Have you ever defended a hand holding eight of the opposition's trump suit?!
Malcolm highlights how it happened in the inter-county Tollemache competition. Click on Suffolk@TheNationals to read more.
Hertfordshire has released details of its popular green pointed congress next July.
The two day event will be on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July at the usual venue - Wodson Park, Wadesmill Road, Ware SG12 0UQ.
For all the details click on HERTS. To enter on line, click PAIRS (Saturday) and/or TEAMS (Sunday)
A card play technique highlighted by Andrew Robson during a Masterclass held locally provided the answer to playing a tricky hand at the Ipswich & Kesgrave bridge club. Suffolk captain Rick Hanley explains how. Click on ANALYSIS to read more.
Andrew Robson, the leading bridge teacher/player in the country, is returning to Lavenham village hall early next year to give another of his acclaimed master classes.
The event on Friday 1 February is being organised by Clare bridge club. Click on ANDREW ROBSON for more details and to download an entry form.
The qualifying rounds for the Tollemache Trophy, the national competition for county teams of eight, took place at the weekend. Suffolk finished seventh in their group and thereby failed to make it to the finals. Click on Table, Results and Cross Imps for more details.
Click on TOLLEMACHE to read captain Rick Hanley’s report.
Are you one of Suffolk's 'missing' bridge players who is consistently left in the dark about local competitions and news?
Up to 200 of the county's 1,000 EBU members could be affected because information, such as an inaccurate email address, is on the EBU database - or simply does not exist.
The good news is that you can check and, if necessary, update your personal details. To find out how click on MISSING
Welcome to Suffolk Bridge's new website which will bring you results, news and much more besides.
The county now has one dedicated website - www.suffolkbridge.co.uk - as opposed to the two which existed before. It is hosted by Bridgewebs, whose package of bridge friendly software is used by most clubs and counties.
add it to your favourites!
Richard Evans & Paul Rickard are the new webmasters running Suffolk's dedicated bridge website.
If you would like to publicise a forthcoming event or submit a news item for this website click Richard or Paul
Has Andrew Robson improved your card play?
by Rick Hanley
Did you attend the excellent Masterclass teaching session by Andrew Robson that Clare Bridge club organised in November? If so, a hand from a recent Ipswich and Kesgrave club session would have provided a good test of how much you had absorbed on that occasion.
On the hand in question (see below), South dealt and passed, as did West and North. East (myself) opened 1NT (15-17). South overcalled 2♥ and East/West ended up in 4 spades played by West. North led a heart to the ♥A, ♥K and a low heart. West ruffed high while North discarded. West now crossed to the ♠A and ♠K of spades in dummy and led a diamond to get back to hand to draw the last trump. The question is which diamond should he play from hand? Should he play the King, the Jack, or do you think it is a 50/50 guess? Make your decision before reading on.
My partner, who had not attended the masterclass, decided to play the King. Was this right? Andrew Robson urged us to count the high card points that an opponent has played and use that knowledge in conjunction with the bidding to determine the course of action. The key issue in this hand is that South had not opened the bidding and had already shown ♥AKJ = 8 points. If he/she had also held the ♦A, then he/she would surely have opened 1♥. In all probability, the ♦A must therefore be with North. So declarer should have played the ♦J and would have made the contract because North held the Ace but not the Queen.
According to the traveller, only 2/5 declarers made 10 tricks in spades on a heart lead. So this hand did not fool my partner alone. If you decided on the same play as he did, you might like to know that Clare Bridge club are holding another Andrew Robson Masterclass in Lavenham on Feb 1st (see the SCBA website for details). Can you guess what my partner received for Christmas?
Ipswich and Kesgrave are setting a standard that other bridge clubs in Suffolk will do well to match. In July, as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations they hosted a well-attended and well-received visit from England international Sally Brock. On Sunday 2nd September, however, they topped this by staging a superb Swiss Pairs event comprising 7x6 board matches that attractedno fewer than 112 players. A convenient start-time of 11.30 allowed the event to conclude by 6.30 pm. Play was interrupted at around 2.00 by a break for a sumptuous lunch organised by Chairman Trevor Stiff (so good that one player who will remain nameless was rumoured to have gone back for a fourth helping). And all this for only £10 a head! As genial hostess, Anne Edwards, pointed out, it was encouraging that all ability levels were represented from NGS twos to members of the Suffolk, Norfolk and Herts county teams.
Happily, Suffolk players were seen at the top of the leader-board from start to finish. For most of the event, the force was with Iris Green and Glynne Whitehead. In the opening match, they swept aside Peter Sutcliffe and myself by a 15-5 margin. On Board 4, holding:
♠ 952 ♥ 92 ♦ A10943 ♣ K86
and playing a weak NT, Glynne raised her partner's opening 1D to 2D and then wisely passed her partner'sre-bid of 2NT. Even 8 tricks required accurate card playby Iris who was rewarded with 44/58 of the match points. Later rounds included decisive victories over Jenny and David Price and over Richard Evans and Andre Gray. By the start of the final round they had accumulated an impressive 95 out of a possible 120 victory points and led the field by 6 vps.
In the final match, Iris and Glynne faced the promising new partnership of Jo Harpur and Conor Bignell, who had won the Bamberger trophy at Ipswich earlier in the summer and had recently made their debut in the Suffolk county team. At this point, fortune deserted Iris and Glynne. On the first board of the match (Board 37), for example, at favourable vulnerability and sitting East in second seat, Conor dealt and bid 1 club holding:
♠ - ♥ K104 ♦ K842 ♣ A106432
South immediately bid 4 spades and after 2 passes Conorbid 5 clubs for only one down doubled (-100) and 43/58 of the match points as most E/W pairs chose to defend 4 spades for -620. Conor and Jo then proceded to play faultless bridge. By the end, they were the clear and deserved winners claiming first prize with 9 vps to spare. All credit, though, to Ipswich and Kesgrave bridge club for hosting such an enjoyable and well-organised event.
Full details of the results can be found by clicking on I&K
One of the more interesting hands was board 17 where 6♥ is the optimum contract. After a safe ♠ lead taken in hand declarer plays ♥A and ♥K finding the good news that both the ♥Q and ♥J drop but still leaving a probable loser in the S hand. Declarer now has to play the singleton club and win the probable ♠ continuation in dummy. A club ruff, a third spade and another club ruff leaves the following end position:
All declarer needs now is a successful diamond finesse finishing in dummy and South is forced to concede the last two trump tricks. Congratulations to the two pairs who made 12 tricks in Hearts.
Our most frustrating hand was board 8 where our opponents held their nerve and played in 1NT by N.
After the reasonable small ♥ lead round to the Q, the ♣A and ♣Q brought declarer the welcome news that the ♣ suit had been established and eight tricks were soon brought home.
The unlikely lead of the ♥K or a diamond lead followed by a heart switch would have resulted in declarer making three or four less tricks. That’s bridge!
Roger & Jill