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bridge blogs from the planet

January 23, 2017

Paul Gipson

A simple show-up squeeze

A lot of intermediate players shudder when they hear the term squeeze - they know that this is a term for an exotic play that experts have mastered but they haven't and probably never will.

But some of them can be the easiest plays in the world, if only you listen to the auction and watch the cards. I came across this one today and it could not be easier.


If you press Next in the hand diagram you will see the lead and can make your plan.

First count your tricks. You have two spades, two hearts, the ace of diamonds, and five clubs assuming that they break. You can ruff a heart in dummy, but that is one of your five club tricks. You can run the lead around to your queen for an eleventh trick, assuming that the lead is not a singleton. So it looks like you will need the spade finesse and divine the diamond position to make the contract.

Let's try to reconstruct some of the hand from the auction. West has made a vulnerable weak jump overcall opposite a passed partner. Few are going to do this without a good suit, so I think we can expect West to have most of the hearts given we have the ace and king of the suit. At a minimum, we expect West would expect a heart lead to be a safe lead almost regardless of his holding.

So it is less likely that he has made an aggressive lead in another suit, hence I think his lead might well be a singleton. So it is safest to rise with the ace of diamonds, draw trumps, and eventually from dummy lead towards the queen of diamonds.

Following this line we discover that West did have a singleton jack of diamonds and two clubs.

So now we can surmise that West has six or seven hearts with three minor cards. Click Next on the above diagram a few times to get to the current position. We cannot afford to lose another trick and the contract seems to rest on the spade finesse. Can you see anything better?

The key is that we don't have to ruff our third heart. If we keep it, then West has to keep a higher heart too. So if we play off the top two hearts and two trumps, then we will know the heart layout and the distribution of the complete hand. We will reach the following position with the lead in dummy:


Now, we don't know who holds the queen of spades, but when East showed up with two hearts we knew that his distribution was 2272 and West was dealt four spades and six hearts.

So the odds heavily favour West holding the queen of spades originally but there is no need to finesse him for it. Just play the last trump from dummy! East will pitch a diamond, I can pitch the three of spades, and what does West pitch?

If he throws the queen of hearts, then my nine is established and all the rest are mine. If he discards a low spade, then I know the remaining spades are 2-2 and by cashing the ace first, and then the king, the jack will be a winner. How simple is that?

What could go wrong? Well, suppose East only followed to the first heart trick and showed out on the second. Then we'd know that the spades were 3-3 initially. But we would follow the same line which would force West down to a doubleton spade. So when we cash the ace of spades and lead towards the king, then if West followed small then we'd go down, since we'd know that East had the guarded queen remaining.

If you see this line at trick one, then you might consider what you can do when West has seven hearts. It is unlikely to cost by cashing the top hearts to find out the layout, after drawing trumps. But if the hearts are 7-1, then you need to decide who to play for the queen of spades - a 50% chance as they'll be 3-3 when the trumps are 2-2.

So the best line is almost certainly to draw trumps and cash the top two hearts. Then assume West has a singleton diamond and play for the hand with the longer spades to have the queen. When this is West, play the show-up squeeze as shown above. When it is East, you can squeeze him in spade and diamonds, threatening to endplay him with the king of diamonds .. but this is a lot more complicated and left as an exercise for the reader (just suppose West is 2713 distribution)!

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at January 23, 2017 04:59 PM

January 21, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Toronto

Mike Cassel, our GNT Coordinator, has shared an information sheet about our May District 14 Finals this year in Mason City, IA.

Lots of great information from Mike about the event. A fabulous opportunity to compete against your peers at the Summer NABC in Toronto!

Take a look below at the event.  Hope to see many of you in Mason City - and - winning teams in Toronto!

Download GNTpromo16-17

by Peg at January 21, 2017 01:59 PM

January 16, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Eddie Kantar - 2017 Lazard Sportsmanship Award Recipient

  Eddie K

Minnesota may not be one of the more populous states in the U.S.  Yet, we have produced quite a number of super stars in the bridge world.  

One of those very accomplished stars is Eddie Kantar.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Eddie began to play at age 11, continuing with both competition and teaching at the University of Minnesota. He has had quite the illustrious career.

Not only has Eddie twice won the famed Bermuda Bowl, he also has many North American Championships to his credit, along with Grand Master status in the WBF and Grand Life Master status in the ACBL. In addition, Eddie is one of the most revered and prolific bridge writers around. His biography has more details.

Twenty years ago, Eddie was inducted into the ACBL Hall of Fame. Much more about his accomplishments in so many aspects of our game are heralded in his HOF write up.

Now, yet another honor has been bestowed upon Eddie.  The 2017 Lazard Sportsmanship Award has named Eddie as their recipient. As an "icon of the game" and a competitor who has been "a beacon of integrity and sportsmanship for decades," the committee selectors chose Eddie for their award.

Bridgewinners has posted a lovely detailed explanation of the award - and why Eddie is so deserving of this title.

Congratulations to Eddie, who joins fellow "from Minnesota but now in California" Howie Weinstein as a Lazard Sportsmanship Award winner!  We are bursting with pride for you both!

by Peg at January 16, 2017 09:09 PM

Unit 178 - February 4th BOD Agenda

For those interested in what Unit 178's Board of Directors are focusing on - their agenda for February 4th below.

Our thanks to the Board for their diligent service!

Download AgendaFeb4

by Peg at January 16, 2017 06:32 PM

January 14, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Back to the Future! - Bridge at U of M!

  U MN

 

Many of us "old timers" learned bridge when we were in college. Yet for some years, the number of students getting turned on to The Greatest Mind Game Ever dwindled. Now, however, a fine roster of U of MN professors are going to alter that trajectory!

Matthew Bribitzer-Stull, along with colleagues Paul Gutterman, Eric Hendrickson, Leon Hsu, Nita Kevans, Glen Meeden and Harry Sapienza will soon be teaching bridge at U of MN!  Approximately 48 Honors students will learn how to play bridge on Monday evenings, from 5:30-7:00PM in the Honors dorm. If they so wish, students will be encouraged to stay for another hour of play, from 7:00-8:00PM. 

Education will go well beyond rote explanation of rules. Faculty will also include discussion of the thinking skills that bridge develops, including enhanced memory, concentration, analytic thinking, contingency planning, communication and more. 

Bridge at the Honors dorm starts Monday, January 23rd, through May, 1st. A tournament will be held on the final date!  Students are encouraged to join the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) and to continue their bridge education at local bridge clubs, such as the Twin Cities Bridge Center and The Bridge Center of St. Paul. We hope that students will also continue their education with further lessons.

U of MN students have a fabulous opportunity to learn the game with a fine array of bridge teachers!  We hope that many take advantage of these exceptional sessions!

Thanks to Minnesota Bridge Education for supporting this effort by providing teaching and playing supplies.

by Peg at January 14, 2017 02:01 PM

January 12, 2017

Judy Kay-Wolff

Exciting News from Las Vegas

Take advantage of the upcoming Unit 373 Glitter Gulch Sectional rates at the newly renovated Plaza in the traditionally celebrated area known as The Fremont Experience. I have been in touch with Chairlady Extraordinaire, Angie Clark, who served as Hospitality Chairperson for the last two Chicago NABCs. I’ve gleaned the following from her which I want to share with you:

The playing site is conveniently located and has fresh new carpeting where they have installed an additional bank of can lights to the already-existing adequate light system to make a very well-lit attractive playing area which is almost adjacent to the restrooms. There are restaurants and coffee shops in the Plaza as well as numerous dining facilities and other casinos just steps away.

The dates of our tournament are Monday through Friday (February 20-24th). The Starting Times are 10 & 3. The room rates are about $50 per night (Tuesday through Thursday) and about $60 on Monday only.  Room rates include resort fee and tax. Be sure to make your hotel reservation by January 30th! (The card fees per session are $12 per person/$15 for non-ACBL members). The popular starting times of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. allow our players to enjoy relaxing meals in incredibly exciting surroundings.

The bridge schedule encompasses: PAIR GAMES: Two Sessions Every Day with an exciting BAROMETER PAIRS on Thursday; KNOCKOUTS Monday through Wednesday… with SWISS TEAMS available for those knocked out early. The tourney closes on Friday with a two-session STRATIFIED SWISS TEAMS and PAIR GAMES as well. Our 0-299ers have games every day at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. No section tops will be provided; however, trophies for I/Ns have been arranged. Check out our Unit 373 site for more specific details.

With the expected success of the February Sectional, we can ensure many more events at this location in the future. We look forward to your joining us at The Plaza.

More details to follow!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at January 12, 2017 03:55 PM

January 09, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Three Cheers for Rochester!

 

Rochester-skyline-2

 


Bridge lessons at the Rochester Bridge Club have been quite successful in bringing new players into the club.

Recently, 14 of their bridge students have joined the ACBL and are playing regularly, some even competing for the Ace of Clubs award in their category!  Hats off to Sue Greenberg and her team for these achievements!

An additional note is that Minnesota Bridge Education has supported the cause by helping to pay entry fees as the new players try out duplicate games.

by Peg at January 09, 2017 11:34 PM

MN Bridge Education

Learn bridge

MN Bridge Education is a charity whose goal is to support developing bridge players in Minnesota.   We support bridge teachers, students, and clubs by providing funds for lessons, supplies, and duplicate games for new players.

As a recognized charity, donations are tax deductible. So far our funds have come from individual donations, memorial gifts, and bridge charity games. We also have been included in at least one person’s estate planning. Please contact Sue Jackson (sjackson@smumn.edu) with questions. 

We now have a link to this on the left of the website.  Keep an eye out for news about this resource to help promote more bridge players in our state!

And, articles of incorporation are below.

Download MNBridgeEducation

by Peg at January 09, 2017 03:01 PM

January 08, 2017

Paul Gipson

Behind the sofa

I suspect most Scottish supporters spent the weekend watching BBO vugraph in 'Doctor Who mode' as the horror show unveiled. Realistically it was not much better for the English supporters, who expected their team to run riot and finish the weekend with an unassailable lead. The final table reads:

RankTeamVP
1Ireland76.52
2England73.80
3Wales53.48
4SBU40.98
5Northern Ireland32.95
6Scotland20.27

Scotland started well by beating the SBU team, but then disintegrated for the rest of the weekend. The SBU team were demolished by England but then had an excellent win against Ireland and should have beaten Wales in the final match to finish above them.

I'm glad I'm not a Scottish selector because it seems clear that changes are needed but it is not as if there are plenty of alternatives ready and waiting to come in. Only Ash-Bayer, who were unavailable this weekend, look certain to come into the Scotland team and arguments could made to drop all three pairs! Typically the selectors do not make such wholesale changes, mainly due to lack of options, so perhaps just a single change.

For the SBU team, I expect they'll keep the two most experienced partnerships. Although they both had their ups and downs, at least they looked competitive most of the time. The third pair looked under-prepared and did not fill viewers with confidence; I suspect this will be more fatal to their chances of playing the next weekend than their butler score.

The England team had two poor matches, failing to comprehensively beat Northern Ireland and then losing the decisive final match to Ireland. They've left the Hinden team much to do in Edinburgh in March.

The full results are available on the EBU website.

Hopefully the SBU will put on a better vugraph show in Edinburgh. Only four tables were available most of this weekend and, occasionally, just three. I suspect this was a new venue and the internet coverage poorly understood; and I was told that they did not have enough operators on the Friday evening. The Edinburgh venue has been used often and there is already a standby list of operators.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at January 08, 2017 09:49 PM

January 06, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Camrose 2017

This evening at around 1900 the annual Camrose Bridge Party starts. I think it should be on Bridgebase Online for all to see.

After a little research I discovered it takes place in Coventry so all should be well for our viewing pleasure. EBU usually put on a good show but in some countries the vugraph operators can be brand new and take some time to get up to speed. However EBU are almost as good as Paul Porteus.

The usual teams will play with Scotland having two teams in action. That probably means all the players in Scotland that can follow suit. Les Steele does not follow suit these days and Victor is probably retired to the Over 50s Telscher bash and some other good Scots players emigrated to USA and England. No sign of Derek Saunders this year. I guess Biff does not play bridge anymore and maybe Liz has retired. I think SBU team will outrun Scotland. Have not seen Jim Hay togging out for a while so maybe match fitness could be a problem.

I have not noticed much movement of the Northern Ireland team since they completed the trials but with Peter Pigot teaching regularly up there in one of the clubs maybe they took the opportunity to get some coaching. The NIBU team is backboned by Ciara Burns and John Murchan along with Grier McKenzie and Hastings Campbell.  NIBU also include honorary players Greenwood and Anderson.
Anderson is quite a good player having gathered about 110 caps for Northern Ireland. He also made a recent appearance in the Seniors Bermuda Bowl in India reaching the quarter final.

