At the final Interclub competition for the year at Kiama, Berry Bridge made a clean sweep of the opposition taking home the trophy till the new year. The two teams consisted of (Team A) Chris and Wayne Houghton with Brenda Mille and Eddie Garkut accompanied by (Team B) Marea Allen and Jenny Moon with Janet Graham and Palle Brask. At the conclusion of play not only were Berry victorious but  the Berry Team A were also the winning team overall with 90 Victory Points. Congratulations.

The interclub series is conducted annually between Berry, Kiama. Bowral, Southern Highlands and Goulburn, with each club holding a home tournament, usually commencing in April with Southern Highlands and concluding in October at Kiama. The opening tournament for 2018 is at Southern Highlands on April 18. Closer to the date members will be asked to nominate with their partner for a team, so once announced please see me to register your interest.

The competition has been held continuously for the last 12 years and this year Berry Bridge Club made history by winning two of the five tournaments. The first win was at the Goulburn Bridge Club in August. The tournament went down to the wire with Berry winning on the toss of a coin against Bowral.


CHRISTMAS PARTY:  The 2017 Christmas party will held on Saturday December 16 and all members and visitors are cordially invited. There will be an attendance list on display at the club so please record your name as early as possible to assist with catering.


Hand of the Week
  Gambit Play

Gambit Play

A Gambit Play is a deliberate sacrifice of a trick in order to gain additional tricks.  The term is borrowed from Chess:



S Q862

H 76

D AK42

C 543



S A43

H AKQJ10952

D none




S K1097

H 4

D Q10853

C 876



S J5

H 83

D J976

C QJ1092


Contract: 6H by South, lead QC.  How do you make the contract? With Gambit play.  For example:

South takes the KC, and at trick two MUST play one of his two small trumps and concede an otherwise unnecessary trick to the 8.  This forces a trump entry to the dummy, and permits South to discard his two spade losers on dummy’s diamond winners.  Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, 4th edition

Last updated : 17th Mar 2017 19:25 EADT
  Kath's Q&A 1


Q – from an intermediate player:

I held:

S 94

H 932


C AKQ106

And partner opened 1NT.  I was worried about the majors, but bid 3NT because we had game points.  Partnermade 13 tricks.  Should I be concerned about my weak suits when partner opens, and how should we have bid slam?


A – Getting a picture of partner’s hand when they open is all important.  In this case it’s easy.  You’ve got the minors well covered, now ask yourself where are partner’s points for his 1NT opening?  They must be in the majors.  In that case let’s account for 15+ HCPs – he must have either two aces and two kings = 14 points, or one ace and three kings = 13 points plus queens/jacks.  You hold 15 HCPs, 16 counting the fifth club, you are around the slam area.  Over partner’s 1NT opening ask for aces.  If you find there are not enough you can always stop at 4NT.  Partner held:




D 752

C J72

Last updated : 17th Mar 2017 19:23 EADT
  How to bid this hand ...

The following hand came up at the NBC where most stopped in game despite the power of the hand.  With normal bidding North should open with the game force bid of 2C. 

The bidding proceeds:
2C: 2D: 2H: 3D: ?
Now North is certainly interested in diamonds, however the heart suit is very powerful and a better score, so the bid should be 3H showing 6+ in the suit.  South cannot pass as the 2C opening is game force.  Holding an honour (J) in partner’s suit, South must bid 4H.  North now asks for aces and South shows one, however, North has no idea which one and bids 6H. If South makes any bid other than hearts, North should plan to bid 6D.

One pair who uses the Kabel convention bid this way:
3NT (specific Ace ask): 4S (I don’t have the AC/AD or AH, I have the AS)

7H can now be bid, however, playing it safe, ie North doesn’t know how the diamonds will behave, bids 6H.

For those interested, the Kabel Convention goes like this:
3NT – do you have any aces and if so, which one/s
4C – no aces
4D – AD only
4H – AH only
4S – AS only
4NT – AC only

With two aces:
5C – AC and AD
5D – AD and AH
5H – AH and AS
5S – AS and AC
5NT – two non-touching aces (such as AC and AH or AD and AS)

Kabel is used ONLY for single suited hands of 7 or more in the suit including strength such as AKQ along with singleton/s or void/s.

