Bega Valley Bridge Club (Inc.)
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Happy birthday to those born in May:

Rob 2nd

Marilyn 17th

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Interesting Hands
Tuesday 24th May

Only one pair got into a grand-slam Spade contract on this board from Tuesday 24th May. Above is how they bid it. However, there are other methods to get there. (6NT, 6H and 6D will also make).

With 15 HCP, 1 LP and 2 shortage points, East knew that a slam was on. To ensure it was played by West, East transferred to spades and then went ace-asking using Gerber (RKCB would also have worked with E/W holding all the keycards, and East also with the Q♠ ). There is, of course, the risk of a seven card fit or a 4:1 split.

The 4 lead from North was won in East with the J, leaving plenty of entries to West's hand and cross-trumping opportunities once the trump tricks were taken. This was the play:RealBridge

It was merely a matter of a finesse of K  (which they did, but ended up in West's hand and missing the bottle of bubbly)!

Tuesday 17th May

Thanks to Martin who has supplied the commentary for this hand. "This board is from last Tuesday's session. Double dummy analysis shows a grand slam is on offer for E/W in either hearts or diamonds but on the night this contract was played almost exclusively in just 4 EW. This hand is of interest because it offers each player a number of bidding alternatives that can potentially swing the score in their favour.

    NT ♠      ♣ 
N 0 4 0 0 10
S 0 3 0 0 10
E 12 7 13 13 3
W 6 7 13 12 3

Par −1510: EW 7


South: South is the dealer. Holding 6 HCP and a solid 7 card club suit the first instinct is to pre-empt with a bid of 3♣ . However, if partner has points and spades South is holding a strong supporting hand and a pre-empt will likely spoil the opportunity of at least a game in spades. Pass may be the best option.

West: If South bids 3♣ , what does West do? Pass is not an option. Eleven high card points, a solid 6 trick diamond suit and support in the majors with a void in clubs leaves 3 ,4  or double as the available alternatives. If South passes, West opens with 1  (rule of 20).

North: If South opens with 3♣ , North can pre-empt by jumping to 5♣  (Law of total tricks) as a sacrifice as East/West have a certain major suit game on.

East: East has 18HCP and at their turn could face one of four scenarios - see Answer

1) p-1  -p-?
This is the easiest, bid 1. South will likely pre-empt 3♣ and West will bid 3. If North passes, 4 NT is an easy road to a heart slam.
2) 3♣  -X-5♣  -?
Double for penalties or try for slam? West's double shows an opening hand and support for the unbid suits and combined with East's 18HCP a small slam is likely. Bid 6  ?
3) 3♣  -4  -5♣  -?
Partner's 4   shows a a 6+card suit, 16+ total points and shape. Bid 6  .
4) 3♣  -3  -p-?
Bid 3, when partner responds 4, bid 4 NT ace ask.

Monday May 2nd
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Thanks to Dave who has provided the commentary on this week's hand - Board #3 Monday May 2nd. ..........

..... see more

Play (in the 4H contract):
East leads the 5 . West ducks, North plays the Q , and East wins with the K .
East knows he/she must make use of the long club suit in West’s hand to have any chance of making the contract.
East leads the 2  to test the trumps. South interestingly plays the Q, West wins with the A  and North plays low.
East knows South either had a singleton trump or was holding the Q  and K . East will need to rely on favourable distribution of trumps and clubs to make the 4H contract.
East test the waters by leading both the A♣  and K♣  from dummy, noting that only one club remains with the opposition. East leads the 3rd club from dummy, 10♣ . North plays the Q♣ , East trumps it with the 4  and South discards a spade.
East now knows all of the remaining hearts are with North, not favourable, but manageable. East crosses back to dummy, leading the 3 . South plays the 6 , North plays the 7 .
East plays another club from dummy, 8♣ . North knows that playing a small trump will be ineffective and plays the K . East discards the 4 , South discards another spade.
North attacks the trumps, leading the 10 . East wins with the J , South discards another spade. Dummy loses the 3 .
East ruffs the 9 , using the last trump (5 ) in dummy. North plays the 8 .
East plays the 5♣  from dummy, forcing North to make another decision regarding his/her remaining 2 trumps. Either way, East will win two more tricks, making 10 tricks to make the contract.

Let’s say North plays the 9 . East discards the 10♠ , South the 6♠ .
Now it is even more obvious that East will make two more of the remaining three tricks, making the 8  and the A♠ .
East will lose the J♠  to South’s K♠  but that does not matter.
East makes the 4H contract for 620.

(3NT will make 10 tricks for 630)


Tuesday 19th April

This one from Martin (Board #21 Tuesday 19th April):

1. 2♣  by Nth 8-9 playing tricks
2. 2♠ by Sth 8+HCP and 5+ spades
3. 4NT by Sth Blackwood
4. 5  by Nth 1 ace
5. 5NT by Sth King ask
6. 6  by Nth 1 king
Contract: 6 by North
Lead:  6
Made 6

Last Tuesday's board 21 turned up a 6-6-1-0 distribution. A quick google says that the probability of picking up this hand shape is 0.00072, that is in ten thousand hands you will see this hand shape 7.2 times. Although it only has 12 HCPs it is an extremely powerful hand due to the shape, having only 3 losing tricks.
So the question is, what does North open?

On the night, it was played 5 times. The openings used were 1♣  twice, 1  twice and one opening of 2 NT (5/5 minors). No partnerships found the slam all playing in 3NT or 5D.
North is not looking for much to make slam so I think opening 2♣  is the best of all the options available.
People will say 2♣  is only for 19-21HCP holdings but it can also be played as just short of game holding 8-9 playing tricks. A positive 2♠  response from South puts the partnership on the road to slam.
The clubs are most likely to split 4-2 so declarer will need to ruff one before drawing trumps to make the contract

Monday 18th April

Thanks to Martin for this one (Board #6 Monday 18th April):

1. 4NT by Nth Roman Keycard Blackwood
2. 5  by Sth 2 controls, no queen of trumps
Contract: 6♠  by South
Lead:  5
Made 7

"A hand from last Monday's session provides an interesting bidding challenge for North. South opens with a preemptive 3♠  showing 10 or less HCP and a seven card suit containing 2 honours. North has spade support, 16HCP and a void in . What does North bid? 

The Losing Trick Count (LTC) can provide some assistance. A 3-level preempt can be assumed to have 6-8 losing tricks. North counts 4 losers (2 in ♠  & 2 in ♣ ) in their hand, giving a total of 10-12 losers. Taking this from 24 leaves 12-14 winners which means a slam try is worthwhile. Using the Roman Keycard Blackwood (RKCB) convention North finds the partnership is missing either an ace or the king of spades and North settles on 6♠  for the contract. On a diamond lead, Declarer wins the  A and then ruffs a   in dummy. Declarer successfully finesses East for the ♠K and discards the losing   and ♣  on dummy's king and queen of hearts making 13 tricks for +1010