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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. 
26th February
More on Overcalling

(Just a reminder)
Overcalling is bidding when an opponent has already opened the bidding.
Because the situation has changed, so do all the guidelines.  It's no longer a matter of whether or not you have 12 or more High Card Ponits.  There are more things to consider...

Firstly, why would we want to bid when the opponents have already bid?  Isn't it dangerous to do so when you know that the opposition has got good cards?

  • This might be 'your hand' anyway - just because one of the opponents has at least 12 HCP, it doesn't mean that you don't have the majority of points.
  • You might not make the contract, but the 'penalty' for not making might be a smaller negative score than you would have got had your opponents made their contract.
  • Entering the auction may make it more difficult for the opposition to find their best contract.
  • An overcall may help partner to find a good lead if your side ends up defending.

Last week we looked at overcalling when you have a balanced hand.  When you don't have the back-up of a trump suit, you need to be confident that you have a better hand in terms of high cards.  That's why we say that you need 16-18 HCP to bid 1NT as an overcall.

This week, though, we look at overcalling when you have a long suit (at least five cards).  If you do have a good suit as trumps, there is less need to have overall strength.  In fact, the quality of the suit is much more important than High Card Points.
It's possible to hold a hand that isn't good enough for opening the bidding, but nevertheless worth an overcall:

Overcalling in a Suit

The basic requirement for a suit overcall is that you have a good, long suit.  To overcall, even at the 1-level, this should be a 5-card suit containing two honour cards.  If you have a good enough suit, then you can overcall at the 1-level, even if you have as little as 8 HCP.

If your suit is lower ranking than the opponent's suit, then you would have to bid at the 2-level.  Because you are having to bid at a higher level, then the suit needs to be a little better - either a 6-card suit with 2 honours, or a very good 5-card suit (3 honours).  Also you should have better overall strength - at least 10 HCP.

Note that if your hand is good enough for a 2-level overcall, it doesn't mean that you have to bid at the 2-level.  If you can bid your suit at the 1-level, you should do so!

♠  J 9 8
  A Q 10 8 7
♣  Q 6 5 4

You wouldn't open the bidding with this hand, but if your RHO opens 1, then it is good enough for a simple overcall of 1 - A good 5-card suit and 9 High Card Points.

However, had RHO opened 1♠, then you aren't allowed to bid 1!  And the hand isn't quite good enough for a 2-level overcall - you should have at least 10 HCP, and a good 6-card suit (or a very good 5-card suit).

♠  9 8 6
  A Q J 10 8 7
♣  K J 5

This time your heart suit is a little better (you have a 6-card suit), and you have 11 HCP.  If your RHO opens 1♠, then it is OK to overcall 2.

But if your RHO opens 1, then a 1 overcall is sufficient.  You don't need to bid at the 2-level if you are able to do so at the 1-level.

An 'un-necessary' bid at the 2-level shows a slightly better hand still: