Badger Farm Bridge Club Winchester
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Improve Your Bridge Workshops

I run regular Bridge workshops, mostly at my house in Broughton.  Many of these are for regular groups of four, weekly or fortnightly but I also do ad hoc sessions which are open to anyone on my email list on a first come, first served basis.  I occasionally run a course with six modules for complete beginners which again is normally a group of four.

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
News Page

This page has information and news of interest to the members. For a full list of forthcoming events, see "Calendar" on the menu and for a list of results see "Results".

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!

Last updated : 31st Aug 2021 14:08 BST

Congratulations to Jeremy Baker for his appearance on Mastermind on Friday 22 March 2019.  I wonder if they would have allowed Bridge as a special subject.  Probably not.

Last updated : 18th Jun 2019 16:42 GMT
Cahalan Cup Final 2018

The final of the Cahalan Cup County knockout was played on Monday 12 July and I'm pleased to say that my team emerged victorious.  The teams were Jeremy Baker, Jeremy Dhondy, Andy Hughes and Fred Hotchen playing Adrian Fontes, Karen Dewar, Julian Sykes and Bo Deyal.

Matches are normally 24 boards but, as it was the final, we had to play 32.  Scoring up after each set of 8 boards, we were leading by 4 imps after the first set.  After the second set, half-time, we were losing by 12 imps, then after 24 boards we made a recovery to plus 13 imps, finally ending up 14 imps ahead at the end.

Board 20 (shown above) produced a swing to the winning side.  If you look at all four hands you may be forgiven for thinking that 4♠ played by North was the rightful contract, but whoever said Bridge was a game of accuracy?!!!

At our table I opened 1NT on the West cards and Jeremy, hoping to run his diamonds, optimistically tried 3NT.  I did make all the diamonds but only after the opposition took their five spade winners!  As North-South hadn't bid anything, I didn't realise at the time they could make a game in spades!

In the other room Julian, sitting West, opened 1.  Jeremy (Dhondy) overcalled 1♠, Bo jumped to 3 and Andy jumped to 4♠.  This was passed round to Bo who further competed with 5 which Andy doubled and went three off for minus 800 and a swing of 12 imps.

Last updated : 18th Jul 2018 05:18 GMT
Jubilee Cup Teams of eight

The Jubilee Cup teams of eight was played in Romsey on Sunday 10 November 2019.  There was a very good turnout of 10 teams (80 players), most representing a club.  Well done to the Badger Farm team for being the winners of the Jubilee Cup.

The team comprised Ian and Clare Fearon, Tony Page and John Folkes, Fred Hotchen and Jeremy Baker, and Jeremy Dhondy and Andy Hughes. 

Last updated : 8th Jan 2020 00:27 GMT
Badger Farm Club Championship
Badger Farm Club Championship

Badger Farm has had a Club Championship since 1985.

There have been two cups, The Fred Hotchen Cup from 1985 to 1986 and 1991 to 2013, replaced in 2014 by the Hopes Dixon Cup.

2017 winners were Nicky Davey and Wini Meikle (Wini, Fred and Nicky pictured above on 19 December 2017).

Previous winners were:

Fred Hotchen Cup

1985 Barry Tobutt and Tony Olech; 1986 Joan Barnwell and Betty Dixon; 1991 Pat Essex and Verna Petty; 1992 Fred Hotchen and Sheila Stubbings; 1993 Fred Hotchen and Sheila Stubbings; 1994 Jim Allison and Nigel Whiteman; 1995 Ann Keighley and Wini Meikle; 1996 Albert Morton and Ian Collins; 1997 Fred Hotchen and Geoff Smith; 1998 Fred Hotchen and Geoff Smith; 1999 Fred Hotchen and Geoff Smith; 2000 Fred Hotchen and Geoff Smith; 2001 Marie Holland and Dorothy Rivers; 2002 Fred Hotchen and Geoff Smith; 2003 Fred Hotchen and Geoff Smith; 2004 Fred Hotchen and Geoff Smith; 2005 Fred Hotchen and Geoff Smith; 2006 Brian Rhodes and Charles Nixon; 2007 Roland and Janet Richardson; 2008 Judy Ames and Pippa Moon; 2009 Jane Bolwell and Pat Dixon; 2010 Roy Evans and Jane Jenner; 2011 Nigel Whiteman and Jim Finch; 2012 Dorothy Rivers and Angie Baker; 2013 Jeremy Baker and Sheila Stubbings

Hopes Dixon Cup

2014 Jane Bolwell and Anke Cox; 2015 Julia Rowlands and Jeremy Crouch; 2016 Fred Hotchen and Jeremy Baker; 2017 Wini Meikle and Nicky Davey; 2018 Tony Page and John Folkes;  John Dakin and Colin Jones

Last updated : 28th Jul 2021 05:21 BST
Simple Systems Simultaneous - Broughton Heat

The Broughton heat of the HIWCBA’s Simple Systems Simultaneous was played on Wednesday 31 October and in aid of Hampshire Air Ambulance.

