Release 2.19q

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That was an interesting hand


Last updated : 5th Jul 2024 18:02 BST

A couple of slams for East/West available.

This was probably the more difficult one to bid.

This was our bidding, after Natasha’s reverse and jump it clearly had to be a slam.

Just a question of which one.

Tom and Gill got the same result.

what was their bidding?

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 7th Jun 2024 21:23 BST
Last updated : 1st Jun 2024 08:32 BST
Last updated : 1st Jun 2024 08:32 BST
Last updated : 1st Jun 2024 08:31 BST
Last updated : 1st Jun 2024 08:31 BST
Last updated : 1st Jun 2024 08:31 BST

An extraordinary hand.

how do you get to the optimum 7S contract?

Several managed to get to 6S.

What happened at your table?

Some of the more experienced pairs will be familiar with the Acol 4 NT  opening bid and might use it here . It is a bid made where declarer is interested in which aces , if any , partner holds and has no interest in anything else . The responses here are 5C to show no aces , 5D , 5H OR 6C to show just one ace in that suit and no other  , 5NT to show 2 aces ,  With the hand of the week a response of 5C or 5D would lead to the correct contract of 5S whereas a response of 5H  or 6C would lead to the correct contract of 6S . Here the response of 5NT would show 2 aces and unfortunately , unless you are a slam gambler like Phil and Natasha , you would settle for 6S because the chance of the missing ace being AD are only one in three .

You should not get too obsessed about partner forgetting the system and treating the 4 NT as ordinary Blackwood . Responses to that of 5C  and  5H would get you to the same contact as the system above . A response of 5D would mean , unless it showed just AD ,  being in 5S instead of 6S


Last updated : 1st Jun 2024 08:20 BST

Lots of slams flocating  about on the 17th.

Natasha was keen to start off her slam master defence and bid and made 3.

This was one for North/South.

some interesting bidding round the room.

Our opponents went 6D and I was very tempted to bid 7C but managed to restrain myself.

Some of the slams got doubled.

What happened at your table?



Last updated : 24th May 2024 18:04 BST

That was the bidding at our table

How to get to 6C or 6S??

Last updated : 17th May 2024 18:27 BST

On a QH lead I was worried about making even 3NT. The risk is of course diamonds. A lead through my king might be catastrophic.

i managed to get my 9 tricks but others got more.

How did they do that?

What happened at your table?

The danger, as you say is a D lead....but only from N.

I would win AH, lead a low C to K then finesse a C.

You don't mind if It loses as S cannot hurt you.

On the layout you can then cash AC and return via KH

to enjoy a further C trick.




Last updated : 26th Apr 2024 17:25 BST

We settled for 3NT on this hand but Jenny and Peter bid to 6NT and actually made all 13 tricks.

What happened at your table?

Hi Phil
Jenny (North), opened 1C. Normally you might open 1D, the highest of 2 5 card suits, but she thought it was a strong hand with only 5 losers so her second bid was planned to be 2D, showing a reverse bid of 16 points.
I responded 1S, Jenny then bid 2D, so I got excited, 16 points in north and my 16 points in south, so went straight to 4NT, and got a 5H response, so with all the aces and 32 points, so I thought, I did a Natasha and went straight to 6NT
I guess I was fortunate that KC was in west rather than east!
My 13th trick was using my 2S, as the remaining spades in W and E had been discarded, lucky again!
Sent from my iPad

Last updated : 19th Apr 2024 18:36 BST

Only Val and Libby got to 6S and made it. How did the bidding go? Why has no one else bid it or made 12?

APOLOGIES  Complete disorientation. It was not Val and Libby it was Tom and Jill. And that is how it was:

Gill (West) opened 1 spade and rebid 2 hearts over Tom's (East) response of 2 diamonds. Tom (East) now knows that there is at least a 5-4 fit in spades and with 2 singletons (hearts and clubs) and a good 2nd suit in diamonds decided to test controls with a 4 NT Keycard bid (based on hearts as last suit bid). When West showed 3 keycards, a slam attempt in spades is now irresistible. North made a logical lead of the King of diamonds (although a club lead will take the contract down). Gill took the ace dimonds, drew 2 rounds of trumps and played 3 heart tricks, dropping off the losing 9 of clubs. Then cross ruffing the clubs and diamonds leaving winning diamonds in East's hand. At some point North had to take the winning trump Q spades but that's it. 12 tricks. A bit fortunate with only 22 HCPs between the hands but the shape definitely makes it worth a go.

Last updated : 12th Apr 2024 17:26 BST

Wow, what a way to end the Club's year.

A 4 way tie for top.

After allowing for handicaps we can award the Roxburgh trophy to

Andy and David - congratulations

Natasha wins the slam master trophy - another 7NT bid see right.

Tom tops our averages.

It all starts again with new Competitions next week.

Last updated : 6th Apr 2024 08:12 BST

Tom and Gill managed. 2 slams on the 22nd.

This looked like the more complicated of them.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 29th Mar 2024 18:24 GMT

A very close finish!

after amending the second session for a mis boarding and a mis seating andeliminating our missing pair from the first session the 2 sessions have been combined.

see full results under latest results.

Congratulations to 

Jan Collins & David Ford

Lucy Mellors & Mike Donaldson

deat heat winners on 55.83%

Then came Natasha & Phil 55.42%

Bernie & David 55%

Apologies somewhere in the various amendments we have lost the hands from the second afternoon.

So no hand of the week. 

Well done everybody and your TD! for surviving  2 busy sessions


Last updated : 22nd Mar 2024 17:34 GMT

This was the only slam successfully bid on the 8th.

Knowing Nathasa had 23-24 points it seemed obvious we should go for the slam

What happened at your table?

of course if you bid a slam on every hand you are bound to get lucky sometimes.

we made one out of 3!

Last updated : 16th Mar 2024 08:37 GMT

Here is another one. Jan and I were the only ones to bid 6S with me going down one, whilst everyone else was in 4S mostly making 12 tricks. How did you play this one?


Last updated : 8th Mar 2024 18:57 GMT

Several slams this week. On board 1 I think that was the bidding and Jan made the 6S contract.


Last updated : 8th Mar 2024 18:49 GMT

I think this was our bidding.

We missed the slam anyway but with Natasha's strong bidding I was tempted.

Christina & Ronda managed to get there.Bidding and making 6C. Well done.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 17th Feb 2024 09:17 GMT

We missed 2 chances for a grand slam on the 2nd Feb.

This was one 2C showed a balanced 19 points and Natasha went straight to 4H.

David Brown and Jeff bid and made 6H.

what happened at your table?

Last updated : 10th Feb 2024 08:46 GMT

Natasha drove us to the optimum 6H contract expertly. As long as I have one key card the slam should be on.

On a diamond lead the tricky bit is the play. I have a diamond and a spade loser.

If you play on spades that will be obvious and you will go down.

So after taking out the trumps I took the 4 club tricks discarding JS.

Leading KS I can then trump the Ace.

Still not home, I could have 2 losing diamonds.

Keep going to end with trumps and then lead diamond hoping Mick is down to a diamond winner and a spade to give me the 12th trick with QS which he was. Very lucky indeed.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 2nd Feb 2024 18:30 GMT

Lots of slams around this week.

This was N/S best chance.

2 pairs brought home 6 NT. not easy to bid

What happened at your table?

Karen and I did not play this hand


The bidding at our table was:

P - 1C - P - 1D

P - 2NT - P - 6NT


Last updated : 27th Jan 2024 08:54 GMT

The only slam bid and made on the 12th was this one, Suzi & Chris 6S.

At our table Mick B opened a strong 1NT and that was passed out.

What happened at your table?

Being north I opened 1H with the idea of jumping to 2S - reverse bid - but when Mick (S) went 1S I immediately jumped to 3S, Mick went to 4S and made 12.


Last updated : 19th Jan 2024 18:35 GMT

A couple of slam like hands around on the 5th.

i think this was our bidding on this one. Both hesitating on going for 6C.

Tom and Gill bid this one and the more straightforward one on board 13.

in fact 13 tricks is certain but that was a step too far for everyone.

What happened at your table?

Congratulations Mike on your 72% result. Magnificent!


Hand 8 - The key to this hand for us is that Gill (west) opened 2 Clubs. We play 2 Clubs as 23 points OR 9 and a bit playing tricks OR about 4 losers with a clear trump suit. In other words,  you are just about a trick short of game in that hand alone. Her hand qualifies with 4 losers and a clear trump suit. I sit opposite that with 13 HCPs and a 7 loser hand. Put those together and slam is clear from the East position. How does Gill discover this? I respond 2 Hearts (showing 8+ points and says take your time to game or more). Gill bids 3 Clubs showing her suit (she probably holds 6 so I am happy with clubs as I hold Queen and another hence a fit). I go 3 Diamonds to show 2nd suit and shape. Gill then went 4 NTs keycard based on clubs as trumps (as the strong hand she has told me what the suit is and I don't argue with that. In this case it is not based on the last suit bid as might normally be the case. Of course, Blackwood and Keycard are very risky in minors as one might get the wrong answer but still be forced to slam anyway.) I bid 5 Spades showing 2 keycards and Queen of clubs. Just what she wanted to hear. Is it 6 or 7 Clubs (or No Trumps?). The obvious weakness is the King Spades which I might not hold and might sit offside, so she does the sensible thing and bids 6 Clubs.


Hand 13 - We got there but probably not the way we should. I think it should go 1 Club by east, 1 heart by west, 2 spades by east ( showing very strong opening hand). We did all that. West now knows the combined point count and should set about the slam investigation in No trumps. What happened, was Gills rebid was actually 3 no trumps which I could have passed, but was more encouraging than 2, so I put it 6 NTs.


Hand 15 - This was another slam attempt. Gill opened a weak 2 hearts showing 6-10 and 6 hearts. Using 2 Ogust 2 NTs I ask her point count. She goes 3 hearts guaranteeing 10 points, (she only had 9!) so I go 6 hearts and we are an ace and 2 kings missing. 1 down and a local enquiry followed!


Cheers Tom and Gill

Last updated : 12th Jan 2024 19:04 GMT

We settled for 3NT making 12 tricks.

Bernie and Dave went one better with 6D.

How did they get there?

What happened at your table?

Hi Phil


As you know we play a strong club(16-19 pts opening).


So I opened 1c and Bernie responded 3d showing game forcing. As I then had 4 key cards with diamonds being trumps I felt duty bound to chase a slam.


My thinking was Bernie could only bid 5c (no aces) or 5d (1 ace which had to be the Ah). If the former I bid 5d if the latter 6d (particularly as Bernie was playing them Emoji). I didn't go 7d due to weak clubs and 6 potential losers.


Having done my bit I left the rest to Bernie and he delivered Emoji.


p.s. with no aces up his sleeve lol.


Happy xmas and new year to everyone.



Last updated : 6th Jan 2024 09:19 GMT

This was our penultimate hand.

We had already had a 4NT invitation turned down..

Natasha thought she would give this one a go.

We had an unhelpful diamond lead so we lost to the KD in south and there was no room for error on a diamond continuation.

The slam comes home if you guess the spade finesse correctly.

We ended up with just 11 tricks.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 23rd Dec 2023 08:05 GMT

We were on the wrong side of both the hands of the week this time round.

congratulations to Alan & Philip for this courageous bidding.

Natasha  on lead, chose AH , she could have found me with the K.

As it was 6C comes home after that opening lead.

what happened at your table?

 I was S playing against Tom and Gill I opened 3C ( I debated whether it should have been 1C or 4C instead), Jenny responded 5C. Gill lead 5S, and I lost 2H tricks and 1D trick, don’t see how I could avoid it! How did some make 12 tricks, different lead? Peter

Natasha lead AH which gives every opportunity to make 6C. At another time I could have had KH rather than say KS , I could have encouraged on the lead and we would have taken the first 2 tricks.

Such is life.


Last updated : 23rd Dec 2023 08:04 GMT

You don't often have to deal with 25 points.

 Natasha reasoned that I would have real trouble getting into her hand and took me out to 4H.

As the hearts lie the grand slam is always on but is unlikely.

Dave opened an ultralight 3H with the south hand to which Mick responded with 6NT!

skillfully played to succeed, it can only work to drop the King!

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 15th Dec 2023 19:05 GMT

I debated between 3NT and 3S as my Nirth rebid, and plumped for the wrong one.

Natasha felt there must be a slam on and went straight to 6NT. Defeated on a heart lead.

it makes on any other lead.

Well done Tom and Gill for spotting the spade fit and bidding and making the 6S Optimus contract.

What happened at your table?

Oswald Jacoby (top bridge player of transfers fame) famously said, 'People don't spend enough of the bidding space describing their hand and are too keen to rush to what they might think the final contract might be'. We can be tempted to do exactly that here.


North's hand is a two suited hand with 19 HCPs. Opening 1 diamond says that is my longest suit. Rebidding 2 spades over the 1 heart response says spades is my second suit (I hold at least 5 diamonds and 4 spades) and I have at least 19 points. Job done with hand described.

Now just sit back and let South guide the partnership to the best contract. 


Last updated : 9th Dec 2023 09:56 GMT

Most tables spotted that with 34 points East West really ought to end up in a slam.

My partner , with an eye on the SlamMaster trophy, thought that 6 was not enough.

The grand slam all depends on the Spade finesse.

Why is it always wrong?

I did contemplate undervaluing my hand - it really is a poor 23 points, Should have done so.

What happened at your table?


Last updated : 2nd Dec 2023 08:26 GMT


Last updated : 25th Nov 2023 10:36 GMT

Tom and Gill bid and made 6S on this one. Think you need the club finesse to work to make it.

What happened at your table?

This was a bit of a cheeky slam attempt but fortunately the cards lay kindly. Gill (west) opened 1 spade and Tom (east) bid a Jacoby 2NT (game forcing in spades). West responded 3NTs (normally shows 16 - 18 points). East cue bid 4 Hearts (showing the Ace of hearts but not the club or diamond Aces). West bids  5 clubs (through the 4 spade barrier) showing the ace clubs and encouraging partner. With good clubs east just can't resist and bids 6 Spades. Technically, the hands are not strong enough, but 12 tricks are made on the successful club finesse. Rather fortunate but rewarding !


Last updated : 3rd Nov 2023 18:30 GMT

Thanks to everyone who made the Away Day a great success.

Thanks to Jan for organising with


And all their staff.

A fine day all round


Last updated : 3rd Nov 2023 18:28 GMT

Always the optimist!

On a heart lead I fancied my chances but I don't think it is possible now.

I realised I need the QS as well as all the clubs and 3 hearts.

check it out but I don't think there is any way of communicating between the hands.

Someone else ended up in 6D* missing the AK of trumps.

what fun we have.

What happened at your table?


