Pass Page 12 BRIDGE April 2017 Goodness me, thought Rhoswen. How can anyone follow what he says when he speaks so quickly? ‘That’s right,’ she said. ‘Did you follow that, Ingrith? My lead made no difference’ ‘I’m not deaf,’ Ingrith retorted. ‘Of course I followed it.’ Maid Marian leaned forward with a conspiratorial air. ‘Is Haryld at home?’ she asked. ‘No,’ Ingrith replied. ‘He always goes to the pie night at the Drunken Partridge. Their pies are really good, he says. You should give them a try, Robin.’ ‘He’s lucky that you allow him to go,’ Hood retorted. Maid Marian wasn’t listening. ‘Perhaps we could have a small glass of his apple brandy, then?’ she suggested. ‘He wouldn’t mind. It’s not fair if he’s out enjoying a few mugs of ale and we have to sit here with a dry mouth.’ The game became increasingly convivial as the level in Haryld Grosse’s brandy bottle descended, inch by inch. Robin Hood found himself in another game contract: Dealer South. E/W Game. ♠ 8 5 4 2 ♥ 4 2 ♦ Q 8 4 ♣ 9 4 3 2 ♠ J 10 9 6 ♠ A K Q 7 N ♥ Q J ♥ 8 5 3 WE ♦ J 7 6 S ♦ 10 9 5 2 ♣ K 10 8 6 ♣ 7 5 ♠3 ♥ A K 10 9 7 6 ♦ A K 3 ♣ A Q J West North East Rhoswen Marian Ingrith South Robin 2♣ Pass 2♦Pass 2♥ Pass 2NT Pass 4♥ All Pass Rhoswen led the ♠J, winning the first trick and continued with another spade. Robin Hood ruffed East’s ♠Q and played the trump ace, the queen appearing from West. Hood took another mouthful of brandy, savouring the fiery liquid as he BRIDGE April 2017 considered his next move. Suppose he played the ♥K next and West showed out. When he led the ♥10 to East’s jack, she would force him again in spades. After drawing the last trump he would have lost control of the hand. The defenders would doubtless score a spade trick when he cleared the clubs. Ah yes, there was an obvious safety play to guarantee the contract. Robin Hood crossed to the ♦Q and finessed the ♥10. A delighted Rhoswen pounced with her ♥J. ‘Fooled you!’ she cried. Hood ruffed the next spade and drew the last trump, continuing with the ace and queen of clubs. With trump control retained, he could ruff the spade return and claim the contract. ‘Did you see my wonderful play, Ingrith?’ Rhoswen exclaimed. ‘With the queen and jack, I played the queen! Robin assumed you had the jack.’ ‘A clever trap, indeed,’ replied Maid Marian. ‘Have you had one glass too many, Robin? A 3-2 break is much more likely than a 4-1 break. Continue with the ♥K and you make an overtrick.’ Robin Hood made no comment. He looked forward to the prospect of relating the deal to Nazir and Tuck on the morrow. How amused they would be. Not long afterwards, he had yet another contract to play: Dealer North. Game All. ♠ A 7 5 ♥ J 7 5 ♦8 ♣ K Q 8 7 6 3 ♠ J 10 9 3 ♠ Q 6 4 N ♥ Q 2 ♥ K 8 WE ♦ A K Q 7 5 2 S ♦ J 10 6 4 3 ♣2 ♣ 10 9 4 ♠ K 8 2 ♥ A 10 9 6 4 3 ♦9 ♣ A J 5 West North East Rhoswen Marian Ingrith South Robin 1♣ Pass 1♥ 2♦Pass3♦4♥ All Pass Rhoswen led the ♦A and Marian was somewhat reluctant to display the dummy. ‘This brandy is so powerful, Robin,’ she said, arranging her cards as attractively as possible. ‘I wouldn’t normally open on only 10 points, of course. Still, I do have three trumps for you.’ ‘It’s fine,’ replied Robin Hood. Rhoswen switched to the ♠J and Hood won in his hand, proceeding to play the ace of trumps. Two low trumps appeared and he considered his continuation carefully. Suppose he played another trump and one of the defenders had started with ♥K-Q-x. She would win and knock out dummy’s ♠A. She might then be able to ruff the second or third round of clubs and cash a spade trick for one down. Hood nodded to himself. The right way to play the contract was clear. He must abandon the trump suit and play on clubs. When the ♣A and another club were played, Rhoswen ruffed with the ♥Q. She persisted with another spade, removing dummy’s ace. East had to follow to the third round of clubs and Robin Hood then disposed of his spade loser on the fourth round. East could score her ♥K when she wished. The contract was home. Marian wagged her finger playfully. ‘Who’s had too much to drink?’ she said. Hood laughed. ‘Not me, I assure you.’ ‘Trumps were 2-2!’ Marian exclaimed. ‘Play a second round and the king falls with the queen. It’s the same as that other hand you got wrong. You’d make an overtrick.’ Ingrith joined in the laughter. ‘That’s right,’ she said. ‘You were very lucky I had a third club. Otherwise I would have ruffed the third round with the king and cashed a spade winner. You’d have gone down when you could have made an overtrick!’ ‘If you’d started with only two clubs, the suit would be 2-2,’ Hood replied. ‘Rhoswen couldn’t have ruffed the second round.’ ‘Just look how he makes excuses,’ said Ingrith, emptying the last drops of the brandy into her glass. ‘It’s well known that men can’t take drink like we ladies can. Those two hands prove it!’ ■ Page 13 BERNARD MAGEE’S INTERACTIVE TUTORIAL CDS ADVANCED DECLARER PLAY l Making Overtricks in No-trumps l Making Overtricks in Suit Contracts lEndplays lAvoidance lWrong £81 Contract lSimple Squeezes lCounting the Hand l Trump Reductions & Coups l Playing Doubled Contracts l Safety Plays ADVANCED ACOL BIDDING l Basics lAdvanced Basics l Weak Twos l Strong Hands lDefence to Weak Twos l Defence to 1NT lDoubles lTwo-suited £96 Overcalls l Defences to Other Systems l Misfits and Distributional Hands It Pays to Trust Your Partner FIVE-CARD MAJORS & Strong No-Trump Opening Bids & Responses l No-Trump Openings l Support £89 for Partner l Slams £66 & Strong Openings l Rebids l Minors & Misfits l Pre-empting l Doubles l Overcalls l Competitive Auctions l ALSO l Acol Bidding (see p48) lDeclarer Play (see p43) l Defence (see p50) ( 01483 489961 www.mrbridge.co.uk/mrbridge-shop System: MAC OSX (Intel chip), Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10, CD ROM Page 14 Letters from Overseas by John Barr D o you sometimes wonder if your partner has taken leave of his or her senses as they make a play that seems to make no sense? After partner has done a few odd things, is it difficult to take their bids and plays at face value? Here is an example of a strange-looking play. Is partner bonkers, or is there a message for you to decode? Pairs. Dealer West. Game All. ♠ 6 2 ♥10 ♦ K 10 8 7 ♣ J 6 5 4 3 2 ♠ A 9 N ♠ Q J 10 5 4 WE ♥ J 7 3 S ♥ 9 8 6 5 ♦ A Q J 9 6 ♦3 ♣ K 10 8 ♣ Q 9 7 ♠ K 8 7 3 ♥ A K Q 4 2 ♦ 5 4 2 ♣A West opened a strong notrump, and East bid 2♥ (transfer) which South doubled. Although he should pass with only two spades, West completed the transfer and 2♠ was the final contract. On the face of it, the defence will take two spades, three hearts and the ♣A for one off. While +100 is a reasonable score on a part score hand, +200 is much better. Sitting North, I led my singleton heart. Partner won with the queen, cashed the ♣A and then played the ♥A. My first inclination was to find a discard, but why had partner cashed the ♣A? Trusting that he had done so for a reason, I ruffed his ♥A and continued with a club, hoping that he would ruff it – which he did. Two more ruffs and the ♠K added up to seven tricks for the defence, two off, and that magical +200 score. So remember, if partner does something that looks a bit odd, there may well be a reason for it. If he has done something clever and you manage to work it out, that does wonders for partnership morale, but if you ignore partner’s play and defend without thinking too deeply, the opposite is true. The other side of the coin is that you should think carefully about doing something unusual as partner may interpret it as meaningful. So, for example, if on this hand South had ace doubleton in clubs, it would potentially confuse North if he cashed the club ace at trick two, so it is right to just continue with top hearts. One final thing to consider. If partner does something odd for no good reason and you interpret it as being meaningful and defend accordingly, he will appreciate that you trusted him (even if there was no good reason on this occasion) and will try harder in future. ■ BRIDGE April 2017 Answers to Julian Pottage’s Defence Quiz on page 5 1. ♠ A Q 9 2 ♥ Q 2 ♦ A K ♣ J 9 6 4 3 ♠ J 6 N ♥ J 7 4WE ♦ J 9 5 4 3 S ♣ A 8 5 ♠ K 10 8 7 5 ♥ 9 8 3 ♦ Q 10 7 ♣ K 7 West North East South Pass 1NT Pass 2♣*Pass 2♠ Pass 3♠Pass 4♠ All Pass ♠ 4 3 ♥ A K 10 6 5 ♦ 8 6 2 ♣ Q 10 2 West North East South Pass Pass Pass 1♣1♥1♠ 2♥3♠Pass 4♠ All Pass Partner leads the ♥4. What is your plan? You begin by cashing the two top hearts. If you fail to do so, declarer might hold the ♦Q-x-x and discard a heart from dummy on the ♦Q. What do you do then? While the only real hope of further tricks is in the club suit, you should be patient and return a diamond. If you lead a club, declarer might hold ♣A-K-x and avoid a loser. On the actual layout, leading a club allows your opponent to make the contract. There is no guess as your initial pass means that you can hardly hold the ♣A. 2. ♠ 10 8 7 2 ♥ A Q J 2 ♦ A 2 ♣ 10 6 4 ♠ 9 6 4 N ♥ 10 7 4 3 WE ♦ K 9 3 S ♣ J 7 5 ♠ A K Q 5 ♥ K 9 ♦ Q 10 7 4 ♣ 9 3 2 BRIDGE April 2017 ♠ J 3 ♥ 8 6 5 ♦ J 8 6 5 ♣ A K Q 8 Partner leads the ♣5. What is your plan? For sure, you should win the first club and cash a second round. Indeed, you will surely then play a third round. Three rounds will stand up if partner has led middle from three low cards or low from J-x-x. Having taken three rounds of clubs, you do not want to play the thirteenth club. That would give a ruff and discard while offering limited hope of a trump promotion. A switch to avoid is a diamond. If partner has the ♦K but not the ♦10, declarer can insert the ♦10 to force out the ♦K. While a trump switch will generally be safe, you might be saving your opponent a guess if partner has ♠K-9-x. A heart is your correct exit at trick four. 3. ♠ J 9 3 2 ♥ K 9 3 2 ♦ J 5 ♣ A 9 5 ♠ 7 4 ♥ Q 8 4 N WE ♦ K Q 10 3 S ♣ K J 8 3 ♠ K Q 10 8 5 ♥ A J 6 ♦ 7 4 ♣ Q 10 4 trick two? For two reasons you should prefer a club switch to a heart switch. The first is that a discard might be coming on the fourth heart. The second is that while a club cannot do worse than spare declarer a guess, a heart switch might blow a trick if partner has Q-x-x or if declarer has Q-8-x. Leading from the ♥10 with the ♥9 in view on your right is not safe at all. Leave the hearts well alone. 4. ♠ A 6 ♥ Q 9 2 ♦ K Q J 8 7 5 ♣ 9 7 ♠ 7 2 ♥ J 10 8 7 4 N ♦ 10 3 2WE S ♣ J 6 3 ♠ Q J 10 9 8 5 ♥ A 3 ♦ A 9 ♣ K Q 4 ♠ K 4 3 ♥ K 6 5 ♦ 6 4 ♣ A 10 8 5 2 West North East South 1♠ Pass 2♦Pass 3♠ Pass 4♠ All Pass ♠ A 6 ♥ 10 7 5 ♦ A 9 8 6 2 ♣ 7 6 2 West North East South 1♠ Pass 2♠PassPass Dbl 3♠ All Pass Partner leads the ♦K. What is your plan? You start by encouraging with the ♦9. What do you do after taking the ♦A at Partner leads the ♥J, covered by the ♥Q, ♥K and ♥A. Declarer leads the ♠Q, which your ♠K wins. What is your plan? At teams or rubber bridge, you would lead a low club next trying to give declarer a guess. At matchpoints, this is highly risky because declarer surely holds the ♦A on the bidding. If your opponent plays the ♣K, whether from K-Q-x or from K-x or by guessing right from K-J-x, twelve tricks will presumably result. You should cash the ♣A and, unless partner encourages, revert to hearts. This probably saves any overtricks. Note that you play the ♣A before the heart, lest declarer ruffs the heart or partner ■ thinks you can ruff a heart. Page 15 Sally Brock Looks at Your Slam Bidding Hand-crafted Card Tables These English made tables These English offer superb qualitymade and have tables offer superb the genuine Pelissier hinges. quality and have the Choose from the great value These English made tables genuine Pelissier hinges. 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East meant 5♦ as ace-asking, but West did not think it applied when the suit had been bid and rebid naturally. My first comment is that I think West’s first rebid should be 2♠, not 2♦. Threecard support and a singleton is OK with a minimum hand. Suppose East had the same distribution but only 8 or 9 HCP. Now 2♦ would be a much worse contract than 2♠. To rebid diamonds (or clubs) and then show three-card support shows a better hand – at least a good 14-count. That would lead to the following auction: WestEast 1♦1♠ 2♠3♣ 3♦3♥ 3♠5♦ 5♠6♠ East bids naturally, keeping the bidding low, to get more information. When West shows good diamonds, it is unrealistic for East to think about a grand slam. His jump to 5♦ now is Exclusion Blackwood (if the partnership play that convention) but is to check on the ♠K for a small slam, rather than looking for a grand. Slam of the Month Readers are very good at sending me their disasters. Maybe they don’t have so many triumphs! The winner of this month’s star prize is Geoff Simpson, but only because I am short of material. The auction went well until the very last minute. Dealer North. N/S Game. ♠ Q 10 9 7 ♠ A 6 N ♥VoidWE ♥ Q 7 6 5 4 S ♦ A K Q 6 2 ♦ J 10 8 4 ♣ A Q 9 7 ♣ K 2 WestNorth East South 1♥ PassPass Dbl Pass 2♦Pass 4♥Pass4♠Pass 5♣Pass 7♦ All Pass West’s double was normal and East made life easy for his side by responding 2♦ rather than 1NT. West’s 4♥ now showed the void heart (3♥ would have been a singleton). East cooperated with a 4♠ cue-bid and West cue-bid 5♣. I think East’s leap to the grand slam was a bit premature here – was it necessary for West to hold such good diamonds? If a diamond honour were to be missing, then it would almost certainly be with North. West’s 5♣ was a try for a small slam, not for a grand. Instead, East should have bid 6♣ to show the second-round control, and now West, optimistic that East has nine or more redsuit cards, can take a pot at the grand slam. ■ Send your slam hands to [email protected] BRIDGE April 2017 Answers to David Huggett’s Play Quiz on page 5 1. ♠ 7 6 4 ♥ K J 8 2 ♦ A J 3 ♣ K 7 6 ♠ A 8 2 ♥ A Q 10 7 3 N WE ♦ 9 2 S ♣ 10 5 3 ♠ K 5 ♥ 9 6 4 ♦ K Q 10 7 ♣ A 8 4 2 ♠ Q J 10 9 3 ♥5 ♦ 8 6 5 4 ♣ Q J 9 You are declarer in 3NT after 1NT-3NT and West leads the ♥7. How do you plan the play? The game doesn’t look very promising but at least you have escaped a spade lead, when it would take a miracle to come to nine tricks. Maybe the heart lead doesn’t look particularly nice either, but just think for a moment. After this straightforward auction, there is no reason to believe that West has not just led fourth highest and if that is the case, then the Rule of Eleven will indicate that East has no card in hearts higher than the seven. So play low from dummy and win with the nine. Then you can tease West by playing low hearts towards dummy. You will make three heart tricks and six tricks in the minors, or ten tricks if West switches to a spade. 2. ♠ Q 8 6 ♥ K 6 5 ♦ A 7 ♣ K 10 9 7 5 ♠ A K 10 7 ♥ Q 8 4 N WE ♦ Q 10 6 4 S ♣ 3 2 ♠3 ♥ A J 10 3 ♦ J 5 ♣ A Q J 8 6 4 BRIDGE April 2017 ♠ J 9 5 4 2 ♥ 9 7 2 ♦ K 9 8 3 2 ♣Void You are declarer in 5♣. West leads the ♠A and switches to a low diamond. How do you plan the play? An initial diamond lead would have been more difficult, but as it happens, the contract is a certainty – unless you go fishing for the queen of hearts and guess wrong. Win the diamond switch and ruff a spade, enter dummy with a trump, ruff another spade and draw the last trump. Now cut loose by playing your diamond and you will find that whoever wins either has to give you a ruff and discard or open up the heart suit, thus finding the queen for you. In all, you will make two spade ruffs, three hearts, one diamond and five clubs. 3. ♠ 5 3 2 ♥8 ♦ K Q J 8 7 5 ♣ 8 6 4 ♠ J 7 ♥ J 9 6 4 N WE ♦ 9 3 S ♣ K Q J 9 3 ♠ A Q 8 6 4 ♥ A K 7 3 ♦ A 2 ♣ A 7 ♠ K 10 9 ♥ Q 10 5 2 ♦ 10 6 4 ♣ 10 5 2 You are declarer in 6♠ and West leads the ♣K. How do you plan the play? This is a fairly optimistic contract, but at least the assumptions you have to make for the slam to succeed are easy to see. You need trumps 3-2 with the king onside and, somehow, you have to dispose of two heart losers and a club loser. So, how about this? Win the lead and play the ace of hearts and ruff a heart. Return to hand with the ace of diamonds, ruff another heart and now take a spade finesse. Cash the ace of spades and play a diamond to dummy and a third diamond will enable you to dispose of your club loser – you don’t care if they ruff this with the remaining, and master, trump. So you need luck not only in spades but to some degree in hearts and diamonds also. 4. ♠ 8 4 3 ♥ K 6 2 ♦ Q 10 5 ♣ A Q 6 4 ♠ A K 9 7 2 ♥ 9 7 5 N WE ♦ 9 2 S ♣ K 9 8 ♠ Q 10 5 ♥ A J 10 ♦ A K 6 ♣ 7 5 3 2 ♠ J 6 ♥ Q 8 4 3 ♦ J 8 7 4 3 ♣ J 10 Fourth in hand you open 1NT and accept partner’s invitation to 3NT. West leads the ♠7 and East plays the ♠J. How do you plan the play? Presumably West has led away from a spade holding headed by the ace and king, so it could be very awkward to lose the lead before we make nine tricks. Even if we make six tricks in the red suits, we still need to make two clubs, but if the club finesse fails we are surely going down. And that is the crux of the hand. We need West to hold the ♣K, but if he does then he cannot possibly hold the ♥Q, because that would give him twelve points and he would have opened the bidding. So take a club finesse at trick two, smile when it ■ wins and play a heart to the ten. Mr Bridge Premium Quality Cards Standard Faces, with or without bar codes. Unboxed. 