Badger Farm Bridge Club Winchester
Release 2.19n
Recent Updates
Home Page
11th Sep 2023 21:46 BST
Hands of the Week 2020
11th Sep 2023 21:37 BST
0 0 0 0 0 0
Pages viewed in 2023
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
Interesting Hands during Lockdown
Slam Woes

The above hand came up in a recent Seniors match.  My team was Steve Preston, Dave Huggett, Jeremy Baker and me playing against a team from Bath.

The bidding started the same at both tables but after 3♠ I cue bid the Ace of Clubs which quickly propelled us to 6♠ whereas the other South just signed off in 4♠.  In the initial bidding, after a change of suit at the two level, 3♣ was game forcing and therefore 3♠ is stronger than 4♠.  The 4♣ bid therefore shows interest beyond game so the jump to 6♠ is emminently reasonable if not a bit hurried.

So much for the bidding, two different ambitions and looking at all four hands a contract of 6♠ looks very promising.  However, the play was much more different than the bidding.

Against 6♠ West decided not to give anything away and led a trump.  The Jack of spades appearing at trick 1 was significant as it meant Declarer and Dummy had all the top trumps.  However, a trump attack also meant that any plan to ruff clubs in dummy was thwarted as the opposition would have to regain the lead and would play another trump, reducing club ruffs to one and leaving a potential loser.

A good alternative therefore was to try to set up dummy's hearts and Declarer could afford to lose one if necessary, discarding three clubs on three hearts, providing hearts broke no worse than 4-2 (or 5-1 with a singleton Queen).  At trick 2 I played King of hearts but at trick 3 this plan was dashed as North ruffed, revealing an unlucky heart break.  North returned another trump but with the 4-1 break in trumps, 6♠ was now impossible.

At the other table the play was completely different.  On lead against 4♠ North led a small diamond.  Declarer won in dummy and immediately set about the clubs.  He ducked one at trick 2 but it was too late for North to find a trump switch and he continued with a second diamond.  Declarer won in hand, played Ace of clubs, ruffed a club, returned to hand with a heart and ruffed his last club.  Declarer now played dummy's last trump, the Queen, but when the Jack appeared from South, he was able to overtake with his Ace and draw all the outstanding trumps, the final trick being the Ace of hearts for 12 tricks.

Both opening leads were fine and either lead could have worked out better but on this occasion the trump lead was lethal.  It made an incredible difference and completely dictated the line of play.  Some may have selected the singleton heart and as the trumps and hearts lay, this would also have been too much for Declarer with an unavoidable club loser and either a heart or a heart ruff.

Double dummy Declarer can still make 6♠ on a trump lead by getting one club ruff and finessing the Jack of hearts but it's a very unlikely play and definitely against the odds, just happens to work!

In the event this hand provided an important 11 imp swing to the Bath team.  Could have been worse though as there would have been no reason not to make the same lead against 6♠ and that would have resulted in a swing of -1030, equating to minus 14 imps.

A real devilish hand on what was otherwise a good slam with a variety of play possibilities.  No justice!

Decisions, Decisions...

On picking up the South hand, with great excitement you count up an eight card heart suit.  However, before you have worked out what you're going to bid, West opens 1♠, partner overcalls 2♣ and East jumps to 4♠!  Now what?

Before looking at all four hands, what would you bid?  Once you have made your decision, look at all four hands and see the consequences of your action...

It's a difficult decision and on this occasion, if you had bid 5♣ you would have come up trumps.  Had you bid 5 you would have gone down, possibly doubled.

However, now see the hand below...

Decisions, Decisions (Version 2 - The Real Deal)

Same hand as above, same question and probably the same answer.  Read on as this was the last board in an actual deal in a recent teams match...

My choice was 5♣ and even when East doubled, I stuck with it (how stubborn) but I have canvassed opinion from a number of players and most of them would have bid 5.

If you look at the full deal, this time it is another story altogether.  East led a spade, West found the heart switch which East ruffed and later made the Queen of clubs so 5♣ doubled was one down.  But that was only the tip of the iceberg...

At the other table, West had decided to open an aggressive 4♠, North doubled, East bid 5♠ and South bid 6.  There was no defence to beat it as Declarer's third club was parked on dummy's Ace of diamonds resulting in a very expensive swing of 1630 or 17 imps.

As a further point of interest with this loathesome hand, a pre-empt is intended to put the opposition off track, causing them to make difficult decisions at a high level, and reaching the wrong contract.  Occasionally however a pre-empt is counter-productive and propels the opposition into a contract they might otherwise not have reached.

An important difference between the two bidding sequences is that after a 2♣ overcall by partner, he is likely to have good clubs but maybe nothing in hearts whereas a double of 4♠ implies at least tolerance for the other major.

In the bidding sequence highlighted above a bid of either 5♣ or 5 could have been right or wrong but either way you are unlikely to reach 6.  The majority of people I have asked opted for 5 and whilst I certainly thought about bidding that, I think I still come out in favour of 5♣ though I must admit I think it maybe the first time I have not bid an eight card suit!