Bridge @ Box
 
Pages viewed in 2018
 
Hands galore!
Many previous hands of the week can be found on the Improvers' pages.

We have tablet scoring. 

Your teacher is Chris Jones, who came back to bridge in 2003 after a lengthy absence, and hasn't looked back since. Click for more ...
 
  The next Play & Learn session is on Wednesday 23 May 9.20 for a 9.30 start.
Play & Learn Wed 16 May
My apologies for the scoring shambles this morning. Turns out it was entirely my fault - must be all that Greek wine. Anyway, it was an otherwise very pleasant if hectic morning, resulting in a second victory in a row for Brian & Liz on a whopping 70%, followed by Bernadette & Marilyn in second place and John & Pat third. Well played all. Apologies must also go to Peter - his partner Bridget wasn't at her best this morning.
 
To see what happened when the hands were played in Bath, click here and then on 'Travellers'.
 
This week's featured hands are Boards 5 & 6 – see below.
Hand of the week 16 May 2018

A balanced response

How do you defend against a weak 2 opening? If you have a decent long suit, you can bid it. Otherwise, there's always the takeout double, asking partner to bid her longest suit. Neither of those seems right here. You have a strong hand, but your 5-card suit is a threadbare minor and the takeout double could land you in all sorts of trouble. Passing is out of the question, so ...

... the likeliest option is no trumps. You have a balanced hand, with not one but TWO hearts stops (South surely holds the K for his opening bid) and, as it happens, just the right number of points. Bidding 2NT over a weak two opening shows 16-18 points with at least one stop in the opponent's suit. Perfect!

Have a look at the whole deal. With 10 points opposite your (say) 17, East will confidently raise to 3NT, and there are a comfortable 11 tricks for the taking.

Good, innit? And there's actually another advantage of the 2NT overcall: 'Systems are ON', which means that your partner can use Stayman and transfers, just as if you'd opened the bidding yourself. By a bizarre coincidence, the very next hand, board 6, features an almost identical situation. Same opening suit – even the same point counts for the four hands. Here it is:

After a couple of passes and a weak 2 by West, you bid 2NT. An alert South will bid 3♣ (Stayman) just in case partner holds 4 spades – as indeed she does. So the final contract is 4♠, making 11 tricks – a better score than 10 tricks in 3NT.

In Box and Bath

BOARD 5  In Box, all but one EW pair were in 3NT, making overtricks. Similarly in Bath. The few others were in clubs or diamonds, making a poor score.

BOARD 6  In Box, all NS pairs bar one (my table – my fault!) found 4♠, though not all made the 11 tricks that were on offer. Similarly in Bath, except that they all made 11 tricks. Those in 3NT got a poor score, as it makes fewer tricks.

Hand of the week 09 May 2018

Gambling 3NT (2)

This topic last came up as a HOTW in December 2012, so it's high time we gave it another airing.

Sitting North on this hand, your first instinct is to open 1 - unless you and your partner have agreed to play the 'gambling 3NT'. It's perfectly designed for hands like this: a long, solid MINOR suit and no more than a Queen in any other suit.

Your partner will know immediately if 3NT is where you want to stay: she'll need stops in all three other suits and at least one card in your suit (to get over to all those lovely winners). Failing that, she'll take you out into 4♣, which you'll pass or correct to 4 if that happens to be your suit. (There are other possibilities, too: if South has something like ♣ Q 5 3   9 4 2   A K Q 4  ♠ A K 4 she'll probably decide that 3NT is too risky but put you into 5 instead - maybe even 6!

What happens here? Have a look at South's hand. She can see immediately that your suit is diamonds (your 'solid suit' can't be clubs!) and that she has stops in all three suits, so she passes: 3NT it is. And it makes comfortably.

What about a slam?

With a slightly stronger hand, an alert South might respond with a gamble of her own and try 6: with any spade lead coming round to her K J, it might just make. But I reckon you need to add a king to make it a worthwhile punt (North has no more than a queen outside diamonds, remember). Yeah, I know it can make on this deal, but only because the clubs are well placed: it's not a good slam to be in. 

In Box and Bath

In Box, half the room was in 3NT making an overtrick (you simply let the opening heart lead run round to your Q for 10 tricks). The others were in 5, not all making (and even if it makes it scores less than 3NT + 1).

The Bath results were a surprise: only 3 of the 11 tables found 3NT. The rest were nearly all in diamonds, mostly for a poor score. One EW pair ended up in 3♠X for just one down and a penalty of 200, a great result that points up a further advantage of the gambling 3NT opening: it stops the opposition from poking their noses in!

PS The previous Gambling 3NT article was for 5th December 2012. You can find it by scrolling down the Using Conventions page. Might be worth a look.

Click here for ...

The EBED Sims commentary booklet.
(from 2 May 2018)

Quote from the notes on Board 1: In conclusion, anything might happen and probably will.

   The previous featured hand – Awkward shape – is now on the Beyond basic bidding Improvers' Page.   
Click for the latest results
Play & Learn at Bath Bridge Club
Play & Learn at Bath Bridge Club

Another weekly session of Assisted Play, with Chris, Trevor and Christine

Monday evenings, 7.00 till 9.30 at Bath Bridge Club, Monkton Combe

The format is similar to that here at Box: 14 boards played as duplicate pairs with assistance on hand from an experienced teacher. All welcome.

Cost: £5 per person, including coffee/tea and biscuits


Click here to be taken to the Bath Bridge Club website.

Hosted daytime bridge ...
Hosted daytime bridge ...

... at Bath Bridge Club


Gentle Duplicate
Thursday mornings 10.00–1.00
A 'no fear' version of the real thing under the friendly guidance of Rita James and John Whittleton


Social Duplicate
Tuesday mornings 10.00-1.10
The gloves are off ...


Come and join us, with or without a partner.

Results
Sat 19th May 2018
Kingswood 2018
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 16th May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 9th May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 2nd May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trev
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 25th Apr 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 18th Apr 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 11th Apr 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Calendar
Wed 23rd May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 30th May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 6th Jun 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 13th Jun 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 20th Jun 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 27th Jun 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 4th Jul 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Click for the latest results
Play & Learn at Bath Bridge Club
Play & Learn at Bath Bridge Club

Another weekly session of Assisted Play, with Chris, Trevor and Christine

Monday evenings, 7.00 till 9.30 at Bath Bridge Club, Monkton Combe

The format is similar to that here at Box: 14 boards played as duplicate pairs with assistance on hand from an experienced teacher. All welcome.

Cost: £5 per person, including coffee/tea and biscuits


Click here to be taken to the Bath Bridge Club website.

Hosted daytime bridge ...
Hosted daytime bridge ...

... at Bath Bridge Club


Gentle Duplicate
Thursday mornings 10.00–1.00
A 'no fear' version of the real thing under the friendly guidance of Rita James and John Whittleton


Social Duplicate
Tuesday mornings 10.00-1.10
The gloves are off ...


Come and join us, with or without a partner.

Results
Sat 19th May 2018
Kingswood 2018
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 16th May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 9th May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 2nd May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trev
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 25th Apr 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 18th Apr 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 11th Apr 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Calendar
Wed 23rd May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 30th May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 6th Jun 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 13th Jun 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 20th Jun 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 27th Jun 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 4th Jul 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris