Badger Farm Bridge Club Winchester
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Badger Farm Bridge Club, Winchester

Badger Farm Bridge Club has been providing friendly Duplicate Bridge in Winchester since April 1984.

We meet every Tuesday for a prompt 7.0 start, finishing at approximately 10.15.  Visitors are always very welcome.

We play at the Community Centre which is at the far end of the Sainsburys car park, Badger Farm Road, Winchester.

For further details contact Fred Hotchen on 01794 301 185 or 07771 854 347 or email 

Badger Farm Bridge Club is affiliated to the EBU.

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

Tuesday Pairs
Director: Fred Hotchen
Scorer: Fred Hotchen
6 Tables Pairs
Director: Ian Fearon
Scorer: Ian Fearon
Tuesday Pairs
Director: Ian Fearon
Scorer: Ian Fearon
Welcome to Badger Farm Bridge Club Winchester
Badger Farm Bridge Club News

Hello to everyone at Badger Farm Bridge Club.

I am very pleased to confirm that at long last we can reopen for face to face Bridge.  This will be with effect from Tuesday 27 July, 6.50 for a 7.0 start.

Hopefully everyone will have had their two vaccines but Badger Farm Community Centre has engaged a monthly antiviral treatment on all surfaces, touch points and equipment so all this enables us to return to some kind of normality.

In the meantime, Badger Farm has had considerable success at both national and county level.  Steve Preston and I won the Corwen Trophy, the National Pairs Championship at the beginning of June (see below).  

The Pachabo Cup, the national teams event, took place the following weekend and the Hampshire team (Jeremy Baker, Andy Hughes, Jeremy Dhondy, Steve Preston and Dave Huggett) came third.

At county level Andy Hughes and Jeremy Dhondy won the Pottage Cup, the county Pairs Championship, in April and my team (Dave Huggett, Steve Preston, Andy Hughes, Jeremy Dhondy, Nick Craik, Jeremy Baker and Fred Hotchen) won division 1 of the lockdown league in May.

Best wishes



23 July 2021

Corwen Trophy 2021

The Corwen Trophy was played over two days over the weekend of 5-6 June.  It was a bit of a marathon with 96 boards played, 48 on Saturday and another 48 on Sunday starting at 11.30 and finishing at 18.40 on each day.  It was played on RealBridge so at least you could play in the comfort of your own home or, in my case, in the garden!

The standard of Bridge was high as all participants were invited to play by their respective counties.  I was partnering Steve Preston as one of the five Hampshire pairs.  Steve and I are not a regular partnership so although we hoped we'd do OK, the thought of winning never crossed our minds.

We had a relatively inauspicious start but steadily climbed up the ladder during Saturday afternoon, eventually ending in first place by the end of the day.  We were very happy with that but, as we all know Bridge can always bring mixed fortunes so it was gratifying to hold that place throughout all the rounds on Sunday, ending up with a fraction under 60% overall, a good percentage over a long event with a large field of 106 pairs.

This was only the second time a Hampshire pair had won the Corwen, the last time being Dave Huggett and Andy Hughes in 1989.

There were many interesting hands and on two of them Steve and I got good results by not bidding.  On one hand, the opposition opened 3♣.  They were vulnerable, we weren't.  In second seat I held ♠A9872 AQ942 10 ♣J9.  A bid of 4♣ would have shown both majors but a stronger hand so I doubled.  The next hand passed and Steve held ♠KQ K83 AK862 ♣Q103.  With a number of bidding options, after some thought Steve decided to pass as taking 3♣ doubled two off would beat any non vulnerable game by us.  In the event it went four off for 1100 and most of the matchpoints.

On another hand Steve opened 1NT (11-14 points), non-vulnerable against vulnerable.  The next hand bid 2 (natural) and I was looking at ♠4 AJ108 AQ7 ♣J7542.  If you play double here as penalties, good luck to you but we play it as 'values'.  If I had doubled, Steve was bound to bid spades so that was out of the question.  The alternative was to bid 3NT but it was not a foregone conclusion that we had game on.  I therefore passed, hoping to collect a reasonable plus score.  Steve's hand was ♠AQ65 Q53 K853 ♣93 so although game was not often bid and generally made 8 tricks, a few pairs were in game making, even with an overtrick.  However, we collected +400 by defeating 2 by four tricks so achieved a very good plus score on the hand.

