Welcome to the first WBBC Newsletter for a number of years. Hopefully the newsletter will appear on a regular basis – the aims are to keep members informed of what is happening at the club and provide bridge-related topics of interest.
All members are invited to submit items for inclusion in future newsletters. If you do not wish to write something then you can make a contribution by asking for an explanation or some help, (for example: on bidding systems, how to play a hand that occurred on a club night, the Laws of the game).
A reminder of a recent announcement – too many travellers are not filled in correctly.
It is the responsibility of everyone at the table to ensure that the correct contract, result and score are filled in. Please check and agree before moving on to the next board.
In the case of a traveller that has been filled in incorrectly the scorer makes a logical interpretation of what should have been written and hopefully gets it right. If this is incorrect then you may find your result affected!
Teams of Eight
The NCBA Teams of Eight league 2011-2012 season has started. Once again the club has entered three teams in the league. This is a consequence of the number of players who say they are interested in representing the club.
The ‘A’ team will play in Division 2 and Tim Anderson has volunteered to be captain. The ‘B’ team will play in Division 3 under the captaincy of Shiona Dawson. Tim and Shiona will endeavour to organise the ‘C’ team playing in Division 4. The ‘C’ team only have 8 matches to play. Will ALL members please make it known to Tim and Shiona that they are available to play? If you prefer to play only in the (allegedly) more relaxed environment of Division 4, your participation will still be appreciated. [You might even enjoy it!]
A few matches have already taken place:
The ‘B’ team played their first fixture at the end of September and lost 17-3 to Phoenix. Later in this newsletter there is a commentary on one of the hands that arose in that match.
The ‘C’ team have played two matches to date – unfortunately both were heavy defeats. However many thanks to the people who made the long trip to Retford and the match at Woodborough.
The ‘A’ team played their first match at the beginning of this month and won 19-1 against Wollaton.
Hopefully all three teams will have an enjoyable and successful season.
The club Pairs Competition will commence on Monday 3rd October. This competition will be played on the first Monday of each month (October – April inclusive). The pair with the best aggregate of 4 scores from the 7 available will be the winners.
Dates for other club competitions will be announced shortly. A reminder – we welcome visitors at WBBC but only club members are eligible to win a competition.
At your table the following occurs – East opens 1♥, South says Pass and West bids 1♦. North says Pass and East now bids 1♠. At this point, South remarks on West’s initial insufficient bid (1♦ over 1♥).
What do you do?
If you read bridge columns in newspapers, or even bridge books or magazines, then from time to time you will see someone make a contract by implementing a squeeze, an elimination with a throw-in or some other clever technique. All very interesting – but often it is tempting to think, “That never happens at the local club.”
This hand actually occurred at WBBC last year and it was a good test of declarer play.
North is declarer in 6♠.
♠ A K x x x x
♥ A K x x
♦ Q x
|and South has:
♠ Q J x x x
♥ x x
♦ A 10 x
♣ Q 10 x
At trick one East cashes the ♣ A. Being an intelligent defender he then switches to a small trump, (realising that if declarer has only a singleton club then to play the ♣ K at trick 2 sets up the Q). Both defenders follow to the trump switch.
Now you have lost the first trick and need to take the rest. So – how are you going to make 12 tricks?
A lot of people seem to think bidding is simply making a statement of what they have in their hand and waiting for partner to say his/her piece. In a way – that is correct, but to improve as a bridge player you have to realise that ALL bids are important to ALL players. Very often your bid will be based upon what you have already heard from partner.
What do you want to know when you pick up your hand? Apart from the obvious fact you wish to look at your own cards, you also want to know what partner has, and preferably also what the opponents have.
As soon as anyone at the table makes a call then that tells you something. A simple example – the player on your right puts down a Pass card. The first thing you do is think, “He/she has less than opening values.” Now as the auction progresses you can build up the picture of who has what. Why is this important? Because it helps you and partner find the best contract, it helps you to play the hand as declarer, or it helps you defend by making judgements about which cards lie in which hand.
Here is a hand from a ‘B’ team match with a commentary as to how to think about and interpret the bidding in order to choose the best contract. Hopefully with a number of examples of hands and auctions in this and future newsletters we can all be better bridge players.
Your hand is:
♠ A x
♥ 10 x x x
♦ x x x
♣ A J x x
You are playing Acol with 12-14 NT.
Partner opens 1♦. Partner has at least 4 diamonds and does not have a 1NT hand.
RHO overcalls 1♥. RHO probably has 8+ points (usually less than 17/18) and 5 or more hearts.
Hopefully you would all bid 1NT or possibly 2♦ with this hand. Since with Acol we are not sure partner has more than 4 diamonds 2♦ may not be best. Although you are not guaranteed a heart trick, four cards to the 10 gives you a chance. The important thing is that partner will probably realise you have around 7-9 points with three or four hearts in your hand. As it happened, a WBBC player decided to bid 2♣.
This was NOT a good bid. Despite what some of you may think, it is OK to bid with a four card suit – but not here because the hand is not strong enough. As a general guideline if you want to bid a new suit at the 2 level you should have at least 10 points – or if you have less then you need either extra length in your suit and/or a fit with partner.
Back to the hand, the opponent in fourth suit waved his Pass card and it was partner’s turn again.
Partner rebid 2♠. Partner has reversed and must have a good hand – she must have 5 or more diamonds and at least 4 spades. Her bid is forcing.
After RHO says ‘Pass’ your hand has only one option – you bid 3♦.
Partner now bids 3♠. Ah! Partner must have 5 spades. In that case since she did not open the bidding with 1♠ she must have 6 diamonds and 5 spades.
Since this hand occurred in a Teams match then you should now bid game. Which one? Well, the clue is above – partner has at least 6 diamonds and 5 spades. The correct bid is 5♦.
It is tempting to bid 4♠ or even 3NT. 3NT is too big a risk – partner may have no hearts. . 4♠ is a problem because it means partner would have to play on a 5-2 fit, (statistically the missing trumps would be 4-2).
Quick Question – The Answer
Call the Director!
Something most bridge players are notoriously bad at is calling the Director. In my experience, a lot of players think they know the rules but do not. Hopefully, the Director will give a correct ruling – it will also be an unbiased one.
Calling the Director is NOT an accusation of cheating; it is simply ensuring that players do not suffer as a consequence of one of the players making an (often inadvertent) error.
(The answer to the playing problem will appear in a future newsletter.)
Enjoy Your Bridge