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Release 2.19p
Teams Month
Latest Teams Results

See below for the final results table with the handicaps applied.

To see the hands from each week, click on 'Week 1', 'Week 2', etc. in the table below.

See below the table for Sally's commentaries on one of the boards from each week.

The raw results, without the handicaps, are available in a League Table on the EBU website HERE. You can also access the League Table via your My EBU area, click on Utilities and select EBU League.

Team No. Team Name Players (subs) Handicap Handicapped Scores Total Average Position
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
1 Patrick's Team Patrick K, Alan C, Alan W, Jane K (Malcolm P, Chris B) 8 27  24  10  12 73 8.1 9
2 Nowhere to Hide Neil, Linda R, Paul H, Les (Chris B) 0 6  8 29  27  469 7.7 10
3 The Riff Raff Stephen R, Roger, Penny & Carol R 1 14  29  30 21  94 10.4 5
4 Richard's Team Richard W, Sam, Carole R, Marjorie (Sally A, Harry A) 0 17  31  19  29 96 10.7 4
5 The Jokers Alex, Serena, Caroline P, Carolyn P, Hannele, June B (David S) 25 16 15  21   34 86 9.6 8
6 The Long Shots Peter, Alina, Nic, Steph, Tom (Dena, Julie R, Alison P) 36 30  19  19  36 104 11.6 1
7 The Grosvenors Pat, Dai, Val, Julie B (Sally A, Ruth M, Alan W) 48 10 21   9  48 88 9.8 7
8 The Rennies Barbara R, Margaret R, Doug, Cathy (David E) 31 31 23  21   23 98 10.9 3
9 Lost & Found Colin, Sharon, Barbara P, Chris Hatt (Harry A, Venetia A, David S) 22 24  19 28   29 100 11.1 2
10 The Lemmings Steve, Mary, Linda A, Lee, (Maria A, Venetia A, Charlie S) 20 25  11 14   42 92 10.2 6

 


Teams Week 4 - 26th May 2022 - Board 16 West to open with this amazing 7/5 hand. Only nine points, but it’s such a powerful hand. Very likely to have a fit with partner in one of the red suits here, if you use the Losing Trick Count to help you judge the value of your hand (assuming you do find a fit) then it's a four-loser hand - really powerful. And you would like the chance to bid both of your suits, you want to be able to have a constructive bidding conversation with partner here, so this is absolutely not a hand to be opening in a preemptive way at the 2 or 3 level. This is a hand to open 1D. That might feel strange with only nine points, and it's not something you do on many nine-point hands, but don't let it put you off here. This isn't your average nine-point hand!

Another useful way to consider this type of situation is by thinking about what you would bid if you gave yourself an arbitrary but useless couple of extra points. For example, take one small D away and substitute the QS, this would make the hand less powerful but with 11 points now, no one would think twice about opening 1D. Hopefully that puts it into perspective a little - sometimes we need to override our standard rules on point counts.

So, 1D opening. N has a 1S overcall, and E would make a take-out double (perhaps you call it a negative double here). A double in this position is always very focused on the unbid major, so it would be extremely unusual not to have 4H for this bid. S follows the principles of 'level of the fit', and with five-card support bids 4S. Now W needs to keep in mind the power of their hand, particularly given that they are now confident they have found a fit, and bid 5H. It looks very likely that you will make this if partner has 4H and 7/8+ points, plus the opponents might well be making 4S their way just looking at your hand. N is likely to pass, although the vulnerability is perfect for a sacrifice and the two suits might suggest there's a double fit going on here. Back to E, who, with some very useful cards (AH, AKC) might well be tempted to take a bash at 6H - 5H is quite a bold move from partner, they must have a very powerful hand for it, and looking at JXX in the S suit and listening to the opponent's bidding, it seems extremely likely that partner has a void in S, or certainly a singleton at most. I think it's got to be worth a crack at 6H! Would either N or S feel like sacrificing in 6S in this auction? That’s a possibility, but not clear at all and very difficult. Either way, it's going to be a good result for EW, and an exciting hand!