The CBAI team of Carroll Garvey Moran Boland Hanlon and McGann will have a shot and I saw them in the bridge gym recently. However Boland has a pulled hamstring in his left arm so could have trouble front loading. Thomas Hanlon has developed into a fine player these days so if he is on form there could be a CBAI win.

Wales have put out an intelligent team this year but no sign of the monster pair of Tedd and Salisbury. He is a nice man that Salisbury chap. I saw that pair do a 3.14 imp set and then some captain sat them out ... I don't understand captains that sitout pairs who are on a hot run.

1/2 England Ireland
3 SBU
4 Wales
5 Scotland
and distant 6th will be Northern Ireland ...

However maybe those NIBU folk will prove me wrong ..




by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at January 06, 2017 02:05 PM

Peg Kaplan

November Minutes - Unit 178 Board Meeting

Today, we present Linda Brammer's minutes for Unit 178's November Board of Directors meeting.  Please see below.

Thank you Linda and thank you Unit 178 Board Members!

Download Nov19MeetingMinutes. Unit 178

by Peg at January 06, 2017 02:00 PM

Unit 103 - Agenda for January Board of Directors Meeting

Elaine Mulcahy is busy at it again!  Now we have Unit 103's January agenda for their Board of Directors meeting.  Posted below!

Download January28,2017Agenda.Unit 103

by Peg at January 06, 2017 12:18 AM

Unit 103 - Board of Directors - 2017

Secretary Elaine Mulcahy from the 103 Board of Directors has sent me an updated list for this year's roster.  Please see below.

Our thanks to Elaine and all the other fine people in Unit 103 who contribute to our bridge world!

Download Roster2017. Unit 103 BOD

by Peg at January 06, 2017 12:16 AM

January 05, 2017

Paul Gipson

Camrose First Weekend

This weekend is the first of the Camrose Trophy and will see intense competition between the open teams of England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. As host of the second weekend in March, Scotland will send two teams to Coventry, the second being known as the SBU team, and everyone will play a 32-board match against the others.

England have dominated the Camrose Trophy recently, winning four of the last five. They are expected to dominate again and, realistically, I think only Ireland have thoughts of competing with them over the two weekends.

England will be represented by: Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson; Tony Forrester & David Bakhshi; Mike Bell & David Gold; with NPC: Martin Jones.

The Scotland team is Alex Adamson & Mike McGinley, Paul Barton & Jun Nakamaru-Pinder, and Sandy Duncan & Jim Hay with Mike Ash as NPC.

The SBU team is Sam Punch & Stephen Peterkin, Iain Sime & John Matheson, and Frazer Morgan & Phil Stephens with Anne Symons as NPC.

There will be a friendly rivalry between the two Scotland teams and it will be interesting to see them play each other on Friday evening. The SBU team has significantly more experienced partnerships, so I would not be surprised to see them come out on top at the end of the two weekends. But, on the other hand, experience has done little to help Scottish teams in the past and I'm sure this first match will be an intense battle.

All the matches will be covered on BBO Vugraph (schedule) and I will be commentating some of the time. Good luck to all those competing.

Results, regulations, teams, player photos from last century, etc


by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at January 05, 2017 06:09 PM

January 01, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Minnesota Bridge Education Referrals

Help Minnesota Bridge Education earn money during the tax season!

 

If you are a new client of H & R Block, then tell the H&R office that you visit that you were referred to them by the Minnesota Bridge Education.  

A $20 referral fee will then be donated to Minnesota Bridge Education.

Thank you!

And yes; it is that simple!

 

by Peg at January 01, 2017 03:00 PM

Happy New Year!

Happy new year

 

The last few hours of 2016 are ticking away .... 2017 will be here soon.

We wish all our Minnesota bridge players the best for the New Year.  May your kings be onside and may your partners be alert and bright.

A wonderful year to everyone - and thanks to all for being part of our most special bridge community!

by Peg at January 01, 2017 12:22 AM

December 21, 2016

Paul Gipson

Changes at the club

We are well into the new season at the club and I've noticed that I forgot to blog about the AGM and subsequent changes.

Firstly I have become a Committee member. Two places were up for grabs and, for the first time in my time at the club, a vote was needed as there were three candidates. I suspect my effort to establish the club's new constitution was helpful in getting a place.

The AGM agreed a number of changes to the scoring methods used for many of the club's competitions. All team events are now scored as total imps, rather than converting to victory points. There were two reasons for this:
  1. The EBU recommends imps for team matches of fewer than five boards (the SBU is silent on the matter). As all the club's events features matches of two or three boards, it seemed a sensible change.
  2. We could use the new cross imp handicaps to handicap team events if we wished to. It would be far more difficult to handicap a VP event.
The club has also changed all aggregate scored pairs events to cross imp pairs. The tactics for both are similar and it solves two problems:
  1. We can use ScoreBridge to generate and apply cross imp handicaps. Previously this has been a long and onerous task that Morven did manfully over the last ten years and she is delighted that we've taken it off her hands.
  2. ScoreBridge did not generate valid XML for aggregate events with a half-table, which then led to a problem uploading the results to Pianola. The support for cross imp pairs is a lot stronger within both products.
Having made all these changes, we are now in a position to take advantage of the latest update to Pianola. Not only does it support cross imp handicaps for pairs events, it also supports them for team events!

Login to Pianola

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at December 21, 2016 06:16 PM

December 18, 2016

Peg Kaplan

TCBC December Birthday Celebration

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Every month, the Twin City Bridge Center in Minneapolis holds a festive buffet lunch and game, celebrating everyone whose birthday is in that month. This month, given the holidays, all was even more merry and cheery. And, a most special person in the bridge world had his birthday on December 14th, the day of the party:  Larry Oakey.

5

 

If you have played in Minnesota at all the last 45+ years - then you would have to know TGLO (The Great Larry Oakey).  Larry has played a critical role in so much of our bridge life - not the least of which has been being one of the finest and most naturally talented Minnesota players ever. But of course, despite those enormous abilities, Larry has given back to our game in so many respects, year after year.

12

 

Director, mentor, problem solver, at the TCBC from early morning to night, movie critic, analyst, friend to scores and partner of a huge variety of players over the years - all that and more is Larry. As many of you know, I, your blogmaster, was incredibly fortunate to have Larry as a regular partner for some years. Like he did with others, he put up with my gaffes.  Yet on his end, when a fine play or insightful bid needed to be made - you can be sure Larry was there with it.

Wednesday, the December birthday turnout was super, as was the fine array of goodies on the buffet table. Gary Knippenberg and Erwin Heisler produced one enormous game, scoring over 70% for the day.

33

 

And, even some non-bridge playing friends stopped by to see TGLO. Fun to see Larry with his good buddies Stephanie and Rachel. We know how Larry likes the ladies - and - great to see them put a big smile on his face!

2

 

Thanks to Teri and Chip Blu for hosting this fun event every month at their club. Thanks to all who played and contributed to the yummy birthday buffet. And a most special thanks to Birthday Boy Larry, now a young 80 and a man who continues to be Minnesota's Bridge Treasure.

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by Peg at December 18, 2016 02:50 PM

December 13, 2016

Linda Lee

If You Want to Learn Declarer Play, This Is the Book You Want

I don’t think that there ever has been or ever can be a better book for beginners to learn how to play   a bridge hand than Eddie Kantar’s Introduction to Declarer’s Play.  This is why.

It takes the processes of card play and step by step builds the concepts you need to learn. Here is a simple example from the very beginning of the book.

One of the things that separate experts from beginners is the idea of counting: count your points, count your tricks, count your winners, count your losers, count out the opponents hand and so on.  And yet most of us aren’t all that good at it or at least don’t always do it.  On the very first page of this book Eddie simply and carefully teaches the reader how to count winners.  It is so obvious and so simple and so perfect. He walks through many examples and in doing makes everything clear.  What is a sure trick? Why you can’t take more than two tricks in a suit if you are on a two-two fit even if you have the A,K, Q and J.  And before you know it, you are chanting “Take tricks from the short side first.”

There are lots of opportunities to practice and lots of exercises.

I have to admit I find Eddie’s use of language and subtle humor make the book very special.  When he talks about taking tricks with spot cards he writes “Until this chapter you have been overwhelming your opponents with aces and kings.” And then “You must learn how to take tricks with deuces and threes as well as the more regal members of the deck.”

He makes every concept seem so easy. I remember trying to teach beginners how to take a trick with the Kx opposite two small. I don’t think I ever quite succeeded.  As I read Eddie’s careful explanation I realize that I didn’t go slowly enough, and I didn’t take the same care as he does to illustrate why and how it works to lead towards the king when the ace is held by the hand in front of the king.

There are lots of problems with complete and careful solutions. And each chapter ends up with key pointers.

And don’t think this book is just for complete beginners. It starts at the beginning but it covers a lot of territory. There are ideas like “the risk of going down extra tricks versus making the contract” or “finessing into the non-danger hand” or the euphonically named “Bath Coup”.

Buy this book for your favorite new bridge player but read it yourself first.  Even good bridge players will learn something and enjoy doing it.

 

I plan to write some more blogs in the next few weeks now that I remember how much I enjoyed sharing my thoughts with people and some beautiful hands.

by linda at December 13, 2016 06:40 PM

December 09, 2016

Eamon Galligan

One hundredth of a VP can be costly in ACBL land

Last weekend in one of the Major competitions of the American Contract Bridge World Thomas Hanlon and his team missed out on qualifying for the FINAL 10 teams.
They missed out by 0.01 of a victory point or board a match point.


Plenty of decent players in that field if one does not like me saying so but our boy missed out by 1/100th of a BAM point or Victory point.

Here we have Hanlon discussing the 100th of a point he left behind with Thomas Bessis.
Both of the above attended the 90th anniversary of the Regent Bridge Club Congress a couple of years ago.
As mentioned last week Hanlon was 2nd in Life Masters Pairs ..a 4 session event as far as I remember.
........................
The Masters Pairs takes place this weekend in Templogue and Hanlon Carroll usually make an appearance at this event. Some other good players like Thomas Gilligan Eileen McCann Nicky Fitzgibbon and Trish Stack will also take part.
In fact all participants must be good players as only Master Players are allowed enter.
By Sunday evening we will know who is the best Master Pairs for 2016.
...................
For the lesser players there is always


  a fine site if one wants to play bridge without a partner.


Another site which allows a single player to play 16 hands per day


The grand daddy of all the bridge playing sites








by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at December 09, 2016 04:38 PM

Ulf Nilsson

Orlando hand


Here is a deal that came up on the first day of the 2016 NABC Swiss Teams in Orlando.

 Dealer East; EW Vul.


                    S K 7
                    H 4 2
                    D Q 10 7 6
                    C K J 5 4 3

                    S A Q 10 6
                    H A 10 5
                    D J 9 5 3
                    C A Q

West       North     East        South
                              2H           Double    
Pass         3C*       Pass         3NT
All pass    

*3C showed values.
Lead H9

It looks like 9 tricks should be attainable unless the opposing distribution is very unfriendly. With a club split or if spades come in for 4 tricks you make your contract.
You duck the first two hearts, on general principles, and win the third. East has KQJxxx and West pitches the diamond A on the third round of hearts! What's going on? Is West really squeezed?
Is LHO 4-2-2-5? You cash your top clubs in hand (ace-queen) and as expected East shows out (pithing a diamond). What now?
Seems like he's got something like
J x x x
9 x
A K
10 9 8 7 x
Declarer, an American pro, took that inference and continued with another diamond.
This was the full deal:
                     K 7
                     4 2
                     Q 10 7 6
                     K J 5 4 3
      9 8 4 2                J 5 3
      9 7                      K Q J 8 5 3
      A 8                     K 4 2
      10 9 8 7 2           6
                     A Q 10 6
                     A 10 5
                     J 9 5 3
                     A Q

I was sitting West (playing with Allan Falk). Maybe declarer should get it right but without my pitch 3NT was making easily.

by ulven (noreply@blogger.com) at December 09, 2016 09:11 AM

December 07, 2016

Paul Gipson

Celtic Pairs

The Celtic Simultaneous Pairs is a joint venture between the SBU and WBU to raise funds for their international teams. It has always been expensive to fund teams at events like the European Team Championships and the current state of sterling is making it worse, so events like this are necessary to help reduce the financial burden on the players themselves.

I played with Ros for a change. We'd taken preparation seriously over some large tray bakes and strong coffee and had a fully completed card. Lebensohl was on our card although Ros did express some concern over some of the sequences and commented that it rarely came up - naturally that was a mistake ...


What the hand does not show is that Ros forgot to alert my 2NT as Lebensohl. This is a conventional bid that allows me to differentiate between weak and moderate hands: so 2NT is used to show weak hands and asks partner to bid three clubs, which I may pass or bid another suit to show a weak hand (in this case I intended to pass three clubs); if I had a moderate hand of, say, 7-11 point, I can bid three clubs directly.