6 red/6 blue £19.95 30 red/30 blue only £65 Available from The London Bridge Centre. ( 020 7288 1305 www.bridgeshop.com Page 17 DUPLICATE BRIDGE RULES SIMPLIFIED (otherwise known as the Yellow Book) by John Rumbelow and revised by David Stevenson only £595 Available from Mr Bridge ( 01483 489961 www.mrbridge.co.uk REDUCE THE COST OF YOUR POSTAGE A History of Playing Cards: The Ace T he Ace of Spades tends to be highly decorated, unlike the three other aces, and has somewhere along the way acquired a special status. It was neither makers nor players of any special game that brought this about, so the story is highly unusual. It began in England in 1765 and it came about through the collection of tax. As the tax was very high – presumably intended as a deterrent to gambling – makers could be tempted to take short cuts, a temptation that ended badly for one maker, the story of which appears on the next page. The taxation of playing cards was not new in 1765, but that year saw the introduction of a new process: makers would supply the Tax Office with paper (to match their other cards) and the Tax Office would print the Ace of Spades using engraved metal plates, a printing technology that was expensive and not widely available. The maker would then buy the printed Aces from the Tax Office – thereby paying the tax – and the cost was passed on to the customer. In order to make it more difficult to forge these Aces, a more elaborate design was made – and that is how it started. An Ace from before 1765 is shown below, together with one from around 1765. Postage stamps for sale at 90% of face-value, all mint with full gum. Quotations for commercial quantities available on request. Values supplied in 100s, higher values available as well as 1st and 2nd class. (/Fax 020 8422 4906 e-mail: [email protected] Q PLUS 12 l Help and Hint buttons lDisplays on HD and large screens l Comprehensive l Feed manual in your own deals l Minibridge l 5,000 option preplayed hands for teams and 4,000 preplayed hands for matchpoint pairs £99 including post and packing Mr Bridge ( 01483 489961 www.mrbridge.co.uk Page 18 Ace of Spades, c 1680. Ace of Spades, c 1765. These new Aces had other features: from 1765 they carried the Maker’s name, they identified the King (George III in the card shown) and they were numbered to identify which printing plate had been used. Before this, the Maker would have appeared on the wrapper but not necessarily on the cards. The wrappers were deliberately flimsy and were thrown away and usually tore when they were opened (this prevented a wrapper being re-used, with the ‘tax’ being kept by the seller second time around.) The named Aces mean that we can identify the maker of any pack. Thereafter, the tax changed every 10-20 years, and the design was changed too. In short, the Tax Office has given the modern historian a way of identifying BRIDGE April 2017 Part Four by Paul Bostock CROATIA 2-16 May 2017 of Spades both the maker and a rough date for all cards made after 1765. It is a rare pleasure to feel gratitude for a part of the tax system. One card maker, Richard Harding, decided that if he printed his own Aces, he could sell the cards for the same money but not have to pay anything to the Tax Office. The problem was that card-makers had wooden blocks for printing, which simply cannot reproduce the fine detail of an engraving. In short, given one or two examples to look at, anyone can tell the difference. Suspicion was raised, as he seemed to have a thriving business but bought few Aces. Various manufacturing items were found with family and accomplices, including 2,000 forged Aces. At the time, the tax on one pack was about the same as a week’s wages for a labourer, which indicates the scale of the forgery. Harding was found guilty at the Old Bailey and hanged in 1805. Bernard Magee HOTEL EDEN ROVINJ From £1,499 sharing Rovinj is situated on the western coast of Istria in Croatia, the largest peninsula on the Adriatic coastline, a one hour drive from Trieste, 2.5 hours from Zagreb. Boasting a rich, natural and cultural heritage, with beautiful landmarks such as the old town, the Golden Cape Park Forest, protected islands and coastal area. The climate is warm and semi-dry, with more than four months a year without wind. Hotel Eden is wedged right between a peninsula covered by a one hundred year old park forest and a quiet cove. The old city centre of Rovinj is just a 20 minute walk away. Rooms: All rooms are equipped with a direct phone line, LCD SAT TV, mini-bar, safe, bathtub or shower, toilet, hair dryer, balcony, air conditioning/heating. Suites are available, details on application. Wood print forgery, c 1800. Ace of Spades, Goodall & Son, Maker’s own design c. 1862-3. From 1862, each Maker was once again free to design an Ace of Spades as the wrapper now showed the tax. Makers continued with elaborate designs because that was expected, and ever since, the Ace of Spades has had its own design style. The tax on playing cards was finally abolished in the UK almost another century later in July 1960, but the special status and appearance of the Ace of Spades is here to stay. ■ The author is a Court Assistant in the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards – see www.makersofplayingcards.co.uk. Many more sets of cards are illustrated on the author’s website www.plainbacks.com BRIDGE April 2017 Singles: There is a sole occupancy supplement of £12 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 stone and pebble beach only a few steps away. The vast outdoor pool will cool you down after a day of lounging in the freely available deck chairs. Half-board only. Terms and conditions apply. These holidays have been organised for Mr Bridge by Great Little Escapes LLP, ATOL 5933 Details of the bridge programme ( 01483 489961 Page 19 Teacher’s Corner – Teaching Tips from Ian Dalziel Blackwood – Friend or Foe? D o you use Blackwood? – Of not helping my students’ slam bidcourse you do, surely everyone ding and was also causing problems does. Is it profitable? You prein non-slam hands. I took the radical sume so, after all 95% of bridge players decision that my early lessons in slam can’t be wrong. bidding would not include Blackwood. I used to be a big fan and taught it at They would just bid small slams with all my classes with two caveats: 33 points (including distribution for 1. Use it only once the trump suit is suit contracts) and the aces would just agreed – otherwise 4NT is natural have to look after themselves. I knew or quantitative. they would bid some suit slams with 2. Before asking for aces, ensure you two aces missing, but I felt it would be have sufficient points (or playing a price worth paying. When bidding tricks) for the slam. slams was a common occurrence for Sadly, it didn’t work out that way. them, then I would teach them BlackIf a slam was possible, then asking wood to avoid those ‘bad slams’ with for aces was all that mattered and two aces missing. few could recognise when 4NT was quantitative. The convention Defending was a disaster despite all my Combinations Declaring 2 Aces efforts to teach it properly. I was HCP Missing disappointed but I should not have 2 Aces 0/1/2 been surprised – for everyone Aces agrees that Blackwood is the most misused of all conventions though 32 6 445 1.3% no-one admits to being an abuser. 31 24 688 3.5% In the introduction to Easley Blackwood’s excellent book on 30 60 952 6.3% Slam bidding, Richard Frey says, ‘If 29 144 1304 11.0% Blackwood had a nickel for every time his convention was misused, 28 286 1716 16.7% he’d be a multi-millionaire.’ That was written 46 years ago and 27 496 2184 22.7% nothing has changed. 26 820 2680 30.6% In the same book, Blackwood himself says, ‘The main purpose of 25 1224 3176 38.5% the convention is to keep you out of unmakeable slams, helping to reach 24 1695 3650 46.4% makeable slams is only secondary.’ He devotes a whole chapter to When is To my amazement, it didn’t hapBlackwood Blackwood? and stresses the pen. If they bid slams ‘on points’, sufimportance of the natural use of 4NT. ficient aces nearly always materialised. Therefore, the great man himself can’t Even better than that – if two aces be blamed for the calamities that hapwere missing, unless the leader had pen every week, at every club, in his both aces, the slam frequently made. It name. Blackwood is easy to use, but meant 4NT could be used to invite novery difficult to utilise profitably. trump slams without any fear it would I soon realised that Blackwood was be taken as Blackwood and, even betPage 20 ter, they could play in 4NT when they had reached the four level but hadn’t found a fit: eg 1♠-3♦-3♥-4♦-4NT. My students’ ‘natural method’ of slam bidding was far more successful than others who used Blackwood. It’s true they missed those slams where you need to know the aces to get into a slam (which can’t be bid on points), but such slams are rare. I went even further and limited Blackwood to my advanced classes. Of course, you will guess what happened; when my students played elsewhere, the ‘better players’ told them that they must learn Blackwood and to disregard my advice. This meant they picked up a half baked version – their bidding, of course, deteriorated but they were now fashionable and that seemed to matter more. I was forced to re-introduce Blackwood to my intermediate classes; it was a lost cause, but what else could I do? My ‘discovery’ that if you have the points the aces will usually look after themselves, was a big surprise to me. There are lots of potential suit slams with 33 points including distribution, which have only 28 HCP or fewer. With 12 HCP missing, it seems a big risk that opponents have two aces (8 HCP), but it rarely happened. I wondered why. I then considered how points are made up. If there are 32 HCP between two hands, then the eight HCPs missing could be two aces (AA), or two kings and a queen (KKQ), AKJ, AQQ etc – I decided to count all the possibilities. AA can occur in six ways, AKJ can occur in 64 ways and so on. There are 445 ways that 8 HCP can be made up and only six of them consist of two aces. So, if you have 32 HCP, then there is a 98.7% chance that two aces are not missing. I then did the BRIDGE April 2017 calculations for other point ranges – which was 17,000 combinations. You can work them out yourself if you have a few weeks to spare. The table shows my results. As you can see, if you have 30+ HCP, you almost certainly have at least three aces. Only with 26 HCP or fewer does the risk of two aces missing become significant. I have assumed that all combinations are equally likely which may not be the case. A statistician may get slightly different, but not dissimilar, results. I also checked it empirically by analysing 3,600 computer dealt hands. I checked every pair of hands with 24-32 HCP between them (1,630 hands) and counted the aces missing. The results were similar to the table above. This analysis applies to small slams; grand slams are very different but, for learners, grand slams are not a priority. Even used properly Blackwood has its drawbacks: 1. If clubs are trumps and you need two aces from partner and if he has only one – his 5♦ reply means you can’t stop in 5♣. You can in theory stop in 5NT by bidding an unbid suit, but how many people know that? 2.If opponents intervene after Blackwood, they might derail your bidding. Have you agreed to use DOPI and ROPI? I bet you haven’t. 3. If you have found a fit in a minor suit but have reached the four level, you sometimes want to play in 4NT but you can’t, as it’s Blackwood. 4.The artificial responses to Blackwood can be doubled for a lead that might beat the slam; and BRIDGE April 2017 partner’s failure to double does suggest you lead another suit. 5.If responder to Blackwood becomes declarer, knowing how many aces he holds can help the defence. 6.Even top players have misunderstandings as to when 4NT is Blackwood. So what do you do if you don’t use Blackwood, but your partner wants to use it? Just say no and refuse their offer to teach you. If they are any good at all, they should be able to bid without Blackwood. If not, find another partner. No-one can make you use a convention. All players, however, aspire to better things and Blackwood (in its various forms) when combined with cue bidding, is essential for grand slams and small slams with a low HCP count. To use it properly requires great skill and the vast majority of club players would be better off without it. I propose that players require a ‘driving licence’ before using Blackwood. To get it, they must first make 50 slams without Blackwood, then, if they add it to their system, they will use it in its proper context. There is no need to teach it in class – just refer the ‘licensees’ to Bernard Magee’s excellent lessons on the subject. Of course, I’m asking the impossible. Using Blackwood makes people ‘feel clever’ and if you deny it to them it’s like the ‘forbidden fruit’ and they will find a way to learn it. Sadly, human nature and fashion are more powerful influences in bidding systems than science. I do hope, however, that I can persuade bridge teachers to exclude Blackwood from their early lessons on slam bidding. ■ BERNARD MAGEE TUTORIAL DVDS Set 7 Coming Soon 37 MORE SIGNALLING I will be looking at different times when you signal and the messages you might want to give. Using signals in new ways can greatly improve your enjoyment of defence as well as pushing up your scores. 38 4-4-4-1 HANDS Everybody’s least favourite type of opening hand. I will be going through the methods for choosing the right suit to open as well as coping with responses. As responder you need to be aware of the options and work out your partner’s type of hand. Strong 4-4-4-1 hands can be just as difficult and will be dealt with too. 39 DRAWING TRUMPS This seminar sounds straightforward, but we will not be simply drawing trumps, we will be considering the reasons for delaying. Keeping control of trumps is an important part of declarer play. Knowing when to risk leaving trumps out and when not. 40 FIVE-CARD MAJORS Popular around the world, this method is becoming more popular here. It is not a method I would advocate for club players, however it is important to understand the method as you will need to defend against it. 41 FUNDAMENTALS OF DEFENCE Defence is by far the hardest aspect of bridge: this seminar seeks to show the building blocks that can start you off on a wonderful journey. If you can get the basics right then the more complicated aspects of defence can follow. 42 SUPPORTING MINORS Minors are not as important as majors, but we have to bid them and it is important to know your system. Bidding more 3NT contracts will get you better scores, but being able to spot a minor suit slam will put you a cut above. £25 per DVD or £105 for the set of six Mr Bridge ( 01483 489961 www.mrbridge.co.uk/shop Page 21 David Stevenson Answers Your Questions on Laws and Ethics Which Side Should Trumps be Placed? Q Please can you tell me on which side trumps should be placed? Some people say on declarer‘s right and others on declarer‘s left. Alice Farrell by email. ♣♦♥♠ A Trumps are put down in dummy on declarer‘s left, that is on dummy‘s right. ♣♦♥♠ Q We are not an EBU affiliated club, although several of us are members and also play in other clubs. Can you tell me the rule on alerting a 1♣ false bid, opening points but no five-card major. I know there is something about the club bid, as to whether it is could be as few as two or as few as three. I ask players to explain bids clearly as we have a mix of abilities, but find some EBU players persist in cryptic announcements. Name and address supplied. A If you are not an EBU affiliated club, then you can make up your own alerting rules. However, with several EBU players, you would probably find it easier to follow EBU rules which are helpful to opponents. When a 1♣ opening shows at least three clubs, there is no alert and no announcement. When a 1♣ Page 22 opening may have fewer than three clubs, the partner of the person who made the bid immediately says, ‘may be two cards,‘ (or one or none if they play that way). Q My partner and I play a forcing 2NT rebid over a twolevel response: 1♥-2♣ (must have ten points) -2NT. The 2NT bid is 15 to 18 points and forcing. Can you tell me if this is alertable, please? Erica Sheppard by email. A This is a little tricky. In tournaments, it is now fairly standard to play 2NT forcing, so it does not need an alert and, in the clubs I play in, I do not alert it. If you play in a club at which almost no-one else plays it as forcing, then perhaps you should alert it there. ♣♦♥♠ Q North revoked mid-contract. Her ♠J should have fallen beneath her partner’s winning ♠Q, but she discarded the ♣10 in error and the revoke became established. She gained the lead on the penultimate trick and cashed the winning ♠J for the final trick. The director ruled that the revoke card had not won the trick so he gave a one-trick penalty. Is the revoke card definitely the one played to the revoke trick, or can it be the one withheld to score a trick later? Yvonne Dickinson by email. half quick tricks or not, since he bids 2NT with any hand where he does not, but that does not make it artificial. A Q If the player wins the trick by revoking it is a two-trick penalty, otherwise it is a one trick penalty. If the ♣10 won the trick then it would have been a two trick revoke. Of course, the revoker never gains, so the director can adjust if the revoker actually gains, despite the revoke penalty. ♣♦♥♠ Q In BRIDGE 168, your reply to Liz Bretherton describes a trial bid as natural. Surely a trial bid asks for help in the bid suit and is therefore artificial under the definition of an artificial call? Are you saying that FSF has a surprise meaning but a trial bid does not? Name and address supplied. A A trial bid is natural since it shows length in that suit: an artificial bid does not. You might bid fourth suit forcing with a void: a trial bid shows at least three cards. I think your idea of an artificial call is flawed. You could argue that an Acol two asks partner to show whether he has one and a ♣♦♥♠ How would you have dealt with the following situation? WestNorth East South 1♥ Pass1NT Pass 2♥Pass At this point, South hesitated; took out pass; hesitated; replaced the pass and bid 3♥. North then passed and made nine tricks. The traveller showed 4♥-1; 2♥ made; and 2♥+1. Martin Plane by email. A Assuming that by ‘took out pass‘, you mean the pass card was out of the box, then the pass stands and may not be corrected, unless West wishes to accept the 3♥ bid. If he does so, then North has unauthorised information that it was a very minimal 3♥ bid and must not use this information. If the director feels he has used the information, for example, by passing 3♥ with a possible 4♥ bid, then he might adjust the score. ♣♦♥♠ Q The dealer opened 1♣ and announced it as a phoney club. Surely this is not BRIDGE April 2017 acceptable and what is the penalty procedure? Jean Gill by email. A In most cases where there is a fairly minor breach of the rules, especially by someone who appears not to understand them, a warning and an explanation of why it is wrong suffices. If this player repeats the offence then a standard penalty should be applied, which is 10% of a top at pairs. However, this has given unauthorised information to partner, so if the director judges that partner has used it in any way, then he might adjust. For example, he may feel that the player would not have said it on this occasion unless he was short in clubs, so he might adjust if his partner does not raise clubs with an apparent fit. appreciated, because the discussion has already generated a lot of emails. Bob Parker by email. would be appreciated. Michael Griffiths, Tunbridge Wells. A The reason why directors make rulings is that they have a reasonable knowledge of the laws, and can consult over bridge judgements. The idea of leaving a ruling to adjudicators, apart from being illegal – the director gives rulings according to the law – is that their knowledge of the laws may be flawed. Of course, asking them for advice is fine: it is recommended that judgement rulings are not given without consultation. As a result, the ruling given has no basis in law and is illegal. If there is no damage, then no adjustment can be given, and the idea of taking the double away without apparent cause is abhorrent. That is not the way rulings are given. Of course, directors can penalise for any offence, so it would be legal to apply a penalty to the player who alerted wrongly. But that is a very unusual level of penalty for a minor offence, unless this player has been warned previously. None of the responses are alertable so long as opener cannot pass them. Since the 1♣ is alerted, the opponents have no reason to suppose the responses show the normal values, and a 2♣ response to 1♣ is not a raise any more than a 3♣ response to an Acol 2♣ is a raise. Similarly, a 1♠ rebid is not alertable. Natural bids are only alertable when they have a quite unexpected meaning. If the opponents cannot be bothered to ask why 1♣ is alerted, or they forget, that is their bad luck. It is not expected that the response to a strong 1♣ would be the same as to a natural 1♣. ♣♦♥♠ ♣♦♥♠ Q One of my partners insists on playing a strong club (16-21 points). A response of 1♦ shows 0-5 points, and a response at the two level is natural, maybe four cards with 10+ points (rather like Precision). I have three questions: 1) If I open 1♣ and partner responds 2♦, is that alertable? 