Dick and Mary Killick were first locally with 69.1% and came 6th overall with 62.5%.  Second were Sue Trickey and Dot Mornington-West with 61.9% locally and 61.1% overall.  Third were Steve and Pauline Davis with 54.8% locally and 55% overall.

Full details are on the Ecatsbridge website under Simultaneous Pairs.

Last updated : 12th Dec 2018 00:39 GMT
Badger Farm Garden Party - Sunday 26 August 2018

Thanks for all those who came on the Sunday of the Bank Holiday weekend.  There was 1.09” of rain in my rain gauge on Monday morning so yes it was the wettest day of the summer!!  Not that it put a dampener on anything as it was all very jolly indoors instead.

For those who didn’t come or for those who did and are still puzzling out the above hand, with the privilege of looking at all four hands, you have to make 7 on the lead of the King of spades.  Might seem impossible but easy when you see the answer.  Solution below...


Win the spade lead in hand but the discard in dummy must be a club, not a diamond.

At trick 2 play a trump to dummy, then ruff a diamond followed by another trump to dummy and a second diamond ruff in hand.

A third trump to dummy then draw the remaining trumps.  On the last trump you discard the Ace of clubs from hand, then on the Ace of diamonds, you discard the King of clubs from hand.

With the Ace and King of clubs out of the way, you can now run the rest of dummy’s clubs and you have your 13 tricks 🤠😀🤓


Last updated : 11th Sep 2018 23:58 GMT
Simple Systems Simultaneous Pairs - Wednesday 30 October 2019

A small heat of three tables was held in Broughton of this charity event in aid of Hampshire Air Ambulance.  

Four clubs took part with 71 pairs.  The other three were Meon, Petersfield and Basingstoke Bridge Clubs.

First in the local heat were Steve and Pauline with 68.8%, coming 16th overall.  Jill and John came second but ended up 9th in the overall competition.

Last updated : 8th Jan 2020 00:27 GMT
Basingstoke Cup 2019-2020

The Basingstoke Cup is an inter-club knockout competition for teams of eight players below the rank of Regional Master.

Badger Farm played Petersfield Bridge Club on Monday 21 October.  

The above hand, board 20, gained a good swing for Badger Farm as Stephen and Heather were the only pair to bid and make a game.  Dealer West would have opened 1♠ and, despite North-South holding 25 points between them, it is not always that easy to reach game after the opposition have opened the bidding.

Stephen and Heather saw beyond just bidding the clubs and ended up in an undefeatable 3NT, the only makeable game.  I don't know what the bidding was but a possible auction might have been a takeout double by South, a jump to 3 by North, a cue bid of 3♠ by South followed by 3NT by North.  However, a takeout double without hearts is not ideal so another possible sequence might have seen South jump to 3♣ with North then bidding 3NT.

The other three tables played in clubs, two in a part-score making +130 and the other in 5♣ going one off, giving a swing of 11imps to Badger Farm.

Unfortunately Board 22 soon came along and was instrumental in Petersfield's win as one of their pairs bid to a good 6♠ which nobody else reached and that gained 10imps for Petersfield, wiping out the gain made from board 20.  East held ♠KQ1076 6 AKQ8 ♣K82 opposite ♠AJ2 A10852 2 ♣AJ93.

It was a close match with Badger Farm eventually losing up by just 1 imp. 

The Badger Farm team was represented by Alan and Jill Hickson, Stephen Cross and Heather Ball, Christina Leach-Lewis and Jane Jenner and Helen Gault and Brian Rhodes.  Ian and Clare captained the team and hosted the match.  Well done everybody.