Obviously Ros does not want to play in three clubs with her 25 points, so she bid three spades asking for a stop. The lack of an alert for 2NT means that I have unauthorised information and must carefully avoid taking advantage, but here I have no problem because three spades clearly asks for a stop in the first instance so bidding 3NT is clear.

On Penny's second spade trick I need to decide what to throw from dummy. I have no entries to my hand, but the king of diamonds is obviously with Colin (North) otherwise Penny would have opened one spade. I have seven cards in both red suits and need to decide which is most likely to split 3-3. Naturally this is a 50-50 choice, but there is an additional chance in hearts that the jack is singleton or doubleton, so I pitched diamonds and made the contract. Surprisingly this was worth 75% for us.

Although we declared 16 of 27 boards, it was our defence that was particularly successful. This included getting a contract down four vulnerable when we made all six of our trumps, and a five down non-vulnerable when our opponents played in a 5-1 fit. We didn't give any unnecessary tricks away and were merciless whenever declarer made the slightest error. For example,


As you can see Ros made the right decisions in defence but declarer made a small error. If he overtakes the nine of diamonds with the ten, then he will be able to establish his diamonds and retain an entry to his hand. We scored 90% for making declarer pay for this mistake although I suspect most played this hand by North on the lead of a small club.

Overall we scored 68.06% at the club but I expected this to reduce by at least 5% across the field. But fortunately it seems to be standing up as we currently lie second with 67.99% - full results.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at December 07, 2016 10:39 AM

December 06, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Membership Week at the Twin City Bridge Center

Santasnow
 
 
Wondering what to do the day after Christmas?  Wonder no more!
 
December 26-31 is Membership Game Week at the Twin City Bridge Center. Every game delivers extra point awards at no extra charge!

Head to 60th and Nicollet throughout the week and get extra holiday presents as you compete!
 
 

 

by Peg at December 06, 2016 02:10 AM

Holiday Sectional Results

Holiday

While some Minnesotans were competing at the Fall NABC in Orlando, others were battling away at the Holiday Sectional at the Bridge Center of St. Paul.

Kerry Holloway, playing with a variety of partners and teammates, headed the masterpoint list with a fine total of 26.03. In second spot, Jim Stepnes was the only other player to earn over 20 masterpoints with his total of 23.31. Results for all events can be viewed here.

Thanks to chairman Alexis Campbell and all the other volunteers, directors - and players - who made the tourney excellent!

by Peg at December 06, 2016 02:05 AM

December 02, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Holiday Sectional

Holiday

 

Our Holiday Sectional starts today, December 2nd!

Play Friday - Saturday - Sunday at the Bridge Center of St. Paul.  No better way to kick off the holiday season!

The schedule and details are here.

by Peg at December 02, 2016 05:16 PM

Florence Sajevic - 1925-2016

We are sad to report that Minnesota's bridge world has lost another of our integral members.  Florence Sajevic, of North Oaks, passed away on November 28th.

Florence was a long time member of our bridge community.  We are grateful for her friendship, competitiveness - and for her long life and wonderful family.

Florence's funeral is scheduled for Monday, December 5th.  The details can be found in her obituary.

 

by Peg at December 02, 2016 04:54 PM

Florence Sajevic - 1925-2016

We are sad to report that Minnesota's bridge world has lost another of our integral members.  Florence Sajevic, of North Oaks, passed away on November 28th.

Florence was a long time member of our bridge community.  We are grateful for her friendship, competitiveness - and for her long life and wonderful family.

Florence's funeral is scheduled for Monday, December 5th.  The details can be found in her obituary.

 

by Peg at December 02, 2016 04:54 PM

November 28, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Winners!

Swiss team

Mega congratulations to Mike Cassel and Barry Purrington!  Along with teammates Bob and Ellen Kent, they won the 0-10,000 Swiss in Orlando.

On the cover of Monday's Daily Bulletin, you can read all about how their team achieved victory!

Well done, Mike, Barry, Bob and Ellen!

 

by Peg at November 28, 2016 04:44 PM

Eamon Galligan

Thomas Hanlon places 2nd in Life Master Pairs

Well known Rochfortbridge Donplayer Thomas Hanlon placed 2nd in the Bobby Nail Life Master Pairs yesterday in Orlando Florida. Along with regular US National partner Leslie Amoils ...Hanlon finished in 2nd place to well known bridge player  Marion Michelson originally from Holland. Zia Mahmood was the only man ahead of Hanlon.

Hanlon Amoils 2nd in Life Master Pairs

Meanwhile down in Kilkenny Congress well known Wexford players Sexton and Doyle emerged from their slumber to be leading Irish players at Kilkenny international bridge festival.

No sign of the incredible BJ O'Brien at this event. Its not like BJ to miss a chance to get some cash in
Colleens coffee jar. BJs partnership had some slam troubles at the recent Dundalk Congress.

4 softer players dominated the teams in Kilkenny putting all men and juniors and Shillelagh Club
teams to the sword. Jill Joan Petra and Teresa did that.

A large man wielding a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has been spotted in the greater Dublin area.

A Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a decent piece of kit apparently.

........................
For a deeper understanding of Thomas Hanlons 2nd place mentioned above

http://live.acbl.org/event/NABC163/NAIL/4/results

Plenty of well known bridge players even near the end of the field ..

Thanks
Eamon Galligan





by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at November 28, 2016 07:46 AM

November 24, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Happy Thanksgiving - Happy Hand

Happy-Thanksgiving

Celebrating with family and friends? Winging your way to the Fall NABC in Orlando?  Whatever your plans, we wish you a fine Thanksgiving - and wish our friends competing at the Nationals much luck and fun!

Speaking of which .... our thanks to frequent contributor and competitor Steve Gaynor. This most recent contribution is part of what keeps us coming back to the game.  Just "Wow"! 

See Steve's amazing hand below!

Download DearBrian

 

by Peg at November 24, 2016 12:10 PM

November 23, 2016

Paul Gipson

Slam night

It was slam night in the third round of the club teams championship.

Firstly Gary, our President, and Sandy bid these hands effectively:


Unfortunately for them, LotG (South) held all four outstanding hearts and this excellent contract failed. Even worse, our teammates Ros and Janet were unusually reticent in the auction and played in four hearts, so we gained an undeserved 11 imps on the board.

Then LotG and I missed a good slam:


Although I appear to have underbid considerably, LotG's four hearts bid showed a pretty poor hand. With good hearts, she would definitely have cue bid a spade or diamond king, so it seemed likely that the slam would be on a finesse at best. My judgement was not far out: the slam is about 55%, so certainly worth bidding, but not the end of the world if we missed it. As it happened, we did lose 11 imps when Morven and Pam bid it at the other table.

We struggled on the following hand, as did most of the field:


LotG was concerned that we were clearly missing the ace of spades and that the lead would be through her, and we could be missing the ace of hearts too. I was naturally concerned that we were off two spade tricks. Of course LotG could just choose to blast the slam on the grounds that she has a lot of points and I must have most of the rest, but I'd probably bid the same way without the queen of spades.

Although it's about a 57% slam, this time it failed on every occasion as the clubs were 3-1 and the defence made the ace of spades and the queen of clubs. It was almost flat in our match, but a trump lead against five clubs picked up the suit.

We are trialling Pianola Plus at the moment and it is always entertaining to look at the Session Report afterwards.


The Bidding Accuracy chart shows that we underbid less than other leading pairs but failed to double more. However this judgement criteria is totally objective and based on double dummy analysis: at the table we are not permitted to look at all four hands first. And Pianola are still tuning this analysis: for example, on the first hand shown above we were charged for failing to double six hearts, whereas a double could let them run to the making six no-trump.


The Card Play chart shows why we are winning the event: we are just making a lot more contracts with overtricks than the other leading players.

Despite our combined failings in the slam zone, Ros, Janet, LotG, and I recorded our second win from the three evenings so far. The competition continues in the New Year and if we can win two of the remaining four nights then we shall retain the trophy.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at November 23, 2016 03:19 PM

November 21, 2016

Paul Gipson

A wild weekend

I'm not eligible to play in the Scottish National League but I spent yesterday watching the final round of matches as I continue to help and stalk the junior players.

I'm very pleased that a number of our best junior players are participating in the league. It is tough, as they are surrounded by seasoned tournament players and mistakes are punished, but I think it is an excellent environment to learn what is needed to improve. I've seen the English junior teams improve consistently through playing in the English Premier League and Spring Foursomes, together with some coaching I suppose: but gone are the days where they regularly go for -800 against partscore and -1100 against game.

The Scottish juniors still bid a little too aggressively at times but are a lot more disciplined. Like all matches, a lot of imps swing on bidding the right slams but, in the main, the areas they need to focus on are competitive bidding and defence: experience goes a long way in these areas.

It did not take long for a wild deal to arrive:


Take your time to look at the hand above before pressing the Next key. What would you do?

In the other room Ronan bid six diamonds when the opponents stopped in five hearts. I'd given the juniors advice on bidding 6-6 hands (keep bidding until partner doubles) but failed to help them with 10-card suits!

It wasn't before another imp-generating hand came along. The juniors won ten imps, but it could have been more:


Ronan showed a lot of faith in Liam's vulnerable Michaels Cue Bid, his view bolstered by the fact that Liam had very poor spades and would probably have distribution to compensate for this. He was right and comfortably scored +650 after a club switch at trick two.

At the other table the auction was very different. As an American politician might say, I do not approve of some of these calls!


Five hearts has no play but is a good save, but after two rounds of spades the junior declarer could have made the contract by playing for hearts to be 4-1. He might have helped himself by asking what North's first double was, since it looks like it was penalty. A missed opportunity for another six imps.

I had to wait until the final match of the day for another really wild hand:


To be honest the hand was wilder than the deal, since everyone will overcall four spades and get to play there, making eleven tricks. One North was lucky enough to get doubled.

One junior pair got too high (and achieved a very stupid result) on this board when they pulled the wrong card from the bidding box and could not correct it in time (only noticing after their partner had called).

However the key for any pair when you have a disaster is to try to forget it and move on to the next board. It was very pleasing to see that they moved on without comment and scored on the next board:


When East made his normal lead of the king of hearts this made comfortably. At the other table Abi and Jake beat five clubs. I suspect that Jake lead the ace of spades and switched to diamond from Jxxx, giving Abi a ruff when he got in with the ace of clubs for a deserved 12 imps gain.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the juniors were relegated from the second division. Although they were never outplayed, the experience and consistency of the other teams proved just too much, but hopefully they will all be back next year.

However one of our junior squad, Jun, was in the winning team in the first division and will represent Scotland again in the Camrose Trophy in January. Congratulations to him and to the rest of his team, Mike Ash, Arend Bayer, Paul Barton, Alex Adamson, and Mike McGinley.

Full results: First Division, Second Divison, Third Division.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at November 21, 2016 12:12 PM

November 20, 2016

Jannes van 't Oever

Doctor

Oh little sicky, seems to be the pain
Got all these herbs, don’t mean a fucking thing
I am the little witch, with the magic tricks
Mistrust the white house, come and get your fix
It’s not about the numbers, what you feel is real
Crystals, rays of light, the taste of orange peel

South
AQT73
5
AQ5
KQ62

That’s a decent 17-count. I open 1 and this is what happens:

West
North
East
South
 
 
 
1
pass
31
pass
42
pass
43
pass
64
a.p.
 
 
 
  1. 6-crd suit, exactly invitational
  2. Slam try
  3. Cue
  4. Somebody pinch me, I must be dreaming

We don’t cue singletons in partner’s suit, so I could picture Kees with King-small in , AJ-6th in and possibly some useless red quack. Sometimes it’s so easy to count to twelve: 

South Dealer
NS Vul
North
K6
962
J8
AJT843
West
954
KJ843
K742
7
East
J82
AQT7
T963
95
South
AQT73
5
AQ5
KQ62

A perfect dream.

You might wonder why I didn’t splinter in to get my slam aspirations across. I thought any pointy King would make slam pretty much lay down. If Kees had something like a 2-3-2-6 with the King instead of the King, he can discard his loser on my Queen. But if I splinter in he might be unable to show it.

Surreal.

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by Jannes van 't Oever at November 20, 2016 06:15 PM

November 15, 2016

Judy Kay-Wolff

Would You Believe????

Do you remember as kids how intrigued we were with magicians and all that phony-baloney stuff? It was always a fascination and here I am… still mystified even at my age. While watching a football game this afternoon, the conversation casually turned to Bobby’s Texas birth site. He reminisced that one time he was invited to a San Antonio TV station with two or three 5:00 News Broadcasters in the early to mid sixties and performed on stage (live!) an incredible feat. He asked someone to shuffle a fresh deck of cards, hand it to him (which he reshuffled a few times), then had the person remove a card (so he could not see it and return to him the remaining fifty-one cards). Bobby then turned the deck over (face up), thumbed speedily through them to come up with the denomination of the card… Ace? Deuce? Six? Ten? Queen? WHATEVER!!! Of course, if it was the wrong card, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. Obviously, he hit pay dirt.

