Bridge @ Box
 
Pages viewed in 2017
 
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 ...
 
Friendly Duplicate @ Box Bridge Club

Next session Friday 02 June Play starts 7.00 pm – ring Chris on 07740 150 721

  The next Play & Learn session is on Wednesday 31 May, 9.20 for a 9.30 start.
Play & Learn Wed 24 May 2017
This week, for a change, we used hands 1-14 from the Avon Championship Teams final, played in January of this year in Bristol, and featuring 6 pretty good teams. And a fun set of hands they were too. This week's winners were Liz & Brian, with nearly 63%, and there was a tie for 2nd place between Peter & Joy and Stephanie & Phyllis. Well done all.
 
It's well worth taking a peek at what the 6 finalists did with these hands. The format's a bit different from the Bridgewebs display, but it's straightforward: simply click on the number of the hand you'd like to view. Click here to be taken to the Avon website.
 
This week's featured hand is board 8 – see below.
Kingswood Charity Bridge Day raises more than 1700
Kingswood Charity Bridge Day raises more than 1700

Thanks to all of you who came along and enjoyed a friendly but competitive day's bridge accompanied by an excellent lunch and refreshments. This year you raised more than £1700 for the Open Arms Malawi charity – plus a further £300 from those whose cheques were gift-aided. Your support will make a real difference to some of the orphans supported by Open Arms. We hope you'll be tempted to come along again next year.

Click here if you'd like to know more about the work of Open Arms Malawi and its links with Kingswood School.


To see the result of the match, together with the hands and all the contracts reached, click on Kingswood Charity Bridge Day in the Results section below right.

Hand of the week 24 May 2017

Split honours

You've maybe come across the term 'split honours'? Imagine you're declarer in this situation, with no problem negotiating entries to either hand:

HAND   A J 10 9 6              7 3 2  DUMMY

If you play the Ace at trick one, the chances are you'll lose 2 heart tricks (to the K and the Q). Instead you finesse. Only 25% of the time will both the missing King and Queen be in the 'wrong hand', and there's a slightly better than 50% chance that the two honours will be 'split' – that is, one in one defender's hand and one in the other's. So you lead low from dummy and play the J, expecting the finesse to lose to one of the missing honours. Then when you get the lead back, you finesse again – leading a low heart from dummy to your 10, but this time expecting the finesse to win. And most of the time it will. You've just successfully 'played for split honours'.

Take a look at today's hand. I'm not recommending the auction shown (a 1NT overcall from East is a much better bid than 2♣), but this is an auction we had at Box, and East is to be commended for seeing the possibility of 3NT after partner's raise to 3♣ and being brave enough to punt it. She can count 2 heart tricks, (possibly) 5 club tricks and a diamond trick – so if partner can come up with just one more trick ... 

South leads the 4 and down goes dummy. The clubs look good (phew!), and your 2 heart tricks are in the bag, but where's that 9th trick going to come from?

A spade perhaps? Well, no. By the time you've knocked out the ♠A and ♠K (losing the lead TWICE), NS will have drawn your A and before you can blink will merrily cash 4 or so heart tricks. No good. You can only afford to lose the lead ONCE.

It'll have to be the diamonds, then, and dummy's solid J1O9 sequence gives you cause for hope. Supposing the missing honours (the K and Q) are SPLIT – one with North and one with South? You can go over to dummy with a club, lead dummy's J and play low from hand, losing to South's (say) Q. South will then correctly lead a second heart, knocking out your A ... and now comes the moment of truth:

Cross over to dummy with a second club and lead your 10. If North covers with the K win with the Ace and dummy's 9 is now the top diamond – your 9th trick. If North plays low, cross your fingers and play low as well ... and, as you'll see if you click on Show all hands, the finesse works and you've just made 3NT: 2 hearts, 5 clubs and 2 diamonds.

A couple of points to note:

  • You have to take the trouble to plan this at trick one. If you take the first trick and then bang out your 5 club tricks to 'see what happens', you're going off. Why? Because you need to use two of dummy's big clubs as entries so that you can finesse the diamonds. 
  • It looks risky, but in fact the 'split honours' finesse is pretty well bound to succeed on this auction: North has merrily bid on to 3 with just 4 points in hearts (you know that because you have the other 6!) after her partner's pass, so she must surely hold nearly all the missing points. No way can South hold both the K and the Q. So you don't even need to cross your fingers.
  • As so often with no trumps, the winning line is to lose the tricks you need to lose immediately, while you still have stops in the other suits.
  • 'But supposing South switches to a spade instead of leading another heart? Can't they take their ♠AK?' Sure they can, but all that achieves is to set up your ♠Q as a 10th trick. You should be so lucky!