 


Teams Week 3 - 19th May 2022 - Board 14 An exciting slam hand! After E passes, S opens 1C. Playing straight Acol, N has a straightforward 3C bid: four-card support, ten points, and eight losers - bridge is a complex enough game as it is, why not keep it straightforward when it can be!

Or, another good approach to your thinking in bridge is: 'Good things come to those who raise partner'!

Looking at the N hand, you're not necessarily expecting to play in clubs, but you have no major suit alternative to explore and 3C is describing your hand, let's put partner in the picture with that. And South is then extremely interested in playing in clubs. Having a nine-card fit and such a powerful hand puts slam firmly on the radar - look at your losing trick count if you're struggling to visualise just how good this hand has actually now become. You have a four-loser hand (including counting the C suit as two losers!). Plus, you have incredibly 'crisp', useful high cards, including first round controls in every suit. You might go down various paths trying to bid this hand now. It's often difficult to bid slams scientifically with a C fit, especially with a void, if you don't have fancy bidding tools at your disposal. For those of you playing splinters then you could perhaps start with a 4D bid. However, I think a very practical option would be just to bid 6C - that seems an excellent option to me 😊.

For five-card major auctions, it’s perhaps not quite so straightforward as 1C - 3C - 6C...!

1C starting point again, but when this can be a short C suit, N can no longer raise to 3C. If N responds 1D instead, S rebids 1H, now showing natural Cs and Hs, 5+/4+, and N does now have a 3C bid. This puts you in a very similar position to the straight Acol auction - slightly less attractive in that partner has bid Ds and might only have 3Cs - but I would argue that 6Cs looks a practical bid still! All the above reasons still apply and very hard to picture a hand for partner where you're not going to have a shot at 6C.

Interesting to note that 3NT would be going off on a D lead if the C finesse is wrong. Whereas 6C is still making - that really illustrates just how much you want to be playing this hand in 6C and NOT 3NT!


Teams Week 2 - 12th May 2022 - Board 10 EW are likely to be playing this in 4S.

If EW are playing a weak NT system, then E will probably be playing the contract after a transfer auction, and this could be another situation - with that all important four-card trump support - to see a transfer 'break' in action as we looked at last week over 2NT. Over just a 1NT opening it can be a great way to find thin games based on a strong fit.

With a strong NT system then the bidding will probably have started 1D – P – 1S, and so W will be declarer.

You can see that the defence can take four tricks against 4S - 2C, 1H and 1S. However, I think at quite a few tables the contract made. If the defence do not take their tricks quickly enough then declarer can get to ten tricks the other way. One of the beauties of playing teams is that there is lovely clarity in both play and defence - we're not overly interested in pesky little overtricks or undertricks! Teams play/defence is beautifully black and white: as declarer you're trying to make sure you make your contract, as defenders you're trying to take declarer down. Simple! Incredibly important as declarer to count your winners, and it can be equally important as defenders to have the same thought process. So, playing teams, defenders should constantly be thinking: how can we get this contract down?

First up, the lead. If S is on lead (1NT opening from E) then it's a pretty stinky hand from which to lead! With not a lot of info from the bidding to help. Often the best plan in these situations is to start ruling out the worst options first:

First suit to rule out = S, very likely to give up a trump trick by leading this.

Second suit to rule out for me would be a D - I know some players find doubletons an attractive option, personally they never come very high up my list at all, and a Q doubleton, with this particular trump holding, looks just about as bad as a doubleton could ever look to me.

Then it gets close between whether it's worse to lead an unsupported AH, or to lead away from the KC. I think I would tend towards a low C, but certainly neither looks attractive.

Obviously, a low C really helps to make the defence easy. On the AH lead then you see a singleton in the dummy and you need partner to help you out with a signal here to tell you what to do next. In these situations, with a singleton on the dummy and partner holding the lead and needing a clue, then it is great to give your partner a 'suit preference signal' if you can - a high card signals for the higher ranked suit, and a low card gives a signal for the lower ranked suit. So, the 2H from N would make it very clear to switch to a C.

