Bernard Magee`s Acol Bidding Quiz

Bernard Magee`s Acol Bidding Quiz
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
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crete
DEPARTS UK OCTOBER 18, 2017
OCT 18
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OCT 19
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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
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CADIZ Spain
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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
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unwanted mail, then
register with the Mailing
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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
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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
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Quotations for commercial quantities available on request.
Values supplied in 100s, higher values available as well as
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( 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:
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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
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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. ■
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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
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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
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Page 16
Their agreement was that
they played Exclusion Blackwood, but it is sometimes
difficult to identify. 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
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Page 17
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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.
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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
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From
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sharing
Rovinj is situated on the western coast
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Boasting a rich, natural and cultural
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The climate is warm and semi-dry, with
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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
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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




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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
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West Midlands
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Services M42
Solihull
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*SW Birmingham to service
Bromsgrove & Redditch area
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D4
D4*
D4
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Wiltshire
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Malvern Link
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D6
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Yorkshire (South)
Barnsley
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Bridgend
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Magor Services
Neath
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D7
D7
D7
D7
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D7
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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
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return. This may on occasion be the day before the date of departure/day after the date of return
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port.
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Main Deck
MS SERENITY – DECK PLAN
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Deck
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335
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327
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315
313
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309
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305
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301
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336
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328
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308
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302
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232
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231
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221
219
217
215
213
211
209
207
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Main Deck
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128
126
124
122
120
118
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108
106
104
102
PB0405
127
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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. ■
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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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