Last updated : 31st Oct 2019 20:43 GMT
Seniors National Knockout

I'm pleased to say that my team (Jeremy Baker, Dave Huggett, Steve Preston and Fred Hotchen) are through to the semi-final of the Seniors National Knockout Competition, having won our quarter-final match, playing a team from Brighton on Friday12 April.

It was a closely contested match with a lot of flighty hands with 32 boards, four rounds of 8 boards.

After the first round we were down by 10 imps, mainly because we bid two not unreasonable games that the other team didn't and neither made.  However, we recovered well by 20 imps on the second set of eight.  This time the opposition bid a game that failed when we were in a part-score and we got a game swing when we defeated a game which made at the other table.

We gained 1 more imp overall on the third round then lost 4 imps overall on the last round.

The last round was a bit of a nail biter as the opposition bid and made 6♠ but fortunately Steve and Dave also bid it in the other room.  However, we lost 11 imps when Jeremy and I were doubled in 4♠ going two off against 4 but Steve and Dave had bid to an unlucky 6 in the other room which couldn't quite make.  Nevertheless we gained on several other boards and ended up winning by 7 imps overall.

Our semi-final match is a home draw against a team from Shepherds Bush to be held on Friday 21 June.

Last updated : 23rd Apr 2019 22:54 GMT
Club News - Jubilee Cup 2017

The Jubilee Cup is Hampshire and Isle of Wight's teams of eight event and was played in Romsey on Sunday 12 November.  The winning won team was comprised largely of Badger Farm members.  James Guiton was playing with John Sherringham, Fred Hotchen with Jason Frost, Jeremy Baker with Guy Lawrenson and Karen and Malcolm Pryor who came all the way from Suffolk.

Last updated : 4th Dec 2017 09:28 GMT
2018 Master Points

The EBU has published on its website a list of top master points earners for each club in 2018. The most points earned at Badger Farm Tuesday duplicates in 2018 were:

Fred Hotchen        1245

Jeremy Baker        837

Marian Rudd and Tricia Brooks 573

If you are interested in your own master points records, have a look at the EBU website.

Last updated : 18th Mar 2019 18:24 GMT
Mid-winter Swiss Teams

Congratulations to Jeremy Baker, Alan Wilson, James Guiton and John Sherringham for winning the Mid-winter Swiss Teams in Romsey on Sunday 13 January.  Nice to see a Badger Farm team win another County event.

Last updated : 3rd Feb 2019 13:39 GMT
2017 Bridge Club Champion List

The EBU has just published its Club Champion List for 2017.  For Badger Farm it was as follows:

1st was Fred Hotchen with 1155 (not surprising as I’m Badger Farm’s most regular attendee!!!)

2nd was John Sherringham with 699

3rd was Jeremy Baker with 648

4th= were Marian Rudd and Tricia Brooks with 393

Last updated : 27th Jun 2018 05:30 GMT
Chidwick Cup Simultaneous Pairs

The Chidwick Cup Simultaneous was held at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Bridge Clubs during the week commencing Monday 3 December.

Fred and Andy were first at Badger Farm with 71.1% and in the overall competition with 70.3% 😀🍾🥂

To view the overall results, google ‘ecatsbridge’ then click on ‘our simultaneous pairs’ then ‘Chidwick charity cup’, then ‘results’.  You can find the results for Badger Farm and your own positions within the overall field.

Last updated : 9th Jan 2019 08:38 GMT
Jubilee Cup Teams - Sunday 11 November 2018

I am pleased to say that a team of Badger Farm players won this year’s Jubilee Cup Teams of eight County Event in Romsey.

The team was Jeremy Baker and Jeremy Dhondy (standing in for James Guiton), Fred Hotchen and Jason Frost, Ian and Clare Fearon and John Folkes and Tony Page.

Last updated : 9th Jan 2019 08:38 GMT
Basingstoke Cup 2018

Badger Farm for the first time entered a team for the Basingstoke Cup, a free entry inter-club county knockout competition open to any player ranked below Regional Master. 

The first match was played against Eastleigh Bridge Club on Sunday 18 November, Eastleigh beating Badger Farm by a small margin of 4 IMPs.

The Badger Farm team was Sally Miller and Helen Gault, Alan and Jill Hickson, Wini Meikle and Nadia Freemantle and Janet Roffey and Christina Leach-Lewis.

Thank you Ian and Clare for organising this and hosting the match.