After I heard the story, I replied… “O. K. This one I gotta see. Do you still remember how to do it?” About one minute later I handed him a freshly shuffled deck, he went through the exact routine with me this afternoon… and damned if he didn’t confidently smile and ask me to flip over the missing EIGHT (of CLUBS)… and it sure was! This made me realize (after playing bridge with Bobby for over thirteen years)… what I always suspected… maybe he can see through the cards!!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at November 15, 2016 02:01 PM

November 14, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Unit 173 - Agenda for November Board Meeting

Unit 173's agenda for November, posted below.

As always, our thanks to those who work hard and long to make bridge great in our units and throughout Minnesota!

Download AgendaNov19th

by Peg at November 14, 2016 12:01 AM

November 13, 2016

Eamon Galligan

Bridge Interprovincials 2016

This post only refers to the Open Interprovincials as I know very little about the intermediates.

I became aware on Friday that the interprovincials of bridge were taking place this weekend. My first thought was would Ulster be competing. On my first look at running scores whatever way I had my screen it showed Connacht Leinster and Munster but then it slowly dawned on me that totals did not add up and I scrolled downwards and found a struggling Ulster Team.

Connacht as a rule go strong in this event and this year is no exception and at a quick glance there are 10 full internationals on their squad of 12. Some years ago in Connacht the tail wagged the dog and the dog never showed up for some interpro qualifiers. I cannot find many historical results on the CBAI website so I cannot check how the tail end of Connacht performed.

Leinster generally go medium in this event fielding a Mens Team and Ladies Team and the best Kelbourne. Its generally enough to push Connacht for the title but some years the Mens Team is extra strong and Leinster win. Leinster this year have a Mens Teams backboned by monster Irish pair Mesbur and Fitzgibbon. The ladies team is a collection of experienced females. The Kelbourne Team
is the long time  Delaney O'Lubaigh partnership teamed with the two Polish Rudzinski Gorchyca.
These Poles are touted as being top players but I remain to be convinced that either of them is better than James Heneghan.

Munster run a qualifier as far as I know and it usually lands a capable Munster team who can push for the title on a good year. This year might be a good year. Currently they are playing round 8 of 9 and this round is the VP collection round against Ulster. A large total out of the available 60 should set Phelan and his Munster compatriots up for the overall victory.

I think Ulster should be replaced by a Bankers-Regent selection or maybe some international selection made up of Lady Milne Camrose and Juniors. Ulster seem to be struggling to field their
better known players for both Interpros and Sonya Britian at the moment. This years event is just an Ulster bashing event. At this moment in the 8th round Ulster have gathered in 131 VPs out of a possible 480. In the Sonya Brittan their two top end teams struggled also.

Running scores at http://fob.ie

When I looked last night Ulster intermediates  in contrast to their Open team were leading the
Intermediate event.

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at November 13, 2016 12:59 PM

November 10, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Shop with A Smile - Support Bridge in Minnesota!

Amazon

 

Shop happy this holiday season - and - support bridge, too!

Visit smile.amazon.com  as you are shopping for gifts and items for yourself. 

When you purchase there, you will be supporting Minnesota Bridge Education! Amazon will donate to this fund when you put in this link:  smile.amazon.com/ch/37-1745323. 

Thank you for supporting bridge in Minnesota - and - happy shopping!

 

by Peg at November 10, 2016 12:14 AM

November 07, 2016

Paul Gipson

Premier League day 6

The final day of the Premier League started against Hart, the team just below us but who we lost to in the first round-robin. With Chris and Andrew at the other table, we'd be playing all three matches.

As in the first match against them, our opponents bid a slam against us that most of the field missed. The slam was on a finesse and duly rolled in. Then every pair involved in the match tried to make a slam missing a cashing ace and king, both East-West pairs on board 11 and both North-South pairs on board 15 - none were successful.

The making slam proved the difference as we lost by 20-25 imps.

Our penultimate match was against the high-flying Penfold team. Like most bridge players I'm happy enough to complain about our bad luck, but I must say that all our good luck came in this one match. One swing that was not too lucky was this slam:


On a non-heart lead the slam is a good proposition with ruffing the diamonds likely to be the best line if the ace of spades is offside. On a heart lead, it's a 50% chance that the leader has it especially as we've not given much information away.  At the other table, a slower auction allowed North to double a heart cue bid and they stayed safely out of slam.

Both pairs did well to reach five diamonds on this board, our auction was:


My pass of the double followed by five diamonds was intended to show some values without controls. Alex didn't really care, he'd done enough on the hand. I was worried when Brian Senior led the jack of spades, but fortunately it was from Jxx and he only had one trump. With the heart finesse working, the game rolled in as it did for Green-Holland in the other room.

The rest of the match went our way as we ran out winners by 68-22 imps.

The final match was against Pryor. Alan Mould, from the Gillis team, gave me a pep talk about how important it was for us to help him get promoted but I assured him that our matches against Pryor are always competitive.

Alex had a difficult decision early on:


Your call?

Alex's options were slightly curtailed by our system, since four clubs would show 5-5 in clubs and a major. At the other table Chris and Murph were more aggressive as North-South but, on this occasion, pushed the opponents into the right spot.

Then we judged a hand precisely:


Every time that the tray disappeared to the other side of the table it remained there for some considerable time, especially for the final time when only South could be thinking. This helped a little with the play and the lack of a heart switch from South, conceding a ruff and discard instead, meant that careful play including the heart finesse enabled me to make the contract - even though I was prepared to go down one.

Most of the field was in the spade game, normally making eight tricks.

We continued to have some luck, missing a difficult to make slam when we had a misfit. I achieved this by passing what I thought was a natural 4NT, whereas Alex intended it as a key-card ask. Basically we got the vast majority of our luck in the final couple of matches.

In the end we did Mould proud, winning 39-34 imps.

We finished mid-way in the final table, 5th out of 10, with 196.97 VP (average 180 VP). We scored 64 VP out of a possible 80 VP against the top two teams, but never beat the teams who finished 7th and 8th.

Overall a little frustrating for all the team, when you beat the best teams but failed to consistently score against the teams who finished below us. Perhaps this is where we were luckiest, or perhaps it is just bridge.

Congratulations to Gillis and Penfold who will ply their trade in the First Division next season. It will not be easy, as shown by the fact that last year's First Division winners, Mossop, were relegated on Sunday.

Many thanks to our team mates, Chris, Murph, Alan, and Nick, for making the weekends good fun and interesting.

All the results can be found on the EBU website.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at November 07, 2016 09:09 PM

Premier League day 5

The third weekend of the Premier League was in Solihull and we'd play the first two matches with Alan and Nick before sitting out the final match of the day.

We started against Fegarty, newly relegated from the First Division but now struggling in the Second - perhaps an indication of how competitive the entire league is. The first big swing was a lead decision:


Your choice?

Naturally I got this wrong and that was 12 imps out. Then Alan, and all the other Norths, faced a tough decision:


I think this is very tough. Two hearts is only competitive but everyone is going to bid game, but should you choose hearts or spades? I can't think of a sensible way to involve partner in the decision, as any cue bid would tend to overstate your values. What do you think?

Unless two hearts was non-forcing, I thought the two spades chosen at our table was an understatement of the values but a plus score was sufficient to get a swing when our team mates, as most, guessed wrong.

And then Alex had a lead problem:


Your choice?

Having got all these decisions wrong it is no surprise that we lost heavily without doing too much that was stupid. Just one of those matches.

The second match was against bottom-placed Dixon. A mix of luck and good play gave us a big win, but there were some challenging hands (press Next to go through the hand):


So how would you continue?

The focus was soon back on West:


Alex did well to get this right and it was worth a game swing when four hearts made at the other table.

Then Alan and Nick created a problem for East that, luckily, I did not have to face:



Your choice?

When their opponents got this wrong and we faced less adventurous opponents it was another swing to us.

There was an amusing incident, at least to bridge players, when we were scoring up. Team mates apologised for a very poor result, going three down when vulnerable in a partscore. We just said, "+3 imps", as we'd beat it by four.

In the end we won by a couple more imps than we'd lost the first match of the day.

In the final match Chris and Andrew replaced us and they beat table-topping Gillis by 33-20 imps. The second time that we beat the team that would eventually win the division.

Overall a positive day, but one that could still have gone quite a bit better with a little luck, or good decisions, or both.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at November 07, 2016 09:03 PM

November 06, 2016

Jannes van 't Oever

Sovereign

Hi all, 

It is somewhat confronting when you move an age range in some random online survey. Fresh decade? Affirmative.

Snippets of news for the readers that stuck with me after 6 months of silence. Good things come from & go to Mexico. Purchasing a new kitchen proved to be more of an ordeal than initially considered. Everything should be installed by the end of this month. Two new bridge books in my library: I Love This Game by Sabine Auken and Winning Suit Contract Leads by David Bird. Hopefully some technique, insights and statistics will rub off on me. 

Here’s a nice deal from a Pairs tournament. I was playing with René.

North
KT73
AQ82
AQ62
3
South
A8652
K974
AQ64

This is how we bid it:

West
North
East
South
 
1
pass
1
pass
3
pass
4
pass
4
DBL
6
a.p.
 
 
 

When East revealed values with his lead directing double, René considered that good enough news to leap to slam. Now how to play it?

René took stock for a minute or two and combined a boatload of chances in his plan. He took the lead in dummy and immediately ruffed a (West echoing high-low). Next he played two rounds of trumps ending in dummy. Alas, West remains with a trick in trumps. Next he ruffed another in his hand and cashed the King. West pitched a when René played a towards dummy. Dummy’s last  ruffed (West following) and a 3rd towards dummy. West had nothing to gain by ruffing in the air, so he pitched another . This is the position by now, West having a trick in trumps waiting:

North
T7
8
3
South
9
AQ6

René placed West with a trump. Stripped from everything but he had to play into René’s AQ-combination. Away went the loser.

West Dealer
NS Vul
North
KT73
AQ82
AQ62
3
West
QJ4
3
9753
KJT82
East
9
JT65
KJT84
975
South
A8652
K974
AQ64

You take at least 12 when trumps split, or when the suit comes in and if push comes to shove you have a hook as backup plan. René’s addition of the avoidance in the suit and foresight of placing opportunities (after stripping the suit) are marks of genuine expert play. Kudos!

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by Jannes van 't Oever at November 06, 2016 05:44 PM

November 04, 2016

Eamon Galligan

Some hands from Lady Milne Trials,Bridgez & Declan the Donplayer goes to Malahide Regional

Good morning all

I spotted this hand that was played in the Lady Milne trials ... Clearly some of the tables had the wrong board as it is hardly correct that some allowed a declaration of 2S while cold for 9-12 tricks themselves in a minor suit.

Now I have no idea how one is allowed to play 4S on this hand let alone 2S+1 and 2S+2.
I think one of the 2S defending pairs actually made the team. Further down the scoresheet
one spots the a pair winning 8 imps for missing a cold slam. Bizarre or as another man might say Mousey or my granny. However I can only presume that boards  1 and 2 were swopped in the dealing or something. Like even the North South players on their own would want to lash into 4S.

Then working backwards I spotted a 15 imper and wandered in for a look.
Someone landed in 6C and it comes home and the poor unfortunate opposition lose
15 imps because some other pairs in the room are a little gentle.
One pair gains 8 imps the other way because their esteemed opponents choose the 7-1 spade fit at the 5 level over the 5-5club fit.
Another pair defends 4H despite holding 12 black cards and an outside Ace in one hand
A couple defend 5H and fail to either double or collect the maximum tricks ... 1 of each
and finally one pair gathers in 9 imps for missing a slam but at least they gathered in +650 so we
won't grill them too much.