Last updated : 27th Oct 2023 19:21 BST

I fancied my chances of making 4S on a diamond lead.

unfortunately I went for the Spade finesse and then it went pear shaped with two ruffs!
i should have reasoned that with the strange distribution I might be safer to take AS and then lead a second spade.

absolute bottom!

what happened at your table?

Last updated : 21st Oct 2023 06:33 BST

Surely this must be "Hand of the Week"

I can see one N/S did not enter the score correctly and the E/W pair did not check the score before accepting. I fear, it might be too late for correction.


how often do you have 17 points when your partner opens 2NT (20-22)?

Natasha's arithmetic was up to the task. Missing at most a King the bid seemed self evident.



Last updated : 13th Oct 2023 18:31 BST

As from 20 September, Wednesday afternoon BBO sessions will join “Oliver Cown” afternoon club, thus hopefully increasing the number of tables at play.

For logging on purposes the session will be know as “Belper and Oliver Cowan Pairs”. The cost will be reduced to BBO$3.50.

This change will not affect the players in any way except that there will be more tables at play. The results will be displayed on the website as usual.

If you have any questions please contact:


Last updated : 13th Oct 2023 10:46 BST

Thanks to everyone who took part.

A bit of fun.

Joint winners this year


Combined results as follows

JEFF RUSHTON 69.17 56.67 125.84 62.92
MIKE DONALDSON 69.17 56.67 125.84 62.92
JILL SYKES 53.33 59.17 112.50 56.25
MICK HEPWORTH 53.33 58.33 111.66 55.83
JENNY RICE 60.00 50.83 110.83 55.42
JIM KENT 57.50 51.67 109.17 54.59
ADRIE BOX 60.00 46.67 106.67 53.34
DAVID HARTLAND 46.67 59.17 105.84 52.92
JUDY CLARKE 57.50 48.33 105.83 52.92
PHIL THOMPSON 46.67 58.33 105.00 52.50
BERNIE PEDLEY 43.33 51.67 95.00 47.50
CHRISTINA PETRAITIS 43.33 48.33 91.66 45.83
ALAN HOLDEN 32.50 56.67 89.17 44.59
LYNDA JETTEN 32.50 56.67 89.17 44.59
ALAN WALTERS 51.67 36.67 88.34 44.17
PHILIP PETRAITIS 36.67 50.83 87.50 43.75
BILL CARR 51.67 35.00 86.67 43.34
JOHN HOPKINSON 49.17 36.67 85.84 42.92
NATASHA ROMAINE 49.17 35.00 84.17 42.09
PETER ARNOTT 36.67 46.67 83.34 41.67


Last updated : 6th Oct 2023 21:40 BST

Tom and Gill were the only ones to bid a slam (6H) on this hand.

What happened on your table?

North (Tom), with 24 HCPs opened 2 Clubs. South (Gill) with 8 HCPs and 5 hearts in her longest suit, bid 2 Hearts showing 8+ points and minimum of 5 hearts. This bid forces the partnership to at least game. (If the longest suit had only 4 cards, the hand would be, by definition, balanced and the positive response would have been 2 NTs). North now knows that the partnership had at least 32 points and have an 8 card fit in hearts. North then bid 2 NTs showing a balanced hand and South responded 3 NTs. The only way a slam is not on is if the partnership’s missing 8 points contain both the Ace and King of hearts. A 4 NTs Keycard enquiry confirms that South holds one of them. The only remaining question is - should the contract be 6 Hearts by South or 6NTs by North – both make. The Heart contract felt slightly safer, so I put my partner in 6 Hearts, then sat back, relaxed and watched. It is always essential to relax when your partner is playing a slam !!



Last updated : 29th Sep 2023 20:18 BST

This turned out to be quite an interesting hand.

when Natasha rebid I knew she had 15-16 points giving us a maximum of 24. It all depended on whether we could get my diamonds to come good.

with only one certain side entry I judged it unlikely and passed.

She promptly made 10 tricks, developing 2 side entries.

someone bid 3NT but went off.

What happened at other tables? p

Last updated : 22nd Sep 2023 19:39 BST

Not sure this was exactly our bidding. Someone else may remember.

an interesting hand from several points of view.

it needed careful play to make 10 tricks when the 5-0 split in spades was revealed.

The computer says E/W should sacrifice in 5H.

We can pick up next week in the scoring tutorial.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 9th Sep 2023 07:35 BST

This was a very interesting hand.

The only slam bid and made by Helen and Lynda - 6C making all 13 tricks.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 1st Sep 2023 21:11 BST

Every other pair passed this hand out!
Helen bid 1NT as South.

I started the defence with AD, getting no positive signal from partner I switched to a low diamond. Bad move, could have felled Helen's queen.

Helen was off and running and ended up with 11 tricks.

she would have had a top with 7 tricks or more.

ah well, we were getting tired.

any comments?

Last updated : 25th Aug 2023 17:13 BST

No slams today, but board 17 was interesting. Few in 3NT, but 4H better, making 12 tricks

Comments to:

Last updated : 18th Aug 2023 17:32 BST

We missed the slam on this hand.

I did wonder about a club slam after Karen's jump in clubs.

she hesitated after my 3NT

Tom and Gill were the only ones who bid it.

what was their bidding?

Whether a slam should be bid on this hand is debatable as it only makes because the King of Hearts can be captured in a finesse. However, Tom (east) opened 1 heart and Gill (west) chose to bid 1 spade (rather than 2 clubs). Tom then showed his 2nd suit and 19 points by jumping to 3 clubs. Gill showed the club fit and her 10 points by bidding 5 clubs. With this support (a club fit and 9/10 points) Tom's hand, because of its shape, looks much stronger so 6 Clubs was bid. Certainly not a stone wall slam, but why resist the temptation !

Cheers Tom


Last updated : 4th Aug 2023 17:49 BST

Only one slam bid and made on the 21st.

not very scientific bidding!

hoe should it have gone?

This hand seems ideal for a splinter if you have agreed to use them .

Over 2H a bid of 4H would surely show enough for a 4S raise , interested in a slam , and having a singleton or void heart . That fits very well with West’s hand and a RKCB enquiry would get a response of 5C ( 0 or 3 ) – must be 3 – surely 6S is now reasonable .

Best wishes - Malcolm

Last updated : 28th Jul 2023 20:00 BST

Only one pair bid 6S, but everybody made 12 tricks. WHY?

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ 

Our bidding went
P (East), P, 3D, X (North), P, 3S, P, 4S, P,P,P
South (me) bid 3S to show some strength, and a 6.5 loser hand. N(Jenny) with a fit in S and a 5 loser hand probably ought to have used losing trick count and gone to 6S


♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ 

On this hand I do not think Peter can lay any of the responsibility for missing a slam on Jenny

If the bidding shown is correct then opposite a double of 3D that can not be passed and you might have to bid 3S with no points at all . To show points a jump to 4S is necessary over which Jenny might progress further . Many would prefer a bid of 4D over the double of 3D which shows a willingness to play in 4H or 4S .  

Best wishes - Malcolm


Comments to:

Last updated : 22nd Jul 2023 07:19 BST

I think this was the bidding at our table.

East West should perhaps not bid the slam as it depends on a reasonable Spade split but they should get to game.

What happened at your table?

  Morning Phil At our table I (W) passed, Mike (N) went 1H, Mick (E) thought and went 4S.  End of bidding.


Last updated : 30th Jun 2023 19:11 BST

GIll and Tom managed to bid and make 6H on this hand despite the lack of high card points.

how did they do that?

What happened at your table?

Gill bid and made 12 tricks on this hand with only 21 points.. It illustrates the power of hand shape. 


South opened 1Heart with 14 HCPs. West doubled.  North, with 6 hearts to the Ace and only 7 HCPs made a pre-emptive jump to 4 Hearts. This was designed snatch the bidding space from the opponents. South knows North is weak but the assured length in hearts suggests a possible shortage in another suit any of which is extremely helpful. A small slam is not guaranteed but now looks distinctly possible from the south position. After further combative bidding from East/West, Gill bid 6 Hearts and made it.

Last updated : 23rd Jun 2023 18:21 BST

Several slams around on the 2nd June.

We bid this one but went 2 off. Natasha and Alan bid and made it.

The machine says the best contract is 7C!

6Nt should not make.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 16th Jun 2023 17:37 BST

Check out the latest position after 3 rounds. Under Competitions.

Last updated : 10th Jun 2023 19:41 BST

This was our bidding.

knowing that we had all the Aces, at least 3 kings and Q spades (RCKB], I had to choose which slam. 6NT is better than 6S at pairs but I should not have chickened out and just bid 7S!

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 2nd Jun 2023 17:25 BST
A.G.M. Prizes....
A.G.M. Prizes....


Last updated : 2nd Jun 2023 17:25 BST
A.G.M. Prizes...
A.G.M. Prizes...
Last updated : 2nd Jun 2023 17:25 BST
A.G.M. Prizes..
A.G.M. Prizes..
Last updated : 2nd Jun 2023 17:24 BST
A.G.M. Prizes.
A.G.M. Prizes.
Last updated : 2nd Jun 2023 17:24 BST

David and Bernie managed to find the heart slam here.

 Very tight!

how should it be bid?

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 27th May 2023 06:14 BST

Lots of interesting hands on the 12th.

This was one where I think we got the bidding right.

it really did not feel like a no tump hand.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 19th May 2023 17:15 BST

On this hand everybody made 13 tricks in Spades, but no one arrived at a slam, although one pair got as far as 5S.

How to bid a slam?

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ 

With 22 HCPs and a balanced hand, South must open 2NTs. North with only 5 points, can only see a combined 25- 27 HCPs (so a slam possibility is not immediately obvious). However, with 5 spades in hand, north bids 3 Hearts to transfer South to 3 Spades. North could then bid a 4 Spades game but with a void in hearts, might prefer to cue bid 4 Hearts, (game forcing and showing first round control - a void or the Ace hearts). This heart information makes South’s hand looks much more attractive. South may elect to skip the 4 spades game bid and go 4 NTs checking for aces. When North responds with no aces, South knows that the heart cue bid shows a void in hearts. South’s hand now looks much more solid with north’s heart control. South may elect to bid 6 Spades.

A slam is still an act of faith, as South does not know exactly what North holds (if both the Q spades and K diamonds are missing, it may be tricky). However, a bid of 6 spades is definitely worth a go!


Last updated : 12th May 2023 17:25 BST

The score for the first round after NGS adjustment are as follows




Best 6 results will ultimately count



























































































































Last updated : 6th May 2023 04:32 BST

12 tricks on offer here, although the spade situation is worrying.

no one tried for the slam

what happened at your table?

Last updated : 28th Apr 2023 20:26 BST

One of many extraordinary hands on the 14 April.

How should it be bid. Our opponents bid to 4H but felt frustrated.


I saw the hand from 14th April. One possibility is that East opens 4NT asking for named Aces.  A 5C response shows no Aces (as after normal Blackwood). 5D, 5H 5S or 6C shows just the Ace in the named suit. 5NT shows 2 Aces.

With the actual hand, 4NT gets a response of 6C. You can make a choice between leaving it there or bidding 6H. On a bad day, you know you’ve got at least 7 clubs between the 2 hand and at least 6 hearts

If, instead, West has no Aces, then after the 5C bid, I’d bid 5H as it scores better.

If West bids 5D having that Ace, then I’d just sign off in 5H

Of course, if partner has an unsuitable hand or there are bad breaks, then none of these contract are safe, but it’s still tempting.

Best wishes


Last updated : 21st Apr 2023 18:12 BST

After a long thought I opened 2NT, as I could not see 2C or 2D, and didn't want to bid 1S in case it was passed. The bidding was as shown, after my 3H Alan bid 3NT and I converted to 4H. But of course 3NT is a better score.

How did it go at your table?


Last updated : 14th Apr 2023 17:33 BST


Kathy and I got to 4S by South making 12 tricks. Various number of tricks were made by other tables. How should you bid this hand to get to 6S?

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ 

Our bidding went 1D by S, 2H by N, 3C, then 3NT by N. A 3C lead from E enabled us to make 12 tricks, although I’m not sure we should have been allowed to!
If the bidding had been 1D - 1H - 2C (showing weakish hand), - 2S (is this 4th suit forcing), then a spade fit would be found, so S would bid  3S or possibly 4S, then N could bid 4NT, and with all aces found would then bid 6S.
I prefer the 3NT route although clearly there aren’t enough points to consider 6NT!


♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ 

Here is another suggestion: 1D; 1H, 1S, 4NT (RKCB), 5S and 6S

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ 

On this hand Gill and I bid and made 7 spades. The bidding went as you suggested it might.

            South                                 North             

            1 Diamond                                       1 Heart 

            1 Spade (showing min 5/4 shape)           4 No Trump    (0314 keycard)

            5 Spades  (shows 2 Aces and Q spades )       7 Spades

The logic for going to 7 Spades is that, viewed from north (Tom's hand), the bidding shows that we have at least a 4/4 fit in spades with AKQJ  and only 2 potential losers - the queen of hearts and the 2 clubs. The south keycard response shows 2 aces and queen spades (10 points) which means south (Gill)  must have at least another 2 points - a queen or more. It seems reasonable to have a go at 7 spades.

Gill played the hand by forcing out the queen hearts before drawing all the trumps, as the delayed trump tricks act as entries back into the north hand to cash all the heart winners. The losing club is dropped onto the king of diamonds.

Cheers Tom





Last updated : 7th Apr 2023 18:12 BST

Congratulations to Terry & Gwent this year's Roxburgh Trophy winners.

Beating John & Jim 2nd and David & Bernie 3rd

NGS Adjusted Results:


1    6  Terry Morgan & Gwent Paylor              +54.38      -10.80      +65.18
   2   14  John Marooney & Jim Kent                 +61.11       -3.53      +64.64
   3   17  David Tyers & Bernie Pedley              +62.50       +0.01      +62.49
   4    7  Mick Buckley & Adrie Box                 +52.81       -8.48      +61.29
   5   11  Judy Clarke & Jennifer Matkin            +48.26      -12.56      +60.82
   6    4  Jennifer & Peter Arnott                  +52.50       -7.23      +59.73
   7    2  Jean Wilson & Liz Hague                  +59.38        N/A       +59.38
   8   19  Tom & Gill Doggett                       +61.81       +2.89      +58.92
   9    3  Val Pugh & Judy Reynolds                 +48.13      -10.67      +58.80
  10    1  David Hartland & Andy Jowett             +49.06       -8.89      +57.95
  11   10  Kathy Fairweather & Natasha Romaine      +52.81       -2.79      +55.60
  12   20  Lynda Jetten & Jeff Rushton              +51.74        N/A       +51.74
  13   16  Rhona Oakes & Jim Copson                 +53.47       +1.88      +51.59
  14   13  Mick Hepworth & Jill Sykes               +51.04       +1.08      +49.96
  15    8  Mike Donaldson & Lucy Mellors            +45.31       -1.64      +46.95
  16    9  Julie Groves & Anne Sellors              +37.50       -9.42      +46.92
  17   18  Alan Holden & John Hopkinson             +40.63       -5.79      +46.42
  18   12  Barrie & Sue Dixon                       +36.46        N/A       +36.46
  19   15  Alan Walters & Martin Atkinson-Zahm      +30.90       +2.36      +28.54

Last updated : 7th Apr 2023 18:11 BST

We missed the slam here.

a lot of hesitation from both of us.