In Box & Avon

Just one pair in Box reached 3NT. No one in Avon got to game – and if East makes the best overcall of 1NT you can see why. 1NT shows 15-17 points, so West will reason 'Even if my partner has the maximum 17 points, we still only have 24 between us – not enough for game.'

Ah well – that's bridge for you.

Hand of the week 17 May 2017

The right order

What a difference an opening lead can make. You can always make 10 tricks here, but you'd much rather make 11. With a helpful lead, you can achieve that in your sleep, but otherwise you'll have to make your own luck.

You're always going to lose tricks to the A and A, and you've got a losing club, too – or have you? Once you've got rid of the A, you'll have a top diamond in dummy and a diamond void in hand, so you'll be able to throw away your losing club on dummy's top diamond. And that should be your focus.

But back to the opening lead. If they lead a diamond, you're home and dry. You've now set up your diamond trick in dummy and whatever they lead now, they can't stop you discarding your losing club: 11 tricks.

But what if the lead is the ♠2? Can you see the danger? Can you see how to guarantee 11 tricks?

Right. First the danger. You lead a trump and they come in with the A. They then lead a CLUB, knocking out your ♣A. You clear the last trump, then set about the diamonds (knocking out the A so that you can discard your losing club on the Q, remember). Oops – you're too late, because when they come in with their A, they cash their King of clubs, leaving you with just 10 tricks.

How to do better? Simple. Just attack the diamonds BEFORE you clear trumps. At trick 2. Then you've set up your club discard BEFORE they can force out your ♣A. Can you see what happens?

  • trick 2. Lead the K. They win with their A.
  • trick 3. They realise that a club switch would be a good idea – but this time it's their turn to be too late. You take your ♣A and immediately ...
  • trick 4. ... lead your Q, discarding your last club from hand.
  • and now you get on with clearing trumps, losing just the A in the process and ending up with 11 tricks.

So it's a bit like the sketch with Eric Morecambe and André Previn: you're both playing the same notes, but Eric's playing them in the wrong order. The right order is diamonds first, then the club discard, then trumps.

In Box & Bath

In Box, everybody in 4 got a diamond lead, so everybody made 11 tricks.

In Bath, it was largely the same, but the three declarers who got a spade lead were obviously in Previn mode, as they all made 11 tricks too.

A note on the auction

In Bath, a lot of EW pairs were in 5 and one went off in 6. Why was that, then? Well, with 8 hearts East is entitled to open 4 instead of 3. Vulnerable with just 4 points I didn't fancy it myself, so I opened three and Trevor simply raised me to four. But if I were sitting West and partner opened 4 I'd find it hard not to even look for a slam. And presumably that's what happened. West would have tried Blackwood, then stopped in 5 when no key cards were forthcoming. But if you're in 5 rather than 4, you have an even greater incentive to go for the 11 tricks rather than the 10!

   The previous featured hand –  Sniffing out a slam – is now on the Looking for a slam Improvers' Page.   
Click for the latest results
Need a Friday partner?

Contact Jacky Ceeney
tel 07976 546369
email jackyc1@tiscali.co.uk

Results
Fri 26th May 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Gwyneth
Scorer: Tim
Wed 24th May 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Fri 19th May 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 17th May 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Sat 13th May 2017
Kingswood Charity Bridge Day
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Fri 12th May 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 10th May 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Calendar
Wed 31st May 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Fri 2nd Jun 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Gwyn
Scorer: Ray
Open/Close: Jacky & Linda
Wed 7th Jun 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Fri 9th Jun 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Desley
Scorer: Keith
Open/Close: Can anyone help?
Wed 14th Jun 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Fri 16th Jun 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Julie
Scorer: Tim
Open/Close: Helen & Ainslie
Wed 21st Jun 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Click for the latest results
Need a Friday partner?

Contact Jacky Ceeney
tel 07976 546369
email jackyc1@tiscali.co.uk

Results
Fri 26th May 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Gwyneth
Scorer: Tim
Wed 24th May 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Fri 19th May 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 17th May 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Sat 13th May 2017
Kingswood Charity Bridge Day
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Fri 12th May 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Wed 10th May 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Calendar
Wed 31st May 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Chris
Scorer: Chris
Fri 2nd Jun 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Gwyn
Scorer: Ray
Open/Close: Jacky & Linda
Wed 7th Jun 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Fri 9th Jun 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Desley
Scorer: Keith
Open/Close: Can anyone help?
Wed 14th Jun 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor
Fri 16th Jun 2017
Friendly Duplicate
Director: Julie
Scorer: Tim
Open/Close: Helen & Ainslie
Wed 21st Jun 2017
Play & Learn
Director: Trevor
Scorer: Trevor