Last updated : 12th Dec 2018 00:35 GMT
Wessex Cup 2017

The Wessex Cup Swiss Teams event held on Sunday 3 December with a good turnout of 14 teams.  Swiss Teams is the best kind of Bridge in my opinion and there were six seven-board matches.

Badger Farm was well represented.  Kevin McArdle had a team there.  Jeremy Baker was playing with James Guiton in a team with John Sherringham and Guy Lawrenson.  It was also nice to see Nigel Whiteman there who was partnering his brother-in-law in a Hayling Island team.

Jeremy Crouch was playing with his brother Peter with Bob McRobert and Geoff Oldfield who play at Winchester.  I played my first club duplicate Bridge with Peter in 1980.  Peter now partners Andrew Robson and they have represented England many times internationally.

I was playing with Andy Hughes with Dave Huggett and Steve Preston.  We had a good session and won with over 84% so a very enjoyable afternoon's Bridge with lots of upbeat lively hands.

The next county Teams event is the Yuletide Mini Swiss treats which will be held on Sunday 17 December at Crosfield Hall, Romsey.  It consists of six six-board matches and starts at 2pm, preceded by Christmas drinks at 1.30.  It would be nice to see some more Badger Farm players there.  Further details can be found on the HIWCBA website.

There were a few interesting bidding sequences.  On one hand I opened 1, West bid 2, Andy bid 3, East bid 4 and I bid 5.  East-West then played in 5♠.

We gained a game swing on the above hand which is a good example of a Michaels cue bid where the 2♣ overcall showed 5-5 in the majors. The 3♣ cue bid then asked partner to decide which and the 4♣ cue bid passed the buck.  Neither of us had any intention of playing in clubs!

At the other table, the auction started similarly but after 2♣, South bid 2 and that is where they played.  Apparently he wasn't sure how strong his partner's 2♣ was but I like to play it as constructive with values concentrated in the suits.

Certainly no problem making 10 tricks, 11 if you guess the spade finesse correctly.

Last updated : 19th Dec 2017 17:40 GMT
Solent Trophy 2018

The Solent Trophy is a Hampshire and Isle of Wight inter-club knock out competition.  Badger Farm played Newbury Bridge Club on Monday 3 December and unfortunately came second!  The Badger Farm team was Fred Hotchen and Jeremy Baker (team captain), Ian and Clare Fearon, Tricia Brooks and Marian Rudd and Tony Page and John Folkes.

Last updated : 12th Dec 2018 00:34 GMT
2017 Solent Trophy Inter-club Knockout Final

The final of the Solent Trophy inter-club knockout was played between Badger Farm and Petersfield Bridge clubs on Monday 10 April.

The two teams of eight battled it out over 24 interesting but very volatile boards and at half-time Badger Farm were winning by an impressive 21.  However, an ill wind blew in the second half and two notable boards, both slams, sealed the fate of the match.  Petersfield ended up winning by 13.

I think it's fair to say that the two teams battled it out valiantly and well done to Petersfield.  Commiserations to the Badger Farm side, Jeremy Baker, John Dakin, Andy Hughes, Fred Hotchen, Julia Rowlands, Jeremy Crouch, John Sherringham and James Guiton.

The two unfortunate slam hands, boards 14 and 16,  are set out below...

Last updated : 19th Apr 2017 20:47 GMT
Solent Trophy - Board 16

Goodness me, looks like a Goulash!  Some of the players opened the North hand 4 but some would say it's rather strong for that.

Anyway the bidding was as above against Andy and me.  South jumped to 7 and happily found partner with the Ace of clubs and all was well.  A slightly more cautious approach may have been either to use Blackwood or cue bid 5♠ to show the void.  North would now be able to cue bid the Ace of clubs though as West I would have bid 6♠ to muddy the water.  Nevertheless North-South could have then pressed on to 7 though it's not easy for either player to make that decision in practice.  Neither is it easy for East-West at adverse vulnerability to sacrifice in 7♠ which goes for 1100.

At another table, one of the Petersfield Norths opened 4, East competed with 4♠ and South bid and played in 6.  The two Badger Farm North-Souths both ended up in 6 so the Petersfield pair in 7 gained a big swing on the board.

Last updated : 19th Apr 2017 20:46 GMT
Solent Trophy - Board 14

A quick explanation of the bidding - The opening 2♣ followed by 3♠ showed an 'Acol Two' in spades, the 2 response in principle is negative but was just a waiting bid and 5 was a response to Romand Key Card Blackwood, showing 0 or 4 'Aces' (including the King of spades).