I think I should have explored over 3S with 4NT

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 24th Mar 2023 17:28 GMT

Friday March 17

Congratulations to Bernie & David this years Pairs winners.

Beating Phil & Natasha 2nd and Tom & Gill 3rd


Last updated : 24th Mar 2023 17:27 GMT

2C is our strongest bid. Gwent and Terry ended in 3S* - 1. Philip and Alan got to 4H for top board.


Last updated : 17th Mar 2023 17:59 GMT

Congratulations to Kathy and Andrew this years winners of the Challenge Trophy based on the results of the first Friday in each month.

Second place was John and Phil with Peter and Jenny in third.

A new Competition will start in April


Last updated : 17th Mar 2023 17:58 GMT

Two pairs found the slam here, 6S , always difficult to bid when a void is involved.

how did they do it?

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 25th Feb 2023 13:55 GMT

This was an interesting hand.

Natasha opened 1D (playing 5 card majors) over Alan's double I thought I should be semi preemptive hence the 3D.This bid denies 4H or 4S. I didn't like Natasha's 3NT so my 4D pushed Natasha into 5 (lucky she hadn't bid on 3 diamonds which she could have.) in the end we made 12 tricks.

what happened at your table?

Last updated : 18th Feb 2023 07:42 GMT

This looks like an interesting hand.

Several tables failed to find the north south game.

Assuming North does not open then East should get in the way with a weak 2 heart bid.

South should double.

When the bid gets round to North they need to remember South must have 15-16 points and they must jump to indicate a game going hand.

4D perhaps. South then has a difficult choice, 4S might work and would left by North. Knowing 4S might make is it asking  lot to instead bid 6D with the diamond fit and singleton heart ?  It probably is.

No one found that and 5D scores worse than 4S.

What  happened at your table?

Last updated : 11th Feb 2023 06:48 GMT

This was an interesting hand from the afternoon session.

my bidding as east showed exactly 19 points balanced.

I could see Natasha contemplating going further but we didn't.

only 2 tables made 12 tricks.

What happened at your table?

With only 29 points and having no aces I can understand West not looking for a slam but you could still look for a spade fit  ( can understand some reluctance  with 29 points ) by bidding 2C , 2D , 2NT , 3H ( transfer ) , 3S , 3NT , 4S , after which best technique should lead to 13 tricks .

Play AH , KH , ruff a heart ,  KS ( dropping QS ) , play 3 more top spades , play AD , QD ( revealing singleton with South ) , finesse 10D , KD ( discarding a club  ) , AC , ruff a club .

Best wishes – Malcolm

Last updated : 28th Jan 2023 14:17 GMT

An interesting hand from last night.

One table found 6C the other stopped at 5C.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 28th Jan 2023 14:17 GMT

And one from the afternoon.

This was our bidding. Playing East the slam looked cast iron.

Unfortunately 2 pairs went off on a diamond lead!

one pair bid the slam and made all 13 tricks!

What happened at your table?


Last updated : 21st Jan 2023 06:50 GMT

This looks like an interesting hand.

The computer says you can't make 6D but that did not stop David and Julie.

One other pair also made 12 tricks but did not bid it.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 21st Jan 2023 06:50 GMT


Natasha opened a gambling 3NT. I expected a running 7 card minor and an external cover but probably 2 uncovered suits.

what to do?

I left it and we got clobbered with the hearts.

could have been okay if Natasha had the AH not AS!
Jenny and Peter managed to find 6C also using a gambling 3NT.

one other pair bid 6C but they didn't make it.

What happened at your table?

 I opened 3NT (gambling 3NT), which Tom (N)recognised and passed.
Jenny scratched her head for a while, then bid 4H, which I took as a positive bid!
Jill understandably passed. Having decided that I was going to play in at least 5C, I bid 4NT (ordinary Blackwood). If I got a 5C then I’d leave it there, but anything else I’d go to 6C. Back came 5D (1 ace), so it had to be 6C
After a heart lead, it was straight forward.
I was lucky, Jenny said afterwards that her 4H was meant to be transfer to S!

Sent from my iPad

Last updated : 14th Jan 2023 07:46 GMT

This was an interesting hand from last night.

we got a bottom with the bidding shown after winning all 13 tricks.

Andrews 2D showed 18 plus points so I was aware we might be missing a slam, perhaps I should have bid 6C in the hope that Andrew had one of the major aces.

the other tables played in 3NT making 11 tricks - how?

and 2S doubled by East giving a 800 penalty. such is life.

What happened at your table?

At our table East, the dealer, opened a Lucas 2S showing at least 5 spades and 5 of another suit, with about 6-10 points, probably in the higher range as vulnerable. Malcolm, my partner, as South, doubled.  This came round to me as North.  I certainly thought 6C was a possibility, but didn’t think I could bid it with certainty.  Game, 5C or 3NT, would score 400+.  Whereas with the Oppos doubled I thought we could take 2S at least 2 off, scoring a minimum of 500, as vulnerable, so I passed. In practice it went 3 off for 800. Oppos might console themselves that it’s a good save against the making 6C.



The perils of the Lucas Two shine brightly here. It might be a good save against 6C but that's only true if the oppos get there. The fact is that the two other tables didn't even without a weak interference opening. 


With your hand, after Andrew's 4C, I don't think anyone could blame you for either shooting 6C or going via 4NT just to see if you could go the extra step. Given you know you're shy on points I think I'd have gone straight to 6C because, even if you get the right response showing a full set of Aces, there's bound to be some potentially critical Ks and Qs missing.


As it is the grand in NT is solid and north even has the luxury of winning any lead and playing AC first which finds the void, making the club finesse absolutely risk free.


Great hand....





Last updated : 17th Dec 2022 07:25 GMT
Christmas Cheer
Christmas Cheer

Friday 16 December afternoon f2f 

Come and join us for pre-playing glass of fizz and mince pies at 1.00 pm

Last updated : 17th Dec 2022 07:25 GMT

The dealing machine had a hiccup! For the evening boards so no hand analysis.

This board comes from the afternoon session.

Would you have got to 6C (fairly safe) like Tom and Gill or 6NT ( a little risky) by Mick and Anne.

What happened at your table?


Last updated : 10th Dec 2022 07:51 GMT

I got something right for once.

When Natasha doubled our opponents 3D I seemed to have a clear choice between 4S and 6S.

Surely Natasha must have at least 2 aces. With a void Blackwood was likely to be no help so I took a punt?

the play seemed straightforward. After taking AC defender refrained from trying his AD wisely.

after taking out trumps dummy's other club can disappear on the spare heart and cross trumping does the rest.

What happened at your table?

I agree with your reasoning Phil.The void in diamonds makes your hand massive unless partner has the ace of diamonds which is of no use. You could be unlucky when east has AQ of clubs. But all in all a well considered punt of 6S.

I think if we were going well with a good score I would settle for 4S expecting to get near average. But if things were not going too well I would try 6S.

John S

Last updated : 3rd Dec 2022 09:00 GMT

I was lured into an attempt at a slam on this hand. 32 points albeit with an ace missing.

In some ways i prefer it with an Ace missing we must have nerly all the other points. But try as I may there ended up as no play here for 6NT as several other coupes found.

I thought there should be a squeeze play if the clubs don't split but I did not find it and the machie suggests it dos not exist against best defence.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 26th Nov 2022 06:08 GMT

How many points do you need to make 6NT?

Natahsa quite rightly in my mind turned down my invitation with 12 in her hand and my 18ish bid for 4NT

Yet 6NT can make.

Should I have explored a major fit and then gone for the perhaps safer 6 Spades?

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 19th Nov 2022 08:32 GMT

No slams last night.

In this hand our opponents decided to play in NT which didn't fair well.

The par score should be 5S, playing for just one loser in spades.

2 pairs managed to pick up 12 tricks which seems strange.

what happened at your table?

You mentioned about 2 pairs making 12 tricks in NT, so I had a look at the 2 hands

In both cases the contract was 3NT by W and N, not unreasonably, led a small spade. This ran round to the 10 and the Q.  West is now guaranteed 11 tricks. West now played the clubs and North took the A on the 3rd round. Now what to lead? Nothing looks good, but North mustn’t lead  a spade, which is what they did. It gives W an extra spade trick and guarantees 12 tricks with the diamonds breaking.

What is N hoping for by leading the spade a 2nd time? Presumably, they don’t expect partner to hold the A of spades. So the only way leading the spade could gain is if W started with just AQ doubleton, so the A now falls on the 2nd lead of spades. Not likely, but possible.




Last updated : 12th Nov 2022 06:35 GMT


Board 26

This interested me. I was East. At our table the bidding went

E             S             W           N

1D          1S           2D          2S

3D          3H          4D          4S

All pass

The Ace of diamonds was led, declarer ruffed and drew trumps.  We eventually made 3 club tricks, but declarer made 10 tricks as did everyone in spades.  Those going to 5D over 4S (or 4H) made a save, even if doubled it was only 500 against 620. I didn’t think any more about the 10 tricks made until I saw double dummy said they should only make 9 tricks in spades, though 10 in hearts. Where did we go wrong? If partner leads a club, we take the first 3 tricks. If I lead the 4th club, while dummy can ruff partner can ruff higher with the 10 in front. So one off. To persuade partner to lead a club, perhaps I should bid 3C rather than 3D, but that might look like a game try and I’m not that strong.

So you could argue we were right not  to bid over 4S as it goes off. but we weren’t able to get the defence so should bid 5D



Last updated : 5th Nov 2022 08:03 GMT

This looks a fairly straightforward slam hand but not everyone bid it.

what happened at your table?

Board 25

The play is straightforward in the slam, just knock out the Ace of spades.

The bidding at our table went

2C (ACOL 2C)      2H (positive with hearts)

2NT (23/24pts)   4NT (quantitative)           


After my 2NT I think partner should jump straight to 6NT, as he knows we have at least 34 points between the 2 hands (11 points plus useful 10s)

While I have my minimum number of points (23), I have the 5th club, it was the last round, and there’s always the slam master competition to think of 😊.

Some responders might want to have a 5 card suit and /or 1½ quick tricks to bid 2 hearts, in which case they could bid 2NT. You would need to agree what strength the 2NT response showed.  I normally expect 9-12 points, but some might play it weaker. So the bidding might go 2C 2NT 6NT, or at least 2C 2NT 4NT 6NT

Should you have some sort of systemic bidding after 2C 2NT? You certainly don’t want to play transfers after that as it would mean the weaker hand becomes declarer.




Last updated : 5th Nov 2022 08:03 GMT

Just one hand a candidate for a slam last night. But only one pair bid nd made it, and one pair didn't make it.

What happened at your table?

Our initial sequence was: 1S from Alan, 3H from me (strong), 3S. I was always going to search for the slam but there was an interesting oppos intervention of 4C which immediately improved my hand even further. Thus, 4NT from me drawing the response of 5D (showing one key card). 

Given that we were likely to be missing the AD (rather than the AS) and with my KD being exposed I was planning to put Alan back to 5S. However my right hand oppo doubled 5D, marking the position of the missing Ace and putting it in the right place. Now everything looks like the slam is pretty nailed on and so it proved. 

The AD was led followed by a H. Alan set up the Hs so as to discard his losers rather than risk the Club finesse which was all but certain to win but you never know. Well done partner. 


Last updated : 29th Oct 2022 08:17 GMT

One of the 2 possible slams around last night.

Our 5H doubled would have been a good sacrifice if more people had bid the club slam.

What happened at your table?



You had the opportunity to pass 5C so bidding 5H was never going to be a good sacrifice – in fact it was possibly going to push them in to bidding 6C and with careful play even 7C can make.


Too true!

Last updated : 22nd Oct 2022 06:42 BST

Only one slam bid and made this week.

I was sitting with the stonker  of a hand as East but was stymied by a 1C bid by North. We didn't even manage to bid game.

Malcolm and Andrew got to 6D. 

How did things go at your table?

At our table, Alan also opened 1C which I think is fair enough. I’d like to think my pre-emptive raise to 3C after a 1D overcall got in the opposition’s way a bit but I’m not sure it really should. After W and N passed, East jumped to 4D but, sadly for our oppos, that’s where it all ended. 
Personally, I like the double you bid after you got a 1C opening since you might even find a H fit. Looking at the hands, game looks as though it should be the minimum objective but you never can tell at this game….


Last updated : 15th Oct 2022 07:32 BST

Just 2 slams bid and made last night.

This was the more challenging, especially as I was the one that overbid it (just a bit!)

The 4NT felt like a bit of a stretch but I counted a bit more for the singleton (although it might be in partners suit)

Even with one key card missing 5H passed felt like a wimp bid.

Ok 6H bid and I could sense partners disapproval. 

The only play seemed to be to take 2 club ruffs from dummy ( the last club could drop on dummy's KD) and then to play the hearts for one loser.

At that point dummy had K9 and I had QTxx so it was lead 9 from dummy and let it run.

Just for once it worked.

Not really suggesting it was a good slam to bid.

What happened at your table?


You played board 21 well against us.

It’s difficult for my partner, but he can make it harder for you after winning the Ace of hearts by leading the Q of clubs.  You have to ruff with the K, so you can no longer draw my Jack of trumps by force and you haven’t got another heart in dummy to take the finesse.

However, you can still make the slam.  One line after winning the K of hearts would be to play AK diamonds, throwing a BIG spade, ruffing the 3rd round of diamonds with the 7, then playing the big spade from hand and then a small spade to the J.  You’re now left in dummy with 2 diamonds and just the Q, 10 of hearts in your hand When you lead a diamond, I’m forced to place the J or 4 of hearts so you just play Q or 10 as necessary, which brings home the slam.

Well done



Just to say I don't think I would have found that play!



Last updated : 8th Oct 2022 08:27 BST


The THOMPSON TROPHY for MIXED PAIRS was played online.

Congratulations to Iris White and Tim Hallam our new holders.


Last updated : 8th Oct 2022 08:27 BST

Unusually every table bid a slam on Board 17.

This one was a bit more mixed, but Kathryn and John were in no mood to mess around on this hand. 13 tricks made.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 1st Oct 2022 07:06 BST

Amazing only one pair found this cast iron grand slam.

