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Bridge d'Albret is a small friendly Anglo French bridge club located in Mézin, Lot-et-Garonne, (Department 47) bordering on the Gers within easy reach of the historic towns of Nérac and Condom in rural south west France.
We meet on Tuesday evenings for Duplicate Bridge and Thursday afternoons for Beginners. The majority of our members play Acol bridge but as we have a mix of nationalities all partnerships are welcome whatever school of bridge they prefer to play.
As we are a small club it's helpful if we know in advance if you wish to play, we do our best to arrange partners if needed.
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This hand was played on 9 January but the slam not bid. There is more than one way to bid it and if you would like to put forward your thoughts we would be pleased to hear from you.
Bidding Acol system.
I think it is easy to get to a small slam but difficult to bid the grand. Although we can see that 7D, 7S and 7NT all make, the best to be in would be 7D as E/W have 9 cards in the suit. It could be difficult in 7S because that is only a 7 card fit and although the 6 outstanding cards will usually split 3-3 or 4-2 the grand would fail on a worse split. Since West has the big hand they will be taking charge of the bidding and it is difficult for them to perceive such a good solid spade suit in partner's hand and since they have only 1 Heart stop will be unlikely to bid to 7NT.
3 C bid. Yes I know it is only a 3 card suit but a new suit at the 3 level is forcing so West must bid on.
3D bid. Nothing else that East can do as they have already shown spades twice and they do not have a heart stop to bid No Trumps. Neither can they do fourth suit forcing as they have nothing in hearts themselves. So show the partial agreement in partners first suit.
3H bid. West does have a stop in hearts so could bid 3NT but that would almost certainly end the auction and West has such a big hand that they will be looking for a slam so try to get more information about East's hand by seeing if they have anything in hearts or clubs.
3S bid. Showing at least 6 spades and no heart stop and no secondary support for clubs.
4NT bid. Blackwood over a suit.
5D (or whatever they do in their system to show one ace)
6D (one king), had East shown two kings then raise to 7D or chance 7NT hoping East also has a queen other than in diamonds as you can now almost certainly see 12 tricks (6 in diamonds, 2 in each other suit) so any other queen gives the 13th trick.
Acol alternative (danger being east could pass 3NT).
N E S W
P 1S P 3D*
P 3S P 3NT
P 4C** P 4NT***
P 5C** P 5H ****
* jump bid to show strength
** Gerber asking for aces , then kings: ***showing 3 aces: ****showing 1 king
With more sophisticated bidding E might go to 7 NT but it all depends on wether they can find out where the missing King lies.
With a lead of 3 of clubs from North EW should make 7 NT.
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Not sure who made it but the following quote is encouraging!
"One of the reasons bridge continues to fascinate players all over the world is that, in order to become even sort of good at it, you have to be willing to be bad at it for a long time".
Don't Overcall If You Were Going To Open 1NT
With a classic 1NT opening, showing 12-14 points and a balanced hand (i.e. 4333 or 4432 shape, or 5332 with a 5 card minor). If the opponents open the bidding in front of us with no sound bid we should pass. A 1NT overcall would show 16-18 points.
The only exception occurs when the opponents open the bidding in our doubleton, then we should make a takeout double. We're very minimum for this bid, so we should pass any response by partner.
The situation is different if we are in the fourth position after an opening bid and two passes. In this situation we overcall 1NT, which shows 11-14 points in the "protective" position. This ensures that game will not be missed if partner has passed over the opening bid with fair values ie 11-14 points but no possible overcall.