Congress to be held at Park Inn, Telford, TF3 4NA, on 28th/29th April 2018. Congress Secretary: Mrs. Judy Mitchell.
Owing to the unprecedented success of the EBU four Junior Squads (U26; U26 Women; U21; U16) at the European Championships during the summer the EBU is in the happy position of having to send four Junior teams to China in 2018 for the World Youth Team Championships. Would you like to help towards the costs?
The Cheltenham Congress runs from Friday 4th May until Sunday 6th May at the Chase Hotel, Brockworth. Click here for an entry form.
Referring back to Issue No.3 you may have found it strange to read about getting your A.G.M. notification 'a bit early' when, in fact, you got it too late. The E.B.U.'s distributors decided that an enclosure dated 'March' should be held over until May. One thing the EBU did do well (with Staffordshire's help, naturally) was the Green Pointed One Day Event. This added to our coffers and the money will be used to replace some of our trophies, etc.
The Bearn Semi-Final has been under fire for some years now. It's critics will be pleased to hear of it's demise; it will be replaced by a 22 pair Final. To ensure that all clubs will know their entitlement of qualifiers, they must inform the Committee by November 30th of the number of entries they expect from their club (this may be a 'guesstimate).
The suggestion that 'Shopshire' be incorporated in our County title failed to muster sufficient support. Personally I found the arguments a bit vague and the lack of a vociferous Shropshire contingent (they did speak, but not loudly) probably led to a conservative conclusion.
The 'no smoking' rule imposed. by the E.B.U. was discussed at length at the A.G.M. and it was decided that Staffordshire was in favour. This does not affect, in any way, our own County competitions. (But those who have been given a fag-end will soon want a cigar).
The County Committee have decided that the Third and lower divisions of the League will play 24 board matches instead of 28. It is expected that this will guarantee a half-past ten finish, which may encourage more players to give teams of four league bridge a try.
COUNTY RESULTS 1984 - 85 (for other results see Bulletin No.2.)
Harold Goodwin's team was playing in the fourth round of the Hubert Phillips teams of four; on one board Harold obtained a score of 60. How? Honours count in this competition: Opponent's played in one notrump just making and Harold claimed 150 for holding four aces:
SYSTEMS, CONVENTIONS, TREATMENTS AND THINGS
A lot of experimentation is being done with two and three -level openings, and it is not uncommon to find that your opponents have put some of them to exotic, and often, esoteric uses.
The Opening Bid of Three Clubs is a popular choice for treatment because it is the least effective pre-empt and it leaves room for exploration at the three level. The club suit is also the bane of Big Club systems and certain, difficult to bid, hands with long clubs can be dealt with by releasing the three club opening from its normal pre-emptive role.
This is a difficult hand to show in a Big Club system, and isn't so easy in Acol either. Defining the hand is simple. Devising a system of continuations that are reasonably efficient is the hard part. After much sweat and toil (and an occasional peek at other people's ideas), I have come up with the following scheme:
and simple addition convinces you that 13 tricks are there for the taking. But the pessimist in you can see two losing diamonds. Never fear, the solution is at hand - first bid 3D. Opener replies 3S showing diamond and heart guards, but (surprise, surprise) no spade guard.Unfortunately you have agreed that, for notrump purposes, Qxx or J10xx will do for a guard, Now you must bid 4D (i.e. rebid your 'no guard' suit) which becomes an asking bid in diamonds: Step 1. = Q or J ; Step 2. = Kx ; Step 3. = A
Let us look at some (carefully chosen) examples.
THE BEARN FINAL - Roy Martin
Or, the Saturday night I felt a sore throat beginning; on Sunday morning sneezing and a runny nose began. At the start of the Final my bones started to ache in sympathy with my head. I was in the ideal state to play bridge! Some unkind souls might attribute our success to the presence of my cold, stating that the quality of my bridge when I am fit would not be sufficient to lead to a winning score. These comments are (I hope) merely sour grapes.
The Final was in two sections. First a 10 table scrambled Mitchell, and after tea, two 5 table Howells. Paul Leese (aka Bellapel) and myself had built up a comfortable lead from the first section and we started the second half with high hopes.
The first board, against Geoff Davies and Arthur Bloxham, saw us holding the following cards:
Stafford Bridge Club Results
Alsager Bridge Club Results and Report
The most significant event of the season was the formation of the County Inter-Club Teams by Mike Horsley, the Club Captain. This years competition will take place on Sunday 1st September at Alsager B.C.
At County level, the best result was achieved on the last day of the season when Joyce Maddock and Barbara Tams came second in the Ladies pairs. In the League, Joyce's team narrowly missed promotion from the Fourth Division.
Dennis and Elsie Brookes finished third in the County Flitch, and Shiela Allport and Dennis Bell came fourth in the Swiss Pairs. Shiela and her Sandbach teammates came within two imps a place in the Semi-final of the Staffs. Cup. Martyn Harris' team with Barbara Kitchenham and Ian Pendlebury, finished runners-up in the First Division.
At National level Barbara Kitchenham and John Rudolf were third in the Regional Master's Pairs. This was the first time they had ever played together. Barbara and Pauline Rudolf finished sixth in the National Women' s Pairs Ian Pendlebury, John Smith and the Rudolf's finished second in the B.B.L. Swiss Tams at Buxton.
Shrewsbury Bridge Club Results
A new event, The Open Shropshire Teams of Four League, was successfully organised by Brian Nicholls. 16 teams entered playing 7 times during the winter months, with Malcolm Mitchell's team winning by one point in the last match. Malcolm also captained a team in the Sullivan Powell Challenge competition which qualified for the Final to be played in London.
