MCC Bridge Club
 
About the Club


Duplicate bridge at the MCG on Thursday afternoons

Teams matches against other clubs

Membership available to Melbourne Cricket Club members only

Members may invite a guest to play as their partner each Thursday

Looking for a partner?

Please contact Mr Brian Bailey in person or on the MCC Bridge Club telephone

0437 248 367

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Useful Contacts

Committee Members
Chair:
 Chris Nixon
Treasurer: Linda Willersdorf  
Secretary:  Rick Gaylard  

For full committe membership  click here

Emergencies and last minute changes:  The MCC Phone   0437 248 367.
Please note the phone is only activated on Wednesday and Thursday. The service does not include partnership enquiries

Roster:  Brian Hassett: Setup/packup roster : brhassettptyltd@bigpond.com 0419 219570

Interclub matches: Margrett Hardie  
Website: Susie Bunting: Comments,suggestions,information and uploads: sbunting@bigpond.net.a

 

 
Lessons Other Links
Informal Notes: Lesson 16 November 2016

Some informal notes :  Ben’s Lesson 16  November 2016 

Hand One: How not to be a loser of your losers …

  1. When a declarer in a suit contract, count your losers at the beginning of play and work first up to discard losers. In NTS count your winners and go ahead setting up your best suits.
  2. Trumping in dummy will enable you to choose your losers as declarer
  3. As a general guide, the loser count is the prerogative of the declarer. When the responder has been asked a question by declarer (as in most bidding) do not as responder count your losers- as responder, answer the question inherent in the bidding.
  4. With shape, extra length in the primary suit is extremely valuable.
     

Hand Two : Of misfits and NTS …
 

  1. If you have game points between you and a misfit, you may have to hope for stoppers in the unbid suits.  Do not falsely describe your hand: bid the NT game on the basis of the game points.
  2. In NTS remember to count your winners at the beginner . In unbalanced hands opposite each other, deal with your finesses first.
  3. Leads against NTS:
  4. Only ever lead 4th highest from an honour.
     If you have a bad holding of 4 cards lead 2nd highest.
     If you have a bad holding of 3 cards play MUD- in NTSs and suit.
    You can under lead an honour when you have three cards if you are stuck- but this will throw out the Rule of 11 so only where there is no other apparent lead ( e.g. if your 4 card suit is really weak.)
     

Hand Three: A positive approach to Negative Doubles

  1. Advancer must have 8+ points to perform a negative X. (Seat  positions are designated anti clockwise from the opener as: opener- overcaller-responder-advancer).
  2. Negative X’s indicate you have a four card suit that has not been bid.
  3. With both minor suits bid by opps you, should have both majors for a negative X. Exception: 1d-P-2c-X, where you may only have 1 major.

Hand Four: There would have been something to learn, but I missed it …

Hand Five: Points are not necessarily schmoints …
 

  1. An overcaller must have 5 in a suit; an advancer in a new suit must have 5
  2. If you are making a take-out X at the 2 level , you should have 13 points + a shortage- then add a king for each additional level i.e. 16 at the 3 level, 19 at the 4 level

Hand Six

  1. Do not pre-empt with an ace and an empty suit. If vulnerable you should have at least two of the top three: remember you may end up playing vulnerable at the three level in your suit. Feel OK with that?

Repeat your suit if you are very unbalanced and relatively strong


 

Lesson 15 September 2016

BENS NOTES.pdf

Lesson 15 September 2015
Lesson 17 September 2015 2C openings and responses

Opening 2C
2 CLUBS IS A COMPULSORY GAME FORCE BID

EITHER
 23+ and balanced
OR
Around 21 hcps, with a long suit and tricks
Note: your winning tricks maintain impetus during play: losing trick count indicates the level of control you can exercise during play

When looking at the latter type of 2c hand the question is:
WOULD I BE HAPPY IF I OPENED MY SUIT AT THE 1 LEVEL AND MY PARTNER PASSED.

If you would be unhappy to be passed, THEN you should open 2 clubs. (Note, however, these hands will usually be opened in 1 of a suit on the happiness test.)

When you open 2 clubs, however determined, your partner as responder will expect that you have a 1. Strong hand  and 2. Minimal losers.

Responding to 2C

IT IS THE RESPONDER WHO USUALLY CONTROLS THE 2C AUCTION
 

The question to ask as responder is:
 Are we looking at game or slam?
With 2 good cards- A+K, K+K, or A+A there is potential to add 2 or three tricks to the openers hand: explore slam
With 3 good cards, slam is go.