Looking at the East-West hands together, 7♠ is a bit on the optimistic side.  However, had West held a doubleton diamond or even the singleton queen, prospects would have been very good and it's hard to ascertain that level of detail from the bidding.  As it was, there was nothing to be done other than try the heart finesse which, sadly for Badger Farm, failed as both East-Wests went one off in 7♠ while in the Petersfield team, one pair played in 6♠ and the other pair was only in 4♠. 

Last updated : 19th Apr 2017 20:46 GMT
Solent Trophy 2017-18 season

The Solent Trophy is Hampshire and the Isle of Wight's teams of eight inter-club knockout competition.

Badger Farm played Basingstoke Bridge Club on Monday 30 October.  We lost by 26, mostly down to one hand in the first half where there was a marginal slam which was better not to be in and we often were!

Board 6 (outlined above) was interesting and demonstrates the effective use of a takeout double right up to the three level.

Andy and I were sitting East-West and the bidding at our table was as above.  The North-South bidding was good barrage but with Andy having bid 2 freely, it seemed to me that we should at least try for game despite the opposition bidding.

We had indeed got 26 points between us but with the opposition bidding and support clubs, Ax was hardly adequate to bid 3NT and if you look at all four hands, on a club lead it is doomed to failure unless you happen to tackle the diamonds for the way they lie, an extremely unlikely line of play.  More likely would be to play the spades for no loser by hoping for QJ doubleton or a singleton honour offside, then finessing.

Anyway all a bit hypothetical.  A double in this instance would be for takeout, finding out more about partner's hand.  At worst Andy might have rebid 3 and we would have played there.  In the event he was able to show his four card spade suit and I duly raised to 4♠, the best spot for us. 

Hands like this often offer several perfectly reasonable lines of play and success or failure is then down to the lie of the cards.  If you look at East-West's spades and diamonds, you will see they have eight of each.  There are likely to be three losers, a club, a diamond and a spade.  However, with the opposition bidding to the three level with a combined 14 points, there are likely to be some distributional values and therefore diamonds and/or spades are liable to break 4-1 rather than the more normal 3-2.

Andy won the opening club lead with the Ace then played the Ace of trumps followed by a diamond to his Ace.  He then played a spade from hand and finessed, safeguarding against a 4-1 trump break.  Unfortunately that was a losing option as South won the Jack and returned a diamond which North ruffed and 4♠ went one off due to the bad break in diamonds.

As the trumps were in fact behaving and broke 3-2, the winning line would have been to play Ace and King of trumps.  The bad diamond break would not now have presented a problem, losing a club, a natural trump trick and a diamond.  Had the spades broken 4-1 and the diamonds broken 3-2, Andy's line of play would have been successful and playing off Ace and King of trumps would have resulted in failure.

All Declarers went off on this hand.  Marian was also in 4♠.  She received a singleton diamond lead but tried to set up the hearts and the opposition embarked on a cross ruff.  

The two Basingstoke Declarers both reached 3NT.  James jumped to 3♣ over 1 and the bidding continued 3 3NT.  

Jeremy and Julia also muddied the waters as the opening against them was a strong 1NT.  Jeremy bid 2♣ which conventionally (Cappelletti) showed a single suited hand, not necessarily clubs, and the opposition bid 2 2NT 3NT without mentioning the spades and not knowing what the single suit was until Jeremy led one!

With everyone going one off, this board resulted in no swing though it did reflect quite a tough match.

The Badger Farm side consisted of Jeremy Baker (team captain) playing with Marian Rudd, Julia Rowlands and Jeremy Crouch, James Guiton and John Sherringham and Fred Hotchen and Andy Hughes.

Last updated : 8th Nov 2017 00:10 GMT
Solent Trophy Inter-club Knockout

Well done to the Badger Farm team who beat Newbury Bridge Club 48-39 in a match on Wednesday 4 January in the semi-final of the Solent Trophy, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight's inter-club knockout competition.  The final will be against Petersfield Bridge Club, to be held sometime in April.

Representing Badger Farm was Jeremy Baker (team captain) partnering Andy Hughes, Fred Hotchen playing with Jason Frost, John Sherringham with James Guiton and Julia Rowlands with Jeremy Crouch.

Newbury were leading 23-13 at half-time but all Badger Farm pairs played well for a good recovery in the second half.

