Badger Farm Bridge Club Winchester
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Improve Your Bridge Workshops

Bridge workshops in Broughton Village Hall are on hold until further notice.  

As soon as it is safe to resume, I will email those who are on my email circulations.  In the meantime I am now running private sessions for groups of four at my house in Broughton.

If anyone is interested in joining in the future, please don't hesitate to contact me.

These Bridge sessions are informal, hands-on and interactive and good for extending your Bridge knowledge to the next level.  No partner required.

Further details from Fred Hotchen, tel 01794 301 185, mobile 07771 854 347 or email

Monday Pairs
Director: Fred Hotchen
Scorer: Fred Hotchen
Monday Pairs
Director: Fred Hotchen
Scorer: Fred Hotchen
Monday Pairs
Director: Fred Hotchen
Scorer: Fred Hotchen
Welcome to Badger Farm Bridge Club Winchester
Monday afternoon Bridge in Awbridge Village Hall

Awbridge Monday afternoon Bridge is operating as a satellite of Badger Farm Bridge Club.  Membership is £7.50 and includes membership of the English Bridge Union until 31 March 2024.  As an affiliated club, Awbridge Monday afternoon Bridge also attracts masterpoints.

The next session will be on Monday 16 October at the usual venue, Awbridge Village Hall, Romsey Road, Awbridge, providing there is a minimum of three tables. 

Please arrive by 1.15 for a prompt 1.30 start.  The session will normally end by 4.15.  Table money is £4 for members and £5 for non-members, collected at the start of the session.  

You can come with a partner but if you don’t have one, partners can be found either in advance or on the day.  I appreciate knowing in advance if you are coming so I have an idea of numbers though it is not necessary to do so.

Fred Hotchen

Tel: 01794 301 185 or 07771 854 347

Hand of the Month - Monday 10 October 2022

Board 15 (shown above) produced an interesting deal where two pairs reached a good 6NT contract.  I don't know how they got there but my bidding shown above is one way of reaching 6, probably a slightly safer contract as the club suit could be ruffed good to avoid taking a spade finesse.

Anyway 6NT is nevertheless a good slam as, by taking the spade finesse, even if it fails, guarantees 12 tricks on the lie of the cards.  There are two spades, three hearts, six diamonds and the Ace of clubs.

Two pairs ended up in 3NT and only made 11 tricks and that is probably because they dived into the diamonds and played off too many winners, leaving it too late to take the spade finesse in safety.  The spade finesse needs to be taken at an early stage whilst you still have control of the hand.

The reason why 6 is a safer contract is that if South had held the King of spades and the clubs had not broken 3-3, a club lead would have defeated 6NT whilst 6 would still be makeable by ruffing out the enemy clubs then discarding East's spades on dummy's clubs once they were set up.

A common mistake that many players make is to jump in response to partner's opening bid, eg 1♣ - 2.  I only do this if I have a good six card suit and East's diamonds don't quite meet the criteria.  The value of just responding 1, which saves bidding spade and is 100% forcing, is that East gets to hear opener's natural rebid.  In this case the rebid is 2NT showing 17-18 points so East now knows the combined strength is 32-33 points.

The bid of 3 that I indicated above should be taken as forcing but some may go straight to 4NT which is fine providing your partner takes that as Blackwood rather than quantitative.

Anyway well done to those who bid and made 6NT.


Results for Monday 11 September 2023

With six and a half tables we played a 7 table movement with 21 boards in play.  Unfortunately on the second round Paul and Ruth played the wrong boards against Mick and Mary and as a result neither pair played boards 19-21.  Their scores have been adjusted to take account of this.

Well done Dick and Mary who were first with 70.4%.

The October Monday duplicate will be on Monday 16 October from 1.30-4.15.

Sheila Stubbings (4 April 1922 - 24 August 2022)
Sheila Stubbings (4 April 1922 - 24 August 2022)

I am sad to report the passing of Sheila Stubbings on Wednesday 24 August.  Sheila achieved an incredible milestone in April when she reached the ripe old age of 100.  

I had personally known Sheila for over forty years when I first started playing competitive Bridge.  She looked after herself very well and when Linda and I last visited her in April, it made me think that in all those years she had hardly changed at all!  

Sheila’s regular Bridge partner for many years was Jeremy Baker.  They had a very successful partnership, a highlight of which was their winning a National Pairs title in the mid-80’s.