Responder’s bids :
1.  2 D: which means either waiting or bust.
(If the opener immediately bids at the 3 level it means that slam is on and there is no other option.
A response of 2 NT by opener indicates balance and no 5+ card suit.)

If opener makes a suit bid at the 2 level indicating 5 or more in the suit, then responder can:

2. Double raise to 4 level: 3 cards support and no points to speak of.

3. Single raise to 3 level with 3 card support. Cue bidding can then commence to explore slam possibilities in the suit.

4. 2 NT which is a further low level waiting bid.  It says: I do not have 3 card support, I may have 5 + which would enable me to bid at the 3 level but it is not that strong so tell me more about your hand.
If opener then rebids suit you know the holding is 6+ and with two card support cue bidding can commence if you have two good cards which would indicate slam may be available.

In summary, if you have a 5 card suit but it is not great, even if you have 2 good cards, take it slow and bid 2NT.

NB
If opener bids 3 of a suit after responder’s 2 diamonds it is a jump positive bid: it means this is the suit, it matters not that you may have a void, and there can be no discussion on this.  If opener makes a jump positive response, then responder can cue bid in that suit.

NB
If a partnership has established a fit then 4NT is key card ask.
If a partnership has not found a fit in the bidding and there is a preceding NT bid, then 4NT is invitational to slam. That is:

WHEN THE BIDS ARE NT TO NT WITH NO AGREEMENT AS TO SUIT, THEN 4NT IS always SLAM INVITATIONAL

Examples:
1H-1S-1NT-4NT: invitational: bid to 6 with a maximum response
1C-1H- 2NT- 4NT: invitational: bid to 6 with a maximum response
 

There must be no prior agreement as to suit (agreement as to suit is implied with NT raise structure and splinters, and with transfers if there is a super accept).
IF 4C Gerber is used by responder after a NT opening then opener must respond by naming Aces.
Gerber is not used after any NT bid- NT at whatever level has to be the opening bid

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM HIGH LEVEL COMPETITIVE AUCTIONS

1.In  first seat and NV PRE-EMPT with 6 or more points to as high a level as your system allows
If you are flexing on the length of your pre-emptive have something on the outside. The honours holding in the pre-emptive suit is a matter for partnership agreement.

2.Conduct  a risk assessment when competing
Defending a 600 series game can go down 3X  if NV
Defending a 400 series game can go down 2X if NV

3.Map the hand

Visualise your prd’s holding.
Do not be seduced by FOMO- Fear Of Missing Out. Remember the more distributional your hand the fewer defensive tricks.
BUT be optimistic. In imagining the hand, give your partner a perfect  minimum or at least one or two good cards.
Vulnerabilty

Tricks
 Points
Liability ( changed by vulnerability)

4.When to X
In general, a X is a top or bottom.
Vulnerability makes no difference to a X
ESTIMATE YOUR TRICKS WHEN DOUBLING: TRICKS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN POINTS

5.Do not override a partner’s decision

If your partner, having heard what you have to say, passes, then let it go: partner will have been able to map  the hands together  and made a decision
DO NOT BID YOUR HAND TWICE

6.Look at tricks, not necessarily points, in high level contracts
Work out the cards you need form prd to achieve your aims

KEY POINTS Summary

BIDDING OVER OPPONENTS WHEN YOU ARE WEAK:
1. Vulnerability
2.Tricks – be mindful of potential losers but also count winners
3. Points
BIDDING OVER OPPONENTS WHEN THEY ARE STRONG:
1. Vulnerability
 2. Map out yr hands to find a fit and what tricks you may have