What happened at your table?


You may care to show the bidding used to reach 7NT which will confuse many – 2C ( game go )  , 3C ( 13-15pts ) , 4NT , 6NT , 7S , 7NT.


Hi Phil,


We had a bit of a disaster on the 7NT bidding. We need to implement a full RKCB.


The actual bidding:

2C long solid suit or 23+ at least 8 tricks

3C 13-15 pts I have 6 tricks so already thinking of 7NT

Theo then bid 4NT and I am stuck because there no agreed suit to show K of

I bid 6NT because we must be able to make it

Theo bid 7S because he knows I probably have the missing aces for 6NT

I bid 7NT because Theo must have 8 solid tricks and I have 5+ depending on H split


What should have happened;



3S showing long solid suit type hand

4NT asking for key cards with spades as trumps

5C  3 key cards AK spades A clubs

5D cheapest non-spade suit asking for Q spades (we don't play this yet but probably will)

6C  Q spades and K clubs (full RKCB)

7NT must be on with 6+ spades to AKQ, all the aces and my H suit


Sometimes when things go wrong you have to wing it.






Sent from Mail for Windows

Last updated : 24th Sep 2022 07:53 BST

No slams last night.

This looks like an interesting hand.

North / South have good majors making 2 or 3 spades or hearts.

At most tables East/West found the club fit and bid , probably thinking they were making a sacrifice. As it is 5 clubs is cold although no one bid that high.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 17th Sep 2022 08:30 BST

The only slam bid and made last night - by our subs.

Natsha despite knowing we had precisely 32 points bailed out of our slam sequence her 5S asking me to bid 5NT sign off.

You could argue that knowing 4 of the 8 points missing is an ace may help making 6NT. Anyway she was right because I only managed 11 tricks.

The machine says 6NT will always make but I think that needs some very lucky guessing on the part of declarer.

What happened at your table?

Against us Oppos bid to 3NT making 11 tricks, losing the A and J of diamonds. Playing the “normal” way, these are the tricks you’re going to lose.  As double dummy says, you can make the slam – by leading the 10 of diamonds from the North hand. You either run it or, if covered by the jack, play the King. The 9 of diamonds falls on the 2nd round leaving you good, apart from the Ace of diamonds.

What happened at the table where slam was made?  Declarer led the 5 of diamonds from the North hand, so should be going down, but East hopped up with Ace rather than playing small. Thus allowing declarer to draw all the remaining diamonds with K & Q.



Last updated : 10th Sep 2022 07:14 BST

Check out the latest Challenge Trophy positions after the 6th round on September 2.

It gets interesting from here on as those who have 6 results can start discarding their worst results

Last updated : 10th Sep 2022 07:11 BST

Variety of contracts. Interesting. That was the bidding at our table. 7D - 1

How did the biidding go at your table?


I hold my hands up and say my bidding was either weird or, being charitable, a little ‘off centre’. For that reason I won’t describe it since it’s not even worthy of discussion.
Suffice to say Malcolm expertly steered us to the excellent spot of 6D, despite the puzzles of mis-direction I set him. Well done partner.


Last updated : 3rd Sep 2022 08:36 BST

No slams bid last night.

The results were all over the place on this hand.

It is not often you get 3NT bid both ways on the same hand!

I kept very quiet on this hand as south as our opponents motored on to 4S. Then the double! A step too far for them.

what happened at your table?

Richard opened a weak 2 in spades (some people don’t like opening a weak two if they’ve got the other major instead, but we don’t let it stop us).

I had a nice hand but didn’t think there was quite enough for game opposite a maximum, so passed, which was just as well. The spade break came as a nasty shock. Fortunately, the Queen of hearts was onside, and partner had enough entries to take the finesse twice.  So, 2 spades just scraped in.  This gave us 64% on the board – not a massive score but OK

I did not fancy opening 3C vulnerable against non-vulnerable but when the bidding subsided after (2S) , P , (P) , decided to risk coming in later with 3C.  It is not easy to find the best defence and 3C minus 1 was a gain over letting 2S make.



Last updated : 26th Aug 2022 21:29 BST

Congratulations Richard & Alan our latest heat winners.

Elaine & Stephen in second place with nearly 60% earned a bronze star.


Last updated : 26th Aug 2022 21:29 BST

Another slam hand eluded us.

I chose to open the south hand 2C , ie 8 playing tricks , which seemed a slight overbid.

2 pairs found the slam , one the superior 6NT.

What happened at your table?

Perhaps, I, sitting North should have opened 1S, as the two pairs who reached 6H and 6NT did so. However, I cannot see immediate 8 tricks in South's hand for 2C opening. Perhaps 2D (game force in our system) or even 1H would have got us there. With the game force 2D, I would have replied 3H (Hearts Ace) and then, with Phil's bidding style......GOAL


Last updated : 14th Aug 2022 06:22 BST

No slams last night.

this was an interesting hand.

I think every East would have chosen to bid 3H.

the quandary comes for West (me) Pass very difficult with the quality of the hand, 4H ,with an 8 card trump suit and with the vulnerability could be a fairly poor suit in dummy. or the risky course 3NT , relying on a wing and a prayer.

you will guess which course I chose. A spade lead was helpful. There is really only one way to play it , from the top and hope. Not very good odds really but it worked this time. The defenders did well to save the last winning card. Several ran out all 13 tricks, So there are a number of gamblers around.

The 'proper' course is to pass I think.

What happened at your table?


Morning Phil

As that great bridge sage Jeff Calladine once said, ‘you can’t argue with success’ but aren’t you applying some kind of perverse logic with your commentary?
If the Heart suit could, as you say, be fairly poor and therefore rule out a possible 4H contract, then how on earth will west’s hand ever be good enough to make 3NT on its own. It has holes all over the place hasn’t it?
The H suit has to be good to even have a chance and I would suggest it’s a gamble too far. 
Alan took what you describe as the ‘proper’ approach and we suffered. Clearly he hasn’t played enough poker….then again, it is supposed to be bridge!


Last updated : 6th Aug 2022 06:54 BST

A couple of slam hands around last night.

This was the more difficult, unfortunately bid against us!
Andrew was taking a slight risk  as to which Ace was missing, he could have had AKH out against him.

As it was all 13 tricks came home for a top.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 30th Jul 2022 07:21 BST

Congratulations to Richard and Tim our latest BeauRepaire heat winners

Last updated : 22nd Jul 2022 20:43 BST

We missed our chance of the grand slam on this hand, as did everybody else.

it is not often you have 21 points and 5 card support opposite an opening 1H hand.

what happened at your table?

We bid      1H - 4NT (Roman Blackwood not keycard)
                 5D (1 or 4 aces)   - 5NT
                 6S ( 2 kings either SH or DC)  -6NT
When dummy went down I could count 13 tricks so I wished I had tried the grand.
However as no one bid the grand and others in hearts it was a good score.
I don't see a way to bid it to 7
John S
Last updated : 22nd Jul 2022 20:42 BST

South needs to make the rest of the tricks in NT and is on lead

Answers to:

Last updated : 17th Jul 2022 11:38 BST

Malcolm suggested hand 16 from last night and says:

Not surprising nobody managed to bid 6S and a variety of different ways of reaching 4S were made. Unless you receive the AD lead which makes it easy (a club lead was the most popular) it requires careful timing to make 12 tricks - you must preserve trumps until 2 diamonds have been ruffed or hearts have been established. 


Last updated : 16th Jul 2022 06:58 BST

Quite a number of what I would call 'boring' hands this week, including 24 where most found the 6H contract.

I thought this was more interesting , our opponents chose the diamond game a 5-4 fit rather than 6-2 in spades.

Not scoring as well of course.

On lead as South can I be blamed for not leading a club?

Suddenly declarer has 13 tricks?

!would I have done different against a 6D contract - I don't think so.

What happened at your table?


At our table, the bidding went

W           N            E             S

1S           2H          3D          Pass

4D          Pass       5D          All Pass

I can’t blame partner for bidding 4D after my 3D, but that inevitably led to me bidding 5D. 10 5 of Spades didn’t seem enough to warrant me bidding 4 Spades.

At other tables in a similar situation, 1 pair did bid 4S after the 4D bid. 3 pairs bid 3S with the West hand rather than supporting diamonds, so East now raised to 4 Spades, as he didn’t know of the Diamond fit.

Besides not scoring as well as 4 spades, the 5 diamonds contact is less safe. It can go off if the spade finesse fails, yet 4 Spades should still make.



Last updated : 30th Jun 2022 10:34 BST

Its not often you make a slam with only 16 HCP.

John & Kathryn on their way to winning last night.

I was actually quite hopeful of making 5H given the distribution. Should have passed 5C!

Not sure what Kathryn & John thought their chances were but it all came good. One other pair had the same result.

What happened at your table?

Hi Phil .I believe the bidding was 


    S          W         N         E

   1H         2H*      4H        5C**                                * Michaels

    p              p       5H        p                                     **   pass or correct

    p           6C       dble      p

    p             p


Anyway I bid 6C as a sacrifice as I have very little defence against 5H but we got lucky when it actually made.       John S


At our table the bidding went:

S             W                                                        N            E

1H          3C (At least 5-5 in Cs & Ss)            4H          5C

Pass       Pass                                                    5H          6C

Pass       Pass                                                    Dble       All Pass

Obviously bid as a sacrifice, I’d have been surprised if N hadn’t doubled it. The play was straightforward. Everyone was stunned when it made 12 tricks.

Playing in hearts, double dummy says N/S can make 9 tricks: Spade lead then, when west gets in with A hearts, they can give a spade ruff. Those 2 tricks plus A of clubs and Ace of diamonds hold it to 9. In practice, E/W generally made 10 tricks, so a “sacrifice” of 5 clubs is good. I don’t think I’d have bid 6C over 5H, but who can argue with success?



I’m surprised Alan says he wouldn’t have bid 6C. It’s a no brainer I think. Like John ‘Rammie’ Shaw says, there’s little defence to 5H from my point of view and given partner’s known shape and my singleton S, it’s not likely to really get walloped even if doubled. I might even have bid 7C if they had gone 6H expecting that would indicate one of the oppos had a void in Clubs. 

Must admit, the double could have indicated an offside doubleton KC so I was still expecting Alan to go off when the hands went down. I was relieved when it popped up when he led a club towards his AC. 

It’s a perfect example of why online bridge is deficient though….. I would have loved to have seen Alan’s expression when I bid 6C (when he got up after falling off his chair, that is) 🙂. The sooner we get back to face to face sessions, the better. 




Last updated : 25th Jun 2022 08:00 BST

This was an interesting hand from last night.

The par contract would seem to be 6NT which 3 pairs bid.

With the vulnerability West has to be careful. we benefitted from a penalty of 1400 here, There was also another pair -1100 in Spades.

Worth more than any non vulnerable slam.

What happened at your table?

Malcom opened 1D, West overcalled a light 1S, I doubled to show a 4 card heart suit

Malcolm now jumped to 2NT, showing 17/18 pts, with my 16, I knew we had enough for slam (33/34 pts). One question was could West have the A, K of spades? Malcolm’s 2NT must show a top spade honour, so I was happy to bid 6NT.  West led the A of spades and Malcolm immediately claimed 12 tricks.



Last updated : 18th Jun 2022 08:15 BST

Hand 14

A hand from Friday afternoon F2F

Expert please comment as how to bid this hand.

We made 2S +1 by South someone was in 3S by North making 11 tricks


Our bidding went pass-pass-pass-1D-1H- all pass.
IH just made which gave us a bottom.
I think Karen should have reopened the bidding with a double, then I must show my spades but there is no way we would get to game.

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ 

Strong 3-suited hands are notoriously difficult to bid in standard systems. So some people have special bidding sequences to cover strong 4-4-4-1 or 5-4-4-0 hands

So a Multi 2D might include a 2NT rebid to show such a hand

2D (multi)                                          2H (relay)

2NT (Strong 3 suited)                     3C (what’s your shortage?)

3S (suit below the shortage)        Now whether south raises that to 4S is another question (probably just happy to find a fit)

Another artificial bid is the Roman 2D.

With the bidding at Phil’s table: with the North hand I would have bid 1 spade when the 1 heart overcall came back to me), but we’re not likely to find game.

Going back to the East hand. After the 1D bid, I would have bid 2NT to show heart and clubs.  This would get us to 3H. That wouldn’t have worked out well if doubled. Some nasty breaks there!




At our table, it went P- P-P- 1D- P- P-P. Jenny, ( north) was left in it. I was tempted to bid 1S with my 4 points and 5 spades, but J high!  Alan W in west agreed with me!
If I’d been East, I’d have o/ called 2C. Then Jenny would have bid 2H showing reverse, strong hand. I might have again been tempted to bid 2S, then we’d have found 4S, but not  this time!

Last updated : 18th Jun 2022 08:15 BST

It's not often you have a 25 point hand.

Luckily our opponents did not bid the slam.

in fact the machine says 7NT is cast iron but would you bid it?

(East has to find 5 discards in clubs and spades and is eventually squeezed in the red suits)

What happened at your table?

An amusing one at our table. Our oppos Stephen and Peter reached 6NT and when dummy appeared Stephen claimed 13 tricks which we rejected as we could only see 12.Stephen apologised saying he had miscounted and then played the hand out catching Kathryn in the aforementioned squeeze so made all 13. He was right first time :(


John S


Last updated : 10th Jun 2022 17:49 BST

No slams made last night.

I have picked this hand out as interesting with a range of results.

I knew my 4D was an over bid and cut out 3NT as a resting place.

3D just didn't feel strong enough.

We also missed 4S which have been a good contract.

On a AD lead 5D can be made I just need to get things in the right order and hope for a 3/3 split in clubs. I played trumps then spades, I need to play trumps then clubs trumping the dummy's long cards good and then crossing on a spade.

Results at other tables were all over the place.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 4th Jun 2022 07:03 BST

Something about London buses.

We managed to find the spade slam on Board 15 but this one eluded us. my bidding at fault I think. Should have explored the slam options.

How should the bidding have gone?

Hi Phil. Presumably you are playing a 15-17 NT (actually 12-15)so open 1NT and S transfers to spades. Now after 2S , 4S is incorrect IMO as this should show six spades (remember you have already told your partner you have 5 spades so you are telling him the same thing twice !)

So after 2S bid 3C showing your second suit , partner bids 3S.Thereafter things get a bit murky but I suppose you could cue bid 4D hoping partner bids 4H and if he doesn't then sign off in 4S

knowing that the heart situation is questionable.

I know that it will say that 6S always makes but suppose E finds the inspired lead of a small heart from Ax will declarer go up with the K??? Human ingenuity will always defeat robots (Arthur C Clark- ok he might not have said it but he could have)    John S

Welcome back to the HoW Phil. You’ve been missed. 