RUFFING FINESSE - a device for discovering that the normal finesse would have worked.TRUMP REDUCTION - having your trumps drawn by the defenders so that they can cash their outside winners without the danger of ruffs.
COMMENTS FROM THE MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY - Ian Pendlebury
After I had been persuaded to accept the job of County Membership Secretary in May last year, I realised that the County Association was within reach of two milestones:
In 1983/84 the County had 262 members, which meant that the second milestone represented an increase of about 15%. Over the previous 5 years the average increase had been only 2% per annum.
The first target was achieved early in November and the second by mid-December. The final figure was 307 members, representing an increase of 17% over the previous year. Neither target would have accomplished without the considerable efforts of Club Representatives, who collected the subscriptions. The following people deserve recognition for their efforts on behalf of the County:
(Editorial Comment: I'm sure all of the above will agree that being badgered, bullied, and pestered by Ian also had a lot to do with their success. Strange that Alsager don't get a mention - their Club Rep. must be pretty hopeless!)
Analysis of Membership Change:
Conditions Which Helped to Increase Membership:
General Comments :
Over half of Newcastle 's 120 members are also members of the E.B.U. Shrewsbury and Stone are similar in size but only one-tenth of their members are E.B.U. members. The reasons for this are historical; Newcastle members have been strong supporters of the County for many years, whereas Shrewsbury joined the County about 4 years ago and Stone rejoined the County after an absence of many years.
Given the low E.B.U. membership in many clubs, there is no reason why the County membership should not increase to 400 within a few years. However, based on the performance of the County over the previous decade, membership could easily drift back to 250.
[Editorial Comment- Under the heading "Conditions which help to increase membership" we should also consider County competitions. The County Committee must get these right, because for those who don't care to play in E.B.U. events the County bridge scene is of paramount importance.]
FOUR LOSERS PLUS A GRANDMASTER EQUALS TEN WINNERS by Bob Beech
Holding the South hand in a recent Dawes inter - county match against Warwickshire Phil Topley opened the bidding with 1H.
The beauty of the hand lies in the fact that if West holds four or more clubs (so that the ace cannot be ruffed out) Declarer continues as before and simply ruffs Dummy's last club before cashing his remaining top trump. He is now left with a losing trump and a losing diamond but he has made ten tricks: AK of trumps, AK of diamonds, AQ of spades, one spade ruff in Dummy and three club ruffs in hand. At trick 12 he still has three winners outstanding against him (two trumps with West and a diamond with East), but the opposition have run out of time and East's winning diamond is ruffed by West's winning trump. It does no good for West to rise with his club ace at trick 2 as this permits Declarer to take a ruffing finesse against East's club king to obtain a diamond discard.
The moral of the story? Well it could be not to double Grandmasters, or if you do to make the correct lead; alternately it could be to keep an eye on the Grandmasters if you wish to improve your game.
(Editorial addition: Captain Turf played this hand, undoubled, and on the lead of the queen of hearts. Taking this he led the 10 of diamonds, queen, ace, small and then finessed the spade, cashed a spade and ruffed his last spade in Dummy. Back to hand with the king of hearts he led the three of diamonds to the king and played the nine of diamonds in the manner of a man contemplating a ruffing finesse.. Not giving any≠thing away R.H.O. smoothly played low and discovered he had given Declarer his tenth trick.
Grandmaster would, no doubt, infer from his partners diamond cards that his jack would hold (and/or recognise an entryless Dummy) - the moral being that if you wish to make rotten contracts keep an eye on Grandmasters... and avoid playing against them!)
Newcastle Bridge Club Results
Newport Bridge Club Results
Teams of Four: P. Baker, S. Hiscock, A. Soar, J. Soar Championship Pairs: N. Simpson, P. Hiscock Individual: J. Lewis
Basford Bridge Club Results
Charles Foster and Barbara Ellis finished second in the Championship Pairs at the Bedford Congress held in June.
QUESTION: In how many ways can you score 710 in Duplicate Bridge? ANSWER: 1NTXX (V); 1NTXX +1(NV); 2CXX + 1 (NV); 2CXX (V); 3SXX (NV); 4CX +2 (NV); 4CX (V); 4S + 3 (V); 4NTX + 1 (NV); 5S + 2 (V).
QUESTION: In how many ways can you score 1470 in Duplicate Bridge? ANSWER: 6NT + 1 (V); 4NTXX + 1 (V); 4NTXX + 3 (NV) ; 3DX + 4 (V) ; 2SXX + 4. (V) ; 1SXX + 5 (NV); 1SXX +2 (V).
RULES AND ETHICS - 1985 Yearbook
The major change this year concerns the alerting procedure:
You must alert any bid which is
(a) Conventional e.g.s an Acol 2C opening, Stayman, Benjaminised 2D, etc.
(b).Natural but which is used by the partnership in a way that their opponents may not anticipate e.g. 1C - 1H- 2D, you play Sputnik doubles after an overcall and although 2D is natural you have agreed that the bid is non-forcing. You must alert the 2D bid.
But you do not alert any bids above 3NT if your partnership has previously bid i.e. cue-bids, Gerber, Blackwood, splinters etc. However pass, double or redouble where they fall within the categories (a) and (b) above must still be alerted.
Double of any bid at the one, two or three level (when partner hasn't bid) is defined as for take-out. If it is a penalty double, you must alert.
Double in circumstances other than above is for penalties i.e. if partner, or yourself, has previously bid (or passed to show values) then double is for penalties. If it is for take-out in your methods then you must alert.
Editor: Roy Martin, 1 Baron St, Fenton, ST4 3PH.