Weak hands can jump around finding a fit
3. Understand their bidding

Lesson April 2015

Lesson Notes from the WebWorker April 2014 :all care but no responsibility!
1.USEFUL PERCENTAGES WHEN PLANNING PLAY
Finesse: 50%
With 7 cards missing: 3-2 Split: 36%
With 6 cards missing: 4-2 Split 48%: 3-3 split in a suit 36%:
With 5 cards missing: 3-2 split in a suit 68% :4-1 split in a suit 28%
With 4 cards missing: 3-1 split in a suit 50% 2-2 split in a suit 40% ; 4-0 split 10%
2. SUMMARY OF REVERSE DUMMY PLAY
Think about the following
1. If you are planning to trump with long trumps make sure you have enough
2. Or think about either a finesse compared to the percentages related to a 3-2 divide
3. PRE-EMPTS
A. 2 Simple thoughts:
i) you want to interrupt opponents bidding with a pre-empt bid, the sooner done the better.
Overcalls can wait: pre-empts should not.
ii) You are also happy to play unassisted by your partner if the pre-empt is left in: you may feel
like hell as you go down X but if you have prevented a 600 series game all is good.
B. Apart from the standard rules – 6 for 2, 7 for 3, 8 for 4 - pay attention to
1. Vulnerability
When in first seat non vulnerable PRE-EMPT!!! (Tell that to those who have gone down 5
tricks, 2SX NV)
2. Position in bidding
There is no point pre-empting in 4th seat.
3. Length and quality of suit.
This is very much a matter for partnership agreement. Ben can be wildly weak at the 3 levelwork
out with yr partner what you feel comfortable with.
C. WARNING-WARNING-WARNING
In order to avoid pre- empting your partner, avoid
1. Side suit voids- in highly distributional hands you might be missing another fit or you could
have good defensive assets
2. Side Suit Aces: these give you defensive power your partner cannot predict
3. 4 card major as a side suit: you could be missing a major fit.
All these rules are designed to protect your partner if they have an intermediate biddable
hand.
D. RESPONSES TO A 2 LEVEL PRE-EMPT
If you are exploring the pre-empted hand with a view to game, ask for a side feature by bidding
2NT. The pre-emptor will name a good card in an outside suit or return to the pre-empted
suit. The good card could be as low as a queen- as he should have no Aces

Lesson 19 March 2015



1.  Competitive play in a one sided auction
DUPLICATE

protecting yourself is not necessarily the main aim in duplicate: take the risk for extra tricks

SWISS PAIRS OR TEAMS
do not take risks: go all out the make your contract, not necessarily an extra trick

bidding process in Duplicate

  1. What are the tricks
  2. Where are my losers
  3. What are the risks I am prepared to take :what protective mechanisms can I put in place

NB  In duplicate, if the one sided contract is reasonable, then vulnerability is taken  out of the equation
If the contract is a sacrifice in a contested auction then vulnerability is critical.

2. If you are non vulnerable and your opponents stop at 2, close your eyes and bid. In a competitive auction NEVER let your opponents play at the 2 level.

3. NT raise structure
a)  The raises are only available to the responder, never the opener.  The responder can however can respond at any relevant point
b) If you are short in a  suit with long trumps you have controlling power but no trick power- you have no extra playing strength. Be very careful
c) You can only splinter in a new suit, never in a previously bid suit.
 

Ben Kingham Lesson 17 July 2014: 2 Way Checkback

 2 WAY CHECK BACK  :

1X – 1Y- 1NT- ?

*****IMPORTANT:  ONLY EVER BID AFTER A 1 NT REBID BY OPENER******

Usually bid when responder has an unbalanced hand that looks like will not play well in NTS.
 

Works even with partnership agmt allowing 1nt bid  with 5 card major

NMF takes advantage of the fact the a natural 2c or 2d response after 1 NT  is rarely competitive .

STRUCTURE OF NMF
 

RESPONDER’S responses to 1 NT rebid  by opener are:
 

2 LEVEL:

Either : 2C Invitational by responder:  10-12 points.


Opener MUST respond 2D so that responder can then describe his hand at the 2 level.  This may be, for example, showing another 4 card suit or rebidding Y to show 5+ length.  The search is on for game.

Or:2D Forcing: Game going or stronger by responder: 13+ points
Opener describes his hand either in support or bidding 4 card suits up the line
 


3 LEVEL SUIT BID BY RESPONDER  : Strong and Slam looking
Either : NEW  Suit Bid at 3 level by responder after opener rebids 1 nt:
This means you have a very strong highly distributional hand- 5+ /5+ and is slam looking

OR: 3 Level  rebid by responder after opener’s 1 nt rebid:

 Indicates stong distributional hand with 6+ in suit
Game forcing at least :  Cue bidding commences if opener has 1. Fit and 2. Interested in slam.

 

Ben Kingham Lesson 19 July 2014: Overcalls

When deciding to overcall answer yes to the following three questions:

Do I want to compete?

Can I cope if my prd calls to the next level in my suit with 6-9 points and support in my suit?

Can I cope if my prd calls to NTS over my bid with 8-10 points?