Clearly I have just talked myself out of any NPC positions at Lady Milne for several years but
I am sure the other 154 boards were things of beauty.
.......................................
Meanwhile I continue to notice and enjoy the much improved Bridgez website..
I have not decided to release my hard earned 15 euro which is a voluntary donation to the Council of this website to go towards the costs of keeping it up and running. Even if all the regulars tossed in 15 euro the person running this now fine place to play bridge might only get 2 dinners a day out of Lidl.
That's not saying the food in Lidl is bad ... I go there twice a week ... but he won't be getting rich.
So if you are a regular user and enjoy the site by all means give him enough for a dinner.
I see many of the people I introduced to this site many years ago are still using it for their daily bridge warmup. Even the dour Dublin Northsider Elvis ... The King is alive and living in Dublin North.
I see rashers and sausages are still playing most days ...they even partner up sometimes in live competition. So Allez Bridgez

http://bridgez.net:3002/ConnectingPlayer.html

The link above to the free Bridgez website

.....................
Last Friday Declan the Donplayer finally made his long awaited appearance in a live Bridge Club.
Now I have played lots of bridge in my time in many places but I have never seen a man enjoy a game of bridge so much. He was getting beaten up and down the room ...but every 3rd board he managed a strike against the head with his brand of Crazy Declan bridge ...
If a bad score arrived and there were many ...it was .. "Eamon you did not teach me the No Trumps thing yet" This lad produced a 2D cuebid holding a 7 card Heart Suit .. KJT9xxx ..."Eamon you told me if I bid their suit it means I have a good hand " ...
So that was Declan the Donplayer debuting in Malahide Regional Bridge Club
http://malahideregionalbridgeclub.com/

Open Games in this Club ... Monday morning 10 am Friday evening 730pm
and Sunday afternoon 3pm.

Otherwise you need to partner a member ..or get a special permission.

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at November 04, 2016 10:35 AM

November 01, 2016

Paul Gipson

Premier League day three

The second weekend of the league was in Manchester, with Alex and I playing alongside Alan and Nick for the six matches over two days.

Our first match was against Hart, currently below us in the table. It turned out to be a very quiet match and lost by 24 imps, mainly due to an excellent 25-point slam they bid against us missed at all but two other tables.

The second match was against Penfold, who would finish the weekend in second place, but good performances at both tables saw us get us largest win to date, 53-18 imps. Alex and I started well when we were allowed to make two spades doubled (similarly Simon Cope on the same auction and play in another match) and later got a big penalty after an injudicious intervention by an opponent, but the real story was about bidding six clubs.

Firstly Nick and Alan were the only pair in the field to bid these cards to six clubs:


Then they matched our opponents who bid aggressively to slam with the following cards, probably helped the state of the match:


I think Nick and Alan had a similar auction except South only jumped to five clubs and North gave it one more. Root and Natt even bid and made the grand slam in another match!

In the end we only lost imps on two boards: Alex took a reasonable but unsuccessful line in three no-trump, and Alan and Nick got into a fair but non-making 24-point three no-trump.

The final match of the day was against Pryor, who was just above us in the table. It did not start well when Alex psyched a positive response to my weak opening and, when the smoke cleared, I'd gratuitously gone for a four-figure number: in a sense it helped our score that this was a hand where Alan and Nick bid a no-play slam, since their score was pretty irrelevant to the number of imps lost.

Then Alex and I failed to bid a good slam that we would have right-sided, whereas it was only a fair slam the other way around since a killing lead was available. We got some imps back with good defence and play, but were relieved that Alan and Nick had a good set keep the score down to 15-37 imps.

Our table finished two minutes late but Rob Cliffe graciously said that his partnership was responsible for this, taking the full 1VP penalty rather than it being shared. Thanks to him, and his captain Malcolm Pryor, for this.

So we finished the day, and the first round-robin, about 4 VPs down on average. Disappointing given we'd played well against the strongest team.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at November 01, 2016 07:05 PM

Judy Kay-Wolff

Betty Ann Kennedy (1930-2016)

Bobby and I were saddened to learn that his friend of countless decades had passed away yesterday… I only knew Betty Ann personally through Bobby… but casually at the card table as a terrific and ethical bridge player who always said the right thing at the right time… just as what would be expected of the “Perfect Southern Belle.” Unfortunately, I might add (as her opponent) her bidding, declarer play and defense followed suit. She will be sorely missed!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at November 01, 2016 12:23 AM

October 31, 2016

Paul Gipson

Premier League day four

Second day in Manchester and the start of the second and final round-robin. We started against the juniors and we had two slam bidding challenges:


This made comfortably when the king of clubs could be ruffed out. It was bid at three other tables. Then, where would you like to play the following cards?


I think the six clubs by East that we found is probably best, but those in six diamonds or six no-trump needed diamonds 3-3 or the queen dropping doubleton. As it happened everything made when the diamonds were 3-3 and the queen of clubs (to four) was onside.

We eventually won by 38-24 imps when we slipped up in the final three boards.

The second match was against Harris. Alex and I missed three games which proved costly, one a clear error but the others should really have been bid, but the most exciting hand was board 26:


The only good news for letting this make was that Alan made it doubled! We clawed back some imps by bidding the right games as Alan and Nick defeated the wrong ones, but once again we were pleased to find they had another good card as we only lost 33-38 imps.

The final match was against Bowdery, a team fighting for promotion. We dented those hopes by winning 48-23 imps. It didn't feel that great at the time when the opponents bid two minor-suit games and then we missed a making slam. But the rest of the set looked fine, Nick and Alan had a good card and it all finished well.

So after ten matches we are sixth with 124.46 VP. If we could cut out more of the self-inflicted losses then we could get some of the big wins needed to move us up the table but promotion looks a long way off with only six matches remaining.

The final matches are next weekend in Solihull.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at October 31, 2016 06:39 PM

Peg Kaplan

Unit 103 - October Board of Director Minutes

After a great autumn tournament at the Maplewood Community Center, Unit 103's board is hard at work!

Here are the minutes detailing the fruits of their labor.  Thanks to all the directors for their efforts!

Download October15,2016BoardMeeting

by Peg at October 31, 2016 01:55 PM

October 30, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Brenda Travis - 1938 - 2016

Brenda travis.2

 

Sharing news about the loss of a member of the Minnesota bridge community always remains difficult. Today, I am deeply saddened to report that Brenda Travis of Rochester died on Saturday, October 22nd. After a tragic auto accident, Brenda succumbed to injuries from the incident.

Sue Greenberg, the Rochester DBC manager, shared that Brenda had been active in their club, plus had been an avid tournament goer for years. Brenda chaired local tournaments in the Rochester area several times.

Brenda travis

 

Brenda loved to travel. This past spring, she enjoyed a steamboat bridge cruise down the Mississippi.

Brenda's obituary can be read here.

"Her laugh could be heard all over the room," Sue says.

What a loss that Brenda's laugh is now stilled.  Our condolences to all her family and friends.

 

 

by Peg at October 30, 2016 01:22 PM

October 28, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Rochester 0-500 NLM Sectional Report

1

 

Lots of aspiring Life Masters turned out for Rochester's Non Life Master tournament! The morning session had 12.5 tables vying for silver.

2

 

Ann Van Ryn, the Rochester DBC President, and GS Jade Barrett offer smiles for the camera.  Ann and her club did an outstanding job of organizing and running the NLM sectional for local intermediates and novices.

Well done, Rochester!

 

3

 Results can be found here!

by Peg at October 28, 2016 11:19 PM

October 27, 2016

Bob Mackinnon

The Golden Rule at Matchpoints

Most play bridge for the fun it provides, and the most fun comes from the quick thrill of a lucky play. That’s a dangerous approach in the long run, so don’t say I didn’t warn you, but, hey, missed opportunities are just as bad, even though you don’t feel them as acutely at the table. To pursue immediate pleasure or to avoid future pain? As with many dilemmas of a philosophical nature, it’s your choice, no matter what Epicurus (341-270 BC) may have claimed. There is a third way, play with equanimity, free from anxiety, and always go with the percentages.

Parents set down rules for their kids, ‘brush your teeth after meals’, ‘ go to bed at nine’, etc. Parents don’t say to a 4-year old, ‘do what you think best’. (Although the trend appears to be in that direction.) Kids respect the rules, and the world might be a better place if everyone was home in bed at nine o’clock, but as time goes by kids learn from experience to make exceptions. A distraught mother may admonish a daughter not to scream in public, but if the daughter grows up to be an opera singer, the rule goes by the board. When the prima donna plays Tosca about to jump off the Papal parapet, her mother may urge, ‘scream as loud as you can, dear, the audience will love it.’ Whether it’s the opera house or the super market makes all the difference.

So it is when beginners are taught bridge. They are not told directly to do what they think best, rather they are taught rules, rules which will stand them in good stead in most situations, but rules that should be broken as the circumstances dictate. Beginner’s rules are for beginners. Take the finesse, for example. Students are shown how a declarer can create an extra trick by taking a finesse and are given numerous examples how this works. They are taught, ‘take your finesses and don’t fist-pump when the desperate ones succeed.’ Students are not told how to avoid a finesse by employing a strip-and-endplay, because that is a topic for the master class, and it may be hard to spot the possibility in any case. It’s easier for the average player to keep on finessing, regardless. Only advanced players can follow the golden rule: choose the path mostly to lead to success.

In order to judge whether a given bid or play is likely to be successful, one needs a working knowledge of the probabilities of the success of various options. At matchpoints especially one should not make a play that is against the odds. In many cases it is better to play for a plus rather that hope that a finesse will work when you feel it won’t. How can one expect to win by playing against the odds? Before one can think in these terms, one has to learn how to estimate the odds at the time of decision, which may be when the dummy first appears, or near the end when more knowledge has been gathered.

The knowledge one seeks is to what extent the current deal departs from normality. One has to gauge the state of affairs and decide what is most probable. Sometimes one has a rule that covers the situation and sometimes one may decide instinctively guided by previous experience on other hands of a similar nature, but often one has the clues available to make a decision based on the current probabilities.

The Golden Rule when Bidding

Differences due to system are most strongly felt in the bidding of slams. In a mixed field many players are content to end up in 3NT rather than in a minor suit slam simply because the field will not be confident enough in their methods to attempt the higher scoring contract. This approach feeds upon itself, as even superior players will play down to the field. Slams are becoming rare, whereas previously the bidding of slams was considered to be the keystone to good bidding practices. Now failing to bid a cold slam may result in only a small loss as the vast majority will be stuck in the same boat. Using Precision on the following hand I am ashamed to relate that I fell into the trap of bidding down to the level of the field.

W
Bob
AQ5
10
AJ10
AQ10852
 
E
John
K10876
K8432
3
K4
West
East
1
1
2
3
3
3
4
4
Pass
 

The initial response to the Precision 1 showed a game-forcing hand with 5 or more spades. Using a series of asking bids I was able to discover that partner held at least 5 spades to the king, 3 high-card controls, and second round control of the clubs. By bidding 5 I could find out whether the club control was a singleton or the K. If John held a singleton club I would stop in 5 with work to be done with the field stuck in game with 17 HCP opposite 9 HCP. If he held the K I would bid 6 with good chances of making 5 spade tricks, 6 club tricks and the A. Playing to minimize my loss if I were wrong, I stopped abruptly in game when it would have been better (although not optimal) to go directly to 6 over 4 because the odds were greatly in favour of finding the K opposite. In a field of 11 pairs, fully 10 pairs stopped in game so ostensibly I was not punished for my bad bidding. Nonetheless it was a mistake to defy the Golden Rule by rejecting an action that was more likely to be right than wrong.

Maximize the Gain or Minimize the Loss?

There are two common approaches to decision-making: minimize the loss if you guess wrong, or maximize the gain if you guess right. Let’s consider the scores one would receive by bidding for the higher score regardless of what the field is doing. Assume 11 tables with eight pairs in game, two in slam. Here are the splits in matchpoints resulting from the decision on whether to bid slam or stay in game.

Bid slam and it makes 9 Bid game and slam makes 4

Bid slam and it doesn’t make 1 Bid game and slam doesn’t 6

With 10 matchpoints available there is greater variability when one goes against the majority and bids the slam. There is less variability when choosing to bid with the majority, even if they are wrong. Say P represents the probability that the slam makes, M represents the number bidding slam and N, the number resting in game. The average score for bidding slam is (M+N) x P/2 and the expected score for bidding game is (1-P) x (M + N)/2. The average score for bidding slam will be greater than not bidding it, if P>1/2, regardless of how the field has split. This is the origin of the Golden Rule.

A probability of ½ represents a state of maximum uncertainty. It follows that if one has some reason to suspect slam will make one should bid it. Trust your instincts, especially when they are right. Clearly, I was wrong not to bid 6. I might excuse myself by saying that near the end of a successful run I was happy to minimize my potential loss knowing I would have lots of company in game. In the long run this thinking is bad. One is playing to surpass the good players in the field. It is to be expected that you will outscore the bad ones. How would my partner have felt if we had come in second overall by a couple of matchpoints? Not good.

The Matchpoint Anti-Finesse

The Golden Rule applies equally when making a play decision. Very often this reduces to fishing for a queen. Many feel they must take all the tricks available in a common contract, so will finesse at every opportunity. Play may degrade into a frenzy of finessing, declarers being unwilling to forego the extra trick obtained when the finesse happens to succeed. They are playing to maximize the number of tricks taken, and if the finesse fails it won’t cost that much with most playing in the same manner. However, one shouldn’t take a finesse that is more likely to fail than not. The following hand recently played at the local club represents a situation where declarer does best by taking an anti-finesse.

