BERRY BRIDGE CLUB
BERRY BRIDGE CLUB
 
Bulletin

Congratulations to Christine Houghton awarded Grand Master level. 

 
AU REVOIR
AU REVOIR

Members of Berry Bridge Club recently bid farewell to Audrey Griffin a past President and long time member of the club.

Audrey first joined the club in its infancy and was afounding member. She first joined the club in May, 2000 and was elected to the committee in November 2001 where she successfully served for five years. In 2002 Audrey was elected President and held this position for the next four years.

Audrey and her committee spearheaded the move to the club becoming incorporated  and this was achieved in January, 2003.

During her Committee years many progressive changes were introduced including, the first steps to scoring computerisation, interclub tournaments with both Bowral, Southern Highlands and Batemans Bay, air conditioning at the club’s home base at the Berry Masonic Centre and purchase of general  storage and  modern office equipment which went to streamlining the playing conditions for members. Audrey was a few months shy of being a continuous member for 18 years.

Audrey will be greatly missed by all members of Berry Bridge club and the bridge community of the Shoalhaven, she and her husband have moved interstate to be closer to family.

We owe a great debt of thanks to Audrey and wish her and her husband all the best in their new life.

Marea Allen - Media

 

 

 

 
Kath's Tips of the Week
 
 
  Getting the picture

Getting the Picture

Partner opens 1NT and you bid 2S (transfer):
You have:
♠ KQ
♥ K75
♦ A6
♣ KJ10963

Partner holds:
♠ A432
♥ A7
♦ J10
♣ AQ84

Minor slams can be difficult to find, however there is a bid you can use which lightens the load a little. For example, in this case South rather likes clubs, and there’s a good way to tell partner – bid 2NT. This says I like your clubs. You’re promising 16+ HCPs and four card support or three card support with at least two top honours. 1NT: 2S: 2NT. With a weak hand partner will bid 3C, with a strong hand, partner will take over the bidding aiming for slam, in this case 6NT.

Just as 2S over 1NT is a non bid, we use it to transfer, 2NT over a transfer is also a non bid, we’re bringing it back for good use.

Point count: don’t forget to add length points for NT contracts – North has 13 HCPs and 15 total points (1 point for the 5th club and 1 for the 6th )

  Words of Bridge Wisdom

Words of Bridge Wisdom

Critical Cards – Opening Leads: When you are in third seat, note the card partner has led.  If they lead the highest outstanding card, then play for them to have a doubleton or singleton in the suit.  If they led the lowest possible card, they’re either playing a. 4th from a four card suit or b. holding four to an honour card or c. a singleton in the suit. You should be able to tell from the bidding, dummy and your own holding.

If you find you have failed to notice the actual card partner played on the first round of a suit, or the first part of partner’s signal, you may be able to recover by watching carefully the second card partner plays in that particular suit or the second part of partner’s signal.  If on the next round of the suit, partner plays the lowest possible card, you can deduce that they have played high low.  Likewise, if the second part of a signal from partner is the lowest possible card, partner has given a high low signal.  On the other hand, if partner’s second card is an unusually high card, one that makes more impression than the first card, assume partner to have played low high and take it from there.

When you hold 4 or more trumps it is good strategy to lead your side’s longest suit to try to force declarer to trump in.  If they have to do this often enough, they may lose control of the hand.  The principle is trump length, lead length.

The choice of suit for the opening lead also tells a tale.  A trump lead tends to herald a favourable trump break.  Leading an ace in a trump contract suggests that the leader has no safe lead to make and may well have missing honour cards.

On remembering key divisions of missing cards in a suit: When you have 5 cards missing in a suit, how often will they divide 3-2, or 4-1.  When you have a 7 card fit, how often will the missing cards divide 4-2 or 5-1.  A simple memory guide is as follows:

The 3-2 break occurs 2/3 of the time

The 4-1 break occurs ¼ of the time

The 4-2 break occurs 2/4 or 50% of the time

The 5-1 break about 20% of the time.

While not absolutely accurate, these are correct within a few percent and are certainly close enough for all practical considerations.

From Improve Your Bridge Memory, Ron Klinger, Gollancz 1984

  The Mississippi Heart Hand

A rigged deal used by Whist cardsharps on the Mississippi River steamboats during the late 1800s.  The unknowing South is allowed to bid a large sum of money on the hand, which is doomed to lose...