John S

Amazing that you of all people didn’t investigate the slam here. Your partner might only have two spades so I’m not sure about jumping straight to  4♠️ .
Not saying everyone would bid it this way but, assuming you are playing a strong 1NT which I don’t, can I suggest:
1NT by North; 2H (transfer); 2S; 3C (forcing and slam try)…. Now North has options depending on your agreements but I suggest 4S would be appropriate showing 3 card spade support and minimum of the 1NT range. 
South isn’t interested in stopping especially since the singleton D is adding even extra values now the S fit is confirmed. 4NT(RKCB) gets a 5S (two key cards and QS) reply.
Now, of course, N will be playing any spade slam and the heart position could be problematic. Do you go on? 
Club night, most definitely ‘yes’ (it’s supposed to be entertainment). Teams competition, ‘yes’ I think. Pairs at a Congress, not so certain but I’d probably risk it……look forward to other contributions!
The above issue doesn’t occur if playing a weak NT.  After north opens 1 of a suit, S is worth a 2S jump response setting the suit in the right hand. 3S from N (no rush), 4NT from S gets the same key card response and now the KH is protected making 6S a fairly easy bid. 



This is, at best, a 50% slam relying on the A of hearts sitting right and assuming nothing bad elsewhere. So probably OK to bid at teams, but against the odds at pairs.

I see you’re playing a 12-15 no trump, then you’re a bit low on points for the slam and would be relying on shape and fit to make the slam.  The way you’ve bid to 4Ss shows a 6 card spade suit.  I would suggest one of the following sequences

Option 1

1NT                                                                    3S (if you play this as game force, slam interest)

4S                                                                       4NT (RKCB, if you want to try for slam)

5S (2 key cards and the Q of spades)        6S
Obviously, the QS is an important card

Option 2

1NT                                                     2H (transfer)

2S                                                        3C (natural and game forcing, also implying shortage somewhere)

3S showing support for spades   Now if you want to go to slam bid 4NT (RKCB)

We might ask the difference between North bidding 3S and 4S after the 3C, as that is forcing to game. You might play 4S as minimum and the 3S as maximum, allowing room for cue bids.

Option 3

1NT        2H

2S           3NT

4S           Now if you wanted to bid slam you could bid 4NT, but partner’s hand could be a minimum with 3Ss          



Thanks for all these contributons, included in their entirety ,even though there is a lot of overlap,

John quite rightly says my 4S bid shows 6, which i don't have. If I go 1NT-2H-2S-3C I better describe my hand, forcing to game and showing slam interest (and by inference a shortage) However this ignores the heart situation. 1NT-3S also shows slam interest but protects KH. With a max and QS partner would then rightly go RKCB.

Still I was a bit bemused from the hand before and may be it's a marginal slam anyway. As Richard says Friday should be a fun night though.


Any further comments?



Last updated : 28th May 2022 06:51 BST

We are back

2 slams were bid and made last night on Board 3 but this hand looks more interesting.

This was our bidding. How should it have gone to get to the slam?

Any comments or input on other hands.

Get involved.


Last updated : 21st May 2022 07:57 BST
Friday afternoon F2F

Board 12

This one was a good hand of Poker, settling for 6H* -1. The bidding at our table as shown.

Thanks Natasha

Our bidding on hand 12 was more subdued but Jenny still got over enthusiastic bidding 5D after my cautious 3D response to her overcall so we went 2 off.

We can now see where else we went wrong

See you soon




You have displayed the hand of the week as if both sides were non-vulnerable in which case bidding 5D would be an excellent sacrifice. As N/S were vulnerable it was not a good sacrifice as, if doubled, it might cost 500 against a non-vulnerable game.

Best wishes - Malcolm


Last updated : 14th May 2022 06:44 BST

Congratulations to Helen and Lynda this years winners of the Roxburgh Trophy

Last updated : 1st May 2022 08:27 BST

A cracker of a hand. Our bidding showed we were short of KC so we settled for a small slam. At pairs it should have been 6NT , my fault.

Richard and Roman bid and made the grand.

What happened at your table?

I had very little to do with this slam. As soon as Roman heard a sniff of Hearts from me he checked the key card position and went straight for the grand, reasoning that it had to be close if not nailed on. Fortunately the QD was in the right place and he could then get rid of club losers in his hand. 

Mind you, Malcolm and Tim got their own back on the very next board. Despite his singleton Spade, Malcolm by-passed the more common 6H bid and opted for 6NT, which gained an equal top. 


After checking on key cards Roman knew there were no possible losers in spades, hearts or diamonds.  I suspect he took into account that Tim had made an intervening bid showing at least 6 clubs which meant the chances of success were strengthened by the very real possibility of Richard holding not more than one club which would have made it very easy when Roman held AC


Last updated : 2nd Apr 2022 08:32 BST

No slams last night.

This was our bidding on this hand which produced a huge array of bids and results.

Both sides on our bidding got carried away.

Deep finesse says 5D should not make but I can't see how.

Some pairs made 10 tricks in spades but again the computer says they should not.

What happened at your table?

You could have defeated 5D doubled if  Natasha had overtaken your KC with AC and played a heart back to ruff with your JD. However as you have already played QD from QJ doubleton of diamonds she is unlikely to place you with JD.


There are two clubs off the top of course and then I think declarer needs to ruff 3 spades in dummy using one of the top honours. This means that the QD wins a trick in East. If he draws trumps first, declarer will come to S loser providing the defence keeps their ammunition. 


The contract was a meagre 2H by EW against us and we couldn't muster the right defence to take it one off. Not an unusual occurrence for us last night! 


Well done John and Kathryn. 




Last updated : 26th Mar 2022 06:37 GMT

That was the bidding at our table. Quite a few stayed in 5 


Last updated : 19th Mar 2022 05:34 GMT

Our new Pairs Champions are John & Kathryn Shaw. a fine performance on the 11th holding off Alan & Malcolm, Roman & Richa4d in third.

Congratulations to Peter Bell and Sue Ball who won our Wednesday Stepping Stones Trophy. Lynda and Helen came second.

In the Friday Competition Alan and Richard held off Terry & Theo to take this years trophy.

Full results under Competitions.




Last updated : 15th Mar 2022 09:34 GMT

I think this was our bidding.

Deep Finesse says the optimum contract is 6NT E/W but no one got to the slam.

What happened at your table?

At our table the bidding went:

N            E                                           S                            W

Pass       1C                                        2H(weak)             2S

Pass       3H (asking for a stop)      3NT                       All Pass

I wasn’t sure where I was going after partners 2S (spades, clubs, NT?) but 3H got us to 3NT by partner. Probably the best place to be.

As Phil says, 6NT can make, but you need to play the clubs for no losers. The problem with 6 clubs (besides the clubs themselves) is a spade to the Ace and a spade ruff

The play

North duly led the 9 hearts, his partner’s bid suit: 10, J, A

West now led the 10 clubs covered by the Jack which sorted the clubs for us.  The next two club tricks were won in hand by West, who then led a small spade, which North ducked, so the K won.  Running the rests of the clubs (throwing spades from the West hand), now squeezed south in hearts and diamonds. South eventually threw a diamond so, after cashing the K of hearts (throwing the last spade), the diamonds now ran, making 13 tricks. Well done Partner. 

Best Regards


Last updated : 11th Mar 2022 21:41 GMT

One stand out hand from Friday night.

This is how we tackled the bidding. When Natasha responded to my RKCB with 5D - must be 4, I felt I had all we needed.

What happened at your table?


Very well done in bidding the grand slam, even if we were the recipients.

It’s perhaps churlish to say you could have done something different, but I won’t let that stop me!

After 3 hearts, partner might jump to 4 spades to show a maximum with a 4 card spade suit, which would give you even more confidence in bidding the grand (not that you needed it).

As you say, the 5D must show 4 key cards accounting for 15 points, so plenty left. If you now bid 5NT, the response will show one King (with 34 points between the 2 hands it’s possible that both Kings could be missing).  Now you know you’ve got 7 spade tricks and 3 clubs. That, with another 2 Aces and a K, gives you 13 tricks. You’ve plenty of entries so you can bid the top spot of 7NT!

I’m not mardy at all.

Best wishes


As always Alan is right on the money

I did contemplate asking for Kings but we had a little bit of miscommunication last week. Knowing Natasha has a least 5 points as well as the 5 key cards I wasn't too worried about bidding 7S I thought she might have to use trumps to establish a 13th trick if she was short of 2 kings (unlikely) hence not 7NT. Expected that 7S making would be a good result anyway. Thought more would have bid it.


Last updated : 5th Mar 2022 06:33 GMT

Slams topped and tailed the boards last night.

The first board should have been 7NT. No one was brave enough.

On the last board only one pair found 6D.

What happened at your table?

In the hand of the week surely it is impossible to make 6D on a club lead and highly unlikely to make on a diamond lead.


The pair making the slam had a helpful spade lead.

The singleton heart seems to be the favourite lead

Last updated : 26th Feb 2022 07:36 GMT

No slams made last, one or two bid.

This was an interesting hand.

My 2C would have shown a balanced 19 or 8 playing tricks.

Malcolm interjected with double, I suspect partly with lead directing in mind.

Natasha redoubled showing a few points and expecting me to bid. I wasn't sure if it showed a club cover.

3NT looked exceedingly dodgy. I knew if I could scrape 8 tricks in 2C redoubled it would score better than anything other than a slam so I left it.

Malcolm had nowhere to go, One North ended up in 3C dbl which the only score to beat our 760 for our 8 tricks.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 19th Feb 2022 08:07 GMT

Natasha in fine form last night.

Reasoning I think that 6NT was just as likely to make as 6D, knowing I would have a pretty good suit for a vulnerable preempt and probably have a little something outside diamonds ( 6 points max in diamonds)

Note 12 tricks can be made even on a club lead without risking the spade finesse.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 12th Feb 2022 08:12 GMT

Our opponents ducked out of the slam on this hand into 5S.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 12th Feb 2022 08:12 GMT

A couple of straightforward slams around last night Boards 8,9.

this hand looked more interesting 6D is solid but no easy way to bid especially with some interference bidding.

What happened at your table.

I was sitting N, and the bidding went:

E             S             N            W

1D          1S           2H          2S

4D          4S           5D          All pass

with partners jump to 4Ds and my singleton spade, a raise to 5D was easy, and Stuart made 12 tricks without any problem. The slam does depend on catching the QD, but that’s better than 50%.

Strangely perhaps, I can probably do better by doubling the 4S for penalties, not that I’m likely to do so with a singleton

Last updated : 5th Feb 2022 08:09 GMT

Margaret and Pauline were our latest gold heat qualifiers from the 21 January heat.

Barbara and Stuart  ,Theo and Terry gained silver stars as potential qualifiers.

Check out the full position under Competitions, one more heat before the final in March 

Last updated : 29th Jan 2022 11:11 GMT

Always tricky on the first hand of the night but with 32 points and nice 5 card spade suit 6NT should be achievable but only 2 pairs bid it.

What happened at your table?


I was  North, and the bidding went

S             N

1D          1S

2NT        3C
3NT        Pass

I was considering a slam but knowing partner had 17/18 pts opposite my 14 pts we had 31/32 points  and no known fit, I thought that seemed too borderline.  At pairs I’d like 33 points for a NT slam (unless there’s a long suit to run). If partner had supported clubs, I would probably have gone on to 6C, which wouldn’t have been a success.  If I thought 32 points was enough, then after 3NT I could have bid 4NT -quantitative, saying bid slam with a maximum, pass with a minimum

Even with 2 pairs bidding and making 6NT, 3NT making 12 tricks was scored 56%, so by no means a disaster



Last updated : 29th Jan 2022 11:10 GMT

Only 31 points on this one but shapely hands.

How did your bidding go?

The grand slam can be made on the cards but a difficult bid and play.

What happened at your table?

Our bidding was 1NT - 2H (tfer) -2S - 4NT (quantitive) -pass


I got a helpful club lead and made 12 tricks and yes can make 7 by playing AK of diamonds rather than finessing the J (which is the better percentage play. )Of course the double dummy analysis says you can make 7 but as is so often the case you need to make unrealistic plays in practice.

John S

Last updated : 29th Jan 2022 11:10 GMT

Sitting with 18 points opposite an opening bid it always looked like slam territory.

Pesky South gets in the way with a preempt but in some ways it makes the decision easier.

There is no way to explore the slam below game so it needs to be straight to RKCB.

Partner is very unlikely to have more than one heart loser.

The only risk is that the original bid is not a genuine diamond suit (we play 5 card majors) 

Life is full of risk!

About half the field bid the slam.

Anyone fancy 6NT , much trickier.

What happened at your table?

Hi Phil

With us, after partner’s 1D opening we had a 2H overcall which didn’t eat up too much bidding space. I bid 3C and partner raised to 4C. I’m not sure about that, but it certainly helped out because after 4NT from me, the reply (agreeing Clubs at this stage of course) was 5S showing two key cards (the missing Aces) and QC, filling a number of gaps quite nicely. The contract was always going to be in Diamonds from my perspective so 6D it was. 
I didn’t really consider 6NT. It seemed a bit of a stretch without the safety net of having trumps. 


Last updated : 22nd Jan 2022 06:24 GMT

Natasha wants some help with this hand.

most ended up in 3NT.

we received  a heart lead but could find no way to make the contract.

3 tables made 3NT how?

alternative leads do not seem to help.

Can anyone shed some light?

What happened at your table?

Double Dummy says 3NT goes off on the lead of Q (or J) of diamonds, but makes otherwise.

At our table, I opened 1H and, after the 2C response, bid 3NT.  The 5D (4thhighest) was led and, after some thought, I played low. West went up with the A.  As I hadn’t bid spades, West switched and played the Ace and another.  I now had an easy job to wrap up the rest of the tricks.



What a tough hand - whether declarer or defender. Fine when you can see all the cards….. I think I would have been in trouble at the table. 
On any lead other than the Q or JD North can make. In your case, take the H lead and cash three clubs, overtaking the KC with the AC and dump two small Ds from North. The play has to be precise now and I think I would have gone wrong. Declarer has to play a S and win with K or QS. (If defender goes up with AS it doesn’t matter, he’s still in the same difficulty as he will be soon anyway). Assuming you win with QS, play on Hearts, and throw west in with JH. All he can do is then cash AS, 10C and AD and you’ve got two more tricks. 
Quite why you didn’t get a D lead I don’t know but, even then, it has to be Q or J to  orce the K so defenders get two diamonds. All I can say is I’m pleased I want playing or defending it! Even watching in dummy I was squirming…..