W
 
KQ
K543
J8
AKJ103
 
E
 
A843
87
A10543
52

Select (you can triple-click it) and over-write this text below the diagram.

West overcalled the opening bid of 1 with a call of 1NT, not everyone’s choice. Partner evoked Stayman then left him in 2NT. The opening lead was the T and questions were raised at the table as to why East didn’t raise to 3NT. However, it appears his caution was justified as 8 tricks may be the limit as the cards lie. South took his A and continued a low heart to the K, LHO following with the 9. At this point South had 3 heart tricks to take if and when he gets in again.

One of the main advantages for declarer is that upon seeing the dummy he immediately knows the division of sides. When the division of sides is 7-7-6-6 it often pays declarer to go passive and give up the obvious losers early rather than trying to create an additional winner by force. Sometimes pressure is applied in this manner. The active approach is to overtake the Q in dummy in order to take the club finesse. If it wins, continuing clubs will create 9 tricks provided the RHO holds Qx(x). If the finesse loses, there is still an excellent chance for taking 8 tricks, via 2 spades, 1 heart, 1 diamond and 4 clubs.

The question to ask is whether or not the club finesse is likely to succeed. By overtaking with the A the number of spade tricks is reduced from 3 to 2, so declarer has to make an extra trick in clubs to make up for the loss. What are the chances the finesse will succeed? For his first seat opening bid South needs the K and at least one minor suit queen. With 15 HCP he might have opened 1NT. North has 11 vacant places to South’s 7, so the chances of South holding the Q is less than 50%. That indicates declarer should avoid the finesse. Let’s look at the most likely division of suits.

The two main candidates are North 4=2=4=3 opposite 3=5=2=3 and North 4=2=3=4 opposite 3=5=3=2. If clubs are split 3-3, it is 50-50 whether the finesse succeeds or not. If the clubs split 4-2, the finesse will probably fail. As the shapes are equally likely, declarer is unlikely to maximize his score by taking the club finesse.

What is the alternative plan? Declarer can cash the KQ and play the J hoping that North must take the Q. If so, declarer has 9 tricks easily. North must duck the J if he holds four to the queen in order to destroy the communication with dummy and hold declarer to 8 tricks. But some might win at the first opportunity and exit ‘safely’. That is an edge that can be exploited. On the other hand if South has the Q, declarer is held to 8 tricks immediately. It would be a cause for general merriment at the table if South held a singleton Q, nonetheless 8 tricks would still be taken with declarer’s communications still intact.

What was the situation at the table? Not surprisingly North‘s shape was one of the two most likely candidates, 4=2=3=4, and he held the Q as expected in that situation. This is exactly what declarer might have expected at trick 2 following the suggested line of reasoning. By not taking a losing finesse West might still have scored 9 tricks on the extra chance of bad defence. It is hard to guess how many matchpoints the overtrick would be worth, but we do have the results for this occasion.

The 14 tables in play produced 8 different contracts and 9 different scores. Only 3 pairs played in 2NT, 2 making 120, one making 150. Making 9 tricks in 2NT instead of 8 would have added 5 matchpoints to the score raising the percentage from 42% to 80%. That shows one needn’t bid a close game to be successful at matchpoints, even if you would have made it if you had bid it. Two pairs were in 3NT, but both declarers failed, as they should have done, for a shared bottom, the highest EW scores were got by defending against a vulnerable 2*. The Law tells us it doesn’t pay to stretch on 13 total trumps, one of the most neglected rules in bridge.

Sometimes when the dummy first appears declarer realizes he is in a minority and is pretty sure that this is a very good contract or a very bad one. Don’t be too happy or too displeased when you find yourself in that situation. It’s silly to hope to gain matchpoints by playing against the odds. What little you may lose on the play in such situations could make a difference in the final standings.

by Bob Mackinnon at October 27, 2016 10:00 AM

Eamon Galligan

I had a go on Bridgez today

Early this morning I played 8 hands on Bridgez and then after sleeping I woke up and played the final
8 hands.

Add caption
I tried a few hands using Google Chrome and now I can see how many tricks are won as the play goes on. Big improvement on the old Bridgez and the interface is much smoother.
Also today my play was a little smoother on the early boards but I still blew a few boards in the late
stages to drop down to 73% or so ..
.................................
Its worth the 30 minutes or so in the morning if one has the time ...
I notice Elvis from out the North Side of Dublin is still battling away on Bridgez ... must be his morning coffee effort .... but he is a 56% merchant ..
............

However for other people the Bridge-Now site might be more suitable
Same WBridge5 robots but you can play many more hands and also get a weekly rating


Thanks
Eamon Galligan


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at October 27, 2016 08:51 AM

October 26, 2016

Eamon Galligan

Wbridge5 and Bridgez website

This morning while searching thru my email folders I found an email from Bridgez.net saying I had not played on the site for a long time. This is a site that allows one play 0-16 hands per day and I think at least hand 1 is a technical effort. I had used and advertised the site in the past. However it often crashed back then and sometimes one was frustrated with the non responding message.
People even used to ring me up and say ..Eamon the Wbridge5 is broken and I cannot play my 16 hands. Well that was then.

So the email said new website and new features and new lots of things ... So off I went ..
I was quite surprised to see many of the same usernames playing away and all looking good.
However the old slow site was now lightning fast and sometimes played quicker than my mouse clicked and I nearly lost tricks by accident ..

The only thing was I could not see how many tricks I had in the bag at any point ... Now maybe that's because of Microsoft Edge as I saw some mention on the start up screen about Edge but failed to read it.

I messed up a few deals and did not extract the maximum so only got about 61% average for the 16 boards today .. Still it was 1.5% more than my great bridge enemy Elvis who only got about 59% and he is an expert but I am only a tournament director.

http://bridgez.net:3002/

Hmmm now I see something about 15 euros a year which is only a small amount but I won't be paying it for the moment as I have not been on this site for about 2 years but maybe I might in the future. However the site has certainly improved enormously but has a long way to go to compete with the likes of BBO or even okbridge if same still exists.

http://www.wbridge5.com/

You can also get the free bridge program WBridge5 at the above website ..

Thanks
Eamon Galligan


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at October 26, 2016 02:53 PM

Lady Milne Pairs Trials 2016





Betty Cotter, Jean Kelly.................................................1
Marian Croke, Catherine Lonergan..........................2
Carol-Anne Cummins, Sandra Newell.......................3
Jeannie Fitzgerald, Emer Joyce  .................................4
Dolores Gilliland, Brid Kemple...................................5
Cathy Bearpark, LizAnne O’Reilly.............................6

Joan Kenny, Teresa Rigney.........................................7
Brid Kirby, Maureen Pattinson  ...............................8
Jill Kulchycky, Petra O’Neill.......................................9
Antoinette McGee, Aoife McHale...........................10
Louise Mitchell, Lucy Phelan....................................11
Eileen O’Donovan, Maria Whelan...........................12
Liz Taaffe, Kathleen Vaughan...................................13


This year we have 13 pairs hitting the floor for the Lady Milne Pairs. I doubt if there is any vugraph
as the ladies would be wary about being spotted on vugraph. Still though we ran the Camrose Open Trials on vugraph so one never knows. However its Bank Holiday weekend and only a masochist would want to watch bridge all weekend or a selector or maybe an international committee.

Hopefully we will have the live show from Ferghal O'Boyle Enterprises ..

So who will win on the weekend

I think Pair 27 and Pair 29 and Pair 32 will make the team .. but only I know my code I hope.


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at October 26, 2016 02:34 PM

Peg Kaplan

Eight is Enough!

Eights

 

The Minneapolis Grand Slam Club has aimed at having top competition in a local duplicate game. Since 1937, the MGSC has done just that.

In addition, however, to having great competition, the MGSC wishes to promote our great game! To that end, on Friday, October 28th, the Twin City Bridge Center and the MGSC will collaborate at 6045 Nicollet Avenue to have an Eight is Enough event.

Grand Slam Club members will team up with non- and recent Life Masters to form teams with balanced experience and skill levels. After the game, the hands will be discussed in a relaxed and enjoyable format with hand records available.  You can sign up as a pair - or a single. 

We hope that many can attend. And - as we plan on enjoying yummy food along with fun bridge, we invite you to bring a treat to share for the game and discussion.

A flyer is below. Look forward to seeing you Friday night!

Download Eight is Enough

 

 

by Peg at October 26, 2016 11:57 AM

October 25, 2016

Bob Mackinnon

The 50-50 Rule

The first principle of matchpoints is simply stated: choose the action most likely to succeed. This is the 50-50 Rule and it doesn’t change with time, but it is very difficult for a beginner to apply it. With experience one gains the ability to judge the probabilities of success for various actions. This ability distinguishes the experienced from the inexperienced and the good from the mediocre.

 

Not having been made aware of the 50-50 Rule many feel their best strategy is to go with the field. They continue to play the majority’s choice of bidding system, 2/1, and rely heavily the point-count method of evaluation that they were taught as beginners. To gain an advantage they adopt an amazing array of gadgets that incrementally improve their chances of coming ahead of the crowd. The proliferation cannot be stemmed which has the adverse effect of making a basically simple game more complicated than it should be while deflecting attention away from the fundamental guiding principles.

Differences due to system are most strongly felt in the bidding of slams. In a mixed field many players are content to end up in 3NT rather than in a minor suit slam simply because the field will not be confident enough in their methods to attempt the higher scoring contract. This approach feeds upon itself, as even superior players will play down to the field. Slams are becoming rare, whereas previously the bidding of slams was considered to be the keystone to good bidding practices. Now failing to bid a cold slam may result in only a small loss as the vast majority will be stuck in the same boat. Using Precision on the following hand I am ashamed to relate that I fell into the trap of bidding down to the level of the field.

W
Bob
AQ5Q1073
10
AJ10
AQ10852
 
E
John
K10876
K8432
3
K4
West
East
1
1
2
3
3
3
4
4
Pass
 

The initial response to the Precision 1 showed a game-forcing hand with 5 or more spades. Using a series of asking bids I was able to discover that partner held at least 5 spades to the king, 3 high-card controls, and second round control of the clubs. By bidding 5 I could find out whether the club control was a singleton or the K. If John held a singleton club I would stop in 5 with work to be done with the field stuck in game with 17 HCP opposite 9 HCP. If he held the K I would bid 6 with good chances of making 5 spade tricks, 6 club tricks and the A. Playing to minimize my loss if I were wrong, I stopped abruptly in game when it would have been better (although not optimal) to go directly to 6 over 4 because the odds were greatly in favour of finding the K opposite. In a field of 11 pairs, fully 10 pairs stopped in game so ostensibly I was not punished for my bad bidding. Nonetheless it was a mistake to defy the 50-50 Rule by rejecting an action that was more likely to be right than wrong.

Maximize the Gain or Minimize the Loss?

There are two common approaches to decision-making: minimize the loss if you guess wrong, or maximize the gain if you guess right. Let’s consider the scores one would receive by bidding for the higher score regardless of what the field is doing. Assume 11 tables with eight pairs in game, two in slam. Here are the splits in matchpoints resulting from the decision on whether to bid slam or stay in game.

Bid slam and it makes 9 Bid game and slam makes 4

Bid slam and it doesn’t make 1 Bid game and slam doesn’t 6

With 10 matchpoints available there is greater variability when one goes against the majority and bids the slam. There is less variability when choosing to bid with the majority, even if they are wrong. Say P represents the probability that the slam makes, M represents the number bidding slam and N, the number resting in game. The average score for bidding slam is (M+N) x P/2 and the expected score for bidding game is (1-P) x (M + N)/2. The average score for bidding slam will be greater than not bidding it, if P>1/2, regardless of how the field has split. This is the origin of the 50-50 Rule.

A probability of ½ represents a state of maximum uncertainty. It follows that if one has some reason to suspect slam will make one should bid it. Trust your instincts, especially when they are right. Clearly, I was wrong not to bid 6. I might excuse myself by saying that near the end of a successful run I was happy to minimize my potential loss knowing I would have lots of company in game. In the long run this thinking is bad. How would my partner have felt if we had come in second overall by a couple of matchpoints? Not good.

The Matchpoint Finesse

The 50-50 Principle applies equally when making a play decision. Very often this reduces to fishing for a queen. Many feel they must take all the tricks available in a common contract, so will finesse at every opportunity. Play may degrade into a frenzy of finessing, declarers being unwilling to forego the extra trick obtained when the finesse happens to succeed. They are playing to maximize the number of tricks taken, and if the finesse fails it won’t cost that much with most playing in the same manner. However, one shouldn’t take a finesse that is more likely to fail than not. The following hand recently played at the local club represents a situation where declarer does best by taking an anti-finesse.