2) If I open 1♣ and he responds 1♥, and I rebid 1♠ (showing 16-18 and at least four spades), is that alertable? 3) If partner opens 1♣, 1♠ is overcalled and I bid 2♣ or 2♦, are these alertable? Last night one of the opposition insisted that 1) and 3) should be alerted. So after the evening five directors discussed these points, but with differing opinions. Your views would be BRIDGE April 2017 Q A difficult judgement arose when North alerted a conventional call by tapping instead of showing his alert card. After E/W had overstretched and been doubled, losing 100, East complained that he had been misled as he had not seen the alert. The director referred the decision to adjudicators who, looking to award an adjusted score, found it impossible to postulate any alternative logical bidding sequence, part of the difficulty lying in E/W’s bidding which would probably have been the same had the alert been seen and explained. However, the adjudicators were loath to adjudge ‘no penalty’ and, in the absence of any logical alternative, elected to cancel the final double, which reduced N/S’s share of the matchpoints from around 60% to 30%. Your comments A ♣♦♥♠ Q My regular partner, whilst still playing pretty well at our local club, is having increasing difficulty in remembering the contract. We realise that one is allowed to ask at any time, but this can become a little embarrassing. Would it be allowed that the final bid card be left exposed for all to see until the end of the hand, which I often advise when teaching a group of beginners? Dr R Cruthers, Warlingham, Surrey. A Some players leave the bidding card showing the final contract at an angle in their bidding box. It is similar to leaving the bidding card on the table, though unreasonable to expect anyone else to do it for them. Since it is legal to ask the contract at any time this cannot possibly do any harm. Nevertheless, it is a matter for bidding box regulation so a club could specifically allow or forbid the practice. ♣♦♥♠ Q At our usual duplicate sessions, I was playing North and we were playing four-board rounds. When one E/W pair came to our table, East removed three boards placing them on the floor to his right. I objected, but he said that it was normal to have only the board in play on the table. In the past, I have resisted putting boards on the floor because on more than one occasion, when there has been a relay, the wrong boards have been passed on. Should all the boards remain on the table and who has control of the boards? If East had asked if he could put the three boards on a chair next to me I would not have objected. John Strange, Dronfield. A There is no rule as to whether boards are left on the table or not, unless the club introduces such a rule. Since North is normally looking after the boards, it is usually left to North to decide, though it is normal for him to only have one board on the table if asked politely. East’s actions sound tactless at the very least and possibly over the borderline Page 23 into actual rudeness. It is not normal unless it is normal in that club to only have one board and it is certainly normal to ask North or South rather than do it himself. ♣♦♥♠ Q I am South in a competitive auction and it is my bid. I am pondering my bid (not for long) when my partner suddenly tables a card. At the inquest, he admits that he thought I had passed and he was leading to an E/W contract. East accepted the lead and we played the E/W contract. Is this correct as I was deprived of my bid? Alastair Love by email. A The law on leading during the auction says that the leader’s partner must pass at his first turn to call, so the effect was the same. It is nothing to do with whether the opponent accepts it, which he has no right to do. It also becomes a major penalty card, but since that means it must be led, again there is no difference. often make some sort of comment that is in effect a ruling, which is often wrong, and also the fiercest arguments usually start when a director is not called. Nevertheless, if a stop card is not used when it matters little, it does not matter if the director is not called. Any jump bid requires a stop card. So if a stop card is not displayed, it means either that the player has forgotten (or in the case of some rather rude players, they do not bother) or it could mean that the player did not mean to jump. The failure to use the stop card is unauthorised information to partner who must take no advantage, but is authorised to the opponents. To make it worse, a player who realises he jumped when he did not mean to often displays some emotion, which makes it clear what has happened and provides further unauthorised information to partner. ♣♦♥♠ Q In a recent IMPs event, this hand came up: If a player does not put out a stop card for a jump bid or a jump bid by mistake, for example 3♣ over 1NT instead of 2♣, should the opponents call the director? Is any unauthorised information given away in this action? Your comments would be appreciated. Ron, Alton BC. ♠ A K 5 4 ♥ 10 2 ♦ A 6 5 ♣ K Q J 7 A I was South, declarer in notrumps. My LHO led the ♣2. I said, ‘I make all the tricks ...‘ and started to lay my hand down on the table, prior to explaining how I would play them. At this stage, my ♣♦♥♠ Q It is always reasonable to call the director if opponents (or your side, for that matter) do anything wrong. If you do not, someone will Page 24 N WE S ♠ Q J 6 ♥ Q J 9 ♦ K Q J 10 8 3 ♣A LHO said, ‘No, play them,‘ and this was repeated by my RHO. I said that I had made a claim and should not now play the hand, but be allowed to give a full explanation. My opponents prevented me from doing this, so I called the director. The director told me to play the hand out. Rather than argue, I complied. I cannot find the regulation covering such a claim and the playing of the cards. Am I right in believing that I should not play them out? (It is, after all, in the interests of the opponents that I do not do so, but give an immediate explanation.) After the play of the next board (we were playing two-board rounds), the director stood up and addressed the whole room (14 tables), saying that this was a friendly club and that players should not make claims, since some players were more knowledgeable than others and not everyone could understand a claim. Since 1) there had been some noise at our table, with my opponents shouting me down when I tried to explain my claim, and 2) the director had been called to our table (a fairly unusual event at this club), everyone knew that I was the person involved and that the director’s statement was essentially criticising me for taking advantage of weaker players. I was greatly upset by this. I believe that the correct action by the director should have been to say at the table when called, ‘The cards should not be played after a claim has been made. Tim should not play the cards. Please allow him to explain his claim. If you are not satisfied, please call me again.’ Then, if the club wanted to change its rules to ban all claiming, that could be considered by its Committee. Tim Sharrock, Blunham, Bedford. A As a matter of law play ceases after a claim: law 68D is quite clear. So neither opponents nor the director can make you play on after a claim. Claiming is part of bridge so the club cannot ban claiming. A lot of slow play is caused by players slowly and meaningfully playing out a hand, when all the tricks are clearly theirs. Friendly clubs encourage claims so as not to delay play unnecessarily. ♣♦♥♠ Q We are a small club without a qualified director and the majority of players are holiday makers. At our duplicate session today, one table passed out a board. None of the players had opening points or a five card suit. There was a difference of opinion between two experienced players on how to score the board. One said both pairs scored zero and the other said it should be an average. Which is correct? Fred Sleight by email. A Correct is zero. When you pass a hand out, your score beats all the minus scores your way and loses to all the plus scores. In an extreme case, it could be a top or a bottom.■ E-mail your questions (including your postal address) on bridge laws to: [email protected] BRIDGE April 2017 R h i n e Cru ise & Swiss Delights – M ay 201 8 Join Bernard Magee onboard ms Serenity for this spectacular river cruise 9 DAYS FROM £1119 IN ASSOCIATION WITH ms Serenity & Lucerne aboard ms Serenity NORTH SEA NETHERLANDS e Rhin Join Bernard Magee for an exclusive Mr Bridge river cruise along the magnificent Rhine Elbe IJsselmeer English Channel BELGIUM Andernach start GERMANY Koblenz Main M Speyer Dan kar There’s no better way to see the spectacular sights along the Rhine than from the river itself and on this leisurely cruise you can witness the countless treasures of three countries as we glide through Switzerland, France and Germany. Along the way you can enjoy all the amenities of our ship whilst taking in the beautiful scenery as we cruise from Switzerland towards the lush plains of the Alsace and onwards between the sheer valley walls of the spectacular Rhine Gorge. Our ship is never far away, so after a day of exploring you can return to comfortable surrounds and relax as the crew take care of you – it’s what river cruising is all about. FRANCE Nec By coach: 16–24 May 2018; by rail or air: 17–24 May 2018 os ell e Rüdesheim Strasbourg Breisach Basel By coach Day 1: UK – Overnight hotel (Coach) We travel by coach to Dover and take the ferry to Calais, where we continue to our overnight hotel with breakfast included. Lucerne SWITZERLAND ITALY Day 2: Overnight hotel – Breisach (Coach) UK – Breisach (Air/Rail) – Basel We travel to Breisach where we board our ship for an evening of relaxation as we sail to Basel. Those travelling by air or rail join today. Day 3: Basel Enjoy a full day in Basel or join our included full day coach excursion which takes you on a route that tunnels through the Jura mountains to the Swiss The Rhine resort of Lucerne, the historic and scenic heart of Switzerland. We berth overnight in Basel ready to set sail again in the morning. Day 4: Breisach As our ship sails back to Breisach, you can venture into the cooler mountain slopes of the Black Forest on our optional full day coach excursion, which also visits the largest waterfall in Europe. We rejoin our ship in Breisach and enjoy a relaxing evening. Breisach Day 5: Breisach – Strasbourg We arrive at the magnificent city of Strasbourg, well known for its world heritage status, in the afternoon. Our optional guided tour lets you see the main sights by coach before taking you on a walk around the old city. Enjoy another fantastic optional excursion this evening as we cruise along Strasbourg’s waterways, which is a great way to see the city. Our ship berths overnight in Strasbourg. Day 6: Strasbourg – Speyer Relax on board as we enjoy a morning cruising through the lush Rhine Plains to reach the Celtic Roman city of Speyer. Join our optional coach excursion to visit the majestic city of Heidelberg, home of Germany’s oldest university. We berth overnight in Speyer ready to set sail again in the morning. To book or for more information contact Mr Bridge 01483 489961 or visit www.mrbridge.co.uk Basel YOUR CRUISE INCLUDES Strasbourg BY COACH Coach travel to the port from your local area Return ferry crossings from Dover Seven nights’ cruise on a full board basis One night’s bed & breakfast hotel accommodation BY RAIL Return travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras Coach transfers between station and ship Seven nights’ cruise on a full board basis BY AIR Return flights from London Gatwick Coach transfers between airport and ship Seven nights’ cruise on a full board basis Date 16 May (coach) 17 May (rail) 17 May (air) No. of days 9 8 8 Departure point Dover St Pancras Gatwick HOLIDAY PRICES BY COACH / RAIL / AIR per person Code Deck Berth Coach 9 days Rail 8 days Main 2 £1119 £1249 Middle 2 £1319 £1449 Panorama 2 £1519 £1649 Air 8 days £1269 £1469 £1669 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 ___________________________________________ ms Serenity – Lido bar terrace ___________________________________________ Deposit – £350 per person, payable to The River Cruise Line ___________________________________________ OPTIONAL DRINKS PACKAGE: £99 per person Includes house wines, house beers and soft drinks served in the restaurant at lunchtime and evenings EXCURSIONS Day 7: Speyer – Rüdesheim This afternoon you are free to join our optional excursion ‘Rüdesheim Highlights’ which features a panoramic ride to the heights of the gorge by cable car. Later on, we also offer another option excursion which takes you to a traditional wine cellar to sample some of the region’s best wines, before exploring the captivating street called the Drosselgasse. We remain berthed in this pretty town overnight. Day 8: Rüdesheim – Koblenz This morning we cruise to the 2,000 year old town of Koblenz where you can join our optional excursion on the Koblenz Cable Car which travels across the Rhine for breathtaking views. The cable car leads to the mighty fortress of Ehrenbreitstein Castle where entrance is included. Day 9: Koblenz – UK This morning we bid farewell to our Captain and crew and disembark for the return journey home. A full bridge programme of seminars, set hands and duplicate sessions will be organised around the cruise itinerary, together with a Welcome and a Farewell drinks party. Gratuities – all gratuities are discretionary Rüdesheim highlights ........................................£26 Rüdesheim by night............................................£27 Heidelberg highlights .........................................£19 Strasbourg guided tour .....................................£21 Strasbourg canal cruise ....................................£27 Koblenz Cable Car & Ehrenbreitstein Castle ...................................£19 Lucerne ....................................................... Included Black Forest & Rhine Falls ................................£22 Mr Bridge recommends you prebook at his special package price Saving per person £125 £36 Please have your passport and insurance details to hand when calling to book Departure Points Avon Bath Bristol D9 D9 Bedfordshire Bedford Dunstable Luton D3 D4 D4 Berkshire Bracknell Chieveley Services Maidenhead Newbury Reading Slough Wokingham D9 D9 D9 D9 D9 D9 D9 Buckinghamshire Aylesbury High Wycombe Milton Keynes D4 D6 D4 Cambridgeshire Cambridge Huntingdon Peterborough D2 D2 D2 Cheshire Crewe Northwich D4 D4 Cornwall Bodmin Truro Liskeard D8 D8 D8 Derbyshire Derby D3 Devon Exeter Services Newton Abbot Paignton Plymouth Torquay D8 D8 D8 D8 D8 Dorset Bournemouth Christchurch Dorchester Poole Weymouth D10 D10 D10 D10 D10 Profile Essex Basildon Brentwood Chelmsford Clacton-on-Sea Colchester Harlow Romford Southend-on-Sea Thurrock Services Witham D1 D1 D1 D1 D1 D2 D1 D1 D1 D1 Gloucestershire Cheltenham Gloucester Tewkesbury D6 D6 D6 Greater London Bexleyheath Bromley Croydon Enfield Kingston-upon-Thames Richmond-upon-Thames Sutton Uxbridge D12 D9 D9 D3 D9 D9 D9 D9 Hampshire Aldershot Andover Basingstoke Cosham Cowplain Eastleigh Fareham Farnborough Fleet Services Havant Petersfield Portchester Portsmouth – The Hard Southampton Waterlooville Herefordshire Hereford Hertfordshire Birchanger Green Services Hatfield Hemel Hempstead Letchworth South Mimms Services Routes D1 to D12 – ferry crossings from Dover to Calais St Albans Stevenage Watford Welwyn Garden City D10 D10 D10 D11 D11 D10 D11 D10 D10 D11 D11 D11 D11 D10 D11 D6 D2 D3 D4 D3 D4 D4 D3 D6 D3 Oxfordshire Banbury Oxford Witney D4 D6 D6 Kent Ashford D12 Canterbury D12 Chatham D12 Dartford D12 Deal D12 Faversham D12 Folkestone D12 Gillingham D12 Herne Bay D12 Maidstone Services D9 D10 D12 Margate D12 Medway Services D1 D3 D4 D12 Orpington D9 Ramsgate D12 Rochester D12 Sevenoaks D10 Sittingbourne D12 Tunbridge Wells D10 Whitstable D12 Shropshire Oswestry Shrewsbury Telford D5 D5 D5 Suffolk Bury St Edmunds Felixstowe Ipswich Lowestoft D1 D1 D1 D1 Leicestershire Leicester Forest East Services Loughborough Lutterworth Market Harborough D3 D3 D4 D3 Lincolnshire Grantham Lincoln D2 D2 Surrey Camberley Dorking Epsom Godalming Guildford Leatherhead Reigate Staines Woking D10 D10 D10 D10 D10 D10 D10 D9 D10 Norfolk Great Yarmouth Norwich Thetford D1 D1 D1 Northamptonshire Kettering Northampton Wellingborough D3 D4 D3 Sussex (East) Bexhill Brighton Eastbourne Hastings Hove D11 D11 D11 D11 D11 Nottinghamshire Mansfield Newark Nottingham D3 D2 D3 Sussex (West) Bognor Regis Burgess Hill Chichester Crawley Haywards Heath Littlehampton Worthing D11 D11 D11 D10 D11 D11 D11 Somerset Bridgwater Services D8 Taunton Deane Services D8 Weston-super-Mare D8 Staffordshire Cannock Lichfield Stafford Stoke-on-Trent Tamworth D4 D4 D4 D4 D4 Warwickshire Nuneaton Rugby Stratford-upon-Avon West Midlands Birmingham Coventry Hopwood Park Services M42 Solihull Sutton Coldfield Walsall Wolverhampton *SW Birmingham to service Bromsgrove & Redditch area D4 D4 D4 D4 D4 D4* D4 D4 D4 D4 Wiltshire Swindon D9 Worcestershire Evesham Kidderminster Malvern Link Worcester D6 D6 D6 D6 Yorkshire (South) Barnsley Doncaster Rotherham Sheffield D3 D3 D3 D3 North Wales Wrexham D5 South Wales Bridgend Cardiff Cardiff West Services Carmarthen Llanelli Magor Services Neath Newport Port Talbot Swansea D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 TRAVEL BY AIR Outward: London Gatwick 13:45 – Basel 16:05 Return: Cologne 17:25 – London Gatwick 17:55 Please note: All details are provisional & subject to confi rmation. Passengers using our complimentary coach transfer service should be aware this may involve an earlyLounge departure/late return. This may on occasion be the day before the date of departure/day after the date of return Bar Panorama Deck Regional departures are subject to availability and are operated for those who live a long way from the port. Reception Middle Deck Restaurantsubject to minimum numbers of people. Main Deck MS SERENITY – DECK PLAN Sun Deck Deck Panorama Deck 335 333 331 329 327 325 323 321 319 317 315 313 311 309 307 305 303 301 Panorama Deck Lounge Bar Berth Cabin facilities 2 Shower/WC 2 Shower/WC 2 Shower/WC Middle Deck 336 334 332 330 328 326 324 322 320 318 316 314 312 310 308 306 304 302 Lido Bar Middle Deck Restaurant 232 230 228 226 224 222 220 218 216 214 212 210 208 206 204 202 231 229 227 225 223 221 219 217 215 213 211 209 207 205 203 201 Main Deck Reception 128 126 124 122 120 118 116 114 112 110 108 106 104 102 PB0405 127 125 123 121 119 117 115 113 111 109 107 105 103 101 Main Deck Main Deck Middle Deck Panorama Deck To book or for more information contact Mr Bridge 01483 489961 or visit www.mrbridge.co.uk 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. All You Need to Know by Andrew Kambites About Planning Dummy D ummy goes down. You are declarer. How should you plan your campaign? I have put a lot of thought into this, without definite conclusions. The standard approach is to give the inexperienced player a list: count winners, count losers, look for entry problems etc. All very virtuous but there is one flaw that is rarely admitted: in practice, it just doesn’t work for most inexperienced players. There are too many things to do and too little time. There is also the matter of stamina. A bridge session lasts for three hours: you have to formulate a strategy that doesn’t leave you exhausted. There are players who can successfully work through the tick list, but they tend to be fairly competent and, in practice, skip a lot of the hard work by intuition. I am reminded of my elder son (now a professor of Mathematics) when he took his first driving lesson. He said, ‘This doesn’t work. There are three pedals and I have only two feet.’ Within a fortnight he had forgotten about his feet and was driving well. If you have an approach that works for you, I certainly don’t want to change it. However, some of my ideas might help you so please give me a hearing. Look at Suit A. Does anything occur to you? Suit A ♣ A K 5 4 3 N WE S ♣ Q 7 6 2 BRIDGE April 2017 A 3-1 club break is more likely than a 2-2 break, so look at Layout B and imagine you are playing in no-trumps. Do you notice a problem now? Layout B ♣ A K 5 4 3 N ♣9WE S ♣ J 10 8 ♣ Q 7 6 2 I enjoy giving this to players. Good players immediately see the problem. The suit is potentially blocked. Imagine playing it. You start with the ♣Q, then enter dummy with the ♣A and cash the ♣K. Which club have you retained in your hand? If you have the ♣7 you have no choice but to win the fourth club trick in your hand and then you have to find a way of re-entering dummy to gain access to your fifth club trick. Therefore, you must retain your ♣2 so that on the fourth round of clubs you can win the trick in dummy. In my experience, learners can look at this club suit for ages without realising there is a problem. So how do good players recognise this? In my view, it is mainly experience. They have come across this type of problem before, and probably got it wrong. The difference between a player who is capable of progressing and a player who will never get beyond a certain level isn’t that the good player doesn’t make mistakes. It is that he learns from those mistakes. He stores his accumulated experience in a sort of memory bank and recognises a pattern he has seen before. In this article and the quiz that follows, I hope to add some experience to your memory bank. This example demonstrates that there are two key elements of card play: diagnosis and finding the solution. Often the diagnosis is the hardest part. In Suit A, if I point out the potential problem in the club suit, most players can work out the solution. In this article I am concentrating on diagnosis. S pend a few moments looking at dummy. So how should you proceed when dummy goes down? I certainly spend a few moments looking at dummy: frequently something like the potential club blockage in Suit A stands out. I give my memory bank time to kick in. The declarer who instantly calls for a card from dummy is certainly not giving himself the best chance. The old chess rule applies here. In chess, you have to move a piece if you touch it. Chess players who find it impossible to curb their instincts to immediately grab a piece are taught to sit on their hands until they have come to a properly reasoned decision. That won’t help in bridge because the laws tell you to call for a card from dummy rather than pick it up, but perhaps you need to devise a similar strategy. Try pretending you are a trappist monk (sworn to silence) for the first 30 seconds. Page 29 T ry to count top tricks, then identify sources of extra tricks (including tricks that can definitely be developed by driving out top tricks, length tricks and finesses). Also, try to count losers. Look at Hands C and D below. Hand C Hand D ♠ Q 6 ♠ J 6 3 ♥ K Q 3 2 ♥ Q 5 2 ♦ 7 5 4 3 ♦ J 8 2 ♣ 8 5 4 ♣ Q 6 5 2 N WE S ♠ A K J 10 9 8 ♥7 ♦ A K 2 ♣ A K Q N WE S ♠ A 10 7 ♥ A 6 4 ♦ K 9 5 3 ♣ J 8 4 Contract 6♠. Contract 1NT. Lead ♠2.Lead ♥3. In Hand C, you have 11 top tricks, six spades, the ♦A-K and ♣A-K-Q. You need a twelfth and that will come from developing a heart trick. You have two losers in your hand – a heart and a diamond. I find it helpful to pair up losers in the stronger hand with winners in the opposite hand. You cannot avoid a heart loser, but you can develop a heart trick in dummy to discard your ♦2. The key to this hand is pairing up your losing ♦2 with one of dummy’s hearts. You must diagnose another potential problem – that you need access to your heart winner. This can only come with the ♠Q, therefore you cannot start by drawing trumps. You must set about establishing the heart winner, so you win the ♠A at trick 1 and lead a heart. Note that planning the hand has resulted in you ignoring two of the guidelines of declarer play. Normally you tackle a suit by leading the honours first from the short hand, but here you must play spades unnaturally in order to retain an entry to dummy’s heart winner. Equally it is often good advice when playing a trump contract to start by drawing trumps, but here you have a good reason to do otherwise. How about Hand D? I have only Page 30 put Hand D in to demonstrate that planning is not always possible. There are no patterns in the suits (eg touching honours where you know that by driving out higher honours you can establish guaranteed winners). You are not even sure whether to play dummy’s ♥Q at trick 1. If you do manage to win trick 1 with the ♥Q, you don’t know what to do next. It is the sort of hand where I try a few finesses, see if suits break and hope my opponents help me by opening up new suits. In other words, I bumble around and see what happens. This often works. This sort of hand is as hard for the defenders as it is for declarer. Generally speaking, the higher the level of the contract, the easier it is to plan the play. Playing in a slam you are likely to have good sequences of honours and you won’t lose the lead often. Equally, playing in no-trumps it can be hard to count losers, because you won’t necessarily know how your weaker suits are breaking. In Hands E and F, you have bid to the giddy heights of a grand slam. You have to make a decision at trick 1: whether or not to take the diamond finesse. Hand E Hand F ♠ K 7 6 5 ♠ K 7 6 5 ♥ 7 4 ♥ 7 4 ♦ A Q 2 ♦ A Q 2 ♣ A Q J 2 ♣ A Q J 2 N WE S ♠ A Q J 10 8 ♥ A K Q ♦ 8 5 ♣ K 10 7 N WE S ♠ A Q J 10 ♥ A K Q ♦ 8 5 ♣ K 10 7 6 Contract 7♠. Contract 7♠. Lead ♦J.Lead ♦J. In Hand E, you have 13 top tricks: five spades, three hearts, four clubs and the ♦A. You don’t need the diamond finesse. If you like the idea of ‘pairing up’ losers in one hand with winners opposite, all the losers in your hand are covered by obvious winners in the same suit in dummy, except the ♦8. However you can pair up your losing diamond with dummy’s fourth club. Hand F looks very similar, but this time you have only 12 top tricks: four spades, three hearts, four clubs and the ♦A. The diamond finesse is unlikely to work because players don’t usually underlead kings against grand slams, but you have no real alternative but to try it. Sometimes, the opening lead can reduce your options. In Hands G and H, you must decide whether or not to take the diamond finesse. Hand G Hand H ♠ K 7 6 5 ♠ K 7 6 5 ♥ 7 4 ♥ 7 4 ♦ A Q 2 ♦ A Q 2 ♣ A Q J 2 ♣ Q J 3 2 N WE S ♠ Q J 10 8 2 ♥ A K Q ♦ 8 5 ♣ K 10 7 N WE S ♠ A Q J 10 8 ♥ A K Q ♦ 8 5 ♣ K 10 7 Contract 6♠. Contract 6♠. (i)Lead ♦J. (i)Lead ♦J. (ii)Lead ♥J. (ii)Lead ♥J. (iii)Lead ♠A, (iii)Lead ♣A, then ♦J.then ♦J. In Hand G, you have eight top tricks: four club tricks, three heart tricks and the ♦A. There are four extra tricks that can definitely be developed, just drive out the ♠A and you have four spade tricks. However, you have two losers, the ♠A and potentially a diamond. Now try pairing up. The relevant pair up is to realise that you might be able to discard your losing diamond on dummy’s fourth club. The question now is: do you have time to do that? (i) The lead has exposed your diamond weakness. You cannot cash 4 club tricks without drawing trumps and you cannot draw trumps without losing the lead to the ♠A. You must try the ♦Q at trick 1. This hand is identical to Hand E, except you now have a spade loser (the ♠A). However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can just follow the same line of play and make one fewer trick. The missing ace has changed the timing of the hand. BRIDGE April 2017 (ii)This time your pairing up works. Win the ♥A, drive out the ♠A, draw trumps and cash 4 rounds of clubs. You never need to take the diamond finesse. (iii)Again the pairing works, as with (ii). Hand H is virtually the same as Hand G, except this time you are missing the ♣A. Again, you are hoping to pair up dummy’s fourth club with your diamond loser. (i) You have no time to use dummy’s fourth club so you must finesse the ♦Q at trick 1. (ii) and (iii) This time your pairing up works as with Hand G (ii) and (iii). Hands J and K provide you with temptation. Hand J Hand K ♠ 6 2 ♠ 6 2 ♥ K Q 2 ♥ K Q 2 ♦ Q 9 4 ♦ 8 6 3 ♣ A K J 10 6 ♣ A K J 10 6 N WE S ♠ A K ♥ J 4 3 ♦ J 10 8 6 3 ♣ Q 8 7 ♠ A K ♥ J 4 3 ♦ A J 10 9 7 ♣ Q 8 7 Contract 3NT. Contract 3NT. Lead ♠Q.Lead ♠Q. In Hand J, you have seven top tricks, the ♠A-K and five clubs. You can set up two tricks in hearts (losing the lead once to the ♥A) or three tricks in diamonds (losing the lead twice to the ♦A-K). However, the opening lead has knocked out one of your two spade guards and you can only afford to lose the lead once more, so you must play on hearts. The logic in Hand K is identical. Certainly playing on hearts will guarantee you nine tricks, however, it is worth pointing out that taking the double diamond finesse will give you four diamond tricks 75% of the time. The other 25% of the time you will fail spectacularly in a laydown contract. Playing duplicate pairs, you should take the risk. ■ BRIDGE April 2017 About Planning Dummy Quiz by Andrew Kambites (Answers on page 34) Plan your declarer play as South in Hands 1-8. Aim to make your contract. Hand 1 Hand 2 Hand 3 ♠ K 9 ♠ K 9 ♠ 4 3 2 ♥ 10 3 2 ♥ 10 3 2 ♥ A Q 2 ♦ A K 5 3 ♦ A K 5 3 ♦ K Q 3 ♣ A Q 3 2 ♣ A Q J 2 ♣ 7 6 4 3 N WE S N WE S ♠ A Q J 10 6 5 4 ♥ 7 5 4 ♦4 ♣ 7 4 N WE S ♠ A Q J 10 6 5 ♥ 7 5 4 ♦4 ♣ 7 6 4 Contract 4♠. Contract 4♠. Lead ♣5.Lead ♣5. ♠ K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 ♥7 ♦7 ♣ A 9 2 (i) Contract 4♠. Lead ♣K. (ii) Contract 4♠. Lead ♥3. (iii) Contract 3♠. Lead ♥3. Hand 4 Hand 5 Hand 6 ♠ A 3 2 ♠ 5 4 2 ♠ 5 2 ♥ A Q 2 ♥ K J 10 9 ♥ K Q 4 ♦ K Q 3 ♦ K J 7 ♦ Q J 10 9 ♣ 7 6 4 3 ♣ J 10 5 ♣ J 10 7 4 N WE S N WE S ♠ K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 ♥7 ♦7 ♣ A 9 2 N WE S ♠ A K 3 ♥ 6 4 3 ♦ Q 6 2 ♣ A K Q 9 ♠ A K ♥ 7 5 3 ♦ 8 5 4 ♣ A K Q 9 3 (i) Contract 6♠. Lead ♥3. Contract 3NT. (ii) Contract 5♠. Lead ♥3.Lead ♠Q. Hand 7 Hand 8 ♠ 10 9 6 ♠ A 6 ♥ A Q 2 ♥ K Q ♦ 7 6 4 2 ♦ A Q 4 ♣ 8 6 5 ♣ K Q 9 8 5 4 N WE S Contract 3NT. (i)Lead ♠Q. (ii)Lead ♣8. ♠ A K Q J 8 7 ♥ 6 4 ♦ Q J 10 ♣ A K N WE S ♠ 8 7 5 ♥ 7 6 2 ♦ 9 8 3 2 ♣ A J 10 (i) Contract 4♠. Lead ♥3. Contract 3NT. (ii) Contract 5♠. Lead ♥3.Lead ♠2. Page 31 BERNARD MAGEE TUTORIAL DVDS SET 1 1 Ruffing for Extra Tricks 2 Competitive Auctions 3 Making the Most of High Cards 4Identifying per DVD & Bidding Slams 5 Play & Defence of 1NT Contracts 6 Doubling & Defence against Doubled Contracts £25 SET 2 7Leads 8 Losing Trick Count 9 Making a Plan as Declarer Defence as Partne D efence is by far the hardest aspect of bridge and for most of you it will be the aspect you need to improve the most. You will have been taught about opening leads, but rarely do you get taught the defence from the partner’s perspective. This DVD starts by analysing the lead – trying to work out what your partner has led and why and how this might affect your play. When partner leads an honour against a suit contract, he is looking for an attitude signal from you to help him know what to do – do you like his lead or not? When it is a spot card you have to identify whether it is from an honour or not and whether it is from length or shortage. By using the bidding and dummy you should be able to get close to the answer most of the time – the important element is concentrating. Here is an example: you are defending against 4♠ and partner leads the ♣5 on which dummy plays the ♣Q. 10 Responding to 1NT 11 Signals & Discards 12Endplay SET 3 13 Hand Evaluation 14 Pre-Emptive Bidding 15Splinter & Cue Bids 16Avoidance Play £105 18 Thinking Defence Mr Bridge ( 01483 489961 www.mrbridge.co.uk/shop Page 32 Dealer South. Love All. ♠ J 8 7 5 ♥ J 9 4 2 ♦7 ♣ Q J 6 3 ♠ Q 10 3 N ♥ K8 WE S ♦ J 10 9 8 5 ♣ K 9 7 set of 6 17 Play & Defence at Pairs Bernard Magee DVDs West North East South 1♠ Pass 2♠Pass 4♠ All Pass One of the golden rules in defence is never to lead away from an ace on the first lead against a suit contract. Trusting your partner, you place declarer with the ace. Why has your partner led the suit? Perhaps it was his only choice? If he had a singleton trump and isolated honours in the red suits, then he was left with Hobson’s choice – a club. Anyway, your play at trick one should be a small club, following the general rule, that if there are two honours together, it is better to wait and cover the second honour. Understanding the reason is not always necessary, just follow the rule because it generally works. ♠ J 8 7 5 ♥ J 9 4 2 ♦7 ♣ Q J 6 3 ♠2 ♥ A 7 6 5 3 N WE ♦ A 6 3 2 S ♣ 8 5 4 ♠ A K 9 6 4 ♥ Q 10 ♦ K Q 4 ♣ A 10 2 ♠ Q 10 3 ♥ K 8 ♦ J 10 9 8 5 ♣ K 9 7 Declarer wins in dummy, plays two rounds of trumps, and the defence make four tricks: ♠Q, ♥A-K and ♦A. Your play in clubs was crucial – had you covered the ♣Q with your king, then declarer could have reverted to clubs after the ♠A-K, discarding a heart loser. You might think that declarer could have continued with clubs anyway, but he cannot be sure what is happening in the suit – he cannot see your cards. Furthermore, he has no easy way back to dummy to make the last club. Look at West’s hand: he did not want to lead his singleton trump (which would have given away the trump suit) nor did he want to lead away from BRIDGE April 2017 – Number Twenty-Five ner of the Leader either of his aces. In the second part of the DVD, I delve further into the defence from the perspective of the leader’s partner: should you continue the suit led or should you switch? Here, you are defending against 3NT and your partner leads the ♥8, with dummy following small. Dealer South. Love All. ♠ Q 10 9 8 ♥ K J 4 ♦ 9 3 2 ♣ A Q J ♠ A 6 5 3 N ♥ A 10 3 WE S ♦ 8 7 4 ♣ 7 6 3 West North East Pass 3NT All Pass South 1NT Your first decision is whether to play your ace or play the ten? What is your partner’s lead? It looks to be a high spot card, thereby denying an honour – there are only two cards missing above the ♥8, the ♥9 and ♥Q, so it is not fourth highest from an honour. Expecting partner to have led from length but without an honour, you should contemplate winning and switching. To work out if there is a potentially good switch, you do not generally look at your hand, but at dummy. Throughout this DVD dummy was on your right (partner of the leader) therefore the focus was on looking for weakness, ‘if dummy is on your right, look for the weakest suit in sight.’ Diamonds are calling out to be led: of course, declarer might well have aceking-queen, but then no harm is done. The important point is that if declarer BRIDGE April 2017 is missing any high cards in the suit, then they will be in West’s hand and he will be able to take advantage of your lead. So you win the lead with your ace and switch to a high diamond – once again aiming to deny an honour (as your partner’s lead did). BERNARD MAGEE TUTORIAL DVDS SET 4 19 Defensive Plan 20 Further Into the Auction 21 Weak Twos 22 Trump Control ♠ Q 10 9 8 ♥ K J 4 ♦ 9 3 2 ♣ A Q J ♠ 7 4 2 ♥ 9 8 5 2 N WE ♦ A Q J S ♣ 8 5 4 ♠ K J ♥ Q 7 6 ♦ K 10 6 5 ♣ K 10 9 2 23Sacrificing £25 per DVD 24Improving Bridge Memory ♠ A 6 5 3 ♥ A 10 3 ♦ 8 7 4 ♣ 7 6 3 SET 5 25 Defence as Partner of the Leader 26 Aggressive Bidding at Duplicate Pairs 27 Strong Opening Bids 28 Take-Out Doubles There is no doubt that the diamond 29 Suit Establishment honours are sitting rather favourably in Suit Contracts for your side, but that is exactly what dummy tells you – if there is weakness 30 Landy / Defending on your right, then your partner’s Against a 1NT Opening strength may well be able to swallow declarer’s. SET 6 On this hand your partner would 31 Counting Defence win your diamond switch with his jack and, eventually, you will be able to win 32 Extra Tricks the ♠A and play a second diamond in No-Trumps allowing your partner to make two 33Supporting more diamond tricks. Partner As usual, at the end of a defensive £105 seminar I emphasise how difficult set of 6 34Finessing defending is, but I also talk about how 35Bidding enjoyable defence can be when you Distributional Hands work as a partnership. Trusting each other to make reasoned decisions and 36 Coping with Pre-Empts putting the effort in to work out what the reasons are. As you learn to read your partner’s Mr Bridge ( 01483 489961 lead better, you will also learn to make www.mrbridge.co.uk/shop the right play further on down the line. ■ Page 33 Answers to About Planning Dummy Quiz on page 31 win the ♥A and get on with drawing trumps. Plan your declarer play in Hands 1-8. Hand 1 Hand 2 ♠ K 9 ♠ K 9 ♥ 10 3 2 ♥ 10 3 2 ♦ A K 5 3 ♦ A K 5 3 ♣ A Q 3 2 ♣ A Q J 2 N WE S ♠ A Q J 10 6 5 4 ♥ 7 5 4 ♦4 ♣ 7 4 N WE S ♠ A Q J 10 6 5 ♥ 7 5 4 ♦4 ♣ 7 6 4 Contract 4♠. Contract 4♠. Lead ♣5.Lead ♣5 1You have ten top tricks: seven spades, ♦A-K and ♣A. You have four losers: three hearts and potentially a club. You can pair up the ♦K in dummy with one of your losers, provided the defenders do not take their four tricks first, which could easily happen if you take the club finesse and East wins the ♣K and switches to a heart. Take your ♣A and ensure your ten top tricks. 2 You have nine top tricks: six spades, ♦A-K and ♣A. You may have four losers: three hearts and perhaps a club. You can easily develop a second club trick. You can pair up the ♦K in dummy with one of your heart losers, provided the defenders do not take their four tricks first, which could easily happen if you take a losing club finesse. Take your ♣A, draw trumps, cash your ♦A-K discarding a heart and set up a club trick. Page 34 Hand 3 Hand 4 ♠ 4 3 2 ♠ A 3 2 ♥ A Q 2 ♥ A Q 2 ♦ K Q 3 ♦ K Q 3 ♣ 7 6 4 3 ♣ 7 6 4 3 N WE S ♠ K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 ♥7 ♦7 ♣ A 9 2 N WE S ♠ K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 ♥7 ♦7 ♣ A 9 2 (i) Contract 4♠. (i) Contract 6♠. Lead ♣K. Lead ♥3. (ii) Contract 4♠. (ii) Contract 5♠. Lead ♥3. Lead ♥3. (iii)Contract 3♠. Lead ♥3. 3 You have only two top tricks: the ♥A and ♣A. You have seven extra winners in the spade suit once the ♠A is driven out, potential winners in diamonds (by force) and a possible heart finesse. You also have four losers: (two clubs, the ♦A and ♠A). You would prefer to set up your tenth trick in diamonds because you are certain to make an extra trick there, as opposed to the heart finesse, but the lead might mean that is not possible. (i) The ♣K has exposed your four losers. You don’t have time to set up a diamond for a club discard. You must take the heart finesse. If it fails, you might go two off. (ii) This time the heart lead has removed your only entry to dummy’s diamonds, so you need the heart finesse. Again, if it fails you might go two off. (iii)The same arguments apply as in (ii), but now four losers pose no threat so 4 You have ten top tricks: eight spades, the ♥A and ♣A. (i)You need two more tricks. Defenders are unlikely to let you make two diamond tricks; even if West has the ♦A he can play low on your diamond lead and you cannot repeat the finesse. Therefore, you need the heart finesse. Effectively, you are pairing one of your club losers with the ♥A and one with a diamond. (ii)Take the ♥A and set up a diamond for a club discard. This gives you 11 tricks. If you take the heart finesse and it fails, a club return will give you almost no chance. Hand 5 Hand 6 ♠ 5 4 2 ♠ 5 2 ♥ K J 10 9 ♥ K Q 4 ♦ K J 7 ♦ Q J 10 9 ♣ J 10 5 ♣ J 10 7 4 N WE S ♠ A K 3 ♥ 6 4 3 ♦ Q 6 2 ♣ A K Q 9 Contract 3NT. Lead ♠Q. N WE S ♠ A K ♥ 7 5 3 ♦ 8 5 4 ♣ A K Q 9 3 Contract 3NT. (i) Lead ♠Q. (ii) Lead ♣8. 5 You have six top tricks, the ♠A-K and four clubs. You need three more, but you can only afford to lose the lead once because you have just one remaining spade guard. You can establish two diamond tricks easily BRIDGE April 2017 enough, but that is not sufficient. You must play on hearts, hoping West has the ♥Q. You have enough entries to your hand to lead towards dummy’s hearts three times if necessary. 6 You have seven top tricks, the ♠A-K and five clubs. (i) You need two more tricks but you can only afford to lose the lead once. You can certainly set up two diamond tricks, but you need to drive out the ♦A-K, by which time the defenders will be able to cash too many tricks. Correct play is to hope that West has the ♥A. Win the ♠A and lead a heart towards dummy at trick two. If the ♥K wins, return to your hand with the ♣A to lead another heart. (ii) Now, still holding two spade stops, you can aim for two extra diamond tricks by driving out the ♦A and ♦K. Hand 7 ♠ 10 9 6 ♥ A Q 2 ♦ 7 6 4 2 ♣ 8 6 5 N WE S ♠ A K Q J 8 7 ♥ 6 4 ♦ Q J 10 ♣ A K Hand 8 ♠ A 6 ♥ K Q ♦ A Q 4 ♣ K Q 9 8 5 4 N WE S ♠ 8 7 5 ♥ 7 6 2 ♦ 9 8 3 2 ♣ A J 10 (i)3 Contract 4♠. Contract 3NT. 3 Lead ♥3.Lead ♠2. (ii)3Contract 5♠. 3 Lead ♥3. 7 You have nine top tricks: six spades, the ♥A and the ♣A-K. (i) You can easily develop at least one diamond trick, and the heart finesse might work. However, there is a danger in taking the heart finesse. If it loses, the defenders might switch to diamonds and take the ♦A-K and a diamond ruff. To ensure your contract, you must spurn the heart finesse. Win the ♥A, draw trumps and drive out the ♦A-K. (ii) In 5♠ you need the heart finesse. You cannot afford to lose a heart trick as well as the ♦A-K. 8 You have eight top tricks, the ♠A, ♦A and six clubs. You have two ways of building your ninth trick. You can lead the ♥K. This sets up a guaranteed ninth trick but you must lose the lead. It is the correct play if the missing spades are breaking 4-4. Alternatively, you can return to your hand with the ♣A and try a diamond finesse. This is your only chance if the missing spades break 5-3. So how do you know? The lead was the ♠2. If opponents play fourth highest from length, then the spades appear to be breaking 4-4, so attack hearts. It would have been far less clearcut if the lead was the ♠3. You would then be asking yourself, ‘Who has the ♠2?’ ■ Not all decisions in bridge have clearcut answers. BRIDGE April 2017 BERNARD MAGEE at Denham Grove near Uxbridge, Bucks, UB9 5DG. 12-15 January 2018 £399pp Friday – Monday £369pp Friday – Sunday Full Board – No Single Supplement1 Limited places for Thursday night available. £65pp single, £45pp double/twin. Topics TEAMS OF FOUR This form of the game is the most common at International level, and is great fun to play at club level and even in the home. I will discuss the basic format and then look at the tactics you might use in the bidding and play. GAME TRIES When your partner raises your suit to the two-level, you have a variety of options available to you, in order to find out whether game is a sensible option. I will talk about major suit game tries to find better games and minor suit game tries, when you consider the option of a no-trump contract. DISRUPTING DECLARER A defender needs to try and predict what declarer might want to do. Your job is then to disrupt declarer’s plan. Stop him ruffing, stop him establishing suits and generally try to put him off, by using only your cards, of course. DEFENDING SLAMS Making the right plays against slams can make a huge difference. Knowing when to attack and when to lie low: should you lead an ace or not? We will not just consider slam contracts, but also other high level contracts in competitive auctions. OVERCALLING Duplicate bridge is so much more competitive now and it is important you are part of this. Knowing the reasons for overcalling and understanding them will allow you to compete more and at the right time. PRESSING THE DEFENCE As declarer there are ways you can make life more awkward for the defenders, particular by disguising holdings in your hand for a little longer. I will be exploring a number of tactics that will help you to exploit the defenders including the dreaded squeeze. 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 3Not with Bernard Magee 1 Page 35 The Diaries of Wendy Wensum Episode 60: Garden Cities: The County Heat A clash of fixtures resulted in fewer teams than usual entering the Norfolk qualifying heat of the Garden Cities competition at the Riverside premises. The day of the event duly arrived and Millie and I, with six other club members, were ready to do battle on home soil against teams from all over the county. Amazingly, at the end of the first session we found ourselves well placed in the field. A brandy or two during the interval revived Millie and, as team captain, she encouraged the other seven of us to do even better in the second session. As two men with full pint glasses of lager approached us, Millie whispered in my ear, ‘They’re part of the Nag’s Head pub team.’ Locally, they are renowned for their skill at consuming large quantities of alcohol in record time. As they seated themselves at our table, they greeted us cordially, introducing themselves as Rick and Mick. Each of their black beer-stained T-shirts was emblazoned with an image of a horse’s head smoking a cigar. Their appearance confirmed their team’s reputation and Millie’s accurate prediction. This deal proved quite difficult to handle and produced a different result at each table. Dealer North. Love All. ♠ 9 4 ♥ 7 3 ♦ 7 4 ♣ A K Q J 9 7 3 ♠ K 2 ♠ A Q 10 7 5 N ♥ Q 10 8 6 ♥ K J 9 2 WE ♦ A 10 8 6 3 S ♦ K J 5 ♣ 6 4 ♣5 ♠ J 8 6 3 ♥ A 5 4 ♦ Q 9 2 ♣ 10 8 2 With the likelihood of running seven Page 36 club tricks and hoping I could provide two more, Millie opened a gambling three no-trumps. East doubled for penalties. Millie’s solid suit was clearly clubs and I briefly considered passing as I held an honour in each of the other three. In the end, I thought discretion was the better part of valour and bid four clubs. Following two more passes, a second double by East ended the auction. West East South Rick North Millie Mick Wendy Pass 3NT Pass Dbl 4♣ Dbl All Pass Rick took a long swig of beer before leading the six of diamonds to partner’s king. Mick drained his glass and then returned the jack. Without any real hope of success I played the queen losing to the ace. Rick now tried the spade king, following with the two to Mick’s ace. Instead of the expected heart or club, he played the queen of spades which I ruffed in dummy. Opponents’ trumps were removed in two rounds. I ditched dummy’s losing heart on the jack of spades going one off doubled for minus 100. When the director called the move for the next round, Rick and Mick thanked us politely, retrieved their empty glasses and headed back to the bar for refills. Later as we scored up with Jo and Kate, our teammates in the ‘B’ section, it emerged that their auction had started with a pre-emptive three club opener. Kate had doubled for take-out, Jo tried three diamonds, Kate suggested three hearts and Jo confirmed the contract of four hearts. West North Jo East South Kate 3♣DblPass 3♦Pass3♥Pass 4♥ All Pass After the club lead and the ruff of the club continuation, Jo successfully made eleven tricks for plus 450 giving our foursome an IMPs score of plus 8. In the ‘A’ section with Riverside sitting North-South the auction was very concise. Justin opened a gambling three no trumps which systemically did not contain more than a queen outside its solid minor. West North East Justin 3NT South Spouse All Pass East led the spade ace with the harmless but unnecessary remark, ‘To look at dummy,’ then played the five to his partner’s king. West switched the attack to diamonds and Justin went off four tricks, losing three spades and five diamonds for minus 200. Needless to say, captain Millie was not amused. At the other ‘A’ section table with Nag’s Head as North-South, there was yet another three no-trump opener. This time Sarah and George reached game in diamonds. West North Sarah East South George 3NT Dbl 4♣ 4♦Pass5♦ All Pass Five diamonds was clearly not the optimum contact, but Sarah took the right view in diamonds and just lost the two missing aces to bring the contact home for plus 400 and an IMPs score of plus 5. The two positive scores generated a useful swing on the board. To our great pleasure and surprise, as the final scores were computed we saw our names at the top of the listings to qualify for the regional final. On arriving at our local hostelry later, we found Rick and Mick and the rest of the Nag’s Head team drinking pints of lager. They were more than happy to rejoice at our success and celebrations continued to closing time. ■ BRIDGE April 2017 Julian Pottage Answers your Bridge Questions Should I Bid Game After RHO Opens a Weak Two? Q Your right hand opponent opens a weak two in spades and you hold: ♠ A 6 ♥ A K Q 9 4 2 ♦ J 7 ♣ 9 6 3 It is a standard pairs club night, giving limited time to consider options. At the table, the player overcalled 4♥, leading to a failing 6♥ contract. What do you think is best? Ian Blackburn by email. A With sound opening values and a good suit to show, a 3♥ overcall describes the hand admirably. Nothing else is close to being right. 2NT, with two suits wide open, could well go wrong. With a likely seven tricks in your hand, 4♥ would be an unnecessary overbid: if holding three tricks or at least the potential thereof, partner will surely find a raise of 3♥ to 4♥. ♣♦♥♠ Q North opened 1NT (12-14) and South replied 4♠. BRIDGE April 2017 ♠ Q 10 7 4 ♥ K 9 ♦ K 8 5 ♣ A J 7 4 N WE S ♠ A 9 8 6 5 3 2 ♥ A 7 3 ♦ A Q 10 ♣Void With the South hand, considering the weakness of the spades, would you bid 3♠ as a slam try? If so, how would you find where North’s strength lies? The spades broke 1-1 and 13 tricks were made. John Dunbar by email. A With the South hand, I would start with a 2♥ transfer and plan to make a 4♣ splinter on the next round. 4♣ should not be natural because 3♣ would be natural and forcing. Usually a splinter agrees partner suit, but when partner has bid no-trumps and you have shown a suit, the unnecessary jump in a new suit must agree your own suit (you are confident of at least a doubleton opposite). Given that A-J-x-x is just about the ideal holding facing a singleton (you are more likely to have a singleton than a void for this sequence), North will then be very interested in a slam. In fact, you might not get the chance to follow through with the 4♣ splinter, since North with four-card spade support might jump to 3♠ over 2♥. News of four-card spade support certainly improves the South hand; again, you should reach a slam. With the ♠K missing, you are never going to bid a grand slam. You would not want to be in a 52% grand slam in any event, especially when some pairs might fail to reach even a small slam. ♣♦♥♠ Q Can someone clarify the three four-card suit problem when you hold 23 or more high card points? Ray Enever by email. A I assume you are asking what to do as opener with 23+ points and a 4441 type. For sure, you should start with 2♣. The real question is what to do after the anticipated 2♦ response. The right action depends a bit on where the singleton is and your honour locations. If you have a small singleton in one major and a strong four-card holding in the other, I would feel inclined to rebid in the chunky four-card major. Most of the time, particularly if the singleton is an honour, a 2NT rebid is as good as anything. ♣♦♥♠ Q I have been reading Jeremy Dhondy’s articles about Lebensohl which I play with most of my partners. Recently, the opposition opened with a weak 2♠ and partner doubled. I had a completely flat hand: ♠ J 10 7 5 ♥ K 8 6 ♦ Q 9 5 ♣ Q 7 2 If I call 2NT, partner bids the expected 3♣ – then what do I do? Partner was not best pleased when I passed the double as it went only one off. Partner had 16 points and a fivecard diamond suit. Shirley Durrant, Yeovil. A Opposing pre-empts make life difficult at times. Sometimes you do not have the perfect hand for any action. With the Page 37 hand you held, anything you do is a guess. If you bid 2NT and pass 3♣, partner might not have clubs. If you bid 3NT, you could be way overboard. If you pass and the contract makes, that is sure to be bad. At matchpoints, particularly if the opponents are vulnerable, you could easily pick up 200 and a top or near top, so passing is actually quite an attractive option. Passing is less attractive at IMPs (when -470 or -670 is a disaster) or if the opponents are non-vulnerable. I guess from the fact that defeating the opponents by one led to a bad score means they were non-vulnerable. Lebensohl is a convention that allows you to deal with many different types of hands, but it does mean you cannot bid a natural 2NT – this is one of the rare hands that you might lose out on. A With ten points (and playing a weak 1NT opening), the 2♦ response is correct. You risk missing game if you respond 1NT because partner with a balanced 15 or 16 will simply pass. Partner’s 2♠ reverse after your two-level response creates a game force. With three-card support for partner’s first suit you must show it. Since you are in a game-forcing auction, the principle of fast arrival applies: bidding game (4♥) is weaker than taking things slowly (3♥). With poor shape and minimum high cards for your initial 2♦ response, you should thus bid 4♥ rather than 3♥. ♣♦♥♠ Q How should the bidding have gone on the following hand? ♣♦♥♠ Q What responder’s rebid should West make with the following hand (and do you agree with the initial response)? ♠ 10 6 3 ♥ 8 6 2 ♦ K 8 4 3 ♣ A K 7 N WE S West East 1♥ 2♦2♠ ? I was West and bid 3♥ (I wondered about 3NT and 4♥); my partner then went into Blackwood, ending up in 6♥ going one down. Nick Goulder by email. Page 38 ♠ 6 4 2 ♥ A 5 4 ♦ K 6 3 2 ♣ Q J 5 N WE S ♠ A Q J 3 ♥ K Q 9 2 ♦ Q 10 ♣ A 6 2 WestNorth East South 1♥ 2♣2♥ All Pass As North, I thought double would show four spades, not three poor ones. I had ten points – granted with good honours – but with no intermediates and a flat hand I valued it as nine. I had a stopper in clubs but felt unable to stretch to 2NT. The ♥A was good for a possible 4-3 fit so that was my choice. Partner said I should have doubled and then we would not have missed game (five pairs bid to 3NT and the other to 4♥). Because my bid was a free bid, and I could have passed, I thought I must have shown some points. What do you suggest? Angela Buckley, Leeds. easily hold a better hand than you do and because responder will quite often be in a position to double if your side has the minority of points. Furthermore, the chance of game or indeed any contract your way decreases once an opponent has the values to open the bidding. A Q Holding the North hand, I would respond 