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Sue's next cruise
Sue's next cruise

The Aurora. Cruise number R412.
Click to get details.


Wessex League

April 2014

Once again CLL (Captain Leader Legend) has steered the squad to another successful year. We have consolidated our place in the division and look to have ended up in the middle.
We would like as many Wessex players as possible to practice their imps play on the teams nights on Fridays. Imps play is really a very different game to the MPS game we play on a Tuesday evening.

Click to see current standings

Opens Teams every 3rd Friday of the Month!
Opens Teams every 3rd Friday of the Month!

There will be NO teams night on Good Friday, 18th April.

Our next teams session will be on Friday 16th May.  Please do make an effort to come to this, and spread the word at other clubs.

If you would like to play, but do not have a partner, or have a partner but not team-mates, please e-mail ian.

Hand of the Week
Hand of the Week

Was there an interesting hand on Tuesday?  Would you like to discuss how you should have bid / played? Or would you just like to tell a story about it?
Ian M.

Announcing this that and the other
Announcing this that and the other
We have all got used to 'announcing' the range of partners opening bid of 1NT. Now the rules have been extended to announcing the range of the opening bid of 2NT.
Subsequent transfers and Stayman also require an announcement.
Additionally those of us that play 5-card major suit openings, a minor suit opening that could be two cards or fewer should be announced even if it is non-forcing. 
Bad Weather Cancellations
Bad Weather Cancellations

If the weather is a bit tricky a decision whether the session will be held will be taken no later than 5pm on the day of the session and posted here on the website.

Recent Updates
Home Page
16th Apr 2014 10:22 BST
Bridge Tips
20th Feb 2014 18:11 GMT
Hand of the Week
20th Feb 2014 17:30 GMT
23rd Dec 2013 11:19 GMT
Aylesbury Vale Bridge Club
Aylesbury Vale Bridge Club

New to Buckinghamshire and played a bit before? Or maybe played ages ago and want to get started again.

Visit our friendly club. We promise it wont be like the cartoon above!
We meet every Tuesday evening at 7.30pm.
A partner will be found - or bring your own partner.

 EBU affiliated. Instant scoring with hand records. Same night upload to find out where you went wrong!

Still undecided whether you remember enough of the bidding stuff? Contact
sue@aylesburyvalebridge.com - and lets see how we can get you restarted. 
We are just so friendly - honest!

10 -Card Suit! Board Four
A K Q J 10 9 6 4 3 2
7 6


East was minding his own business on Tuesday evening and picked up this hand.
Yes a ten-card suit! What are the odds of holding a ten-card suit.
The priori chance is 0.000017. Not an every day occurance then.
Don't ask what priori means. I looked it up on Google and it said it was a face cream.
So, What do you do when partner opens 1

Smart Boys :-)

Board 2 April 8th

East opens 1NT. Some Wests will blast 3NT. The thing is with such great shape you may miss the diamond slam. A jump bid of 3shows at least six diamond cards and a lot of shape and the potential for a slam in diamonds.
With just five diamond cards and a flatish hand you would indeed sign off in 3NT.
It is now important to support partner's diamond suit even though it takes you past the 3NT level.
Some may even bid a sort of super-accept 5
showing four diamond cards and close to max points.
We have used ordinary blackwood here but Roman Keycard Blackwood would give the extra security of locating the K
Note that 6NT goes off. There are only 11 tricks available. The diamond slam concedes a heart for +920.
Some intrepid Souths may overcall 2
.  A 3response now would be totally forcing - it is not a sign off.
The best lead against the diamond slam is probably a trump as you do not want to risk underleading the major suit kings into a NT hand. The slam makes on any lead however.

Well done Peter and Stephen!

Beyond the Vale
Beyond the Vale

Starting with the month of April our club will be launching something a bit different. And its got nothing to do with the game of bridge!  Its just a social grouping really. An opportunity to go to nice places and do nice things. Maybe go to see a film at the Odeon or a show at the Waterside theatre or maybe a regular lunch date at the pub.
These are our plans for April. Do join us. Everybody pays for themselves. Suggestions for May will be welcome.