W
 
KQ
K543
J8
AKJ103
 
E
 
A843
87
A10543
52

West overcalled the opening bid of 1 with a call of 1NT, not everyone’s choice. Partner evoked Stayman then left him in 2NT. The opening lead was the T and questions were raised at the table as to why East didn’t raise to 3NT. However, it appears his caution was justified as 8 tricks may be the limit as the cards lie. South took his A and continued a low heart to the K, LHO following with the 9. At this point South had 3 heart tricks to take if and when he gets in again.

One of the main advantages for declarer is that upon seeing the dummy he immediately knows the division of sides. When the division of sides is 7-7-6-6 it often pays declarer to go passive and give up the obvious losers early rather than trying to create an additional winner by force. Sometimes pressure is applied in this manner. The active approach is to overtake the Q in dummy in order to take the club finesse. If it wins, continuing clubs will create 9 tricks provided the RHO holds Qx(x). If the finesse loses, there is still an excellent chance for taking 8 tricks, via 2 spades, 1 heart, 1 diamond and 4 clubs.

The question to ask is whether or not the club finesse is likely to succeed. By overtaking with the A the number of spade tricks is reduced from 3 to 2, so declarer has to make an extra trick in clubs to make up for the loss. What are the chances the finesse will succeed? For his first seat opening bid South needs the K and at least one minor suit queen. With 15 HCP he might have opened 1NT. North has 11 vacant places to South’s 7, so the chances of North holding the Q is greater than 50%. That indicates declarer should avoid the finesse. Let’s look at the most likely division of suits.

The two main candidates are North 4=2=4=3 opposite 3=5=2=3 and North 4=2=3=4 opposite 3=5=3=2. If clubs are split 3-3, it is 50-50 whether the finesse succeeds or not. If the clubs split 4-2, the finesse will probably fail. As the shapes are equally likely, declarer is unlikely to maximize his score by taking the club finesse.

What is the alternative plan? Declarer can cash the KQ and play the J hoping that North must take the Q. If so, declarer has 9 tricks easily. North must duck the J if he holds four to the queen in order to destroy the communication with dummy and hold declarer to 8 tricks. But some might win at the first opportunity and exit ‘safely’. That is an edge that can be exploited. On the other hand if South has the Q, declarer is held to 8 tricks immediately. It would be a cause for general merriment at the table if South held a singleton Q, nonetheless 8 tricks would still be taken with declarer’s communications still intact.

What was the situation at the table? Not surprisingly North‘s shape was one of the two most likely candidates, 4=2=3=4, and he held the Q as expected in that situation. This is exactly what declarer might have expected at trick 2 following the suggested line of reasoning. By not taking a losing finesse West might still have scored 9 tricks on the extra chance of bad defence. It is hard to guess how many matchpoints the overtrick would be worth, but we do have the results for this occasion.

The 14 tables in play produced 8 different contracts and 9 different scores. Only 3 pairs played in 2NT, 2 making 120, one making 150. Making 9 tricks in 2NT instead of 8 would have added 5 matchpoints to the score raising the percentage from 42% to 80%. That shows one needn’t bid a close game to be successful at matchpoints, even if you would have made it if you had bid it. Two pairs were in 3NT, but both declarers failed, as they should have done, for a shared bottom, the highest EW scores were got by defending against a vulnerable 2*. The Law tells us it doesn’t pay to stretch on 13 total trumps, one of the most neglected rules in bridge.

Sometimes when the dummy first appears declarer realizes he is in a minority and is pretty sure that this is a very good contract or a very bad one. Don’t be too happy or too displeased when you find yourself in that situation. It’s silly to hope to gain matchpoints by playing against the odds. What little you may lose on the play in such situations could make a difference in the final standings.

Most play bridge for the fun it provides, and the most fun comes from the quick thrill of a lucky play. That’s a dangerous approach in the long run, so don’t say I didn’t warn you, but, hey, missed opportunities are just as bad, even though you don’t feel them as acutely at the time. To pursue immediate pleasure or to avoid future pain? As with so many philosophical questions, the answer is up to you. There is a third way, play with equanimity and always follow the 50-50 Rule applying the a posteriori probabilities at the time of decision.

by Bob Mackinnon at October 25, 2016 10:00 AM

October 24, 2016

Bob Mackinnon

A Brief Bridge Sermon

Here in Victoria, BC, every week men and women of many faiths and many races gather together in a church hall to play bridge in the spirit of fair and friendly competition under a policy of intolerance to rude and demeaning behaviour.

Faith, Hope, and Probability

Dear friends, as we gather here to embark upon a game of bridge, we should strive to keep foremost in our thoughts these three fundamentals:

Faith, that our bidding system can get us to the right contracts;

Hope, that our partner is going to have one of his better days;

Probability, that the cards will sit where we want them to sit.

And the greatest of these is Probability for it provides us with our best advantage during the play and our best excuse when we are called to account during the hereafters. Probability knows not Seasons. A player who hath Arithmetic but hath not Probability steers by the moon without benefit of the stars.

As for Charity – we look neither to give nor to receive undeservedly, although the law dictates we humbly and gratefully accept all gifts unwittingly given. Blessed is he who is niggardly by nature, for a man may hold great cards, but he who giveth away tricks will not profit thereby. He is like unto a caravan bereft of camels, cast into the wilderness without teammates, without partners, without masterpoints.

The Lesson – Evolution

My friends, evolution advances in mysterious ways not always to the end one would wish. Recall the 19th century missionaries who sailed to Hawaii and inadvertently promoted the expansion of the American textile industry by persuading the natives to wear clothes although the weather did not require them and the natives hadn’t the wherewithal to pay for them. The unforeseen consequences of their invasion are apparent to this day: the colourful Aloha shirt celebrating an overabundance of nature and the graceful Hula dance where the hands tell a story and the hips deliver the message.

In the beginning of bridge each partner naively bid what he or she had going up the ladder until they reached the right contract at the right level. There they rested. This was not always easily accomplished, but at least declarer could blame only himself if he couldn’t manage taking the required number of tricks he himself had committed to. Naturally bidding was on the cautious side. Overtricks were taken as a sign of good declarer play or of poor bidding. Let’s look at a hand and how it has been bid through the ages. First, in the early days just after WWII, when Tim, after surviving time sweating in the jungles with nothing to show for it but a Filipina bride and her baby, returns to the bridge table with his old chum, Sid, who is introducing him to duplicate.

W
Tim
AQ642
9
A754
KQ9
 
E
Sid
106
AKQJ84
KJ32
3
Tim
Sid
1
2
3
4
4NT
5
5NT
Pass

Their bidding was entirely natural. A club was led to the A and a spade returned to North’s K. Exactly 11 tricks were taken. No problem.

Tim: Pinpoint bidding, pal. We beat everyone of those suckers who stopped in 4NT.

Sid: well… actually, Tim, anyone who makes 11 tricks in 3NT, 4NT, or 5NT, scores the same. So under the new scoring it’s a tie for top.

Tim: You’re kidding! You’re telling me there is no advantage anymore for reaching the right contract? Man, that really cheapens the game.

Sid: I know, I know, but you got to appeal to the masses. Maybe in a few years when everybody gets to be a Life Master they’ll toughen up the scoring rules.

Tim stayed in the army and got to participate in the Korean War, spending 2 years as a PoW. Try as they might the Commies couldn’t brainwash Tim into believing that everyone should work hard for the common good. One of his Red Cross care packages was lined with a stained New York Times containing a bridge column devoted to the Blackwood Convention. Anxious to demonstrate his newfound toy, as soon as he returned home, Tim invited Sid, who now owned his own appliance repair shop, to another game of duplicate, during which a very similar hand arose. Upon discovering Sid had an ace and two kings, Tim bid slam – because he found he couldn’t stop in 5NT.

Tim
Sid
1
2
3
4
4NT
5
5NT
6
6NT
Pass

A club was led to the ace and a low spade returned. Tim won the A, ran the hearts pitching 4 spades and a diamond, returned to hand with the A and eventually took the winning diamond finesse for 12 tricks and a top.

Tim: Phew! If they’d led a heart I might have taken the wrong finesse. This Blackwood is a good idea, getting us to 6NT ahead of all the comrades in 6.

Sid: Errr.. well no one will be in 6. Blackwood is supposed to keep you out of bad slams, not get you into them. How many points did you have? I had 14.

Tim: Points? What’s points?

The years sped by and before they realized what was happening, Tim and Sid were greybeard Life Masters playing a 2/1 system that was designed to keep the bidding safely below 4NT. That required making bids that were forcing but not leading in any particular direction. The minor suits had become largely vestigial.

Tim
Sid
1
2
2
3
3NT
Pass

Tim: Tied for top, old chum – many will be in 4. Nice pass.

Sid: You know what they say, better to pass than to bid the same suit three times in a row.

The first lesson of evolution is this: as time goes by, entropy increases. This means that fewer bids must cover more ground, thus losing definition. The trend follows the second law of thermodynamics, which also predicts a further increase in the number of chaotic preempts and meaningless overcalls. So, although we must accept the laws of nature as scientific facts, that doesn’t mean we approve of them.

Thus endeth the lesson.

by Bob Mackinnon at October 24, 2016 06:36 PM

Paul Gipson

Premier League day two

Our first match on the Sunday was against Fegarty, one of the newly relegated teams after some years in the top division. It was a very quiet match with only one big swing when Alex and I got pushed a level higher than most, so we lost by 12-27 imps.

The second match was against Dixon and five of our boards ended with doubled contracts, but we were on the right side of all of them. One of them was another weak no-trump where we were able to extract a decent penalty. But we lost a big swing when I held this hand:


This did not go well when North led his singleton heart and eventually got a ruff. Our transfer responses had backfired, since it was very unlikely that South was leading hearts. A random swing. Chris and Andrew sacrificed in six clubs for -300, a good result as East was playing five spades at their table.

But we still won the match 29-23 imps.

The final match of the weekend was against Gillis, confident from his Gold Cup win earlier in the month. Although he has a different line up for this event, his team still consists only of Gold Cup winners and they are a strong favourite for promotion.

We played our friends, Simon and Peter, who'd suffered a similar fate to us on the hand above. It was a fairly quiet set. I made a light vulnerable overcall which caused Alex to try for a thin game, the only good thing was that we sounded confident and escaped a double to lose 7 imps when we had just too much to beat their game. I probably misplayed a three no-trump contract but found a way to recover, but all the swings occurred at the other table. Chris and Andrew were doubled in game and made two overtricks, and Chris made four hearts on a favourable lead (but still needed some playing) that no-one else did. At our table, I was on lead against against three no-trump:


This might not have been the precise auction, but you know that NS have a 5-3 heart fit but have decided to play in three no-trump. North would open one club whatever his distribution in the minors, even with longer diamonds than clubs. South has shown no interest in spades, North may or may not hold four spades.

What do you lead?

We ran out winners by 27-10 imps to finish the first weekend average. I felt we all played reasonably well without a great deal of luck except in that final match.

We'll try it all again next weekend in Manchester.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at October 24, 2016 05:32 PM

Premier League day one

The first weekend of the English Premier League was held at Richmond Bridge Club for those of us in the second division. There are ten teams in the division, so six 16-board matches on each of the three weekends will mean a double round-robin.

Although it's hard to think of another format for this number, we all thought that the 60-board matches from an earlier season were our favourite.

Alex and I are playing with Chris, Andrew, Nick, and Alan. Chris and Andrew played this weekend with Nick and Alan playing the next, with Alex and I playing throughout. The third weekend will probably be shared amongst the six of us, but we'll decide that at Manchester in a few days time.

We started against the England Juniors, a team we normally sit out against and Andrew rarely beats. Alex and I played against Michael Alishaw and Stephen Kennedy: although juniors they'd won the Four Stars teams at the Autumn Congress the previous weekend and have an impressive record since partnering up.

We had slightly the better of things at our table, making some good games and catching them for a penalty when they opened a weak no-trump. One swing was caused by the choice of opening for this hand:


I opened two no-trump (20-22 balanced), a little nervous that it might be too good but K&R says 21.6 points. Alex bid three no-trump and we played there. At the other table one diamond was chosen, allowing South to interject with a weak jump overcall in spades. When East rebid three no-trump, Chris decided that leading his ace of hearts was a better idea than his spades, hitting Andrew with KQJ to six hearts and a swift two down. Against us the normal spade lead gave us 10 tricks.

We would have won the match handsomely if Alex and I had not missed this slam:


With spades breaking and the king of hearts onside, declarer did not have to worry about how to play the clubs. Even so, we won the match by 35-19 imps.

Our second match, against Harris, didn't go well. Our opponents found a good vulnerable sacrifice at the five-level, loss of 11: we failed to give declarer a losing option in game, another 10 imps; we bid aggressively to a normal looking game to lose another 8; finally you needed to find a lead:


Your choice?