2♦. This is what you would have bid without the overcall. Given the awful intermediates, you are closer to downgrading to 2♥, even though North might have stretched to raise in competition, than upgrading to 2NT. Holding the South hand, I would not pass the raise to 2♥. I would rebid 2NT, which shows 17-18 points, a balanced hand, usually with only four hearts, and with a stopper in the suit overcalled. Given that North had the chance to make a negative double but chose not to, I would not worry about missing a spade fit. The responding hand then has an easy raise to 3NT. ♣♦♥♠ My partner opens the bidding as East. West East 1♣ 1♠2♣ ? How should we play a rebid of 2♥ – forcing or non-forcing? ♠ J 8 6 4 2 ♥ K J 6 2 ♦ Q 4 2 ♣7 N WE S If we play 2♥ as forcing, I cannot offer partner a choice of majors at the two level. If we play it as not forcing, how do I show a stronger hand such as this one? ♣♦♥♠ Q How many points do you need to make a 1NT overcall? We have had a lot of disagreement on this call. Roseanna by email. A After the opponents open the bidding, a 1NT overcall should be like a strong no-trump opening, 15-17 or maybe 15-18 points, with, of course, at least one stopper in the suit opened. It is unsound to overcall 1NT with a 12-14 hand, because opener could ♠ A Q 9 4 2 ♥ Q J 6 2 ♦ K 9 2 ♣Q N WE S Do I jump to 3♥? Someone has suggested bidding an artificial 2♦. Terry Gregory by email. A It is customary to play that after opener rebids the same suit, a new suit by responder is forcing for one round. This saves you from having to jump to create a force. With BRIDGE April 2017 a weak hand you just have to pass; staying low with a misfit is often a good idea anyway. Yes, some people (a minority even in a tournament) play 2♦, the next suit up, as an artificial game force: ‘Bourke relay’. If you play that, you can rebid 2♥ on a moderate hand, because your failure to use the strong 2♦ relay would mean you are denying game going values. ♣♦♥♠ Q Would you explain the difference between an opener’s rebid with a six card suit (16 -19 HCP) and a Benji 2♣ opening? For example, the bidding goes: West East 1♥1♠ ? ♠6 ♥ A Q J 10 6 2 ♦ A 10 2 ♣ K Q 2 N WE S With 16 HCP and a good six-card suit, this is an example where opener is supposed to now jump to 3♥. However, suppose the diamonds were changed to A-Q-2 giving 18 HCP, would opener still bid the same way or would he open a Benji 2♣? David Cree, Strathaven, Lanarkshire. A As you suggest, the difference between opening one then jumping in the suit as a rebid, and opening a Benjamin 2♣ before showing the suit is that the latter is stronger. With your example hand, opening 1♥ and rebidding 3♥ is fine. Now suppose BRIDGE April 2017 you have a stronger hand. If you changed the ten of diamonds to the king or the queen of clubs to the ace, a Benjamin 2♣ would be fine. Changing the ten of diamonds to the queen, as you suggest, is more marginal because you could not be sure of making eight tricks. If you did open 1♥ with that hypothetical hand, you would rebid something stronger than a non-forcing 3♥, 3NT perhaps (not needed to show a balanced hand if a 2NT rebid shows 18-19 and 20-point hands open at the two level). ♣♦♥♠ Q Partner leads a K (or A) asking for count. What do you play from 8-6-5-4-3-2 and 8-6-5-4-3? Simon Gottschalk, Pendoylan, Glamorgan. A Playing standard count, you play the six from the first holding and the three from the second. A long weak holding is an easy holding from which to give a clear signal. ♣♦♥♠ Q Another failing slam, this time a case of ‘where’s the brake?’ ♠ A 3 ♥ A K Q 8 5 ♦ A Q 7 4 ♣ A K N WE S ♠ 10 9 7 6 4 2 ♥6 ♦5 ♣ J 10 8 6 3 North South 2♣2♦ 2♥2♠ 3♦3♠ 3NT 4♠ 4NT All Pass The contract was 4NT, going just one down when I was lucky enough to make three tricks in diamonds. I bid 4NT (RKCB) in the hope I might hear news of the ♠K. Poor South, fumbling in vain for the brake, did not bid 2NT to mean a second negative. I am not sure I would have stopped in game even if I had seen that second red light. Rupert Timpson by email. A As a general rule, it is best to investigate slam potential before going past game. Nobody wants to play in a freely bid five of a major (or 4NT) going down. If 2♠ showed five spades, then 3♠ should show a sixth spade, in which case North is able to agree spades after 3♠. There are two ways to do this without going past game. The weaker way of doing so would be to raise to 4♠. The stronger way, appropriate when you have a king more than you might have, is via a 4♣ cue bid – 4♣ cannot be an attempt to play in the suit, because with good clubs North would be bidding 3NT. If North has already shown that the 2♣ opening was not a minimum, it is much easier to respect a 4♠ sign off. Making a 2NT second negative on the South hand seems to be another good way of avoiding the problem. In the absence of a good fit, North then knows the values for a slam are lacking. Q How would you bid the following hand playing Standard American Yellow Card? ♠ K Q 10 9 3 ♥ Q J ♦ A J 9 8 4 ♣7 N WE S ♠J ♥ K 8 7 4 ♦ K Q 6 3 ♣ A Q 4 3 North South 1♠2♣ 2♦3♦ 3♥3NT Is South too strong for a 3♦ bid – and is 3♦ passable? Is 3♥ better used as (i) FSF or (ii) stopper asking or (iii) stopper showing? Huw Jones, Swansea. A In SAYC, responder promises a second bid after making a two-over-one response. This being the case, 3♦ is that second bid and sounds non forcing. South might do better, in theory, to rebid 2♥. When the partnership has bid three suits and is clearly looking for 3NT, a bid of the fourth suit asks rather than shows – if you had a stopper, you could bid no-trumps yourself. 3♥ on your auction is asking for a stopper. If responder had bid 2♥ rather than 2♦, that would be a general force rather than specifically asking for a stopper, although one reason responder might be making the bid is a lack of a ■ stopper. E-mail your questions (including your postal address) for Julian to: [email protected] Page 39 Catching Up with Sally Brock T his has been a pretty hectic month. The most significant event was the death of my mother. She deteriorated quite quickly in 2016, to the extent that for most of that time she was bedridden and not taking much of an interest in anything. It got to the stage where she couldn’t eat or drink, so rather than put her on a drip, we stopped everything except morphine. She was peaceful enough, but it took a week for her to go. Although it was a relief in some ways, I find myself soldiering on most of the time, with the occasional tidal wave of grief sweeping over me. Then, of course, there was taking care of my father and making sure he was coping, as well as organising the funeral, which, luckily, we managed to squeeze in before Barry and I go to Japan and Australia at the beginning of February. And it was not just my mother who died. Sandra Landy, who was my first international bridge partner and longtime friend, died in early January. Many of you may have known her as well, as she was a big figure in the world of bridge and bridge teaching. She had been struggling with dementia for a while but was coping and still living on her own. In the end it was meningitis that caused her death. Her funeral was an excellent tribute to her life. I mentioned last month that Briony went to Australia at the very end of the year. That went spectacularly well. She had a great time, enjoying her own company most of the time (though she did hang out quite a bit with a friend, Emily). She came back full of enthusiasm for moving out. In next to no time she found a fantastic place to live – a detached residence that had been built as a granny flat in the garden of the landlord/landlady. She has a large lounge, decent-sized bedroom, big dining kitchen and compact bathroom. Perfect. As well as being great for her, that means when I get back from Australia I can get on Page 40 with trying to find myself somewhere to live in London. Then, of course, there was her charity evening in aid of Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research. There was one extra table this year, and she again raised over £20,000. That might go up, I guess. One of the things she was really trying to plug this year was ‘regular giving’, ie trying to get people to set up a direct debit with a regular amount. Some of the big charities make millions of pounds in this way, while her charity makes only just over £1,000 – more than half of which comes from me. It is so good for them to have a regular income they can count on. If any of you would like to do this (it really is a good cause), then please drop her a line ([email protected] smsr.org.uk) and she’ll tell you how. Back to the bridge … The first weekend in January saw us up in Manchester for the congress. We stayed, as we usually do, with friends Rodney and Lorraine. The pairs passed off peacefully enough with us retaining our mixed pairs title – this is for the highest placed mixed pair, and in order to qualify we have to fail to win one of the other major prizes. This year we finished sixth after a poor second session. On the Sunday, we played in the teams with Rodney and John Curry. It all went reasonably well but we were not destined to win – I don’t think we could have caught the winners who scored 83 IMPs to our 41. I was pleased with the following hand which proved one of my oft-stated hobbyhorses … I have a strong aversion to playing in precisely 2NT. It seems to me that whether or not this contract makes is usually serendipitous, ie sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t, so why not play for the game bonus? If your partner opens 1NT and the only way you can invite game is via ‘nonpromissory’ Stayman, I hate inviting even more. This is because in order to try to stop on that particular pinhead you get information about your partner’s major-suit holdings which is only of interest to your opponents. In my view, you should make the decision: either pass, or bid 3NT, don’t involve partner. So I had this opening lead problem … the bidding goes 1NT – 2♣ – 2♠ – 2NT – 3NT, and I hold: ♠ J 6 5 3 ♥ Q 9 3 2 ♦ Q 7 5 ♣ 7 2 N WE S I thought that dummy would probably hold four hearts to go with declarer’s four spades. Partner did not double Stayman, so I led a diamond. Had the bidding gone 1NT – 3NT, I would have picked a major, probably hearts. This was the full deal: ♠ A 8 7 ♥ 10 8 6 ♦ J 10 ♣ K 10 9 8 5 ♠ J 6 5 3 ♥ Q 9 3 2 N WE ♦ Q 7 5 S ♣ 7 2 ♠ K Q 10 9 ♥ A J 5 ♦ K 9 4 ♣ A 6 4 ♠ 4 2 ♥ K 7 4 ♦ A 8 6 3 2 ♣ Q J 3 Note that only a diamond lead puts declarer under any pressure at all. In order to succeed he has to rise with the king on the second round of the suit, and why should he do that? A couple of weekends later was the point-a-board teams at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club in London. This is a really fun event with an unusual form of scoring: instead of the usual IMPs, there is just the comparison between the two teams. Two points for a win and one for a draw. However, BRIDGE April 2017 Answers to Bernard Magee’s Bidding Quizzes 1-3 on the Cover this was when my mother died, in the early hours of the Saturday morning. I decided to play on the Saturday – and we qualified for the final – but on the Sunday I went to see my father while Robert played instead of me. They finished third which was no disgrace and seemed to have a good day. This was an exciting hand from the qualifying round: Dealer South. N/S Game. ♠ A K Q J 5 3 ♥ A K J 10 4 3 ♦6 ♣Void ♠ 9 4 ♠7 ♥ 7 5 2 N ♥ Q 9 6 WE ♦ K Q 10 5 4 S ♦ A 8 7 3 ♣ A Q 6 ♣ K 9 8 7 2 ♠ 10 8 6 2 ♥8 ♦ J 9 2 ♣ J 10 5 4 3 This is the auction when Barry was North: West North East South Pass 1♦2♦3♦Pass Pass 4♦Pass 4♠ Pass 5♦Pass 6♠ All Pass As Barry put his hand down (even before the ♣A opening lead had been faced) he said that he should have bid 7♠. He knew from my jump to 6♠ (I can only show nothing so many times) that I would probably have what I had – certainly at least four spades. So the grand slam would be good odds provided the defenders didn’t lead a diamond. Anyway, we thought making the overtrick would possibly have been good enough to win the board. Little did we know! Our counterparts in the other room bid and made the grand slam (over a sacrifice of 7♦). As for the knock-outs, we managed to lose our NICKO semi-final match against the de Botton team, but we’re plodding along in the others, having won an early Gold Cup match and a not-so-early Hubert Phillips match in the same period. ■ BRIDGE April 2017 1. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ K 6 3 ♠ A 8 5 ♥ Q 4 2 N ♥ J 8 WE ♦ 8 7 6 S ♦ A K 5 ♣ K Q 8 6 ♣ A 9 7 5 2 West North ? East South 1♣Pass 1NT. When responding to 1♣ with club support and 6-10 points, you have two bids to consider: 1NT or 2♣. The reason why 1NT is available as one of the choices, is because with a different four-card suit you would respond in that, so by responding 1NT you are denying any other four-card suit, which therefore means you must have four or more clubs. Given that there are two choices, they are generally assigned different strengths: 2♣ is the weaker 5-7 points and 1NT the stronger 8-10 points. Bearing this in mind, you should respond 1NT. East, expecting to be opposite 8-10 points will raise to 2NT, inviting game and you can go on to 3NT. other rebid would probably leave you better placed (other than 2NT). The usual response would be 1♠ – your longest suit – but this would leave very little room for your partner and now the likelihood of a 2♣ rebid is increased. Better is to respond in your lowest suit and then plan to pass your partner’s next bid. Now if your partner holds diamonds, hearts or spades, you will find a better fit, or you finish in no-trumps and that might play better than clubs. Here, East would rebid 1♥ and you would finish in a much better place than 1♣. Note, that if you had responded 1♠, then your partner would have rebid 2♣, unable to show his second suit because that would be a reverse. 3. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ A 8 7 6 ♠ K 2 ♥ K 4 3 N ♥ 7 6 WE ♦ J 5 3 2 S ♦ Q 10 9 4 ♣ 8 7 ♣ A K 6 5 4 West North ? 2. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ 9 8 7 6 5 ♠J ♥ K 4 3 N ♥ A Q 9 5 WE ♦ J 8 3 2 ♦ 9 6 5 S ♣4 ♣ A K 7 6 5 West North ? East South 1♣Pass 1♦. You only have four high card points so the normal action would be to pass. However, with a singleton in your partner’s suit, you may be in a poor contract. You might consider bidding if you felt there was a reasonable chance of improving the contract. It is true that your partner might rebid 2♣, but any East South 1♣Pass 1♦. This time you have eight HCP so plenty of strength to respond: your choices are 1♦, 1♠ or 1NT. A 1NT response is out of the question; it would deny any four-card suit outside clubs. With two four-card suits you should bid the lower, giving your partner the room to show a second suit if he has one. This way, you will not miss a fit – if your partner has four spades, he will rebid 1♠ over your 1♦ reply. As it is, your partner will support diamonds: 2♦ leaving you in your best contract. If, instead you respond 1♠, East would have to rebid 2♣ and you miss your fit, since East cannot reverse to show his diamonds and you are not strong enough ■ to bid again. Page 41 Julian Pottage answers your Frequently Asked Questions What is the Best Range for a 1NT Rebid? T he best range for a 1NT rebid depends in part on the range of your 1NT opening. The generally accepted principle is that you do not want the range of a 1NT rebid to overlap with the range of your 1NT opening. If you play a weak 1NT opening (12-14), your 1NT rebid will show a hand stronger than a 1NT opening. If you play a strong 1NT opening (1517), your 1NT rebid will show a hand weaker than a 1NT opening. If you are one of those brave souls who play a mini 1NT opening (10-12) at certain vulnerabilities and positions at the table, your 1NT rebid will show a hand stronger than a 1NT opening. Much of the world plays a 15-17 1NT opening and a 12-14 1NT rebid. Since this is so standard, I am not going to discuss alternatives. Note that this method gives a range of three points for both a 1NT opening and a 1NT rebid. This three-point range makes it reasonably safe to invite game in the hope that opener is maximum. If responder can envisage 25 points between the two hands facing a maximum, you will have 23 between you if opener is minimum. The latter should suffice to make 2NT a reasonable contract. In the UK, it is more common to play a 12-14 1NT opening. If you are a regular reader of BRIDGE, you may know that both Bernard and I advocate a 15-17 range for a 1NT rebid. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, a range of three points – 15, 16 or 17 – is neither so narrow that the bid hardly comes up, nor so wide that responder is afraid to investigate game possibilities for fear that opener turns up with a minimum. I should perhaps mention that most of the world plays Page 42 a 2NT (jump) rebid as 18-19, again something Bernard and I recommend. In old fashioned Acol, a 1NT rebid showed 15-16 while a 2NT jump rebid showed 17-18. Played in conjunction with a 20-22 range for a 2NT opening, this meant that hands with precisely 19 points would open one of a suit and rebid 3NT. Playing a single point count for the 3NT rebid was inefficient, partly because a single point count meant you were making little use of the bid and partly because the big jump removed a lot of bidding space. If the bidding starts 1♥-1♠-3NT, responder cannot investigate a possible 5-3 fit in either major without going past what might be the best game. Responder cannot show a second suit without going past 3NT either. If you accept the argument for not wanting to use a 3NT rebid to show 19 points, why do we not suggest a 17-19 range for a 2NT rebid? The answer is that responder has no room to invite game over 2NT – either you bid it or you pass. Over a 1NT rebid, however, responder does have space to investigate. This is why the wider range works out for a 1NT rebid, but not for a 2NT rebid. The solution is to do the same as the rest of the world – play a range of 18-19 for a 2NT rebid. How should responder continue after the 1NT rebid? In the traditional style, jumps in a new suit or opener’s suit are forcing to game, a reverse is forcing for one round and the only specifically invitational bids are a raise to 2NT and a jump in responder’s suit. I strongly recommend adding another possible way to invite game; the most common method over here is with a 2♣ enquiry. Just as a 2♣ reply to a 1NT opening asks for more information about opener’s hand, a 2♣ reply to a 1NT rebid does also. That should be easy enough to remember. When was the last time you stopped in 2♣ anyway? A simple set of responses to the 2♣ enquiry are as follows: 2♦Minimum, no undisclosed length in a major. 