April 2nd Wednesday.
Lunch at the Bugle Horn at 12.30.
If we have a good attendance on this one maybe we could put this in our diary on a monthly basis. Everyone goes Dutch but to kick it off I’ll pay for first drinks.

A very nice crowd turned up!  Bridge wasn't mentioned once - lovely!

April 6th Sunday afternoon
Tessa’s Bridge Drive at Weedon Village Hall in aid of Macmillan.
It is Chicago bridge with tea.
See Tessa to buy entry.

Rescheduled to May

April 27th Sunday morning 10.30am
French Market at Waddesdon Manor.
Enjoy a spring stroll around the gardens and take a look at the French Market. With a variety of goods including breads and patisseries, pancakes and cheeses, Provencal soaps, leather handbags, olives, saucission and pate from Normandy and basket-ware.
Meet up for coffee first at the Stables Café and maybe go to the pub across the road after for a Sunday roast (Rosbif!)
Normal charges apply i.e. pay your own entry fee.


Please note that the entry fee including parking and shuttle to the gardens is £8. Free if you are a Trust member.

In the slammer again -board 10

Whilst East has not got 23+ points he is well worth a 2 opening. This hand is enormously powerful with it's two fab pointy suits and should be treated as a game force.
West relays 2 and now East has got all the time in the world having announced his great hand with a 2opener. So he responds 2
. This is now totally game forcing.
West, with his outside ace clubs is too strong to sign off in 4 and so responds 3. Note that this is a stronger bid than 4.
After a round of Blackwood East now bids 6.

Very well bid E/W winners Gay and Jill and also Paul and Alan for getting to the rightspot.

South leads the Aand is disappointed when the K doesnt stand up. But then that is why East added value to his big hand when he opened 2


Slam Happy 4th March

Most players got to 6NT on this hand on Tuesday evening down at our club. There are various ways of bidding it.
For sure West will start with 2.
This shows either a game forcing hand or 23 points plus which is not yet game forcing.
Acol is starting to pinch Standard American ways of using a 2relay with any holding in response to 2.They call it a 'waiting' bid. Quite descriptive.
It keeps the bidding low and uncomplicated whilst giving the star of the show plenty of space to further describe his hand.
After our star rebids 2NT showing a fairly balanced hand with a 23-25 count East can now embark on all the gizmos that he would use opposite a 1NT opener such as Stayman (some use puppet stayman) or transfers.
In this case he may use a simple quantitave raise to 4NT. Note that in this sequence this is not Blackwood - just like it wouldn't be opposite a 1NT opener.
It simply is an invite to go to 6NT depending on the range of West's 2NT rebid. Given the added value of the lovely diamond holding East may bash on to 6NT straightaway anyway.

On the lead of the Q declarer can count 12 tricks if the diamonds break unkindly or 13 top tricks if they do.
Well done to everyone who bid it.


Friday Teams

This was the auction at our table and some pairs make 3NT on a heart lead.  After West opens 1 East has an easy response with 2 (10 points +  and some diamonds) A nice easy rebid of 2 from West shows at least four heart cards and five spades cards.
Is 3 by East now forcing?  Had she been a bit stronger she could have bid the fourth suit - this would be game forcing. The fourth suit is always artificial and asks for further and better details about partner's hand - such as has she got clubs stopped or has she got a fifth heart or if all else fails support the diamonds.
West has got a bit of a stop with the Q but once the defenders lead a club (the unbid suit) they get in again with the ace hearts and clear the suit for one off.

So back to the question of whether the 3 bid is forcing. East says no and who can argue with that.

National Treasure
National Treasure

Dinner with a national treasure is always a treat. On board ship was Tony Priday and his wife Vivian. We heard great stories of legends such as Stan Stayman and Omar, Reese and Schapiro.

Now 91 years old, Tony with his wife Vivian beat everyone in sight in the daily duplicate and even gave us all a seminar on hands played. 