We lost the match by 32 imps. It felt a little unfair, but losses often do :)

Our final match of the day was against Bowdery, who would finish the weekend at the top of the table. An unusual occurrence in this match was that North passed throughout the entire 16 board set at our table. Aside from us doing all the bidding the set was fairly quiet with the biggest swing when we bid an excellent slam holding:


Although my final call looks a little wild, we cue bid aces before kings and, because we open light, our limit raises can be quite good compared to some. The key to gaining the swing though is how to play trumps after South leads the five of heart as the spades are 5-0! Do you lead the king or towards the ten?

We won the match by 20-18 imps.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at October 24, 2016 04:51 PM

Peg Kaplan

Unit 178 - September BOD Minutes

Keeping up with Unit 178 BOD activities - and - a bit "thanks" to those who serve and volunteer, too!

See below.

Download Unit 178.MeetingMinutesSept24

by Peg at October 24, 2016 03:14 PM

October 22, 2016

Eamon Galligan

Moran team prevails in Camrose Trials eventually

Last weekend in Limerick 4 teams competed in the Camrose Final trials.
Myself and Nathan Doyle attended in order to operate the vugraph so the event could be witnessed by many people live around Ireland and anywhere else in the world who wished. We hoped to spread the BBO around all the teams but on our first effort of non-Moran BBO we found Johnny Phelan playing poker against Ciaran Coyne and Donal MacAonghusa so we reverted back to Moran versus the field.
In hindsight this allowed us witness what looks like at first glance a dominant performance by Hanlon McGann. However on closer inspection of just one board so far one finds Hanlon McGann gathering in 39 cross imps when luckier play and bidding at 3 other tables would see them concede 50 cross imps. One guy in front of me just did not draw 2 rounds of trumps before pitching his loser and was no longer able to make when diamonds broke 6-2 and an opponent could ruff. Another pair bid 6NT for some reason with a 9 card spade holding and the final declarer also went down in the makeable 6S contract.
I know of at least one other board where Hanlon McGann rolled home a 7S contract that the declarer at the other table declared in 7NT for a long time before realising the contract was spades. Eventually he went down and that was 28 more cross imps in the bag instead of a more modest 10 imps for 7S making. One pair declared 6NT making. Following this 7S disaster Hanlon McGanns opps chose to declare a 9 card heart fit in 3NT for some reason and there was only 8 tricks available. Another 29 cross imps for sitting there smiling. And that's only 3 boards I have examined.
Still 10 sets of 12 boards producing plus imps on every set is a dominant position.
I show below the results
With 30 boards to go the Moran team was on the ropes as O'Gorman had eased into a 20 imp lead in the direct match and moved to the top of the table and would just require a small win against MacCormac in the final match. However Moran rallied and 3 game swings materialized and Moran took the match by 9 imps and more importantly a lead of about 6 VPs into the final match. This all meant that 14 VPS would guarantee Team Moran success. However they beat Phelan by 16-4 and the deflated O'Gorman team could only managed a losing draw against MacCormac. So the favourites took the win but not without a good shaking from O'Gorman.



by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at October 22, 2016 01:43 PM

Mixed Weekend 2016

This weekend sees the two National Mixed events take place in Templogue County Dublin Ireland.
One notes the presence of one Grainne Barton in the field partnered by that capable bridge player Thomas Hanlon. The pair also team up with Fiona Brown and Hugh McGann in the Mixed Teams. However it is hard to win a pairs event of 104 pairs when you only play about 26 of the pairs in direct opposition. Hopefully some good seeding is done before the event.
I also note the looming presence of Barbara Seligman and Nick Fitzgibbon.
Barbara showed up earlier this year at the Jim Cahill Irish invitational pairs for the 3 sessions
and did the vugraph commentary with Grainne Barton. Don't be surprised if Barbara and Nick are on the podium. The Kenny Glynn partnership have also played many boards on BBO in the past so will be well practiced. Any pairs competing mentioned on any of the below teams would also expect to be competitive.

I see Sean and Brid Galligan are listed to play in the Mixed Pairs. Sean attempted to teach me bridge
when I was 15 but I failed to grasp it. So I had to wait until college in Limerick when Miles Podmore finished the job.

In the Teams the above mentioned quartet should prevail but there are some capable teams in the field which catch the eye. Casting an eye over the field in the order on the CBAI website.
I will list the teams which catch my eye

7. Newell
8. O'Hara
9. Hand
18, O'Connor
23. Taaffe
25.Trench
30.Pattinson
31.Dillon
33. Lillis
38. Barton
47.Lennon
48. Rigney
53. Phelan

Teams 10 and 24 could also feature as they have plenty of experience

The teams listed above are generally made up of very regular partnerships or established international players. Its unlikely that an unlisted team could get past all of the above teams to win in a Swiss event. However we will see.

However one little known record will hardly be broken. Back in 2001 Eamon played on a Mixed Team in the Coen Trophy in Mullingar. At the time this was confined  to above intermediate level.
19 teams entered and after session 1 of 30 boards Team Galligan was placed 19th. In the 2nd session we got some wins and progressed to 13th place overnight.
On Sunday morning we started with a 25 and a 23 (25 max score at this time) .. Two more 25s followed and we were up around 3rd place. We finished with another pair of 25s for a session total
of 148 VPs out of 150 VPs. That was Dario Filjar Iva Lancar and Diane Greenwood. We arrived in 1st place at the end.

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at October 22, 2016 01:25 PM

October 21, 2016

Claire Martel

Bob Crosby

Je suis une fan de Bob Crosby, photographié ici après la victoire de son équipe féminine du Canada en 2002.  Sur son site , il a mis à disposition  plus de 2000 articles, sous forme de notes brèves, à l'intention de son équipe.Quand je cherche à dégager l'impression générale  ressentie après notre dernier week end de compétition en IMP, je pense à sa phrase sur l'importance d'être discipliné en Match par Quatre.
Si je fais le bilan des 70 donnes jouées, nous n'avons rencontré aucune convention. Ni  Roudi, ni Drury, ni DONT, ni Truscott. Rien, absolument rien, Stayman et Blackwood mis à part. Ce qui a été omniprésent,  ce sont les conventions d'entames, les compétitives, les évaluations de main et la discipline, notion intimement liée avec le respect du Partenaire. Quelques donnes parmi d'autres . Tous vulnérables, en première position, vous relevez la main suivante :
ªx  ©Ax  ¨ARDxxxxx  §Vx
9 levées de jeu. On peut penser ouvrir de 2§et redemander à 3SA* ce qui montre une mineure affranchie avec des arrêts extérieurs. Mais le carreau est 8ème.... Après quelques hésitations, j'opte pour 2¨* et le plateau revient avec 3SA* (= 2As) ! 11 levées de tête.... les enchères se poursuivent , 4¨ et 5¨ chez le Partenaire.5¨ semble traduire le message qu'il n'y a pas de levées annexes. Il me suffit pourtant de la D§  dans un résidu Trèfle 3ème pour trouver la 12ème ou de la Dª ( où le chelem se joue au pire sur une impasse). Je lutte pour ne pas placer une de ces cartes chez le Partenaire et la mort dans l'âme , je passe. Le Mort était bien conforme à l'enchère. Il n'y avait pas plus de 11 levées, le Roi de Pique étant mal placé.Ouf ! Dans l'autre salle, une séquence qui ne passera pas à la postérité :1¨ 3¨ 3SA.
La main du PartenaireADx ©xxxxx ¨Vxx §Ax

Personne Vulnérable, le Partenaire ouvre d'1©, vous répondez 1ª, il dit 2§... .Votre main:
ªAVxxx ©xx  ¨xxx  §RDx
Les Honneurs Trèfle revalorisent la main mais que dire ? 2¨,* risque de nous propulser à 3SA un peu trop poussé, 2SA sans arrêt Carreau n'est pas engageant et 3§ ment sur les longueurs espérés. Je me résigne à dire 2© . Bien m'en a pris. les Coeurs étaient 5/0 et tout contrat plus élévé chutait.

Tous vulnérables, vous passez à l'ouverture avec  ªAxxxxx ©Rxx ¨Dx § xx, la qualité médiocre des piques, et les petits Honneurs extérieurs vous dissuadant d'ouvrir d'un 2 ª faible. 
Passe Passe Passe  1©
1ª     1 SA  Passe  Passe
?
Il ne faut pas craquer. Oubliez le TPP. Ne pas ouvrir était une décision cohérente avec l' évaluation de la main. A présent, ne pas répéter les Piques dans cette situation , surtout après le SA adverse est une décision disciplinée obligée. Pour la petite histoire, le déclarant avait RDVX à Pique ....

Tous vulnérables, vous ouvrez cette main (Zar !?) d'1¨
ªVxx © -  ¨ RDxxxx  §RVxxx

1¨ 2© 2ª 4©
4ª 5©  x   -
?
RD et RV sont des levées de défense et le Partenaire a des atouts bien plaçés. Cohérence avec la décision d'ouvrir, il faut passer et ne pas courir au palier de 5, sous prétexe que l'on a ouvert un peu faible. 5C*-3 et 5P chuté d'une dans l'autre salle.
Zar nous a encore valu cette fois ci quelques manches amusantes: 3SA juste fait sur entame coeur avec
ªx   ©A10XX    ¨AV10xxx  §xx   face à    ªVxxx ©Dx ¨RDxxx §Rx. Le Roi de Coeur et le Roi de Trèfle étaient bien plaçés.

Dans une brocante, j'ai trouvé un lot ancien de Revues française de Bridge ce qui m'a permis de scanner une interview de Pierre Jais et de tomber sur cet encart concernant notre future Championne du Monde,dans les nouvelles des Comités.

I am a great fan of Bob Crosby, NPC of Canadian Women Champions 2002 (see the picture above). On his  site , he has posted more than 2000 articles on various bidding subjects .His recommandation on being   disciplined   as far as IMP is concerned  comes to my mind when I think of our latest competition, this past week end. .We played  more than 70 hands and did not come across any of the usual conventions. No ROUDI, NO DRURY, No Truscott, no DONT. Exception made for Stayman and Blackwood. What prevailed was lead conventions , competitive auctions, hand evaluation and disciplined decisions.  Being disciplined  is just a way of  respecting  one's Partner.. .

Game all, in first position, vous pick up this hand
ªx  ©Ax  ¨ARDxxxxx  §Vx
9 tricks. One could think of opening a strong 2§et bid a conventional 3SA* but it does not show 8 tricks in diamond ...... Finally, I decided to open 2¨* (Forcing to Game). Partner bid a conventional  3SA* (= 2As) ! 11 tricks .... Bidding goes 4¨ then 5¨ from Partner. 5¨ seems to express the fact that there are no other trick  available, at any rate, no Kings. All the same, a D§  with at least 3 clubs would bring me this extra trick needed for the slam or perhaps the Dª; then the slam fate would depends on a finess.I  had to struggle very  hard not to place those miraculous  queens in partner'hand and reluctantly,I passed .The dummy was exactly what  the bidding had said :.and the King of Spade was on the wrong side. What a relief! In the other room, the bidding was 1¨ 3¨ 3SA.(!)
Partner's hand :ªADx ©xxxxx ¨Vxx §Ax

All green, Partner opens d'1©, I bid 1ª, he rebid 2§... .
My  hand:  ªAVxxx ©xx  ¨xxx  §RDx
Clubs honours are of some values but what can I bid ? 2¨,* forth suit forcing can lead quickly to 3SA (not quite the values for this) , 2SA is risky  without diamond stopper and 3§ lies about the promised length . I finally bid  2© . It  was correct on this hand, hearts divided  5/0 and there was no other winning contract.

Game All, you judge that your hand with these mediocre spades and honours outside your spade length does not qualify for a weak two opening. ªAxxxxx ©Rxx ¨Dx § xx, 
Passe Passe Passe  1©
1ª     1 NT  Passe  Passe
?
Now you must not change your mind .Forget about matchpoints! You judged not to open this hand .Now,  pass is a disciplined and must decision, For the record, LHO had  RDVX in spade ....

Game all, you open this hand (Zar !?) d'1¨
ªVxx © -  ¨ RDxxxx  §RVxxx

1¨ 2© 2ª 4©
4ª 5©  x   -
?
RD et RV are certain defence tricks et Partner's trumps are well placed.. Sticking to  your decision to open this hand, you must pass  and refrain from running to 5 ª just because your opening value are seemingly  below average  . 5©*-3 et 5ª -1 in the other room.
Zar evaluation led to 3NT just made on a lead of a small heart with these hands
ªx   ©A10XX  ¨AV10xxx  §xx   
facing 
ªVxxx ©Dx ¨RDxxx §Rx. Both kings were well placed .

Recently, I bought a bunch of old copies of Revue française de bridge . I was able to scan an interview of  Pierre Jais  and read about the young promising Catherine Saul,  future Championne du Monde.

by Claire Martel (noreply@blogger.com) at October 21, 2016 08:37 AM