2♥ Minimum and hearts (five if the opening was 1♥, three if the response was 1♥, otherwise four). 2♠ Minimum and spades (three if the response was 1♠, otherwise four). 2NT Maximum, no undisclosed length in a major and no strong minor suit. 3♣ Maximum, natural. 3♦ Maximum, natural. 3♥ Maximum and hearts (five after a 1♥ opening, three after a 1♥ response, otherwise four). 3♠ Maximum and spades (three after a 1♠ response, otherwise four). Here is an example: ♠ A 9 5 N ♥ Q 8 4WE ♦ K Q 8 6 3 S ♣ A 3 ♠ 7 3 ♥ J 10 7 5 3 ♦ A J 2 ♣ Q 9 4 West East 1♦1♥ 1NT 2♣1 2♥2Pass3 1 Please tell me more 2 Minimum (15 or poor 16) with three hearts 3 That is all I need to know Without the 2♣ enquiry, you could play in 2NT or 1 NT but not in 2♥. ■ BRIDGE April 2017 Answers to Bernard Magee’s Bidding Quizzes 4-6 on the Cover 4. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ A K Q J 10 4 ♠3 ♥8N ♥ 9 6 3 WE ♦ K 9 4S ♦ A Q J 8 3 2 ♣ 6 5 3 ♣ A 8 7 WestNorth East South 1♦Pass ? 2♠. I do not advocate making jump responses lightly. I like to have a six-card suit and a strong hand, usually 16+ points. However, it is important to plan the auction: if you respond 1♠ and your partner rebids 2♦, what will you bid next? There is no right answer because no bid will adequately describe your hand. You would like to tell your partner you have a superstrong spade suit (happy to play opposite a void) as well as game-going values and a beautiful king in his suit. The only way to start this description is to respond 2♠. East would rebid 3♦ and then you can rebid 3♠. A jump response in a suit, and then a rebid in the suit, implies a self-supporting suit. Now East can bid 4♣: a cue bid. This is enough to propel you towards a slam. You bid Blackwood and with one ace missing you settle for 6♠. The full auction: WestNorth East South 1♦Pass 2♠Pass3♦Pass 3♠Pass4♣Pass 4NTPass 5♥Pass 6♠ All Pass There are 13 tricks off the top, BRIDGE April 2017 but you should probably let the opponents have one heart if they choose to lead that suit! When you have a strong hand with a choice of suits to show, making a simple response allows you the time to discuss which suit is best. However, here, you know you want to play in spades, so you do not need so much room – your jump to 2♠ helped the auction along. 5. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ A 8 7 ♠ 4 2 N WE ♥ 8 2 ♥ A J S ♦ A Q 8 4 2 ♦ K 9 7 5 3 ♣ K 3 2 ♣ A 9 8 7 West North East South 1♦Pass ? 2♣. Not an easy hand: you have the strength for game, but do not know which game will be best. 2♦ is a weak bid, 3♦ is also non-forcing (10-12) and 4♦ takes you past 3NT. A direct 3NT response is a gamble with such a weak heart holding. With diamond bids not suitable and no-trump bids also out, you are left with little choice. You have to make a simple response in a new suit: this will be a lie, and whenever you contemplate lying to your partner it is best to lie in a minor rather than a major, as your partner is unlikely to get over excited with minor support. Therefore, the ugly choice on this hand is 2♣ – not nice, but the only sensible bid in the system. East would bid 3♣ supporting you and now you would try for 3NT by showing your spade stopper, over which East should revert to 3NT with his cover in hearts. BERNARD MAGEE’S INTERACTIVE TUTORIAL CD DECLARER PLAY WestNorth East South 1♦Pass 2♣Pass3♣Pass 3♠Pass3NT All Pass MAC or Windows Note that the 2♣ does not need alerting – it is ostensibly natural – from your partner’s point of view you have shown four or more clubs, hence his support to 3♣. 6. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ K 8 6 5 ♠ A Q 3 N ♥ J 9 4 2WE ♥ K Q ♦ 8 7 6 S ♦ A K 9 5 2 ♣ 3 2 ♣ 7 6 5 West North East South 1♦Pass ? Pass. Another very weak responding hand, so this time should you respond? You only bend the rules if you have a good reason. Generally, that reason will involve holding a very long suit or a distinct distaste for the suit your partner has chosen. You have neither of these, so you should pass – 1♦ looks reasonable from your perspective – three-card support and shortage in clubs. Remember that if you choose to respond, your partner has to make another bid, so even if you do find a fit in a major, you might find yourself playing in 4♥ or 4♠ if your partner has 18-19 points. If you choose a 1♥ response on this hand, your partner will jump to 2NT and you will be swimming in deep water. ■ Bernard develops your declarer play technique in the course of ten introductory exercises and 120 complete deals. l Suit Establishment in No-trumps l Suit Establishment in Suits lHold-ups l Ruffing for Extra Tricks l Entries in No-trumps £76 lDelaying Drawing Trumps l Using the Lead l Trump Control l Endplays & Avoidance l Using the Bidding Mr Bridge, Ryden Grange, Knaphill, Surrey GU21 2TH ( 01483 489961 www.mrbridge.co.uk/ mrbridge-shop Page 43 READERS’ LETTERS TREASURE TROVE I was most interested in the Shireen Mohandes article on Autobridge, see BRIDGE 170. I came across a 1938 Autobridge in a junk shop in Auckland, New Zealand, in the 1970s. I bought it for about a pound and as I left the shop I heard the shopkeeper tell his friend that there was always someone who would buy anything – not knowing what a treasure I had just got. I have the ‘advanced’ edition full of hands played by Josephine and Ely Culbertson among others, with names like Mrs Robert B Fuller who was the US national Women’s Champion in 1936-37 and Waldemar von Zetdwitz, so famous at the time then he didn’t need credits. I loved the idea of working on real hands played by real people. In the 1970s, I was mastering the basics of bridge and used it all the time. The bidding was even then oldfashioned, but the advice on play was really excellent. Lyn Fry by email. BE WARNED I felt that you should know this information regarding your cruises, especially potential Scottish passengers. I was recently booked on the failed Minerva cruise and, living in Edinburgh, had to book accommodation and flights to and from Gatwick. I booked these on my credit card, as always, and understood there was a fair degree of protection in so doing. I have been informed today by the credit card company that these are regarded as two separate contracts and, therefore, I have lost this money. The credit card company would have reimbursed me if, for example, the hotel or airline had failed to meet their obligations. I will try and claim travel insurance, but with an excess it may not be worth it and, no doubt, it will most probably be quite difficult. In view of this experience, I would be very wary of future travel if it involves a separate booking system as these are not Atol covered. Mary Davidson by email. OH DEAR! I hope Julian Pottage does not find himself participating in a tournament directed by David Stevenson. In BRIDGE 170, page 18, Julian gives a very decent summary of opening leads. In particular, top of an interior sequence is ‘less attractive’ rather than ‘generally to avoid’. I and many others would go along with this, though in this case, it may well be a poor choice of lead. Declarer has presumably limited himself to a maximum of three cards in each major and responder to four, depending on the complete bidding. Leading from a small doubleton would be much meaner and might work wonders. David, on p7, has stated that if this is not on the system card, then it might just be construed as misinformation and that a numerate director might be able to calculate a slightly adjusted score. I do not criticise David; if this might happen he is right to warn people. Obviously, one could protect oneself by stating on the system card ‘Pottage Leads’ and carrying a copy of the article. Regardless of this, if I was the so-called injured party, I would just accept the result. I have taken a percentage view which happened to be wrong. Let’s just say that I hope that players and the director are sensible or there will be no future for club duplicates. Alan Armitage, Wellington, Telford. DIRECTOR’S COURSE I am a committee member of the Kent School of Bridge (not a school anymore, just a members’ club), and I direct at two of our three venues following the death of our founder in 2014. I am untrained and make decisions based on experience and the Yellow Book. I assume I mostly get it right as I don’t get any complaints. However, it would be useful to go on a course and become a qualified director. The only courses I can find online are run by the EBU. I am not a member and the club is not affiliated (since the Pay to Play drama). Will they accept an application from me, or does anyone else run courses? Ideally, I would like to complete the whole course in one go (eg over one weekend), rather than piecemeal, which is what the EBU seem to be offering. Keith Rylands, Ashford, Kent. Take an EBU course, it would be foolish not to. If necessary, take out individual membership to enable you to do so. If you decide to do this, it is worth waiting until April as independent EBU subscriptions run from April until March of the following year. I have one of these subscriptions myself. GREAT SWING Playing on BBO (a site I got from your magazine), this week the most amazing hand was dealt. LHO opened 6♣-passpass to me, holding: ♠ Q x x ♥ A K ♦ A K x x x ♣ x x x. I doubled. My partner removed to 6♥, doubled, of course, by the opener. 12 tricks were made and 6♣ was also lay down, so instead of losing 1,540, we gained 1,660, a swing of 3,200 points – thank you partner. Brian Barrett by email. GREAT CAUSE Last year, we put together a bridge team of great American players to fight Alzheimer’s disease. Bob Hamman, Bobby Wolff, Eric Rodwell, and Larry Cohen are a few of the all-time greats who played. This year we are going worldwide and Benito Garrozzo, Boye Brogland and Norberto Bocchi, along with several top Canadian players have joined the team. I also hope to enlist Andrew Robson and Tony Forrester. An online auction is held and the winning bidder gets to play in a BBO tournament. The auction ends in June and the player chooses a time to play with the bidder. As soon as I have the auction site set up, I will send you further information. Bruce Greenspan ( (001) 617-510-8405 www.greenspanbridge @yahoo.com ■ Mr Bridge, Ryden Grange, Knaphill, Surrey GU21 2TH. [email protected] Page 44 BRIDGE April 2017 Answers to Bernard Magee’s Bidding Quizzes 7-9 on the Cover luxury bridge mat gest the ♦A. This is enough for West to bring out Key card Blackwood, the response showing three key cards and now it is a choice between 6♣ or 7♣. The grand slam basically requires a 4-2 or 3-3 heart break, so is not too bad. It is a complicated auction, but you will only have a chance to get to a club slam if you bid your clubs first. luxury bridge mat 7. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ A K 7 6 ♠ 8 2 N ♥5 ♥ A J 8 6 3 2 WE S ♦ 6 3 ♦ A 5 ♣ A Q 8 6 5 4 ♣ K J 7 WestNorth East South 1♥Pass ? 2♣. With plenty of strength to make game opposite an opening bid, your aim should be to describe your hand accurately so that your partnership can choose the best game or even bid beyond. You do not have to jump on the first round, because your partner has guaranteed that he will bid again if you change the suit. Therefore, you should bid your longest suit: 2♣. It is important to bid your longest suit first, so that you can accurately describe your hand – you have the strength to show your second suit later. What this means is that if you have a good fit in clubs, you might be able to find the best contract. The auction might go: WestNorth East South 1♥Pass 2♣Pass 2♥Pass 2♠Pass3♣Pass 3♦ Pass3NTPass 4♣Pass 4♦Pass 4NTPass 5♠Pass 6♣ All Pass (or 7♣) East rebids hearts, then shows club support and over 3♦ (fourth suit forcing) he bids 3NT. When West carries on with 4♣ showing slam potential, East can bid 4♦ to sug- BRIDGE April 2017 8. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ 8 4 ♠ A 7 6 N ♥ K 9 4 WE ♥ A Q J 10 S ♦ A 7 6 5 2 ♦ K 9 3 ♣ 8 4 3 ♣ J 10 5 high cards in spades or clubs, I prefer the suit contract. On this hand, you will make seven tricks in no-trumps for +90, but in 2♥ you should make the same seven tricks and a spade ruff, for +110. 2♥. Seven HCP, so you should make a response, but you cannot bid a new suit at the two-level because you lack the strength. This leaves two options: 1NT or 2♥. Both these bids show 6-9 points. 1NT suggests a balanced hand, whilst 2♥ suggests four-card heart support. With two weak suits and honour-to-three in your partner’s suit along with a shortage, 2♥ will often work well. Even if you finish in a 4-3 fit, you will often score OK as you will make an extra trick by ruffing in the short trump hand. This question is a matter of taste – with a singleton and three-card support, raising to 2♥ is certainly best, but with a relatively balanced hand it is a close call. Scatter a few points about the hand and 1NT looks OK, but with no plus £4.99 p & p Just £24.99 plus £4.99 p & p 9. Dealer East. Love All. ♠ J 6 3 ♠ 4 2 N ♥ 4 2WE ♥ A K 7 6 5 S ♦ K Q 4 2 ♦ A J 10 5 ♣ A J 7 6 ♣ K 2 West North East South 1♥Pass ? 2♣. West North East South 1♥Pass ? Just £24.99 This is a traditional 2NT response – 10-12 points, a balanced hand, with a doubleton in partner’s suit. However, in the modern game you should prefer to show a suit first and then rebid 2NT, allowing for more discussion, in order to find your best contract. One reason for this is to allow 2NT to be used conventionally, but more important is to leave space for your partnership to talk. Remember that over 2♣, your partner must bid again, so if necessary you can bid your 2NT then. You bid the lower of the two four-card suits to give your partner the maximum space. Here, East would rebid 2♦ over your 2♣ and with weak spades and primary diamond support, it is clear to raise to 3♦ rather than bid 2NT. Although your partner might bid 3♠ (fourth suit forcing) you would deny a stopper and the partnership will finish in a diamond contract: 4♦ or 5♦ depending on their ambition. ■ Thick woven surface makes Thick woven an ideal playing surface and protects table. surfaceyour makes Very popular with Bridge an ideal playing Clubs. 78cms wide so it fits surface a standard 80cmsand card table protects your table. Padded table bag. Very popular Thick woven surfacewith makes £39.00 +Clubs. £4.99 p&pand Bridge an ideal playing surface protects your table. 78 cms wide so it Very popular with Bridge fits a standard Clubs. 78cms wide so it fits 80cms 80cms card card table. a standard table Padded table bag. £39.00 + £4.99 p&p Large enough to take a standard 80cms bridge table. Made from tough nylon with carrying straps and Velcro fixing. Ideal for storing or carrying your table. Order online or by phone www.designsforbridge.co.uk 01483 270 100 Large enough to take a standard 80cms bridge table. Made from Large enough to takestraps a tough nylon with carrying SR Velcro Designs for Bridge standard 80cms bridge and fixing. Ideal for Unit A1,orMade Send Business Park, storing carrying your table. table. from tough Send, Woking, Surrey GU23 7EF nylon with carrying straps Order onlinefixing. or by Ideal phone and Velcro www.designsforbridge.co.uk for storing or carrying your table. 01483 270 100 Order online or by phone SR Designs for Bridge www.designsforbridge.co.uk Unit A1, Send Business Park, Send, Woking, Surrey GU23 7EF 01483 270 100 SR Designs for Bridge Unit A1, Send Business Park, Send, Woking, Surrey GU23 7EF Page 45 Bridge Movies by Heather Dhondy Can You Defeat 4NT? I t is teams; dealer South. Both sides vulnerable. You are West, holding: ♠ Q 9 7 4 ♥ A J 10 9 5 4 ♦ Q 9 ♣K What is happening now? N WE What do you make of the play so far? ♣♦♥♠ South 1NT (12-14) What should West do? ♣♦♥♠ Answer: Overcall 2♥. You are not strong enough to double, but have good shape and a nice six-card suit. Even if you were playing a conventional defence that allowed you to show two suits, it is better to overcall a six-card major holding a 6-4 shape. West North East South 1NT 2♥3♦Pass 3NT Answer: North is making a natural continuation, showing both minors and is either looking for game in a minor or possibly a slam. South’s 4NT bid is natural and suggests no interest in the minors. West North East South 1NT 2♥3♦Pass 3NT Pass 4♣Pass 4NT All Pass What should West lead? ♣♦♥♠ Answer: Lead the jack of hearts with your interior sequence. This is what you can see: What does North’s bid show? ♣♦♥♠ Answer: North-South are playing Lebensohl, which means that the 3♦ bid is natural and forcing. North could have bid 2NT instead if intending to show a non-forcing hand with diamonds. This would have demanded a 3♣ response from partner, after which 3♦ would have been purely competitive. South’s 3NT bid now guarantees a decent stopper in hearts, since otherwise he could have enquired with 3♥. Page 46 and ace, then a spade back to the ace is followed by a low diamond to the ace and a club back to the ten. ♣♦♥♠ S West North East ? West North East South 1NT 2♥3♦Pass 3NT Pass 4♣Pass 4NT ♠ 6 5 ♥Void ♦ A K 10 4 3 2 ♣ A Q 7 6 4 ♠ Q 9 7 4 N ♥ A J 10 9 5 4 WE ♦ Q 9 S ♣K Answer: Let’s start with the first trick. If partner had held the ♥Q, he should have played it to trick one. This would make it very hard for declarer to duck and would therefore preserve communication between the defence’s hands. In addition, declarer might well have been more reluctant to play in no-trumps holding a single stopper. The conclusion is that declarer almost certainly holds the ♥Q. He must also hold the ♠K to have crossed to hand in the suit. Therefore, there is no fast way to get to partner’s hand to get a heart led through declarer. This is the position you have reached (before the club is led from dummy): ♠ Q 9 4 ♥ A 10 9 5 4 ♦Q ♣— ♠6 ♥— ♦ K 10 4 3 ♣ Q 7 6 4 N WE S What should you be thinking about? ♣♦♥♠ South discards a diamond from dummy, partner plays the two and declarer wins with the king. Declarer now plays the jack of clubs to the king Answer: If the clubs are coming in, the contract will make, so you must assume that they are not. BRIDGE April 2017 Why did declarer cross to his ace of spades? Declarer cannot afford to lose the lead to partner for fear of a heart return and presumably needs to establish diamond tricks if the clubs aren’t coming in. If he holds the ♦J, your queen is of no use, but suppose partner holds it and declarer began with just two? Now he will need to lose the lead in the suit at some point in order to establish them. If declarer sees the queen of diamonds show up from your hand on the next round of the suit, he will duck it for sure and the suit will be established without your being able to cash the hearts. What can you do about it? ♣♦♥♠ Answer: You must foil this plan by discarding the ♦Q on the second round of clubs. This was the full deal: Answers to Bernard Magee’s Bidding Quizzes 10-12 on the Cover 10. Dealer East. N/S Game. ♠ K Q 7 5 4 ♠ A J 9 8 2 ♥ A 4 3 N ♥ 5 2 WE ♦ K 6 4 2 S ♦ A 8 ♣2 ♣ A 8 7 6 West North ? East South 1♠Pass 4♣. You have first class spade support, 12 HCP and a singleton – plenty of strength for game, but there is also the potential for more. You are looking for a bid that can convey all of the above and there is ♠ 6 5 a perfect choice: 4♣ – a splinter bid – ♥Void it pretty much describes all the hand’s ♦ A K 10 4 3 2 assets. A splinter bid is a double jump over a major – it shows support for the ♣ A Q 7 6 4 major, 11+ HCP and shortage in the ♠ Q 9 7 4 ♠ J 8 2 suit bid. Your partner can then evaluate ♥ A J 10 9 5 4 N ♥ 8 7 2 WE his hand – he has the perfect holding in ♦ Q 9 S ♦ J 8 7 clubs – his ace wins the first round and ♣K ♣ 9 8 5 2 his other losers can be ruffed in your ♠ A K 10 3 hand. All he needs to do is to check you ♥ K Q 6 3 have a control in hearts, so he would ♦ 6 5 respond with 4♦ – a cue bid. You would ♣ J 10 3 cue bid 4♥ and then your partner would use Blackwood. 