 

Ben Kingham Lesson 27 May 2014

 

Last two lessons have been looking at defensive situations: 1. Third hand play 2. Attitude signals. Now

3. FORWARD THINKING AND MAKING A DEFENSIVE STRATEGY

Once dummy goes down, each defender must think about what it is possible to win based on

1. The bidding- both by the opposition and partner  

2. What you can see- from both dummy and partner’s lead.

SLOW DOWN and THINK ABOUT YOUR DEFENSIVE STRATEGY

1.  How may tricks might declarer have?

2. How many tricks might we have?

3. What are the points?

SEQUENCE YOUR DEFENSIVE PLAY

1. Why has prd led the way she has?

Remember that if partner leads first in defending a contract, then that first lead must ALWAYS be honest and should follow the generally accepted rules and guidelines.  Previous lesson looks at these- but in addition players reminded to only lead a singleton against a slam contract if it is the prd’s bid suit, look for a legitimate lead other than trumps, and don’t lead useless doubletons.

2. How does she follow suit?  (Ben uses upside down attitude)

3. What does prd’s first discard mean? (Many in the club use McKenney/Lavinthal especially in defending NTS)

NOTE:

Do not automatically lead back partner’s suit: attitude and count could  give you information that may mean this is not the best lead.

QUESTIONS and ANSWERS:

1.If you have an Honour bigger than dummy together with a card 9 or higher, then play that card NOT the honour. Without a 9 or 10 play your higher honour.
2.  Q: How can I tell if the bid is game suit help try or a cue bid. A: You can onlybid a game suit help try Belwo three of a major.
3.  ANY WEAK OVERCALL MUST HAVE  6 IN YOUR SUIT
4. If there is a chance you may promote your trump when defending, do not rush to over trump. Preserve a possibly winning trump if you can

Ben Kingham Lesson 15 May 2014 10 a.m.

These notes were taken by the WebWorker and may or may not represent an accurate transcript of what Ben said ...
Building a Defensive Strategy with your Partner

Discards:
1. Suit Contracts: Upside down attitude
As a general rule: low encourages and high discourages

2. Suit Preference Discards in NTs
As a general rule, if you lead back your partner’s suit where you have the opportunity you won’t’ get into too much trouble.  But that may fail to show the defensive strength of your hand. You may have a stronger second suit that you want to tell yr partner about. In this case carefully consider yr discard so that you can give your partner the most information possible and lead him to yr suit. This may even include discarding a high card of your prd’s originally led suit. Think of your hands together as far as possible and assume your pard will also be thinking things through in the same manner.

NOTE: If this seems unusually ambitious, Ben did not seem averse to using McKenney/ Lavinthal discards to show yr suit preference where possible.
McKenney/Lavinthal discards are widely used suit-preference signals that work in the following manner: the first discard by a defender in either position denies interest in that suit, and the size of the discard indicates whether he would like the higher or lower of the two remaining suits led back.

For example, if declarer is running diamonds, a high heart discard would ask for a spade, and a low heart discard would ask for a club. Similarly, a high spade discard would ask for a heart, and a low spade discard would ask for a clThe main advantage is that the defender does not need to part with what might be a valuable card in the suit he actually wants.  He also has a choice of which of the remaining two suits to use for his signal.

The disadvantage of course is that one of the defenders may forget that the partnership is playing this signalling convention- but then for this lazy  punter it seems nearly as effective as the  approaches outlined by Ben and \ less likely to come to grief.

3.  Final Thoughts re Discards
- Discarding is not easy:  don’t be greedy about your own hand, and help your prd at every opportunity.  It’s not just about your own strength: try to think: what might prd’s problem here? and see if you can help resolve it

-In NTs in particular, good discards early on help establish the overall hand strategy and maximise opportunities to defeat the contract

4.  Other matters

4-4-4-1 opening hands where you hold a singleton spade:  Ben inclines to a 1NT bid if yr prd’s response is 1S.

-Take out Doubles over a Pre-empts.  If you agree with your partner you can make all doubles up to and including 4 hearts a take out. Over a 4s pre-empt, a double should be for penalty and the take out bid is 4NT.

-In order to the dreaded direct 2NT response to an opening 1NT Ben suggests using the 2c staymen to indicate either an invitational or better hand with a 4 card major or majors  OR an invitational hand of 9 -10 points.  This way the responder can bid out in 2NT if no other bid is indicated by opener’s response, rather than having to go straight up.  Using staymen in this way is an insurance policy

 

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