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19th Mar 2020 18:23 GMT
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Our commentaries are now used by a few clubs, some of which are close by.
For reasons of security we will no longer be posting them on the website.
Naturally when you have played in a session you will be emailed the commentary that night.
They all use Standard English Acol and are suitable for Second Years+
There are 24 boards each week.
Any club who wishes to use our commentaries should contact me:

More Hosts Please!

Our club is totally unique in that it offers anyone who rocks up to our club a guranteed game.
To enable us to fulfil this valuable commitment we need more volunteer hosts.

We already have a small but commited group of volunteers. We need more to spread the burden.
Identify a Tuesday session in the forthcoming months where you would be able to volunteer and drop a line to our Host Angel


Chief Host Angel !
Chief Host Angel !

Our club has always been a great advocate of 'everyone gets a game'. Just turn up and a partner will be found - every time.
It particularily suits people graduating from courses who have yet to find a regular partner and people new to the area who want to try our club (good choice!)

Our lovely Maureen is our Chief Host Angel.  Her task is to allocate volunteer hosts to session dates.
She looks a bit shocked here actually:-)

Announcing this that and the other
Announcing this that and the other
We have all got used to 'announcing' the range of partners opening bid of 1NT. Now the rules have been extended to announcing the range of the opening bid of 2NT.
Subsequent transfers and Stayman also require an announcement.
Additionally those of us that play 5-card major suit openings, a minor suit opening that could be two cards or fewer should be announced even if it is non-forcing. 
Revision: Opening 1NT
First of all what does an opening bid of 1NT promise?
  1. It has a strictly defined number of points - precisely 12, 13 or 14 High Card Points - no more, no less.
  2. It is balanced. 
    This means that the hand has no 'voids', no 'singletons', and at most one 'doubleton'.
    There are only three hand patterns that fit this definition.  The suits could be in any order:
    4-3-3-3,  4-4-3-2,  5-3-3-2

If you are in a position to open the bidding, and your hand satisfies these conditions you should always open 1NT.  (The one exception is when you have a good 5-card major suit.  Sometimes, then, it is better to open the major suit).

When you do open 1NT, you describe your hand to your partner in a single bid.  Partner rarely has to ask for more information about your hand, and can usually make a simple decision about which is the best contract to declare.

Responding to an opening 1NT bid.

If you hold a balanced hand

When both you and your partner have balanced hands, be satisfied to play in a NT contract - don't bother bidding any suit!

Remember that you need 25 HCP to consider playing in a game contract.

  1. Count your points, and add that to the 12-14 HCP that you know partner has.
  2. If this definitely comes to at least 25 (i.e. if you have at least 13), you know that you have enough for game, so you should bid it - 3NT!
  3. If this definitely comes to less than 25 (i.e. if you have no more than 10), then Pass - 1NT is quite high enough!
  4. If you are still not sure (i.e. you have 11 or 12 points, so you might or might not have enough for game) - Bid 2NT
    This is an 'invitational' bid, also known as a limit raise.  Partner should 'accept' the invitation if he is good for his bid (i.e. if he has 14 points, or a good-looking 13).  If he has 12 points (or a poor 13), he should Pass - he knows that we don't have the 25 HCP required.

In summary, when partner opens 1NT:

  • 0 - 10 HCP   Pass
  • 11-12 HCP   Bid 2NT
  • 13 + HCP     Bid 3NT

On the hand shown above, West opens 1NT, telling partner that he has a balanced hand, and between 12 & 14 HCP.

East has 11HCP.  When he adds this to the 12-14 HCP that West has promised him, it comes to a total of between 23 & 25 points.  Still not knowing whether or not they should be in game, he bids 2NT.

West has 14 HCP, which is 'top end' of the point range that he has shown, and knowing now also that East has 11 HCP, accepts the invitation by bidding 3NT, a game contract.

If you hold an unbalanced hand

If you hold a 6-card suit, you know that you have an 8-card fit, because partner's opening guarantees at least 2 cards in every suit!  If it is a major suit, you definitely want to play with that suit as trumps.  If it is a minor suit, you might prefer to play in No Trumps instead.
If you also have 13 or more HCP, you know that you have enough points for game.  In fact, if your hand is shapely, you can probably bid a game with a little less than 13 HCP.
If you know that you have enough points for game, and you know which is the right game, just bid the right game!

If you have enough points, but only a 5-card major suit, you can't be sure which is the right game.  A bid of 3 or 3♠ shows a hand with enough points for game, and precisely a 5-card suit.  Opener is required to bid 4 of the suit if he holds at least 3 cards in the suit, but 3NT if he has only 2 cards.  Opener must not Pass!!

If you do not have enough points for game (i.e. up to about 10 HCP), you could just pass 1NT, but if you have a 5-card suit, it will probably be safer to play in the suit instead.  A response of 2 of a suit is a simple message to partner that 'I don't have many points, and I want to play with this suit as trumps'.  This is called a 'Weak Take-Out'.  It is a decision, not a suggestion, and opener is expected to Pass!!

In summary, when partner opens 1NT, and you have an unbalanced hand:

  • 0 - 10 HCP:  Bid your long suit at the 2-level.  Opener must pass now.
  • 11+ HCP & a 5-card major:  Bid suit at the 3-level.  Opener must not pass.
  • 11+ HCP & a 6-card major:  Bid suit at the 4-level.  There's no point bidding anything else!
  • 11+ HCP & a long minor:  It's usually best to play in No Trumps, so pretend your hand is balanced, and bid accordingly.