Learning Bridge Onboard Adonia
Learning Bridge Onboard Adonia

The card room was full to bursting with people wanting to learn to play bridge. We start them off with minibridge and progress to 'big boy's bridge'. They are obviously grand masters by the time we return to Southampton! 

Click for the latest results
Tessa's Diary Date
Tessa's Diary Date

Our lovely Tessa Baker is holding a charity bridge drive for Macmillan on Sunday 25th May from 2pm to 5pm.
Tea and yummy cakes included:-) 
Lets all turn out for Macmillan and make it a very successful event.

daft but nice :-)
daft but nice :-)

Am always looking for new clip art images for the game. When you enter bridge into the search engine it pops up with all sorts of images with no relevance to what we do. Pictures of bridges mostly!

Anyway I thought I would share this one with you. Totally useless of course but brightens up the day.

Bridget is Eleven years Old!
Bridget is Eleven years Old!

Many of you will remember lovely Bridget. In fact she was named by student poll. She's just had her eleventh birthday! These days she spends most of her time with Mel and Richard Czpaski although she comes home to her birth mother for her holidays.
Her interests include bird watching, she is an authority on the subject. When she comes to my house she watches football and is an expert at knocking bidding boxes off the card table. She also enjoys eating. Quite accomplished!


AVB specialises in seminars for coaching groups, clubs and cruise ships. Anything from 2-hour topic sessions to two-day full seminars. The theme for most of the seminars is how to deploy basic systems such as Acol and SAYC more effectively. With the use of projector and screen, complex issues such as responding to partners overcall, handling big hands and deploying barrage bidding properly are made simple and fun. At a recent 2-day seminar in West Wales, Chairman of Haverfordwest Bridge Club Judith Graham-Jones commented

"so many thanks for your wonderful presentation. Everyone was thrilled with it and asking for more! So many complimentary remarks about YOU. The visuals in particular were marvellous and such fun".
A full programme of seminars are booked well into 2013 with Fred.Olsen and P&O cruises. To find out about dates for these cruises or to enquire about a seminar for your club contact sue@aylesburyvalebridge.com
Where Do Our Members Live
Where Do Our Members LiveBuckinghamshire - Oxfordshire -Bedfordshire
Aylesbury. Whichurch. Leighton Buzzard. Buckingham. Wendover. Oving. High Wycombe. Chinnor. Long Crendon Haddenham. Berkhamsted. Mentmore. Tring. Monks Risborough. North Marston. Thornborough. Great Kimble. Gawcott. Bicester. Chesham. Gt Missendon. Ibstone. Brill. Bierton. Haydon Hill. Weston Turville. Marsworth. Aston Clinton. Winslow. Cublington. Waddesdon. Gt Brickhill. Steeple Claydon. Little Horwood.
Mini Bridge Booklet
Mini Bridge Booklet

Mini Bridge is a simple intro to the game used by all good teachers. In fact it is a very good game in its own right. Most established bridge authors don't much bother with the subject, preferring to stick to the intricicies of the big game.
Many of the existing publications are joyless and dire.

Very Easy Mini Bridge is a 20 page full colour, spiral bound, laminated publication. As you would expect from this author, it is full of fun, humour and is very, very easy to understand.
This booklet is ideal if you want to teach your children or grandchildren the rudiments of the game. 
Bridge author, Andrew Kambites comments 'this booklet is typical Sue Maxwell - and that is a compliment'
If you would like a copy, email Sue at 
20% discount applies to all members present and past of AVB, P&O cruisers and EBUTA teachers.

15th Apr 2014
Tuesday Pairs
Director: Stephen Marshall
Scorer: Richard Plummer
8th Apr 2014
Tuesday Pairs
Director: Richard Plummer
Scorer: Mike Dobson
1st Apr 2014
Tuesday Pairs
Director: Mike Dobson
Scorer: Mike Dobson
22nd Apr 2014
Tuesday Pairs
29th Apr 2014
Tuesday Pairs
6th May 2014
Tuesday Pairs
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