Last updated : 15th Jan 2022 07:25 GMT


Jan sitting North is proud of this hand

Last updated : 8th Jan 2022 07:39 GMT

. Only one pair bid and made 6NT. Why no one else bid 6NT?

Perhaps the 6NT slam was not bid by more people because that is not a good contract. It always goes off on a club liead and if North had been on lead a club lead would have been clear cut. If North risks a 2C overcall or a weak 3C jump overcall then a club lead might well be made by South


Last updated : 8th Jan 2022 07:39 GMT

Q♥  lead

How to make your contract. You have 13 top tricks, but cannot reach them.

solutions to:

The winning play is to force West to provide your entry. Win the H K (or optionally you can play the H 2 and ruff with the S 10) but do not cash the H A. Win two top trumps, the C A-K and the D A, then lead the S 2 to give West the nine. He must return a heart or a club, which allows you to discard all of your losing diamonds.

♠   ♣ 

With benefit of seeing all 4 hands you could ruff the oepning lead with 10S, cash A and K of clubs, cash AD, cashA and K of spades, exit with 2S - then with all trumps gone, west must play a heart or a club allowing dummy to win and discard 4 diamond on A and K of hearets and Q and K of clubs.It does not help west to discard 9S on A or K because entry to dummy would be gained with a spade in dummy

Best wishes - Malcolm

♠   ♣ 

Take A,K of H.

Ruff H high.

A,K of S; A,K of C; A of D.

Lead low S.

W is endplayed or has given access to table by dropping 9 of S.

Happy New Year,


♠   ♣ 

Win the first heart throwing a diamond

Lead a spade, winning with Ace & then K of spades. Plauy A, k of clubs and Ace of diamonds

Lead a small spade taken by West with the 9

West only has hearts and clubs left, so must let dummy in to cash the second heart and the Q, J of clubs throwing diamonds from the south hand. South could play wmall on the heart lead and ruff high, and then play the same way



Last updated : 31st Dec 2021 15:55 GMT

The only slam hand last night.

The bidding is that used by our opponents.

It is always surprising how shy people are of bidding slams, despite 8 points and a 6 card suit sitting opposite a game forcing hand half the tables didn't bid it.

As the cards lie a heart or no trump grand slam is guaranteed but it is problematic right to stop in the small slam.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 24th Dec 2021 09:50 GMT

This was a corker of a hand. Our bidding was as shown. About half the tables bid the heart slam the other wisely settled for game.

On a KD lead I took the Ace came to hand with a spade and tried QH only to find the 4-0 split. I went up with AH (otherwise I lose KH and a diamond) and then tried Aand then KC undone by a ruff.

I don't see any way of making the slam on a diamond lead.

Congratulations to Andrew and Ian who bid and made the slam. Bid from North and receiving a club lead things are a little easier. It still needs careful handling and a safety play in trumps in case of a bad split. A trumps followed by a small heart to finesse the other potential trump loser.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 18th Dec 2021 06:46 GMT

Partner was in sparkling form last night. After my opening 1H bid (I think the hand must be too strong for a preempt).

She reasoned rightly that she only needed me to have one of AC or QD to pretty much guarantee a Spade slam.

No way of asking so she just bid it.

What happened at your table?

Partner opened 3 hearts.  This made it less likely that partner had one of A of Clubs or Q of Diamonds.  Hence I opted for 4 spades.  Oppo unfortunately, for them, chose to lead a diamond and 13 tricks were then easy.



Last updated : 11th Dec 2021 06:57 GMT

No slams last night.

I thought I would relate one of our many disasters , glossing quickly over our 7NT missing an ace and an offside King.

over North's 1 diamond I raised my head above the parapet with 1S neatly taking away any bid from South and I was left in it.

I had broken 3 golden rules.

1 Never bid through frustration (20 boards and no chance of being declarer)

2 Never overcall In a suit when you have 2 places to play. We are never going to find a heart fit.

3 quality of suit is paramount with an overcall, 5 to the 9 doesn't qualify!

When dummy was tabled things didn't look too bad but I was well and truly taken to the cleaners for 3 off (300)

that would have been a good result if N/S had bid their makeable 3NT but that was never going to happen.

The story of our night.

any good tales to tell from last night?


Last updated : 4th Dec 2021 08:03 GMT

It is with much sadness that we learned that Christine died peacefully late in the afternoon on Sunday, 7th November.

Our condolences go to Ralph and her family.

Christine's funeral will be held at 12.00 o'clock on Tuesday, 30th November, at Swanwick Crematorium.

Last updated : 4th Dec 2021 08:01 GMT

No slams last night.

This looks like an interesting hand with lots of different outcomes.

What happened at your table?


At our table North opened 1 Heart. As East, I passed and it went round to my partner, who bid 2 diamonds. N doubled. With 11 points and a heart stop I bid 2NT where it rested.  On the heart lead, this duly went 1 off.

E/W have got a 4-4 spade fit and double dummy says 3 spades can make, despite the 4-1 break in trumps, the optimum score for the hand.  Only 1 E/W pair played in spades. Unfortunately, they went to 4 and went 1 off. Oddly, one N/S pair played in 2 spades. This wasn’t a success.

According to double dummy, E/W can only make 7 tricks in diamonds, with the bad break.  One pair bid to the 3 level, and were doubled, but managed to hold it to just one off.

N/S can make 3Cs and N can make 3Hs. A number of N/Ss did play in hearts making from 8 to 10 tricks, with none playing in clubs (not surprising).






Last updated : 27th Nov 2021 07:14 GMT

This was an interesting hand.

North South can make 5D or 5C but not 6 as 2 pairs tried.

(6 diamonds can make on a Heart lead)

East West tried 4H or more but this should not make.

What happened at your table?

Interesting board. Against us, John opened 2NT showing both minors. 4H from me, 5D from Wilson and Janet came in with 5H. Always difficult to know precisely who is bluffing who in this type of sequence and Mr G weighed in with 6D which worked out well for us when Janet led AS, then giving me a ruff. 
With all but one of north’s spades being discarded on south’s clubs, it’s the only lead that takes it off and perhaps not one many would have found. John’s 6D, therefore, had a good shout. 
Question….is the best strategy for South to let it run round to partner for him to decide whether to push on or double? In this case, a double would have produced a good score. 


Last updated : 20th Nov 2021 06:52 GMT

2 pairs found the slam on this hand.

What happened at your table?

Kathryn opened 1S and I tried 1NT. I didnt think I was good enough to bid 2D though this would have worked out better. I think west came in with 2C and Kathryn bid 3H which I raised to 4 and there we stayed making 12 tricks. John S

Last updated : 13th Nov 2021 07:33 GMT

I think this was how we arrived at this slam. Pushed all the way.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 6th Nov 2021 07:09 GMT

Congratulations to Phil & Natasha winners of the THOMPSON TROPHY for mixed pairs. They were the highest ranked Male and Female pairing on the 29th October.


Last updated : 6th Nov 2021 07:07 GMT

The only slam hand last night.

This was our bidding. John and Kathryn made 6H doubled. One pair had a go at 7H.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 29th Oct 2021 22:20 BST

In some ways I think the weak jump overcall by south helped us to the slam on this hand.

For my bid Natasha has to take me for at least a good 5 card suit and around 9 points.

playing RKCB she doesn't really mind whether I have AK hearts or AC and another Key card it should play for only one loser.

Our opponents cashed their AC otherwise it disapppears and we make 13 which quite a few tables did.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 23rd Oct 2021 06:41 BST

Congratulations to Richard and Malcolm our latest BeauRepaire final qualifiers.

(John and Kathryn have already qualified)

Check out all the qualifiers under Competitions.


Last updated : 23rd Oct 2021 06:41 BST

In truth I was not sure my 3C bis was right, may be a pass is better?

Similarily Jan had a difficult choice and choose 5C.

I wondered about 6C but couldn't justify the bid.

Only Theo and Terry found 6C, how was it bid?

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 16th Oct 2021 06:05 BST

It's not often you have 25 points in one hand or 35 between the pairing.

Most found 6NT no one hazarded 7NT which seems to rely on a finesse in clubs or a very careful squeeze play.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 9th Oct 2021 09:13 BST

 No one found this diamond slam.

interference bidding Involved I suspect.

what happened at your table?

Last updated : 2nd Oct 2021 06:57 BST


We have now run three sessions of face-to-face bridge on Friday afternoons. The attendance has been disappointing, to the extent that we even had to abandon competitive bridge last Friday. Not only is this not financially viable, but we have increasing concerns about providing a safe environment, especially as the weather gets colder. Therefore with regret it has been decided that Friday face-to-face sessions should be suspended for the time being. If members wish to organise their own sessions we are happy to provide dealt boards, bridgepads and computer with some training as to the use of these. In this way when we start face-to-face bridge again we will have more people trained to run the sessions. We hope that members will understand our difficult position and will not be too disappointed as we still have our Wednesday afternoon and Friday evening sessions online. Members are offered a refund on their cash or a hold over until we recommence.

Last updated : 2nd Oct 2021 06:56 BST

No one had a go at this slam.

To be fair it relies upon a finesse and that argues it is marginal for bidding.

what happened at your table?

At our table the bidding was 1H , 1S , 4H   - playing Benji I could have opened 2D but that would mean that after a 2H relay the contract would probably be played in hearts with the big hand exposed in dummy which I chose to avoid.


After a diamond lead won in hand I drew trumps and cashed the remaining top diamond. Now I can make a certain 12 tricks by crossing to AC and discarding a spade on QD or take the finesse.  If I take the finesse I make 13 if it succeeds or 11 tricks if it fails. I decided to settle for 12 tricks and hope the finesse would fail. That would be an easy decision for Richard who expects most of his finesses to fail !




Last updated : 25th Sep 2021 08:53 BST

Congratulations  to Lesley and Stuart our latest qualifiers for the final in March.

Last updated : 25th Sep 2021 08:49 BST

We, like many clubs, are now experiencing difficulty with coin management at banks. we also wish to minimise physical contact re COVID.

Our new procedure for payment will be as follows.

All entry will be by purchase of a prepaid ticket. These will be available as books of 10. costing £20 for an initial period( ie. £2 a session). These will need to be purchased from the Treasurer on or before the session day and your name written on the back when handing in an individual ticket to an open box on arrival.

It will be open to members to share the cost, or lend them to each other etc. but they will only be sold in blocks of 10. (think of them as a book of stamps)


Last updated : 21st Sep 2021 12:14 BST

Our opponents did not bid this slam but with careful play made 13 tricks in 4S for a good result.

2 pairs bid and made the slam.

one pair bid it but went off.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 18th Sep 2021 08:40 BST

No one bid this slam last night.

I think this was our opponents bidding sequence.

anyone suggest a better one?

what happened at your table?

Last updated : 11th Sep 2021 06:50 BST

No slams bid and made last night.

This was a bit of a teaser as a last hand.

6D can be made but seems impossible to bid.

I rightly thought that if I opened 1S it could be passed out , which happened on some tables.

In the end I bid 2NT as the least worst option.

Natasha rightly worried that there might not be an entry to her hand and passed as did others.

The best result was by those who punted 3NT.

On the play it is very difficult to defend and I ran out all 13 tricks. The machine says I should have been kept to 10.

What happened at your table?

Malcolm decided to open with our game forcing bid of 2C which is certainly a viable option I think. 2D from me (negative); 2S; 3D; 3H; 3NT. This wasn’t really a ‘punt’ given Malcolm’s game force opening, it was more one of only two options…. 3NT or take us past that spot into 4D and see what Malcolm did then. I opted for the former. 

Fortunately the Ds behaved and we duly made 10 tricks. You making 13 tricks is astounding - a very charitable defence but I’m sure you deserve it!



Last updated : 4th Sep 2021 06:05 BST

We missed out on this slam hand. Either 6H or 6NT. We ended up in 3NT.

How should the bidding have gone?

Hi Phil

As ever, just because a slam makes on double dummy it doesn’t mean you should be in it. 
At our table the bidding was 2H (weak); 2NT (ogust); 3S (described as 9/10 points with 2 honours in H, in this case the A and J); 6NT!
The maximum point count the partnership can have is 31 which isn’t 6NT territory in my book. Without asking for key cards, what about the AS, the missing H honour if partner hasn’t got the K (note the ogust system as explained didn’t define the bid as two of the top three honours) and the KC. It’s asking a lot and those with mathematical expertise would be able to work out the odds - I couldn’t even begin to do that sort of calculation but, surely, they don’t look very good.
If Alan had opened 2H, 2NT would have received a 3H reply in our system (upper point range and one of the top 3 honours). Straightaway you know that AH or KH is missing and even if partner has the AS, the strong likelihood is that any successful slam will either depend on the KC being right or being able to establish the club suit. Knowing me, I may well have checked key cards, being unable to resist, but I’m not sure it’s a sound move. I would get the reply of two and then it’s a question of ‘do I feel lucky’. Suffice to say if you are going for a slam I would opt for 6H as the better option (others may disagree). 
Stopping in 3NT is the most sound spot I would suggest and likely to score very well unless everyone in the room is in ‘computer bridge’ mode! There were a number of computer bridge slams last night…….

If you do manage to bid 6H it is an excellent contract because even if the heart finesse and the club finesse are both wrong the odds are still good because you will probably get rid of a club loser on the third spade and be able to ruff a diamond , just losing one heart trick.



Last updated : 28th Aug 2021 07:48 BST

I thought this was a more interesting hand than Board 10.

We were playing against our subs from Barbados playing Standard American , hence the 2S from South.

I had been busy pondering how to open the West hand and now had a different quandary.

Perhaps standard practice would have been to double and then bid clubs over East's bid but I was aware of the possibility of North bidding 4S as a preemptive wall.

Or so I thought , in fact it mostly makes, in a couple of cases doubled.

The chances of us missing a slam with Natasha's pass seemed slim so I took a punt at 5C which was passed out.

On a diamond lead I can make 5C if I guess the clubs correct, I am gambling split honours but judged it more likely that south (who hesitated) had Qx rather than Ax.

One down :(

However it was quite a good result from us with 4S often making and results all over the place.

What happened at your table?

My partner Alan was the only player to make the bold opening bid of 1S after two passes , despite being vulnerable against non vulnerable. After a 2C overcall by West I raised to 4S which was doubled by West and 10 tricks were made. At one other table North made a bold opening bid of 1S which also resulted in 4S doubled and making.

4S can be defeated if you can see all 4 hands by West underleading the AKD with the 9 and East overtaking and switching to a club. If anybody achieved that then I think they  be reported for suspicion of collusion !




Last updated : 21st Aug 2021 07:31 BST

Richard and Alan playing E/W. I think that was the bidding. 

When Alan passed Richard's 5S there was a P? from Richard and a sry P from Alan. However, it seems that was the best contract, as no one else was in spades. Richard made 12 tricks for top board.