The hand shown above was interesting.  With 16 points opposite a weak No Trump, I didn't initially have any aspirations beyond game but when my transfer to spades was doubled and Steve jumped to 3♠, my hand improved somewhat.  We play 3♠ as four card support but a minimum.  However, a singleton heart looked good so rather than just bidding 4♠, I cue bid the Ace of diamonds to see if Steve would be able to cue bid the Ace of hearts.  When he did, slam prospects looked quite promising.  I tried 4NT.  Steve replied 5 showing two key cards but denying the Queen of trumps.

Expecting my left hand opponent to have something like KQxxx in hearts, it looked like our two hands were fitting well and I visualised something like the Ace of hearts, King of diamonds and Ace of clubs so I bid 6♠.

Steve's hand wasn't quite what I had hoped for but with the spades breaking 2-2 the slam quickly looked cast iron but that was no time for Steve to rest on his laurels as, being Pairs, Steve was now looking for an overtrick by locating the Jack of clubs.  He ruffed hearts and hoped to discard a losing diamond on a club but as the cards lay the Jack of clubs was out of reach.  Nevertheless 6♠ making scored nearly all the matchpoints as very few had bid beyond game. 

A very enjoyable if pretty gruelling event with a lot of concentration required!

Badger Farm Masterclass - No. 18: Six Hearts: Easy or not so easy?

I watched the above hand in a recent teams match and it has a tale to tell...

I don't really agree with the bidding as I believe West should have opened his longer suit first.  However, East-West ended in the right spot although looking at the two hands together, a Grand Slam was quite on the cards.

North decide to lead the Queen of spades, dummy went down and Declarer looked at his prospects.  The contract looked sound and the main fly in the ointment appeared to be a bad trump break.  With five trumps missing, they break 3-2 68% of the time, 4-1 28% of the time and 5-0 4% of the time.  An unlikely five nil break would be curtains but with a 4-1 break and a trump loser, the hand can still be managed with the hope that the other suits behave.

Declarer covered the opening lead with the King, South played the Ace and he ruffed.  He then set about the trumps and after two rounds, a 3-2 break was confirmed, it all looked easy and Declarer was expecting to make all 13 tricks. He cashed the Queen of clubs to unblock the suit, then after drawing the last trump, he started to cash his club winners but on the second round, a 5-1 break in clubs was revealed and all of a sudden the contract looked in danger.  He played for a 3-3 diamond break but with the clubs breaking as they did, it was unlikely and not surprisingly they broke 4-2 and Declarer went down in his slam.

Unlucky but nevertheless careless.  At Pairs we try not only to reach the best contract, but also to get as many tricks as we can and play with sensible odds.  At teams however making an overtrick in a slam is irrelevant and all focus must be made on safeguarding the contract.

It was easy to get mesmorised by the likelihood of running winners in clubs or diamonds but there was a safer line.

The key card was the nine of spades which virtually guaranteed the twelfth trick.  After drawing two rounds of trumps, cashing a top trump from hand then playing small to dummy's Queen (as Declarer did), Declarer should play the 10 of spades and discard a club.  West wins but there is now no defence to beat the contract.  Declarer gets back in, draws the last trump and can count 12 tricks.

To add insult to injury, a messy auction at the other table did not locate the heart fit and East ended up bidding 6NT, not a great contract.  However, South led a diamond which seemed not unreasonable from the bidding but that provided the twelfth trick so 6NT made whilst 6 went one off for the loss of minus 14 imps.

Badger Farm Masterclass - No. 19: Another Safety Play

In a teams match, after a Weak 2♠ opening from East, North soon found himself in 3NT which looks a very reasonable contract.

The bidding was the same at both tables but one Declarer made it but the other went down.

Both Easts led the Queen of spades and both Declarers won in hand and tackled clubs.  One Declarer played King of clubs then another one to the table and noted the 4-1 break.  West won the fourth round of clubs and if he wasn't thinking, he would lead back his partner's suit and Declarer would collect his nine tricks.  However, West was thinking.  The Queen of spades lead denied the King, therefore Declarer had it and a spade return would give Declarer his contract via two top spades, five clubs and two red Aces.  West therefore switched to the King of hearts and Declarer was a trick short.

Good defence but Declarer was careless.  If the clubs had broken 3-2 he would have been fine but once the King of clubs had been played, Declarer had no entry back to his hand.  The winning line to guarantee the contract (save for a five nil club break) is to play a small club at trick 2 and allow the opposition to win it.  There is now no defence to beat the contract as Declarer can still get back to his King of spades and can always get to dummy's clubs via one of the red Aces.