Now click on Show All Hands

South’s hand seems to be a winner by all accounts – 29 HCP, zero Losing Trick Count - and bids to 6H. However, when West leads the AD, South can do no better than make 6 tricks!

 

  Historic Hands - the Amateur

A doctor was called away from the bridge table to attend an emergency and asked the kibitzer to take his place even though he knew nothing about the game. The players tell him to just bid what you’ve got and follow suit. He, sitting South, starts the bidding sequence (E/W pass throughout).
Click Show Answer to see how the contract was made:

South took the lead of the KS with the A, cashed the AK of trumps, came to his hand with the AC and played all his diamonds. On the last diamond lead, west was hopelessly squeezed in hearts and spades, and ultimately discarded a heart, whereupon South made the last 4 tricks in hearts.

When the opposition saw South’s hand they called the director, who asked for an explanation of the bidding, and got the following reply:

I was told to bid what I have, and I have – 1 club, two spades, 3 hearts and 7 diamonds!
-kk

  Interior Sequence Opening Lead

N/S are in a contract of 3NT by South – yes a bit of an overbid but there they were. What do you lead from West?

Answer:

The only lead to make is the top of an interior sequence – QH. Why? You want partner to lead hearts back, if and when they win a trick. Sure, declarer (South) is going to win the KH, but the minute they lose control, you take your six heart tricks and the rest is history.
Archived 9/7/2016

  Between a Rock and a Hard Place ...

How would you handle this nightmare, played at Berry where there were some odd results, especially on the opening leads?

Answer:

Extreme caution should be taken with Easts hand. If you open too high you’ll run out of room. Recommend a 1H opening and the bidding will probably proceed:
1H: 2D: 2S: 3C (if you don’t play 4 th suit forcing): 4H (choice of suit): ? (rock and hard place)
What happens if you open 2C? Messy!

If you’re playing hearts, this is a typical hand where you give away tricks to make tricks. For example you’ll win the opening lead, unblock the AC, now draw three rounds of trumps, North winning the third round. North is now experiencing the rock and hard place. If they lead back spades, win the Q and put North back in with their last heart, if they play a club, ditch two spades on the KQ and another on AD, now play a spade to the Q, then the AS and given them the QH for 11 tricks.

According to the computer it can make:

  • 12 tricks in clubs!
  • 11 tricks in diamonds
  • 10 tricks in hearts
  • 11 tricks in spades, and
  • 10 tricks in 3NT.

Results were mixed:

  • One bid 4H minus 2 on a club lead
  • One bid 6H minus 1 on a small spade lead
  • One bid 6S doubled going two off
  • Two bid 4H making 10 on the 4S lead, and
  • Two bid 6NT minus 3 – one on the 8H lead and the other on the 5D lead.

Glad I was defending! smiley
(At our table the bidding went: 2C: 2D: 2H: 3D: 3H: 4D: 4H, neither showing their second suits. I led a small club taking them 2 off). KK

  Gambit Play

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

N

♠ Q862

 76

 AK42

♣ 543

S

♠ A43

 AKQJ10952

 none

♣ AK

E

♠ K1097

 4

 Q10853

♣ 876

W

♠ J5

 83

 J976

♣ 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

  Cue-Bidding Opponent's Suits ...

Suppose you hold:
♠ AQ963
K732
AK104
♣ -
... and hear the opponent bid 3C. What’s your best bid? Too strong to overcall 3S, you can double showing the majors, but cue bidding the opponents suit is a much better option. You are showing a strong hand with length in spades, hearts and diamonds and a probable void in the opponent’s suit.

Now the bidding can go:
3C: 4C: ?

In this particular case partner held:
KJ74
A986
Q965
4
... and considered slam, however, the bidding continued:
3C: 4C: 5C: ? putting paid to ace enquiries, so on with the motley:
3C: 4C: 5C: 6C: 6 nice spades thank you very much.
-KK

Archived 11/6/2016

  Minor Transfer

Partner opens 1NT and you bid 2S (transfer):
You have:

KQ
K75
A6
♣ KJ10963

Partner holds:
♠ A432
A7
J10
♣ AQ84

Minor slams can be difficult to find, however there is a bid you can use which lightens the load a little. For example, in this case South rather likes clubs, and there’s a good way to tell partner – bid 2NT. This says I like your clubs. You’re promising 16+ HCPs and four card support or three card support with at least two top honours. 1NT: 2S: 2NT. With a weak hand partner will bid 3C, with a strong hand, partner will take over the bidding aiming for slam, in this case 6NT.