I played in many county and national teams events with Sheila and Jeremy and in April 1982 we went to the Jersey Bridge Congress and came second in the Teams with my partner Garth Shilstone.  As well as winning lots of master points and prizes, we had a thoroughly good time away from the Bridge table with glorious weather and I will always remember this as being one of my most enjoyable Bridge experiences.

I also played Bridge with Sheila regularly for many years, often at Badger Farm.  At the Bridge table Sheila was kind and friendly to her partners and opponents alike.  She was a natural card player and often deceptively cunning.  She would come across quite unassuming but had a sting in her tail and many of her opponents foolishly underestimated her capabilities and left the table more than a little bruised. It all provided for great entertainment and amusement!

Away from the Bridge table Sheila was always fun to be with, she had a great sense of humour, she was always cheerful and interested in everything that was going on.  She was also very modest about her own background and achievements.  She originally came from a wealthy farming family in Dumfriesshire and during World War Two Sheila was parachuted into France (and later Belgium) providing intelligence to the U.K. for which she was awarded the British Empire medal. 

Linda and I had the pleasure of being part of Sheila’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2012 with her son Chris, daughters Moira and Jennifer and her wider family.  Jeremy and Anna were also invited and it was a wonderful celebration which we all thoroughly enjoyed and was a treasured memory for Sheila.

Sheila, you will be remembered with great affection by many people from Bridge and beyond.  To me personally you were a lovely Bridge partner and a good friend.

Bridge for fun online

What's the biggest score you've ever achieved on a single hand?  I think a grand slam redoubled and vulnerable losing all 13 tricks must be the max and that would 'achieve' minus 7600 though in practice, quite an improbable score!

The above hand looks fairly innocuous.  Nobody can make a game and you would expect one side or the other to end up in a part-score, certainly not 7NT redoubled!  Let me explain.

Having got bored with Candy Crush, out of curiosity I thought I'd try playing a few hands on BBO (Bridge Base Online) where you can just join a casual game with three other unknown players.  Not sure how the scoring works but it is 'imps' so some kind of teams scoring and when I joined I found myself partnering Isabella from Italy whose current score was minus 52 imps.  I don't know if this is why her previous partner had left the table but anyway we played a couple of hands and I quickly realised nobody had much beyond a basic understanding that it was Strong No Trump, Stayman, Transfers and weak Twos.

On the first hand I watched Isabella play herself off in a cold 3NT and on the second hand the opposition could have bid a lucky slam but only got as far as 3 Clubs.

The above hand then came up and I hoped I might be able to reach a decent contract, maybe in spades or No Trumps.  However, I was fourth caller and Lois from the USA opened a strong No Trump to my left which was passed round to me so I doubled.  It was then passed round to Leo from Poland who bid 2 Clubs.  Much as I would like to have bid something, I was on best behaviour so I refrained and Lois bid 2 Hearts.  Partner passed and Leo bid 3 Clubs but Lois was having none of that and bid 3NT.  I didn't really know what was going on but I was just contemplating a friendly double but before I had the chance, the already bizarre bidding went completely crackers when Leo raised to 7NT.  Well I couldn't resist that so I doubled but that wasn't quite the end of the auction as the redouble card then landed on the table!  Partner led a small diamond but by the time dummy appeared, a robot appeared in the East seat and Leo had vanished, probably with a few Polish swear words!

It wasn't too difficult to defeat the contract.  Declarer won the first trick, switched to the King of hearts.  I didn't bother to duck, played the King of spades then returned partner's suit and, after running it, bless her she returned a spade, not the Queen unfortunately but Declarer had discarded the Jack of spades from dummy and the 7 and 10 from her own hand so I was able to 'risk' the 9 then play the Ace to crash partner's Queen and collect several more spade winners.  7NT redoubled went 10 down for minus 5800.  I don't remember ever scoring anything even half that and I'm always quite happy with an occasional plus 800.

Nothing so spectacular has happened since but the random deals online are often quite entertaining and from someone who never wanted to play online, I actually quite enjoy it.  These casual games are free by the way and you can also play with your own partner so a good opportunity to have a practice and make sure you don't have any similar misunderstandings.  Despite the above fiasco the standard of Bridge is variable though not unreasonable but obviously the bidding is pretty unsophisticated.  I haven't yet tried playing with a regular partner but if you are playing against another regular partnership I expect you would get a better game.