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Number of boards we play weekly

Following a membership vote on 13th May 2022 it was decided that we shall play between 21 and 25 boards each week. This will be reviewed at regular intervals

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Hand of the Week
22nd July 2022

This week the dealing machine did not produce the kind of firework hands we have been treated to in the previous couple of weeks. Recently we have had a rash of deals with wonderful distributions like 5521 6511 and 6520, these hands donít have to hold a lot of points to still make the auctions spicy.

The deal l have chosen this week is board 11. South as dealer has a fairly boring 9 count with a 3244 shape, so itís a pass. Poor west holds a hand with no pictures and one 10, a 5431 shape but nothing to say and ready for the next deal. North holds a 20 point picture gallery 4234, and east hold 11 points with very nice hearts, KQJTx. So north south hold a very handy 29 count and 2 flat hands, much more than enough for 3nt and just short of the 32-33 or 33-34 wanted for 6nt.

So, everyone should be playing in 3nt making something like 10 or 11 tricks. However it was not to be. North as the opener holds this flat 20 count, every suit stopped so if you are playing 20-22 as some pairs do the opening bid is 2nt and south with a 9 count and no 5 card major to transfer to, and no 4 card major just bids 3nt. End of story. However, if a pair has the multi 2d gadget in their armoury then north opens 2 diamonds, south bids 2 hearts, which shows fewer than 14 points and not 3 or more hearts, north rebids 2nt to show 19-20 and south kills the auction with 3nt. Otherwise north opens 1c south has already passed so will bid 1nt to show no 4 card major, itís pretty pointless bidding 1 diamond and 1nt tells partner a lot, no 4 card major and 5-9 points maybe 5-10. North raises to 3nt and that puts the auction to bed.

So, all auctions lead to 3nt, so why is there any interest with this hand, how come it made it to my deal of the week, well l said at the outset that is was a boring set of hands with no meat on the plate. BUT BUT BUT, if north plays it, east west will bang down the king of hearts and he knows that he will get 4 heart tricks and the ace of diamonds to defeat the contract by one, but north will run for home top 4 clubs top 4 spades and the ace of hearts. So itís a bog standard 3nt just made, well yes and no, because if south plays it, now west will play a top spade which means south can win the first spade, play out 4 top clubs and declarer still has complete control, so he plays another spade or two, now east is in trouble as he wonít want to throw any of his lovely hearts so he parts with a diamond or 2 and now south knocks out the ace of diamonds and lands 12 tricks, and the traveller looks 3nt by north 400, 3 nt by north 400, 3 nt by north 400 3nt by south 490 and 3 nt by north 400. One north south have got a great top on the board, purely because south played the hand. It doesnít matter who the better player was out of the 2, they were lucky that they played it by south and every other pair played it by north.

Elaine and l play a lot of gadgets in our bidding but nobody has in the last 100 years ever invented a gadget that asks the opponents if we bid 3nt what suit are you going to lead so that north south after those answers can judge who should bid the no trumps first to play the hand.

Hereís hoping that the dealing machine is less bland this week

Bill Gardner.

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This deal will almost certainly be deal of the month, and  will be a major contender for deal of the year. If it doesn’t make it into the top 3 for deal of the year, we are in for a truly excellent year of interesting hands.

I wish to start with the south hand,

x, x, JT9xxx, QJTxx

This is a total load of rubbish 4 points, and you are vulnerable, but you are not the dealer. If you are you have nothing in the hand and therefore nothing to say. But the hand in front of you opens 1 spade, now your hand has got a little bit better, the reason for this is that there is a convention or gadget called the unusual 2 notrump overcall, ( also there are similar gadgets called Ghestem and Michael’s) and all 3 of these allow the south hand to show hands that are 5-5 or longer in 2 suits.

My partner Elaine, decided that having heard me say numerous times something like, “ if we have a bloody gadget in our armoury then use it.” and actually this hand has 2 bonus extras

1) the hand is 6-5 in the two suits so one extra card  and 2) all the points all 4 of them are in the two suits, so she bid 2nt which promises at least 5 clubs and at least 5 diamonds. the next hand bid  3spades and l as north bid 4 clubs, l hold a 6 card support for my partners 5 or more and l hold Ace King of clubs and king of diamonds so all my points are in my partners suit, so nothing is wasted, the dealer now bid 4 hearts showing their second suit, Elaine now followed the instruction, which is on all fireworks, having lit the blue touch paper retire immediately, this states, in our system, my overcall has 13 cards and very few points and l have done my bit, some might think more than her bit, but she paid her table money, pass west passed and l had another go with 5cclubs pass, pass, 5 hearts, and l had no choice but to bid 6 clubs because l held no defence to their contract and this finished the auction. We got a just over average score for this, 2 pairs reached 6 spades which easily makes against opponents that don’t have this bid in their armoury.

So this just goes to show that the shape of the hand is just as important as the number of points you hold.

Bill

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By using predealt hands for our events it means that not only can you see the result for the afternoon, but your score for each board, whether it be a top a middle or a bottom, and also the traveller which shows exactly what happened on each table when that board was played.

Here north south are vul and east west are not vul. East who is last to bid holds AKJT98,5,T9874,6.

This is a powerful hand and because of the vul if north south bidgame they score 600, so east west can save on the board by going 3 off doubled and only losing 500 for their troubles. Let’s look at the east hand, 8 points all in spades in defence with a 6 card suit like this normally the most this hand is worth 2 tricks if both north and south have two spades. From east's point of view in 4 spades he must win 5 tricks in spades so the worst he can be is 5 off, but that is 1100, however he has 5 diamonds 109874 and this should be at worst only 4 losers, so he should make 6 tricks, 5 spades and a diamond. So the worst he will go off is 800.Therefore this is worth the risk if north south get to 4 hearts east must bid 4 spades. The auction at most tables would start pass by south pass 1 heart by north, east should jump to 2 spades to show a weak hand with 6 spades, now south who holds 11 points so only just passed and holds 4 of his partners suit must support his partner, and if they are playing 5 card majors his 6432 of hearts are valuable cards and he should bid 4 hearts, it is not quite so clear cut if they are playing 4 card majors, now south might only go 3 hearts but this doesn’t matter because north had 18 points for his opener so he will bid 4 hearts, and now east bids 4 spades, which south has to double, and that ends the auction. Dummy goes down with a load of rubbish, xxx,Txx,Jxx,Qxxx so east immediately knows that north south were easily making 4hearts, but west in that total load of rubbish has one useful the card jack of diamonds, and this helps easts hand tremendously because now he only loses 3 diamonds and makes 2 tricksin the suit so with 5 spade tricks he is only 3 down for 500.

This was an excellent save but only one east, Graeme was brave enough to try it and got the top his bravery warranted. NOTE well, if the east hand was, AKJT98,xx,xxx,xx then the idea of a save will not work at all because the hand has a spade loser, 2 heart losers and 5 losers in the minors, but the backup suit of 109874 which is pretty useless in nearly all cases was valuable to help declarer after trumps have gone.

Bill

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