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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. 
15th January
Opening the Bidding

Firstly, when can we open the bidding?
If nobody has made a bid yet ('Pass' is not a bid), you need a better-than-average hand to start the ball rolling.  This means that you need at least 12 High Card Points.  Sometimes we can open with a little less than this if we have a little 'shape' - long suits.  The 'rule of 20' is a guideline as to when to open with less than 12 HCP:  add the number of cards in your two longest suits to the number of HCP, and if this comes to at least 20, then it is acceptable (but not compulsory!) to open the bidding.

& if we do have enough points, what do we open?
If we have between 12 & 14 points, and a balanced hand, you should always open 1NT.
Otherwise open with your longest suit at the 1-level.  If you have two suits of equal length, open the higher-ranking suit.
Exception: If you have precisely 4 hearts & 4 spades, open 1.
Always f
ollow these rules, regardless of the quality of the suits.

Responding to a 1-level Suit Opening

Of course, once somebody has started the ball rolling, all the rules change as to whether or not you can / should make a bid.
On another date we will look at what to do if an opponent opens the bidding; for now be satisfied just to pass.
When your partner has opened the bidding with 1 of a suit, you only need 6 HCP to make a bid.  Indeed, you must bid if you have 6 points: Partner might have as much as 19 points, and you don't want to miss out on a game contract if that's the case.

If you like the suit that partner opened...

If you have four cards in the suit that partner has bid, you should be satisfied to play with that suit as trumps.  Especially if it is a major suit, there is no point in exploring any other suits, even if you have a longer or better suit yourself.  Let partner know that you have 'support' for his suit by bidding it yourself!  The level that you bid also tells partner how many points you have:

0-5 HCP:      Pass!   Even if partner has 19 HCP, a part-score contract is enough.
6-9 HCP:      Bid 2 of the suit.
10-12 HCP:   Bid 3 of the suit
13 or more:   Bid 4 of the suit.  Even if partner has only 12 HCP, you know that you have 25 HCP between you - enough for a game contract.  If the suit is a major suit, just bid the game - Don't leave partner guessing!

Here is a hand that was played at the club earlier in January:

Neither South nor West has enough points to open the bidding, so both pass.
North does have enough points, and though he has a balanced hand, is too strong to open 1NT.  With 4 hearts and 4 spades, he opens 1 - the exception to the rule that you always bid the higher ranking of two suits of equal length.
South likes it when partner bids hearts!  Although he has more diamonds than hearts, he should be content that they have found a major suit in which the partnership holds at least 8 cards.  By bidding 2, he tells partner that he is happy to play with hearts as trumps, but that he has a hand with not many points: 6-9 HCP to be precise.
Now North can be satisfied to pass, as he knows that the partnership has less than 25 HCP in total, the 'magic number' needed for the partnership to consider a game contract.