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 2 May 9.20 for a 9.30 start.
Play & Learn Wed 25 April
A couple of not-quite-slams in today's tricky-as-ever selection from Bath BC. Today's winners with almost 68% were Helen & Ainslie, followed by Joy & Peter in 2nd place. There was a tie for third place between Mark & Sheila and scratch partnership Susan & John. Well played all.
 
To see what happened when the hands were played in Bath, click here and then on 'Travellers'.
 
This week's featured hand coming soon.

Kingswood Charity Duplicate Bridge Day 2018

Saturday 19th May 10am–4pm @ Kingswood School, Bath


Enjoy a great day's bridge with coffee, lunch + a glass of wine and afternoon tea, all for £25, while supporting a really worthwhile charity. 

As last year, all proceeds will go to the Open Arms Infant Home in Malawi.


Contact Jenny Opie: jro@kingswood.bath.sch.uk or 01225 734200.

Hand of the week 18 April 2018

Temptation 

You're sitting West, declarer in 4♠ after partner's excellent 7-loser game raise of your opening 1♠. Although you have a strong hand, you didn't explore further because partner's direct raise to game is a shutout – weak and distributional.

North leads the 8, dummy goes down and it's time to plan the play. How's it going to go?

It's looking good, isn't it? On that lead, North's unlikely to be holding the K, so you're going to be losing a club, a diamond and no more than one heart. Splendid. OK. Let's go. What do you play to the first trick?

Did you play low from dummy? Oh dear. You're going one off. Take a look at the whole deal. South wins with her K and leads back the 3 for her partner to ruff. Back comes a club to South's ♣A, and a second heart ruff makes it 4 tricks to the bad guys.

Yeah, I know. It's just so tempting to let the heart run round to your Q. You somehow sense that there might be a 'free' trick in it. But there isn't. There never was. Not unless North started with K8 doubleton, in which case she's not leading a heart at all. The correct play is to go up with the A and clear trumps. THEN, with the danger of a heart ruff eliminated, you can lead low from dummy towards your Q and your 10 tricks are GUARANTEED – plus you have a decent chance of discarding a losing diamond on your last heart for an overtrick.

The moral? ALWAYS ask yourself whether the opening lead might be a singleton – in this case it's quite likely because you hold 8 hearts – and whether you actually gain anything by playing low from dummy. Beware temptation.

Suit preference signals

In passing, you might be wondering how North knew to lead back a club (rather than a diamond) to get her second ruff. Simple: South told her to. When she leads a heart for her partner to ruff, South has a choice of hearts to lead, and so can show a suit preference: a low heart (the 3) asks partner to return the LOWER of the other two suits, while a high one (here, the J) would be asking for the HIGHER suit. Here she leads the 3, asking for a club. Easy when you know how.

In Box & Bath

An interesting and very clear divide, with everybody in spades and almost all facing 8 as the opening lead.

In Box, three declarers made 9 tricks, the other two making 10 and 11. One of the former was very lucky, having not bid to game in the first place!

In Bath, all but one of the 11 pairs made at least 10 tricks. Just one failed to go up with the A at trick one. How do I know? Luckily for me, it was at my table.

Hand of the week 4 April 2018

Xtra strong

Your partner has passed and it's your turn to bid after East's weak 2 opening. What do you say?

The obvious answer is 2♠, but it's far from ideal. The trouble is, you're a really strong hand. You have 17 points, a self-supporting trump suit and (with spades as trumps) just 4 losers. Partner's a passed hand, sure, but you don't need her to have an awful lot to be worth game in spades. And her most likely bid over 2♠ is PASS.

Going straight to 4♠ is a better, if friskier, option, but that will go off if partner's weak. 

3♠, maybe? Yes, maybe. If you think partner will read it as an invitation, fine.

But the best bid, I think, is double. Over an opening 1-bid, a takeout double followed by your suit (overriding whatever partner replies) is the standard way of showing a strong (16+) one-suited hand. The same applies over a weak two.

After your double, partner will bid 3♣. Ignoring that, you now bid 3♠. Partner now knows that you have a strong hand with a good 6+-card spade suit. If she's really weak, she can pass, but otherwise she'll bid on to some sort of game.

Have a look at the full deal. North only has one spade, but with 10 points she can confidently raise you to 4♠, which makes comfortably. With better hearts, she might have preferred 3NT, but that goes screaming off if East leads her singleton diamond and West returns her J.

The main point, though, is that if you simply overcall with 2♠, North is going to PASS and you miss a stone cold game.  

Moral: if you have an Xtra strong one-suited hand, start with a double.

The play

West will probably lead a heart. East wins and tries her singleton 7. West wins and gives East a diamond ruff. And then it's all over. Trumps are cleared in 3 rounds and declarer takes the rest of the tricks.

In Box & Bath

In Box, half the room found 4♠ and half stopped in 2♠, all making 10 or 11 tricks.

In Bath, six out of 10 NS pairs got to 4♠, three stopped in the part-score and one punted 3NT, which instead of going 3 off made 11 tricks for an absolute top when East started with her AK. There's no justice.

   The previous featured hand – Minor choice – is now on the Using conventions 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
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
Wed 4th Apr 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 28th Mar 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 21st Mar 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trev
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 14th Mar 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Calendar
Wed 2nd May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 9th May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 16th May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
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
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
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
Wed 4th Apr 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 28th Mar 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 21st Mar 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trev
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 14th Mar 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Calendar
Wed 2nd May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 9th May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Wed 16th May 2018
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
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