Just as 2S over 1NT is a non bid, we use it to transfer, 2NT over a transfer is also a non bid, we’re bringing it back for good use.

Point count: don’t forget to add length points for NT contracts – North has 13 HCPs and 15 total points (1 point for the 5 th club and 1 for the 6 th )

(Archived Berry 27/5/16)

  When To Play in No Trumps

When you cannot support your partners opening bid OR you also have an opening hand with no four card major, eg 1D: 2NT etc.

When three suits have been bid you must have two stoppers in the unbid suit to bid game in NTs.  
For example:
1H: 1S: 2C: ?

Opener has shown a two suited hand – probably 5 hearts and four clubs, therefore their shape is possibly 5-4-2-2 or 5-4-3-1 or even 5-5-2-1 or5-5- 3-0, dangerous for a no trump contract unless you can cover partner’s short suits, in this case spades and diamonds. Remember, no trump contracts rely on suit length. Suit shortages on your side are opponents length on their side and they’re going to lead their length, so you must be able to cover it with high cards to make your contract.

If you don’t have support for partner’s first or second bid suits, to bid 2NT you will need 10-12 HCPs and at least some length (minimum four cards) and at least one stopper in the unbid suits.  To bid 3NT, the same but at least 1 ½ in one suit, two stoppers in the other and 13+ HCPS. Stoppers are aces, kings, queens, jacks and tens. 

Examples:
AKx – 2 stoppers  AQx - 1 ½ stoppers, AJ10x – 2 stoppers
KQxx – 1 ½  stoppers, KJxx – 1 ½ stoppers, K109xx – 2 stoppers
QJ10x – 2 stoppers, Q109xx – 2  stoppers
J109x – 1 stopper.

There are exceptions to every rule, for example:
The bidding:
1S: 2D: 2H: ?
You hold:

85
43
 AKQJ065
A76

No need to worry about the 1 stopper in clubs, you can afford to bid 3NT because the diamonds will give you 6 tricks, leaving only 3 easy tricks with the AC and two from your partner.

If the diamond suit is not so strong, for example AQJxxx you can bid 3C (fourth suit forcing) which asks partner if they have some help in this suit such as K or QJ.

  When To Play No Trump Slams

Suppose you hold:
♠ KJ1096
 1082
AK5
K9
... and partner opens 2C.

You bid 2S showing a 5 card suit and partner bids 3H.  We’re now looking at slam, but in hearts or no trumps? Ask for aces and kings and after partner shows 3 aces and 1 king we’ll land in 7NT rather than 7 hearts because we have heart length between us and decent cover in the other suits, ie three other kings to go with the aces.

Now let’s look at the other hand, you open 2C holding:
♠ AQ54
AKQ97
Q9
♣ AJ
... and partner replies 2S.   With big hands you need to aim for the strong hand to stay hidden and bid to the highest level if you can.  Rather than support partner’s spades, bid your heart suit first.  Partner will bid again, if they don’t like your hearts you can then support spades.  In this case partner takes over as above and you land in the proper 7NT contract. 
Note, if you support partner’s spades rather than showing your heart suit you may well not find the NT slam.

Archived 8/5/2016 Berry

  Planning The Play

There will be hands in your bridge life where it will be crucial what you decide to play at trick one.  Consequently it’s crucial to plan your play before you play to trick one.  

For example, before you play to the opening lead, look at your hand and dummy and plan out what you’re going to do.  If it’s a suit contract are you going to draw trumps first or do you need dummy’s trumps to ruff losers? Now look at your second suit – dummy usually holds a four or five card off suit, this is where you’re going to park your losers if you can, but you must  set it up after you’ve drawn trumps or depending on the situation and entries, before trumps are drawn.  Also carefully check entries in your hand as well as dummy’s. Now look at the opening lead and decide what to play and when you’re going to take your first trick. That’s the basic plan done, however, be prepared for the plan to change when finesses don’t work or the opponents hold length in your trumps or second suit.  The hand above is a simple example of planning your play:

Contract 6NT BY South, lead 2H

Planning the play: firstly check your long suit (diamonds) then your second long suit (clubs).  Ok, this looks good, BUT don’t play yet! Why not? Well firstly if you play out your minors the clubs may not run and you have a heart loser as well.  By this time you may not have an entry into dummy!  What are you going to do about those spades! Have you taken out the AH, if so, the spades are blocked!  

The Plan:  Long suits – clubs and diamonds, one loser in hearts, spades have to be unblocked and losers dumped on the QJS.  

The Play:  Lose the first trick and win the next.  Play the AK spades, lead a club or diamond to dummy and play the QJ spades discarding losers in your hand.  Now set up your long suits to make 12 tricks.  A well planned hand.

Note for the defence – more often than not it’s prudent, to NOT lead away from any honours in a slam contract. There are exceptions to every rule, this is not one of them.
KK

Archived 24/4/16

  Tall Poppy Syndrome

In one way or another, everybody’s a Tall Poppy (TP) in their own particular sphere of talent.  However, when TPs migrate to a group which supplies the opportunity to practise their skill, they meet others who aren’t as skilful.  Consequently the Tall Poppy Syndrome rears its ugly head, forcing them to become the great big fish in the tiny little pond and ultimately the pond begins to bubble with resentment.

Why are they resented so much?  Being one of these TPs, I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that ‘you’re only here to win, let’s face it!’  Well, how important is it to win?  Very to some, not very to others who just like the challenge along with the learning process or the social side.   These happy little fish are the backbone of clubs. They have respect for the TPs abilities, are eager to learn from them, and surprise, surprise, the TPs belong in this category as well, giving the organisation its strength by generously imparting their knowledge.  This TP also suggested Handicap scoring which has given new players a real boost.

Forty years ago when I was an eager little minnow in our pond, yes I did want to win, but I soon learned that to do this I would have to work at it and it would take time.  Over all those years of study, play, learning by mistakes and teaching, I’ve had more than enough wins, thousands in fact.  This TP is there simply to experience the challenge and play to my best ability.  Yes we win a lot, but win, lose or draw, our percentages are far more important to us because they show how well we are performing.

So next time you come to our table feel free to enjoy yourself and ask questions if you need to know something. We’re always happy to oblige.  Let’s not forget that bridge clubs are officially sporting clubs which recognise their champions to the Grand Master status and beyond, participate in local championships along with major world championships and thus given the same equality as all sporting clubs.

Cheers, kk

  A Teacher's Life

A Bridge teacher’s life is no bed of roses.  We spend hours setting up lessons plus hands, we must be extremely patient leading  beginners and intermediates through the maze of the game, answering every question confidently and correctly, and then, the bane of their life, be prepared to be regularly mis-quoted. 

For example – and may I place my name next to the greats of Ron Klinger and Paul Marston – yes I may as I teach their techniques.  Several years ago we had a learner character who insisted that she was always right, just check page 45 of Ron Klinger’s book.  She did it so often that it became her mantra, and of course she was always incorrect.  Poor old Ron suffered the slings and arrows of what’s this man teaching!  And over 30 years of teaching I’ve had my share as well, along with she ought to check her notes because they say…….! Of course my notes certainly do not ‘say’.  All  leading to an unfair reputation, simply because the learner needs to feel correct, and is on the defensive.

Beginners suffer from information overload and consequently make many mistakes.  When you think you’re correct, don’t insist that this is what you were taught, you may well be incorrect.  Do yourself and your teacher a favour, when you have time, check your notes or ask your teacher. It makes for a much better relationship all round because you really do want to be correct and your teacher only wishes the best for you.

  Control Cue Bidding - Advanced

Cue bidding has its complications and is the subject to learn in a lesson situation.  It’s usually advised when either hand has a void because it can be important to know which specific controls partner holds.  

However, there is a simple but very nice cue bid which can be used when you hold a very big hand which you only need to know if partner has one ace. For example:
AKQ76
AK985
KQJ
none

Using RKC, Gerber or Blackwood in the above hand would be useless.  You want to know if partner holds the AD, example 2C: 2D: 2S: 3S: 4C: 4H (one ace, but which one?).  Using cue bidding in this case the bidding would go:

2C: 2D: 2S: 3S: 5C (first round control of clubs) asking partner to bid 5D if they hold the AD, if not they will bid 5S (because they obviously don’t hold the AH).  Notice the bypassing of 4C which may well be understood as Gerber and you don’t need to know about the majors because you are in control of the contract.