A good defence by Jeremy and Andy helped us on our way on the above hand.

Against 3NT Andy led the 6 of clubs which Declarer won in dummy with the Queen, Jeremy following with the 5 and Declarer the 7.  From that, Andy could deduce that partner's club holding was almost certainly 52 and Declarer's was A1097.  At trick 2 Declarer played a small diamond to hand and one back to dummy's Queen.

Looking at dummy, Andy could see Declarer making two club tricks, probably four diamonds (at least three), three hearts and he was sure to have the King of spades.  There was therefore no prospect of setting up his clubs so the only real possibility of defeating 3NT would be for Jeremy to get in and switch to a spade through Declarer.  

However, from Jeremy's point of view, it would normally be right to return partner's suit.  After all, Andy could have been leading from AJxxx and a club return would then be imperative.

A very good signalling method exists which caters for that eventuality.  It is called 'Smith Peters' and was invented by Geoff Smith, my great ex partner from Badger Farm and renowned in his day for being the best card player in the south of England.  

Smith Peters is used by a lot of tournament players.  The way it works is that if the opening leader does not want his opening lead returned, he 'peters' on the first suit played by Declarer.  Conversely, at the other side of the table, if you like your partner's opening lead, you 'peter' on Declarer's first suit played to encourage continuation if/when he gets in.

Back to the above hand and on Declarer's diamonds, Andy followed with the 5 and the 2, signalling to Jeremy for a switch.  Jeremy won his Ace and duly switched to a spade.  However, not fourth highest!  If he had played fourth highest, Declarer can follow with the 8 of spades which Andy wins and Declarer's remaining Kx is protected.

Jeremy therefore switched to the nine of spades and Declarer was now scuppered.  He played low but Jeremy was able to play another spade through and five spade tricks were now made and 3NT went two off.  Any other defence such as returning partner's clubs and 3NT makes easily.

Defence is the hardest part of the game.  Communication and co-operation between the defenders is crucial.  In this case Andy was able to work out what was required, he communicated this to Jeremy and Jeremy had to follow his partner's signal.  This was a very good defence as the contract was much easier to make than to defeat so a well deserved good result here.

Last updated : 4th Feb 2017 08:59 GMT
Cahalan Cup Final

I was pleased that my team (Jeremy Baker, Andy Hughes, Jeremy Dhondy and me) won the 2016 Cahalan Cup Final, the main Hampshire and Isle of Wight knock-out teams competition.

The hands were lively and 16 out of 24 boards were Game contracts.  However, the above part-score in spades, although not the most exciting of the evening's hands, was nevertheless quite intriguing...

West led the eight of clubs which clearly was from shortage so the Ace was played from dummy.  A diamond was now led towards the King Queen in the hope of being able to discard a losing club from dummy.  East popped up with the Ace which improved prospects for Declarer.

East could not play back a club as this would give a trick away so he switched to a trump, won by West's singleton King.  A second club came back which was won in dummy.

Declarer now played a second diamond.  Although East could ruff and cash a club, he would then be forced to lead away from his King of hearts or concede a ruff and discard in clubs.  East therefore didn't ruff but Declarer was then able to play a third diamond and discard a losing club from dummy.  East ruffed and played the Queen of clubs which Declarer trumped in dummy so the defence took Ace and King of trumps and a ruff, the Ace of diamonds and the King of hearts.  One way or another five tricks was their limit.

Last updated : 19th Apr 2017 21:06 GMT
Inter-club knockout

The Solent Trophy is an inter-club knockout competition between Bridge Clubs in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.  In round 1, played on Monday 2 November, it was Badger Farm v Basingstoke.  At half-time Badger Farm was leading by 21 imps but the second half was not so good and Basingstoke ended up winning by 5.

Two hands in the second half were costly to Badger Farm.  On one hand both Basingstoke teams bid and made a vulnerable 6 which was not bid by the Badger Farm players and on another hand all pairs bid to 3 No Trumps and the two Basingstoke Declarer's made it but the two Badger Farm Declarer's went one down.  This was also vulnerable so two big swings in Basingstoke's favour which cost Badger Farm 27imps.

The Badger Farm team was:

Jeremy Baker (team captain), Andy Hughes, Fred Hotchen, John Sherringham, Charles Nixon, Dorothy Rivers, Julia Rowlands and Jeremy Crouch.  