Last updated : 21st Jun 2016 10:47 ESTA
  Minor Slams - Vacant Positions

Minor Slams - Vacant Positions

Now that bidding systems have rapidly changed, we’ve developed a couple of vacant positions or empty spaces which are not being used.  Examples:

Over 1NT – 2S is now a transfer to clubs and 3C is a transfer to diamonds. However, you really need a 6 card minor to transfer if you’re rescuing partner.  Another:

Suppose partner opens 1NT and you hold:

S 86

H A43

D AQ6543

C A8

Now we’re looking at a possible slam in diamonds.  Here’s another empty space, bid 3D (1NT: 3D) showing slam interest with either a single suited hand or a 6 card suit.  If partner’s minimum, then they should bid 3NT, (1NT: 3D: 3NT) however if they’re maximum (17-18) with an honour or two in diamonds, bid 3H (1NT: 3D: 3H) and the bidding continueswith slam enquiries.  Suppose the suit is clubs – 1NT: 2S (club transfer); 2NT by opener shows a maximum hand with two club honours.

Last updated : 14th Oct 2016 21:21 EADT
  Juggling Distributional Hands

Juggling Distributional Hands

The following two hands came up in one session at the Nowra Bridge Club. How would you have bid them? Firstly the two suiter:


♠  none



♣  A

The longer suit should always be bid first, so we open 1D, partner bids 1S. Now we bid hearts, but how high?

The total point count is 19 – 13 high card, 3 for the singleton A, and 3 for the void.

Recommend 4H with this distribution, showing 6+ diamonds and 5+ hearts – 11 cards out of 13.

1D: 1S: 4H: ?

South held:

♠  AKQ972



♣  J63

And the grand slam is there with two diamond ruffs.


♠  J85



♣   9842


♠ 10643



♣  KQ1075


Now let’s check out the Losing Trick Count. You hold:

♠  A8



♣  Q

And partner opens 1H, East overcalls 2C, you bid 2D and partner bids 2NT. What next? Time to
assess the hand. The diamond suit is fully self-supporting, ie an 8 card suit on its own. Partner has
an opening hand showing 7 losers and possibly a singleton or void in diamonds. Setting diamonds as
trumps, count your losers – 5 - 1 spade, 2 hearts 1 diamond and the QC – add to partner’s losers – 7

= 12. Subtract 12 from 24 =12 and this is approximately how many tricks you should make
(around 80% of the time). You now know that 5D will probably make. Partner hasn’t made any strong bids
and East is holding at least 9 points, in this case play it safe and bid 5D which makes comfortably.

Partner held:

♠ J64



♣  AJ82


♠  K75



♣  K109753


♠  Q10932



♣  64

Last updated : 10th Aug 2016 16:55 ESTA
  Bidding the Grand ...

This beaut number for the risk takers came up at Berry recently.  Yet, out of 11 players, only four bid 6S, one bid 6NT and nobody bid the grand. How should you bid?

2C: 2D: 2S: 3D: 3S: ?

Now that West has shown a 6 card suit, East is interested in slam. On the Losing Trick Count, East has 3 heart losers, 1 ½ diamond losers and 1 club loser, equalling 5 ½ losers. Partner is showing a 3-4 loser hand, 5 + 4 = 9. Subtract 9 from 24 and you get 15, and that’s how many tricks you should make – not 15 of course, but all 13.

East asks for aces and kings and finds that there’s two kings missing and stops in 6S. However, West is now aware that East has points enough for slam such as at least two or three missing kings and goes for the grand.

At our table East pre-empted diamonds. Now we reverse the bidding. West should ask for aces and kings, landing in 7S. 7NT is also makeable but hard to find. Not for the faint-hearted, relying on the QC falling and trumps dropping. A good risk at pairs where one bad board doesn’t have much effect overall, and if it pays off, 100%. One would stay at the six level in teams.

Last updated : 30th May 2016 00:23 ESTA