(If you do lead the QD - uggghhh!!!! - then partner might give you a discouraging 3D signal and when you get in with the AH it does look like you really need to go for that C switch and hope that your partner has the AC - because you are thinking: how can we get this contract down? And that now looks the only possible way).

Played the other way up, then N is on lead. No stunning, jump-out-at-you lead, but not quite as bad as for poor S, and N probably leads a H (second highest from poor suits is often standard, 8H). S is back on the spot again when declarer plays low from E. Is there really any advantage in not taking the AH? It looks like declarer has ways to get back to the dummy with S and D cards. It also looks unlikely that we need to duck this because partner might have a doubleton H and we're hoping they will get back in to play a second H to our AH and we give them a ruff - unlikely because partner has a doubleton S at most, quite possibly a singleton, and partner looks unlikely to have many points and be re-gaining the lead before their trumps are gone. (If you generally avoid doubleton leads then this is another reason it's unlikely!!!)

So, first decision looks to be: take your AH. There's always the risk in a trump contract that you may not get a second chance - as here obviously! Now you have to decide what to do next. You can see very worrying H tricks on the dummy which lends a certain urgency to the situation - time for an attacking defence. You know you have 1H and 1S for the defence. Partner might have the AD but you want two more tricks for your side to take this contract down. With two low Cs in the dummy, it looks very sensible to try and get C tricks here, it is never going to blow a C trick if you switch to a low C from your hand here and, if partner has the AC or the QC, it could be really important to try and get them working fast.

 

The take away from this hand is very much for defenders, rather than playing one card at a time in isolation with no strategy or plan, to always be looking ahead for the way in which they might be able to defeat the contract.


Teams Week 1 - 6th May 2022 - Board 11 W opens 2NT on their lovely 21 count, and E bids 3H, transfer to S on their crummy 2 count! If W completes the transfer with a 3S bid then E may be inclined to pass with only two points (although a six-card suit may be too much of a temptation for some optimistic bidders, naming no names!). However, W - looking at those lovely trumps - is going to feel very disappointed if this happens.

When you first learn to play transfers then you treat them as an absolute command - if your partner bids 3H then you do as you're told and bid 3S. But as you become more confident with them you can build in a little more finetuning. If you have four-card support for your partner, i.e., you now know you have a nine-card fit, then it is very effective to 'break' the transfer. When you do this specifically over 2NT level starting points then it will commit your side to game. To keep things simple, you could therefore break the transfer (only when you have four-card trump support remember) by jumping straight to game - so here, W would bid 4S rather than 3S. But, if you want to take it a step further and you are confident with control bidding when investigating for slams, then you could break the transfer to the lowest control you could bid (just on these really strong 2NT hands).

So here, W would break the transfer by bidding 4C - showing four-card S support and A or K or singleton or void C (most likely A or K here since you've opened 2NT!). This just means that, if partner has any slam interest, you've already started down the path of investigating it. If partner is incredibly weak (as on this hand) then they can just close it down by bidding the game, i.e., 4S here. The slight downside is that sometimes the weak hand will be declarer rather than the strong one. However, this is a small price to pay for getting to thin but excellent games and slams.

Transfer breaks can also work really well over 1NT openings and 1NT overcalls, but at a lower level, so you are not committed to game, and obviously 'control bidding' does not come into the thinking in these lower-level auctions.

On this particular board, you can see that 4S is an easy make, the hands fit together beautifully. But on almost all hands which E might have here, even if E has absolutely no points and a flat hand, there will likely be some slight chance that ten tricks are possible - perhaps you'll need the S suit to split kindly and the D finesse to work. There will be occasions where you break the transfer and the game then goes down, but more times than not you'll make game when you have a nine-card fit in these situations.

And especially at teams, it's really important not to miss your games.