Good luck to Basingstoke in future rounds and we'll have another go next year...

The 6 hand in question is set out above showing the bidding against John and me.  The opponents were playing a 15-17 1NT, West's 2♣ was Stayman and after the 2 response, he bid 6 and was pleasantly surprised with dummy's diamonds.  Playing a weak no trump, it is not quite so easy to get there.  East would open 1 to which West responds 2.  East now has an awkward rebid as whilst he would like to show his diamond support, he doesn't know how strong West is.  It is quite easy to end up in 3NT rather than diamonds so well done to the Basingstoke team for reaching the slam by both of their pairs.

On a club lead from North, Declarer should win with the Ace in dummy, draw trumps in two rounds, then play off Ace and King of hearts, discarding the Queen of clubs from hand.  With the spade finesse right, all 13 tricks come rolling in.

The 3NT contract is detailed in the next article below.

Last updated : 4th Nov 2015 16:51 GMT
Inter-club knockout (2)

The above hand produced the other big loss to Badger Farm in the second half of the match.

The bidding against John and me was as above though an alternative sequence would have been for West to rebid 1NT showing 15-16 points in which case West plays the hand instead of East.  Either way a club lead is likely.

Prospects look quite good for Declarer as providing the Jack of hearts falls in three rounds all is fine for 9 tricks.  However, the Jack of hearts didn't fall and things did not then look so promising.  The clubs are not likely to produce any more tricks and the diamonds look decidedly vulnerable.  However, as the cards lay, Declarer was not as exposed in diamonds as it appeared and with the spade finesse right, nine tricks are always there, four hearts, two clubs, two spades and a diamond if the defence attacks diamonds.  In practice, after winning the Jack of hearts, North will continue with clubs so Declarer has no choice but to rely on the spade finesse to make the contract.

One of the Badger Farm declarers failed to make 3NT by not continuing with hearts when the suit didn't break and therefore ended up a trick short.  It is not an easy hand to play as communications between the two hands are limited and with the concern about both the queen of spades and the diamond suit, Declarer has a lot to worry about.  Having said that, with the benefit of hindsight admittedly, once the hearts don't break, Declarer has no real hope of making 3NT unless the spade finesse is right.  The defence can make a few winners in diamonds or clubs but not both.  If the spade finesse is wrong, 3NT is three off, losing a heart, a spade, two clubs and three diamonds.

Last updated : 4th Nov 2015 00:48 GMT
Badger Farm 2015 Club Pairs
Badger Farm 2015 Club Pairs

The 2015 Annual Club Pairs Championship for the Hopes-Dixon Cup took place on Tuesday 17 November. 

Winners this year were Julia Rowlands and Jeremy Crouch.  The Cup was presented by Brian Dixon and Alan Mcleod.

Last updated : 22nd Dec 2015 09:12 GMT
2014 Club Pairs Championship - Presentation by Alan McLeod
2014 Club Pairs Championship - Presentation by Alan McLeod

On Tuesday 13th January Ginger's partner Alan very kindly came over to present the Cup to Anke and Jane.  Ginger would have been very proud.  So apt that Pat and Ginger's respective partners got together and won the club pairs.



Last updated : 8th Mar 2016 18:36 GMT
2014 Club Pairs Championship - Presentation by Bryan and Sarah
2014 Club Pairs Championship - Presentation by Bryan and Sarah

Congratulations to Jane Bolwell and Anke Cox on winning the Annual Pairs Championship.

We have a brand new cup this year which we have called the Hopes Dixon Cup.  This cup is in memory of Jean 'Ginger' Hopes and Pat Dixon who both sadly passed away on the 1st of October.  Ginger and Pat were both founder members of the Bridge Club in 1984 and are much missed by all of us at Badger Farm.  It is therefore very befitting that their regular Bridge partners, Jane and Anke, are now playing together and are the first holders of the cup.

The Cup was presented to Jane and Anke at our last Bridge session for 2014 by Pat's husband Bryan and daughter Sarah.


Last updated : 8th Mar 2016 18:35 GMT
Badger Farm Bridge Club News and Information
Badger Farm Bridge Club News and Information

This website replaces the one previously created and run by Jim Finch.  Jim's website has served us since the beginning of 1999 and I believe that Badger Farm was one of the earliest clubs with its own website.  Thank you very much Jim for doing this for us so diligently all these years.

Last updated : 23rd Jan 2015 09:27 GMT