Note – 3S by responder shows some strength such as 3 + card support and 8+ total points, giving partner room to bid on to slam if necessary, otherwise with a weak hand,0-7 total points, responder will bid 4S shutout because the opener’s 2C bid is game force.  In this case, if responder does bid 4S, opener can still bid 5C asking if they have the AD, and if not, can afford to play a comfortable 5S or even 6S if they want to risk it.

Kath Kean.  (Kath's previous articles can be viewed on the Nowra Bridge Club website).

  Leading Aces In Slams

There are exceptions to every rule, however, there are minimal exceptions for the opening lead of an Ace in a slam contract.  But it puts them on wood I often hear you say.  So what.  Let’s look at why you shouldn’t.

Firstly, when the opponents are in a slam contract they obviously have the majority of points otherwise they wouldn’t be there.  Therefore you and your partner don’t have much, maybe the odd Ace or King, perhaps a Queen or Jack somewhere between you.  When you ‘always’ lead Aces in slam contracts, then the declarer, who may have an Ace missing, knows where that missing Ace is when you lead an ordinary card – nice thank you, they have no fear of going off by playing through your partner. You’ve done them a big favour.

Secondly, declarers say a quiet thank you when you lead an Ace because you’ve just made their KQ of that suit high instead of having to worry.  For example, take this situation:

Declarer and dummy holds:
  KQ987 - xxx

Your partner holds:
 J10x

You hold:
 Ax

If you lead your Ace you’ve made all those diamonds good.  However, if you make a passive lead of another suit, declarer must eventually lead their KD, you play your Ace, now your partner’s Jack becomes high.  How do you know partner has the Jack? You don’t, but there’s always that chance and you must defend as if they have.  Defence is all about giving tricks away to make tricks.

Defenders rarely ‘go to bed’ holding an Ace.
Archived 16/7/2016

  Getting The Picture

Partner opens 1NT and you bid 2S (transfer):
You have:
♠ KQ
♥ K75
♦ A6
♣ KJ10963. 


Partner holds:
♠ A432
♥ A7
♦ J10
♣ AQ84
Minor slams can be difficult to find, however there is a bid you can use which lightens the load a little. For example, in this case South rather likes clubs, and there’s a good way to tell partner – bid 2NT. This says I like your clubs. You’re promising 16+ HCPs and four card support or three card support with at least two top honours. 1NT: 2S: 2NT. With a weak hand partner will bid 3C, with a strong hand, partner will take over the bidding aiming for slam, in this case 6NT.
Just as 2S over 1NT is a non bid, we use it to transfer, 2NT over a transfer is also a non bid, we’re bringing it back for good use.
Point count: don’t forget to add length points for NT contracts – North has 13 HCPs and 15 total points (1 point for the 5th club and 1 for the 6th )
Courtesy Kath Kean 

  Interesting History

Charles Goren – the father of point count bidding
Successor to Eli Culbertson, author and lecturer on Mass Psychology and Political Science, Culbertson was an entrepreneur and personality dominant during the 1930s. He played a major role in the popularisation of the new game and was widely regarded as "the man who made contract bridge". He was a great showman who became rich, was highly extravagant, and lost and gained fortunes several times over.

Not so our Charles G. Along with being a Master of Law he became, author, lecturer, teacher, television personality and star player. He was known to millions as ‘Mr Bridge’ during the 1930s right through to the sixties. Dedicated to the game, he never married nor practiced Law. Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, 4 th Edition

I learned Goren’s easy 4 card major method for beginners during the 1970s. Transfers were taught at the intermediate level because it was considered crucial to keep the lessons as simple as possible. Beginners example of major bids over 1NT:

1NT: 2H = 5-6 card suit, less than 10 points, partner should pass
1NT: 3S = 5 card suit 10+ points, partner bids 3NT with no support or 4S with support
1NT: 4H = 6 card suit 10-12 points.

Transfers were introduced in 1953 by the Dallas, US player Oswald Jacoby, one of the great players of all time. They became known as Jacoby Transfers, which we use today.

The most important rule for transfers is that if there’s an intervening bid – 1NT: (2C): ? all transfers are off and we then revert to bidding our suits.

For example – as above, we bid our five card suit atthe 2 level with less than 9-10 points and the 3 level with 10+ points:
1NT: (2C) 2S = 5 card suit with less than 10 HCPs
1NT: (2H): 3S = 5 card suit with 10+ HCP
1NT: (2D): 4H = 6 card suit 10-12 HCP.

Archived Berry 27/5/16