6♠ is a great contract. Being able to see through the backs of the cards would be useful at this game, but it is sadly not a gift that any of us possess. Seeing all four hands, you will see that 6♣ is an excellent contract. However, the auction that NorthSouth had was sensible enough. If declarer had held the ♥A-K and ♠K-Q instead of the actual way round, they would have judged it correctly. Again, seeing all four hands you will note that there are a number of successful lines in 4NT, but what declarer did was hardly unreasonable. The key to the defence was getting into the mind of declarer and working out what the problem was. ■ BRIDGE April 2017 11. Dealer East. N/S Game. ♠ 7 6 ♠ A K 8 5 4 ♥ Q J 2 N ♥ 7 6 WE ♦7 S ♦ A K 3 2 ♣ A 8 7 6 5 4 3 ♣ 9 2 West North ? East South 1♠Pass 1NT. This really should be a simple question. With only seven high card points and inadequate spade support, you have to bid 1NT. 1NT is the rubbish bin bid – where you throw all your weak hands – you do have seven clubs, but you do not have the strength to bid 2♣. Over your partner’s 2♦ rebid you can now bid 3♣, which your partner should pass: expecting you to have close to the equivalent of an opening 3♣ bid. If instead you bid 2♣ over 1♠, then your partner will expect more strength (10+) and might push towards 3NT. 12. Dealer East. N/S Game. ♠ J 8 7 6 5 ♠ K Q 4 3 2 ♥4 N ♥ A 6 WE ♦ A 6 5 4 S ♦ K 8 7 ♣ 4 3 2 ♣ 9 7 5 West North ? East South 1♠Pass 4♠. Just 5 HCP, but five-card spade support and a singleton. Nine losers might suggest a 2♠ response and that is one option. However, at this vulnerability, your opponents vulnerable and you not, it will often pay to be more aggressive. Whenever you have five-card support for a major in a weak hand with a singleton or void, you should contemplate jumping to game, particularly with favourable vulnerability. Your partner has a minimum opener and you will go one off in 4♠. However, your opponents have a lot of potential – they have a possible ten tricks in 4♥: worth 620 points. How are they supposed to get into the auction if you leap to 4♠ like this? They might not even manage to double ■ you, so -50 is very cheap indeed. Page 47 More Tips from Bernard Magee BERNARD MAGEE’S INTERACTIVE TUTORIAL CD ACOL BIDDING MAC or Windows Use the opponents’ suit to ask for a stop when you have a minor suit fit A bid of the opponents’ suit is used to show a strong hand and it usually promises a fit with your partner. However, when the fit is in a minor suit, your side will often be interested in the chance of playing in notrumps. Your focus should be on whether you have a stop in the opponents’ suit. If you have one yourself, then you can bid no-trumps, but without one, you can use the bid of the opponents’ suit to find out whether your partner has. West ? Throughout 200 deals split into ten chapters, Bernard evaluates your bids, praising the correct ones and discussing the wrong ones. l Opening Bids and Responses North East South 1♥2♣Pass Here are two West hands to bid after the auction given: West 1 West 2 ♠ A 7 5 ♠ A 7 5 4 ♥ A 3 2 ♥ 9 2 ♦ 9 8 7 2 ♦ A 8 7 2 ♣ K Q 2 ♣ K Q 2 l Slams and Strong Openings l Support for Partner lPre-empting lOvercalls lNo-trump £66 Openings and Responses l Opener’s and Responder’s Rebids l Minors and Misfits lDoubles l Competitive Auctions Mr Bridge, Ryden Grange, Knaphill, Surrey GU21 2TH ( 01483 489961 www.mrbridge.co.uk/mrbridge-shop Page 48 It is important that you have high-card support for your partner’s suit so that you can hope the club suit might be running. With the ♣K-Q in your own hand it is not unreasonable to expect five, or more probably, six running club tricks. With two more tricks from your aces and having only given partner five points so far, you can expect to make nine tricks from both hands. With West 1 you can bid 3NT: you have a heart stopper and it is not unreasonable to hope your partner will have something in diamonds – the focus tends to be on the opponents’ bid suit. ♠ A 7 5 N ♥ A 3 2WE ♦ 9 8 7 2 S ♣ K Q 2 ♠ K 2 ♥ 7 6 5 ♦ K 4 ♣ A J 10 8 4 3 West 3NT North East South 1♥2♣Pass All Pass 3NT is not perfect, but with nine top tricks it is a reasonable contract. You would be unlucky to find South with the ♦A and one defender with five cards in the suit, and for the suit not to be blocked. Note the power of the running club suit – your ♣KQ are invaluable. With West 2, you do not have a heart stopper, so you will need some help from your partner – this is the perfect hand for a bid of the opponents’ suit – showing strength and support and hoping for a heart stopper so that you can finish in 3NT. ♠ A 7 6 5 ♥ 9 2 N WE ♦ A 8 7 2 S ♣ K Q 2 ♠ 8 2 ♥ K 7 6 ♦ Q 5 ♣ A J 10 8 4 3 West North East South 1♥2♣Pass 2♥ Pass2NT Pass 3NT All Pass You bid 2♥, alerted by your partner – showing strength and support and asking for a heart stopper. East bids 2NT to show his heart stopper and you can bid 3NT. 3NT is not guaranteed, they might lead spades and switch at the right time, but most of the time you will be making 3NT. Had East not had a heart stopper, then he would revert back to clubs. Note that on both deals 5♣ is a long way away – 11 tricks is generally so much harder to achieve than nine, even with a trump suit. A bid of the opponents’ suit shows strength, but when a minor suit is bid by your side, it can be helpful to use it to ask for a stopper, aiming to find a more lucrative no-trump contract rather than ■ settling for the minor suit. BRIDGE April 2017 Seven Days by Sally Brock Friday / Saturday I wake up at my father’s, having been to visit. He is not very well – it seems to be a recurrence of kidney stones. Although he is a bit better than yesterday he still can’t keep anything down, including water and his meds. I’m a bit worried but nevertheless leave about 9.30am. I arrive at Barry’s flat by 11.30 and immediately have an online practice session with Susanna. Then I busy myself with getting my hair ready to go on holiday. A bit more practice and a bite to eat before heading off to the Young Chelsea for the start of the Lady Milne trials. We find we are sitting out the first set – it would have been nice to know. The other two matches go OK and we are lying second overnight. We start at 10.30am and it is a 64-board day – quite exhausting. We play OK for most of the day, but the last three matches go badly – it’s not so much that we play badly but it all seems to go against us, so we slide down the field. At the end of the day we are lying fourth but a lot of IMPs away from the top three. After the bridge we go to Barry’s local Indian with Helen and Fiona. A really good meal and fun to go through the hands. I just wish we were doing a bit better. Still, tomorrow’s another day. Sunday Unfortunately, our luck and performance don’t change and we have another fairly miserable day, eventually finishing sixth. Our best board of the event is when I BRIDGE April 2017 redouble a game – something I haven’t done for a great many years: Dealer North. Game All. ♠ K 10 8 6 5 ♥ K 4 ♦ K 10 ♣ J 10 4 2 ♠ A 4 2 ♠7 ♥ A J 9 3 N ♥ 10 8 7 6 5 WE ♦ J 6 5 4 2 S ♦8 ♣8 ♣ K Q 7 6 5 3 ♠ Q J 9 3 ♥ Q 2 ♦ A Q 9 7 3 ♣ A 9 West Pass Pass Dbl North East South Pass Pass 1NT 2♥3♣3♠ 4♠PassPass Rdbl All Pass After a club lead, Susanna wins and plays trumps. West wins and switches to a diamond, so now dummy’s hearts go away and she makes an overtrick for +1480 and 13.14 IMPs to our side. Anyway, well done to Fiona Brown and Helen Erichsen for winning, and to Heather Bakhshi and Claire Robinson for their runner-up spot, both pairs guaranteed an international cap. After a quick drink at the finish, I drive home (via the Indian takeaway) to spend the evening with Briony – it is our last while living together. She is moving out tomorrow, having spent most of the weekend sorting her stuff and moving clothes, books etc. All we do is collapse in front of the TV – I’m sure we’ll do that again, but will it be quite the same? Monday Briony goes off to work while two men and a van (good value, I think, for £50 an hour all in) arrive for her heavier furniture – bed, chest of drawers, piano etc. It takes about two hours to load up, drive (following me) to her new place near Tring and unload (including dismantling and reassembling her bed). I dash home to get some chores done and then meet Briony at a big Tesco for her to stock up on staples. We then go home to pick up some more of her stuff before setting off in convoy to the new place. I go via an Indian takeaway and we christen her new plates and cutlery before I leave for home and my favourite TV show. Tuesday I do a bit of work in the morning, after a session on my exercise bike. Then, after collecting the orders of service from the printer in Chesham, and a couple of other errands, I pick Barry up at West Ruislip station on the way to my parents’ part of the world. We stop off at Biddestone church to leave the orders of service with the vicar. The church looks lovely. As well as lots of larger splendid arrangements, there are small vases of daffodils provided individually by villagers. My mother would have loved it. Then we go on to the hotel where quite a lot of us are booked, both for the night and for dinner. It is good to see some people I hadn’t seen for ages (somehow the extended family only seems to get together for weddings and funerals), and it is an excellent evening. Page 49 BERNARD MAGEE’S INTERACTIVE TUTORIAL CD DEFENCE MAC or Windows Bernard develops your defence in the course of ten introductory exercises and 120 complete deals. l Lead vs No-trump Contracts l Lead vs Suit Contracts l Partner of Leader vs No-trump Contracts l Partner of Leader vs Suit Contracts lCount Signals lAttitude Signals £76 lDiscarding l Defensive Plan l Stopping Declarer l Counting the Hand Mr Bridge, Ryden Grange, Knaphill, Surrey GU21 2TH ( 01483 489961 www.mrbridge.co.uk/mrbridge-shop Page 50 Wednesday Up early for breakfast, and then we pick my father up and go on to the crematorium. The service there is intentionally brief and utilitarian, for close family only, and afterwards we all go to a local pub for coffee. Briony and I leave early to pick up Toby and to go to the Biddestone pub where the wake is going to be in order to make sure we can display the photos we have collected. It is a good job we do this, because we don’t have the right cable and in the end have to transfer the photos to the proprietor’s daughter’s laptop in order to connect to the large screen TV in the bar area. Then to the church. It is a lovely service and my nice Anna, my nephew Tom and my son Ben both present tributes to my mother that have us all sitting with streams of tears running down our faces. The church is full and it is a fitting finale to a fabulous life. Afterwards we all adjourn to the pub for a drink or two and an excellent buffet lunch, before the long drive home and a quiet evening. Thursday I drop Barry off at Amersham station at lunchtime, and then go on to an appointment with my chiropodist (I’m having problems with ingrowing toenails). I spend the rest of the day packing, doing odd bits of work, etc, and cleaning the house in anticipation of it being empty for a while. I have an online session with one of my Irish pairs and then an early night. Friday I catch the 10.43 to Shepherds Bush (thankfully, they have reinstated the once-an-hour direct service from Hemel to Shepherds Bush – a real godsend), and have a cup of tea at Barry’s before setting off for TGR’s and our Round 3 Crockford’s match against Nicholas Davidson’s team. The match is remarkable for the number of quasi-4♥ openers. On Board 4, North has a nine-card heart suit. He overcalls 4♥, I double and he makes an overtrick. So we lose 4 IMPs when compared with making 5♥ doubled in the other room. On Board 9, South has a seven-card heart suit. North opens a weak no-trump and South bids 4♦. Unfortunately, North thinks this shows spades and eventually the auction stops in 5♠ doubled, teammates losing 1,700 (never mind, we gain 38 on the set). On Board 10, North has another nine-card heart suit. This time we sacrifice in 5♦, going for 500, at game all, for a 5 IMP gain to our side, when teammates press on to 5♥. These are the East-West cards on Board 19: ♠9 ♥ A Q J 10 9 3 2 ♦ K J 9 6 ♣5 N WE S ♠ A Q ♥ K 7 5 ♦ A 4 3 ♣ J 10 9 8 2 Nicola opens 4♥ and, as we have a stronger 4♥ opening than that (3NT), I let it go. On a club lead and diamond switch she makes twelve tricks. In the other room, Sue Millard’s 4♥ opening is raised directly to 6♥ by her husband. After a trump lead, she draws trumps and takes the winning spade finesse, so she also makes twelve tricks. Then there is Board 20: ♠J ♥ A K Q 10 7 6 3 2 N ♦10 WE S ♣ K 10 9 ♠ A 9 8 3 2 ♥ J 9 ♦ 9 7 ♣ A Q 5 2 This time Nicola opens 3NT, showing about nine tricks as we are vulnerable. This time I do move, first asking her to transfer to her suit and then cuebidding 4♠. She doesn’t need any further invitation and leaps to slam, making an overtrick. In the other room, the East hand does not move and South tries 4♠ – and goes for 1,100, for an 8 IMP swing to us. We win comfortably and after a glass of wine, it is back to the flat to eat up whatever’s in the fridge and to finish packing. You’ll have to wait till next month to hear of all our adventures in Japan and Australia … ■ BRIDGE April 2017 2017 AUTUMN BRIDGE CRUISE SEVILLE, MOROCCO & SPAIN Seville Jerez Malaga Cadiz Strait of Gibraltar Rabat CANARY ISLANDS Fez Casablanca Atlantic Ocean Morocco Marrakesh Agadir Taroudant Canary La Palma Islands Lanzarote Tenerife DEPARTS UK NOVEMBER 9, 2017 NOV 9 NOV 10 NOV 11 NOV 12 NOV 13 NOV 14 NOV 15 SEVILLE NOV 16 12-day fly-cruise from £1,795 per person With Mr Bridge and friends 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 17 NOV 18 NOV 19 NOV 20 Fly to MALAGA Spain Transfer to Aegean Odyssey At Sea River cruising along the Guadalquivir River SEVILLE Spain overnight SEVILLE Spain CADIZ Spain (Jerez) CASABLANCA/FEZ Morocco Morning drive to Fez for afternoon sightseeing hotel* FEZ/RABAT/CASABLANCA Morocco Morning drive to Rabat. Rejoin ship in Casablanca overnight CASABLANCA/MARRAKESH Morocco Drive to Marrakesh for afternoon sightseeing hotel* MARRAKESH/AGADIR Morocco Rejoin ship in Agadir. Afternoon sightseeing to Taroudant LANZAROTE Canary Islands LA PALMA Canary Islands TENERIFE Canary Islands Disembark and transfer to Tenerife Airport for flight home AEG171109BR MR BRIDGE VALUE FARES Standard Inside from Standard Outside from Premium Outside from Odyssey Club Members enjoy an additional 5% discount on prices shown above. CALL NOW ON 01483 489961 OR VISIT www.mrbridge.co.uk Cabins can be held at no obligation for 7 days • • • • • • • • • • • 10093 ABTA No.Y2206 £1,795pp £2,195pp £2,295pp SINGLE SUPPLEMENT %† JUST 10 FARES INCLUDE: 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. BRAND NEW CRUISE - WINTER 2017 A PASSAGE TO THE CARIBBEAN 20 November 2017 NOV 20 Arrive into TENERIFE Canary Islands Embark Aegean Odyssey O NOV 21 TENERIFE Canary Islands NOV 22 AT SEA NOV 23 AT SEA NOV 24 PRAIA Santiago Island, Cape Verde NOV 25 MINDELO Sao Vicente Island, Cape Verde NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Santiago Island, Cape Verde NOV 26 PORTO NOVO Santo Antao Island, Cape Verde NOV 27 - DEC 2 AT SEA DEC 3 BRIDGETOWN Barbados O DEC 4 BRIDGETOWN Barbados O DEC 5 BRIDGETOWN Barbados Disembark Aegean Odyssey and transfer to Barbados Airport DEC 6 Arrive UK O Overnight stay in port 17-day cruise from £1,995pp HOSTED BY BERNARD MAGEE Mr Bridge is pleased to present this brand new bridge cruise that crosses the Atlantic Ocean from the dramatic volcanic landscapes of the Canary and Cape Verde Islands, to the tranquil blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. You’ll have plenty of time at sea to indulge in your passion for bridge, especially as Bernard Magee is going to run some set hands sessions to complement some of the seminars. You can also enjoy the many amenities of the premier class Aegean Odyssey, and return home refreshed and fulfilled. Call us today for more information. Cabins can be held for seven days without obligation. Call on 01483 489961 or visit www.mrbridge.co.uk AEG171120BR MR BRIDGE SPECIAL FARES Standard Inside Cabin from £1,995pp Standard Outside Cabin from £2,750pp Premium Outside Cabin from £2,995pp NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Odyssey Club Members enjoy an additional 10% discount on prices shown above until 31 May 2017. FARES INCLUDE • Scheduled economy class flights from London • Mr Bridge drinks party • Seminars and set hands available on this sailing • Duplicate bridge every evening (singles will always be found a bridge partner) • Sightseeing excursions at most ports of call • Expert destination speaker programme • Specialist excursion guides plus personal QuietVox devices • 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 All Mr Bridge fares shown are per person and subject to availability at time of booking. They may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Single accommodation is available only in certain grades. Please see Voyages to Antiquity brochure or website for full terms and conditions. Ship’s registry: Panama.
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