Just to clarify all the comments were made after the end of bidding

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ 

Hi Natasha
You have indeed got the bidding sequence correct but I’m not sure the comments were anything to do with the bidding itself. I think the ‘P?’ was from me and was simply because there was a long delay and I was checking Alan was still connected. I believe the ‘sorry p‘ was from Alan because he’d obviously woken up! 🙂🙂. The bidding was standard and Alan had no option, of course, but to pass 5S. His 5C showed 0 or 3 key cards, the 5S simply asks and with none he passed. Once Alan had eventually supported my Spades, it had to be worth querying a possible slam but stopping short is the right call.

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ 


1S (normal opener)                         2H  (5 hearts with 10+ pts, or 9 pts with secondary spade support)

2D (a reverse promising 5+ spades 4+ diamonds, with 15+ pts after the 2 level response. Game forcing)    3NT (with clubs well stopped. Denying 3 spades. Not showing any interest in going further).

Richard, with extra values, bids

4D (showing 5 diamonds)              4S (showing preference)

4NT (RKCB)                                       5C (0 or 3 key cards – which Richard knows is 0)

5S (sign off.  Only 1 key card missing, but Richard can see too many possible places for a 2nd loser)     All pass

The P and Sry were because I’d forgotten to click the pass button (whoops)

Richard won the club in his own hand and cashed Q, J of spades (overtaking the 2nd round of spades to immediately cash a 3rd round would produce a losing spade).  He led a heart and, when North didn’t go up with the A, the K won. Richard drew the last trump, crossed to the K of clubs and led the J of diamonds when this lost, he won the return and the rest of the diamonds cashed out.




Last updated : 14th Aug 2021 07:09 BST

Handicapped scores for the 23rd July now received.

The position after 4 rounds is shown under Competitions.

Don't forget you need 6 results to qualify through the year with your results being discarded once 6 have been scored

Last updated : 30th Jul 2021 16:01 BST

A top through a misunderstanding.

Playing RKCB my 5S meant 2 "aces" plus QH.

When Natasha asked about Kings , my reply meant to say No KC, No KD, not denying KS as to show it would commit us to the Grand Slam. Natasha thought it showed 2 Kings.

The spade lead helped our cause but having taken trumps out , 3 rounds, I still had to decide on which finesse to take diamonds or clubs. I decided to start diamonds from hand and if there was no hesitation and a low diamond from North take AD and try the club finesse the other way. As it was the JD was covered by Q, not unreasonable as the whereabouts of 10D is unknown. I can then run home or 13 tricks without taking the losing finesse in clubs.

A little lucky !

What happened at your table?

Although Phil thinks it was a misunderstanding, I understood that there are two ways to play 5NT in RKCB:

1 – Ask partner to bid his cheapest (non-trump) King

2 – Ask partner how many kings he holds (excluding the trump king, which has already been accounted for), ie. 6C=0; 6D=1; 6H=2; 6S=3

So, I took Phil's 6H to be the simpler version, telling me he has 2 Kings and hence 7♥ !!



Even if Natasha is playing the same system as you , should you not trust her to be able to cope with a 6S reply. She may be content to bid 6NT or that may be just what she wants to hear in order to bid a grand slam ?




in response to Malcolm 

it was always my understanding that was the system. Given you were giving good info about the minor kings






Last updated : 9th Jul 2021 08:13 BST

No slams bid last night.

Our opponents played this one in 3NT and I failed to take my 2nd ace so they made 12 tricks.

The contract to be in is 6D , which can always make but it's difficult to see.

What happened at your table?

We never looked like bidding the diamond slam. The bidding went:

1D          2C

2H          3C


The 2H bid was a reverse promising at least 5-4 in diamonds and hearts and 15+pts

Stuart wasn’t encouraged by my repeated bids in clubs.  I felt I’d shown all my values with bidding at the 2 level and with 2 little one I wasn’t particularly interested in diamonds.

3NT plus 2 scored 50% which I won’t complain about.



Last updated : 3rd Jul 2021 07:23 BST

The Committee has reviewed the present situation concerning the Covid-19 restrictions and concluded that for the time being there can be no change to the present arrangements



In view of the current Coronavirus situation all face to face bridge sessions at Belper Bridge Club are suspended until further notice.

Keep checking the website for further development.

Last updated : 1st Jul 2021 16:39 BST

Only Andrew and Ian spotted the full potential of this hand and bid 6H.

Virtually everyone made 13 tricks

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 26th Jun 2021 06:21 BST

A couple of slam hands around last night.

This was the more difficult one, especially with the pesky 2S interference.

I knew Natasha had 4 hearts but not 5 from the double but my hearts and the whole hand was weak so I repeated my clubs.

If we were to settle for a game contract it had to be in hearts.

6C is the only safe slam contract although one pair made 6H.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 19th Jun 2021 06:50 BST

No slams last night.

This hand was interesting.

Most pairs ended up in 4S played by East, in this case Alan.

I was kicking myself for my KC lead, thinking I should have lead the singleton spade.

Deep finesse says the contract makes against any defence.

However only Alan, who played it immaculately, brought home the bacon for an outright top.

What happened at your table?

4S is an incredibly difficult contract to make against best defence. To be successful usually entails perfect timing and end playing North at the right moment in trumps so that he/she is end played in to giving a ruff and discard.

Natasha could have defeated 4S by cashing her remaining winning trump when she first got in – this would have avoided the endplay.

I am glad we were only in 3S.


Sent from Mail for Windows 10


Last updated : 12th Jun 2021 07:06 BST

Unusually last night there were just 3 slams bid and made all on separate boards.

Having been top with our 6S on board 1 we were on the receiving end of 6D on this board, well bid by Richard and Malcom.

Perhaps they can remind me of their bidding sequence.

What happened at your table?


Our sequence was 2D (I valued it as an 8 playing trick hand even though there’s likely to be 9) and Malcolm bid a 2H relay. 3D from me, 4D from Malcolm and I had a free 4NT bid, being able to end in 5D if partner showed no AH (he could only bid 5C or 5D of course because of my combinations). Happily he bid 5D, showing the one ace, and now I have a decision. With my singleton H adding further values and reasoning Malcolm might well have opted for a fast arrival of 5D if he was pretty poor, I jumped in with both feet. 
Surprised more people weren’t in it but pleased because I played it too quickly and poorly and failed to harvest an easy 13 tricks. 

At our table S opened with a Lucas 2S. As often happens this put a massive spoke in our wheels. As west I doubled and N bid 2NT asking for the other suit in S. (both oppos bidding and I have 20 points !). Kathryn passed and S bid 3C. Not sure what I should have done but tried 3NT. Kathryn knew I had a good hand but couldnt really bid so there we stayed making 13 tricks. Understandably we missed slam.

John S



Last updated : 5th Jun 2021 06:55 BST

This slam escaped all but Julie & David.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 29th May 2021 06:25 BST

Congratulaions to Julie and David Lashley our latest heat winners.

Ian and Andrew also earned a bronze star.

For all the winners look under Competitions 

Last updated : 29th May 2021 06:23 BST

A solid 6S with only 26;points.

when I bid a temporising 2C Natasha rightly revalued her hand and gave me 3S , the slam try was then pretty much guaranteed with the double fit.

What happened at your table?

As the cards lie, it’s a good slam but, on the whole, it’s less than 50%..

If there’s 3 to an honour offside, you’re down.

If when you lay the A of spades down, an honour drops off side, do you continue with the K for the 2-2 drop or go across to dummy to take the finesse?

If there’s 3 to the QJx onside, double dummy will make the contract, but it takes a brave player to take a 1st round finesse.

At our table the bidding became a bit complicated

1S           2D          3C          Pass

3D          Pass       3NT        Pass

4S           Pass       4NT        Pass

5C          Pass       5D          Pass

6C          Pass       6S           All Pass

The Oppos 2D bid got in the way. My 3Cs should show a 5 card club suit, but I though I would always be able to put us back into spades if that’s where we should be, if partner supported clubs.

Partner’s 3D was asking for more info and 3NT showed my diamond stop. Now when partner bids 4S, I believe he’s got a stronger hand type

4NT is RKCB and 5C shows 0 or 3 key cards, which surely is 3.  Now my only concern is what are we missing in top spade honours.  We can ask for the Q of trumps by bidding the next unbid suit up. My plan was to play in 5S if partner didn’t have the Q.  I bid 5D (bid by opponents but not by us).  My partner didn’t recognise what I meant and bid 6Cs, which I put back to 6 spades. Fortunately it made.



Board 17

We were fortunate in having a bidding misunderstanding without going completely off the rails and still ended up bidding and making 6S. After my 1S opening bid as N we were the only pair that had to contend with a 2D overcall by E  the Frenchman  with 5 points which complicated matters . Alan bid 3C in S and I then had an awkward choice. Supporting clubs might risk ending up in 5C without being able to  explore a slam for fear of going too high. Bidding 3S is an underbid and 4S an overbid so I chose to keep the bidding going by bidding 3D. Alan bid 3NT , I bid 4S , Alan 4NT (RKCB) , 5C my me showing 0 or 3 key cards with  S as trumps . At this point Alan bid 5D and I forgot that under our system that is asking about QS. I was weighing up whether 6C or 6S would be the better contact and elected to bid 6C ( that is far superior to 6S if Alan has only 2 spades and he did have the opportunity to give delayed support over my 3D bid to bid 3S if he had 3 ).  I have now completely confused Alan by giving an impossible reply to his QS enquiry and he  converts to 6S. Fortunately , slightly against the odds the spades break 2-2 and we make it. Those who understand the rule of restricted choice may argue there is  an extra chance  if E had singleton QS or JS because they wold finesse the 2nd round of spades but will realise that they would then go down if E had QJ doubleton.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

readers will realise this is the commentary on the same table from either side!


Last updated : 22nd May 2021 06:27 BST

In contrast this board despite its 32 points is not a straightforward 6NT chance.

indeed neither pair that bid it made 12 tricks.

Once the diamond finesse fails it relies on a squeeze or a correct guess of the spade position

I was worried my lead of JC from South had given the game away but with partner holding the 9C there is no marked finesse.

I just need to hold my clubs.

North is in more trouble trying to hold her 2 clubs, 3 spades and at least a further 3 diamonds, in the end something has to give.

What happened at your table.


On board 25 our Oppos bid to 3NT.  Partner made a safe club ,lead taken by the K. Declarer took the losing diamond finesse. After winning the club return, declarer took the winning spade finesse and then dropped the Q of hearts by playing A, K.  12 tricks now roll in.




Last updated : 22nd May 2021 06:26 BST

This looks like a good candidate for a slam.

surely most would have opened with the south hand and north has 21 points.

No one looked at the grand slam , perhaps in diamonds?

what happened at your table?

Last updated : 15th May 2021 05:31 BST

Well this is a strange one.

On the face of it to make the spade slam you need a club blockage (not sure of the odds), careful play of diamonds to shed one club from west,and a ruffing finesse in hearts to rid the other club.

at our table our opponents didn't go anywhere near the slam and made 11 tricks.

However at 5 tables, folk had a rush of blood and bid it, 2 pairs made it!

what happened at your table?

Rather embarrassed to admit to having placed my partner in this but knowing Alan’s talents and his renowned good fortune, there was a reason - a rather pathetic one but it was a reason!
I couldn’t believe it when Alan opened a S. I nearly punted 6 immediately. Sense reigned for a bit so I bid 2NT (raise to at least 3S) and Alan bid 4 with nothing else to say. 4NT from me brought 5S from partner (2 key cards and QS). Now then..... clearly it was possible for partner to have two Aces and be missing the KS and that would give us a chance. It was unlikely but possible so I decided to give it a bash on the basis that I’d been tempted to try 6S straight away anyway. Told you it was pathetic reasoning.....
How on earth we managed to get that Club split is anyone’s guess and partner then played it perfectly to bring home the bacon. 
Herewith a public apology to Pat and Jackie who were our unlucky oppos. 


Last updated : 7th May 2021 22:23 BST

Another one of those do you, don't you hands. Is 31 points really enough for 6NT

congratulations to those who bid it, not our opposition luckily.

should it be bid?

In my humble opinion the answers to your question is it shouldn’t be attempted. 31 HCP isn’t enough to hunt down a NT slam and you need everything working to make 6 which is very lucky. Our bidding was 2NT (20/22); 3C (puppet stayman); 3NT (no 4 or 5 card maj); 4NT (quantitative inquiry); easy pass. Note the magician Mr Kenny managed to make 7. I attempted the same play as him by leading the QS at one point - our oppos felled it with the Ace but Alan got away with it. As Wilson would say.... ‘dipped in it!’


Last updated : 1st May 2021 06:23 BST

I got this wrong from the start.

Our big bid is 2D but I thought we are not going to play in NT and I can't guarantee game in diamonds or clubs opposite a Yarborough.

it didn't get any better when I had a second chance to bid.

The double is for take out in our system but with the vulnerability I was not unhappy when Natasha passed. A penalty of 800 looked pretty good till you realise the grand slam is cold.

how should it be bid?

I suppose it depends on how partners define their 2C (or 2D if that’s your strongest option). Under normal circumstances, in my book, 2C would be game force OR 23 plus. Bidding would then go....2C; 2D (negative - 0-6 points ie less than an A and a K); 3C; 4C; and then opener has a decision. To my mind the club support is fantastic news. I’m assuming P will have four clubs (otherwise he would have bid another 4 or 5 card suit en route) and therefore its very likely to mean no C losers. 6C SHOULD, therefore, be pretty much nailed on. Since it’s not going to get in the way, I think I would try 4NT after the 4C just to see if partner’s points were invested in AH. I’d then have a little think about giving 7C a try if I got the right response. Could go wrong of course but even if a H wasn’t led you’re very likely to be able to get across in trumps to use it to dump the losing S. As it is the AH is missing so no harm done and you’d default to the 6C contract. On a very bad day it might go off but you only live once.....


Last updated : 1st May 2021 06:22 BST

Do you agree with my thinking on this hand.

The 6NT bid was not just hogging the contract.

With 19 points opposite an opening bid we are clearly in slam territory.

We play 5 card majors.

Even if Natasha is sub minimum for her bid she probably has a 6th spade which may give us 5 tricks.

I am hoping for a lead into one of my red suits which may create the extra trick.

Had Natasha 2 key cards would I have been brave enough to go 7? We will never know.

As the cards lie I need to drop or find KS onside. Slightly better than 50/50. And the same applies if we are in the spade slam.

It would have been easier with a 4th club or diamond in either hand giving extra chances.

Fortune favours the bold?

Or should it not be bid?

What do you think?



Last updated : 24th Apr 2021 06:07 BST

Congratulations to John and Kathryn our first heat winners and qualifiers

A new Bronze star will be awarded to the runners up Phil and Natasha with the possibility of qualifying for the final.

See under Competitions.

Last updated : 22nd Apr 2021 08:03 BST

6D and 6H make by N/S, but we ended up in 6S* by the opposition for 800


Last updated : 17th Apr 2021 08:29 BST


In the unprecedented circumstances of the Pandemic, we have moved Competitons online.

Whilst we have suspended Memberhip as such, we have welcomed many new players to our sessions.

There can be no Prize Giving but we should acknowldge the efforts of all our players adapting to these strange times and in particular the following




Virtual Challenge Trophy - Alan Kenny & Richard Horsley

2020 Thompson Trophy-Stuart Sutton & Barbara Rogers

2021 Individual Tournament- Joint Alan Kenny & Ian Kayes

2020-21 Pairs Tournament-Kathryn & John Shaw

2021 Beaurepaire Plate-Andrew Huskinson & Allan Doyle

2021 Beaurepaire Trophy-Theo Rofer & Terry Roberts

2020-21 Challenge Trophy- Stephen Read & Elaine Coldicott

2020-21 Moss Trophy-John Gould

2020-21 Slam Master-Richard Horsley

2020-21 Averages Leader-Alan Kenny


2019-20 Roxburgh Trophy- Brian & Nora Duffy

2020-21 Roxburgh Trophy - Ronda Sims and Mick Buckley

2020-21 Stepping Stones Challenge-Jill Sykes & Mick Hepworth

Last updated : 17th Apr 2021 08:19 BST
Hand of the Week

This is how we got to the Grand last night.

strictly Natasha should have 4 spades for her bid but her rebid of hearts otherwise didn't seem right.

knowing Natasha had 2 aces and must have some other points in the red suits I assumed she would have either red K which is all I needed for the Grand

What happened at your table?

The bidding at our table was identical to yours ,  which is not often the case !


Last updated : 3rd Apr 2021 08:15 BST

Richard Horsley slipped past Kathryn Shaw last night to win the Slam Master, scoring a grand and a small slam. Ending up on a score of 20 for the truncated year, one more than Kathryn.

 John Gould wins the Moss Trophy after we completed the 6th and final round. Wilson and John had a tremendous last round to slip past Mick Donaldson and Lucy Mellors who are now in second place. Detailed results will be amended shortly under Competitions

Congratulations to Ronda Sims and Mick Buckley this year's Roxburgh Trophy winners. Helen Barrett and Lynda Jetton came second


Last updated : 3rd Apr 2021 08:12 BST

Joan and John bid the heart slam here against us.

luckily I took my AD otherwise they can make all 13 tricks.

what happened at your table

Last updated : 27th Mar 2021 05:54 GMT

Congratulations to Theo and Terry who won our BeauRepaire Final

second were Alan and Richard

Congratulations also to Andrew Huskinson and Allan Doyle who won the BeauRepaire Plate.

Next week we resolve the Moss Trophy and the Slam Master

Last updated : 26th Mar 2021 06:32 GMT

The only slam chance last night.

a little confusion in our bidding sequence.

The 4NT was intended as quantitative, 2H already showing no Ace. I took it as RKCB perhaps interested in specific Kings. It all worked out right in the end.

On a club lead the play was quite straightforward. There seems no scope for a 13th trick so I gave up KC immediately so there was no need to touch hearts.

On a heart lead the correct play is duck QH always keeping a second cover. I am not sure I would have found that play, many didn't.

As the cards lie 6NT is always safe on any lead but it illustrates the point made last week , 6NT even with 32 points is not a walk in the park.

what happened at your table?

Last updated : 19th Mar 2021 21:57 GMT

Congratulations to Kathryn & John Shaw our Annual Pairs Trophy winners.

Retaining their title they won at our last face to face session last March.

Alan & Richard were second 

Next week the BeauRepaire Final & Plate

All welcome but to qualify see below

Last updated : 19th Mar 2021 21:32 GMT

No slams bid and made but this one should have been.

my Mind is a total blank as to how we got to 6D , with me west playing them. Perhaps Natasha can help.

We lost the first trick to AH and there was a switch to Clubs which I won in hand with the Ace.

Decision time.

I can either play for the finesse or hope to drop QS. I decided to play for the drop, worried about a ruff somewhere as the hands were all unbalanced, and played a series of diamonds hoping for a spade discard, no luck so ended up losing 2 tricks. With the spades on show no one is going to drop a vital spade so in the cold light of day I should have taken the finesse.

what happened at your table?


Last updated : 13th Mar 2021 07:01 GMT

32 points but not easy to make 6NT.

Only one pair bid and made it.

You have to get 2 finesses right with presumably no clues from the bidding.

it just shows you do need those extra values in a NT slam.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 6th Mar 2021 06:17 GMT

A cracker of a hand of the week.

Sitting South I could open strong but wanted to show 2 suits.

So fingers crossed, 1C.

With Natasha's hand I would have gone 2S showing a stand alone independent suit (just as well she didn't as we would have ended up in an unmakeable 6S)

After my 3D jump we were always going to end in a slam.

I was not sure what Natasha's 5S meant I had a feeling it was for sign off, but I was not content with that.

We managed to bid 6C,6H and 6NT missing out the only safe slam contract of 6D! 

Luckily Natasha managed to bring 6NT home for a good result.

Other tables were all over the place 7NT,6NT,6S .

No one in the safe 6D

what happened at your table?

  Yes Phil, an excellent hand although I’m not sure why trying to get to difficult slams was so popular apart from the fun of it of course. There doesnt seem any easy way to get to 6D and it could well have been as fraught with problems as any of the other options. Well bid by Linda and Peter who stopped in 4S ... and turns out to be the best contract if you can’t find the Ds. We got lucky in 3NT and made 12 tricks but it wasn’t a bad spot even if we’d just made plus one when compared to the carnage elsewhere. Bidding was: 1c (no problem opening this.....if partner can’t muster a single bid it’s disappointing but you’re not going to want to be in game anyway); 1S from Alan; 2D (I would argue a reverse is sufficient since it’s forcing and conserves bidding space); 2H from Alan (4th suit forcing at this stage). That allowed me to rebid my Ds which should then show 6C and 5D or 5/5 at the very least if I was misbehaving again! Now, at this point Alan knows the huge misfit we’re faced with and opted for 3NT. If I have no S (which is more than possible) I would have 2 hearts so could get over to cash his AKQ of spades (at least). Of course, having made the 12 tricks you wish you’d been in it!! SOK 
Last updated : 27th Feb 2021 06:06 GMT

This was our opponents bidding on this hand.

Difficult to be confident of a slam.

2 pairs went successfully for 6H and one pair made 6NT which does not fare well on an opening club lead.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 20th Feb 2021 08:49 GMT

This hand comes from last weeks stepping stones session.

the computer says you can make 7S,H or indeed NT.

It seems to me that 7NT and 7S rely upon getting the diamonds completely right which is improbable.

7H on the other hand is fairly easy to see and bring home although it looks like the inferior contract.

in practice just 2 pairs bid the small slam.

How should the bidding go?

Last updated : 13th Feb 2021 06:54 GMT

If you look through the scores for hand 8 you will see an unusual entry - 4H by East making 2 tricks ( 8 off)

How did this happen ? I confess I was the architect.

I opened a sub-standard 1S as West and North came in with 3D (weak). My partner bid 4H which was" obviously" a splinter bid.

South passed and I knew that 4H was a splinter but then managed to convince myself that perhaps it was natural and cant be a splinter as N/S have at least 10 hearts between them and not shown any interest. I passed.

Kathryn had the pleasure of playing the hand and duly went 8 down.

At least we weren't doubled ( LOL !!)

The amazing thing was we scored 25%

John S




Last updated : 8th Feb 2021 09:55 GMT

2 pairs lived dangerously on this hand bringing home 6 Spades , although missing 2 Aces.

How often does that happen. I guess the odds are that the Aces are split.

I thought about a slam try but decided against it. Wisely I thought but most pairs ended up with 12 tricks.

What happened at your table?



Last updated : 8th Feb 2021 09:54 GMT

A couple of good slams last night.

I was happy with my bidding as North.

I was tempted to look for the grand slam but the Blackwood system, looking for specific Kings didn't suit, I wanted to find out if Alan had 3 or 4 kings.

So I settled for 6 Spades.

The play was notable for the way that Alan worked patiently away at every suit other than diamonds to give himself a chance to trump the 3rd round of diamonds and set up his 4th diamond as his 13th trick.

Brilliant Alan.

What happened at your table.

Notwithstanding the excellence of Alan’s play which conjured up an extra trick that shouldn’t be there, I support my partner (Mr John Gould) who decided against a slam. Our bidding was the same up to my 3S bid as South. After a long think, John then bid 4S which surely has to be correct especially without the ability to check for the number of Kings given the directed system. I might on have 20 points and with his 9 it isn’t enough for a slam even with his shape. OK I had 21 but it still isn’t enough when there’s plenty of room for me to be missing two (even three Kings on a bad day) or even the K and Q of spades. With the known information I think he’s right not to risk it.
The directed system didn’t help here of course but even if you had been able to find three Kings, south’s hand could still be missing the KQS and have only two trumps. If playing keycard at least one issue would be resolved but it’s still by no means nailed on.


Last updated : 6th Feb 2021 06:41 GMT

Not so happy with my bidding here. Sorry Richard.

Perhaps I should have gone 2H straight away but did not want to use up space,

1S from Richard did not suggest extra values. My 3D was forcing, 3H from Richard suggested 3 card support.

Should have gone further.

How should the bidding have gone?

 Shame about missing this one since it’s pretty much gold plated. I agree that perhaps a better first response would be 2H, setting us immediately on the path to game at least, followed by 3H or, even better, 4D (splinter agreeing H) from me. Should be pretty straightforward then. Even with the 1H response, I think with North’s blockbuster, as soon as South opens there has to be a slam try even if it isn’t quite reached for some reason. Whenever North takes charge with Blackwood, the specific King asking step would find South with KC. There’s a danger that a club lead could find the AQ clubs sitting in the wrong place and the contract is off before it even begins. That would be very unlucky though and with South having opened clubs, such a lead would be unlikely so a slam in H has to be a more than reasonable shout. Never mind though it was all still very good fun..... SOK 
Last updated : 6th Feb 2021 06:40 GMT

Our INDIVIDUAL TOURNAMENT took place on 29 January.

In a first for the club we had a three way tie for the winner all gaining 61%

Joan Crothall, Ian Kayes and Alan Kenny will share the title.


We had some technical glitches during the evening. We think that possibly 2 players were logged in and somehow excluded at the last minute if this happened Apologies.

Can you let us know who you were for future reference.

Our technical team have also had a problem translating the results from BBO to the website. Detailed information may not be available on the website. Hand detail and history are still available via the BBO website

A further problem is that the slams have not automatically been added to the Slam Master competition, see header under this competition, Kathryn Shaw is now in the lead with 19!

Back to normal next week!


Last updated : 6th Feb 2021 06:40 GMT

6 diamonds is the right contract here.

Only one pair got there.

We didn't even get to game I am afraid.

What happened at your table?

Against us Richard opened 1C and Kathryn waded in with 2C showing the majors. I am always in favour of coming in with distributional hands not vulnerable. Do you pass ,bid 2c showing the majors, or make a weak jump overcall of 2S with the East hand ? All 3 bids were found last night. (although most Norths opened 1D and 2D was sometimes bid to show the majors)The resulting auction ended with Malcolm bidding 3NT and I led a heart which allowed Malcolm with good play to make +3 for a poor score for us. If I lead the K of spades Malcolm can duck for 1 round and still make 11 tricks - again poor for us.

6D can make but takes some playing on a spade lead

John S

Regarding Board 1 from Friday night
This was bid against Alan and myself but we defended well and it did not make

Last updated : 30th Jan 2021 07:10 GMT

Handicapped results for the 22nd January now received.

Updated results for the Moss Trophy are under Competitions

Mick Donaldson and Lucy Mellors are leading.

2 Rounds to go.

Last updated : 29th Jan 2021 08:22 GMT

We missed out on the Slam here subsiding into 4H.

Gill ad Tom went the whole hog and bid the grand slam, 7H making.

What hapened at your table?


Just for info, this is how it went for us

South (Tom) with 17HCP and a rebid in clubs opened 1 heart.

North (Gill) with 12 HCP and 5 hearts bid Jacoby 2NT showing game going support in hearts.

South bid 3NT - a limit bid showing mid range hand of 16-18 points and forcing to game

North (would then want to cue bid 4S showing first round control in spades but as this takes the bidding beyond game in hearts) and so is forced to bid 4H, saying I have nothing more to say, as from my hand I can't see a slam.

South now knows that North has only bottom end support 12-15 points but with good shape in south hand bids 4NT Keycard.

North bids 5H showing the missing 2 keycards.

South knows that in addition to the keycards North has another 5 to 7 points (could be 2 kings or a king and 2 queens) so concludes that the contract should either 6 or 7 hearts. Given the shape of south's hand, it is reasonable to go 7H.

As it happens the other points in Norths hand don't help but the shape does.

Fortunately, a club was led which enabled the queen clubs to be captured with the Ace (although the club finesse would have worked).

I took 2 rounds of trumps, the King of clubs and ruffing another club leaves the 10 clubs and the 13th club as masters to drop Norths 2 losing diamonds.

Surprised nobody else had a go.

Cheers Tom

Last updated : 23rd Jan 2021 06:22 GMT

Congraulations to John & Kathryn, one of our most consistent pairs, who sealed their entry to the BeauRepaire final with their fine win on 15 January.

Alistair and Roger came second but are not eligible for our final.

A Silver Star has been awarded to Alan Kenny & Richard Horsley who have twice just missed out by a whisker on the usual 60%

One nore chance to qualify on 19 February.

Last updated : 20th Jan 2021 16:35 GMT

I think this was our bidding.

No one found the diamond slam. 
How should the bidding go?

What happened at your table?

I opened 1D . This was followed by a 1H overcall. Partner Alan bid 2H which promised diamond support and a willingness to play to at least the 3 level. Opposition bid 4H and I bid 5D which ended the bidding. A high heart would always be led so making 6D needs the KD with the leading player. If the singleton KD was with his partner you would probably still lose to it.


Last updated : 16th Jan 2021 07:41 GMT

2D is game forcing.

3H shows AH (and no other ace)

Blackwood was belt and braces, once she saw AH Natasha was always going to play in 6NTto protect KS.

In fact 6NT only makes with a it of help from our friends.

6H is a better contract , reached by David and Iris, presumably with a different sequence.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 9th Jan 2021 06:57 GMT

Dear Fellow Bridge Players

What an extraordinary unpredictable year we have had. I hope throughout this bizarre time you have managed to keep healthy, safe and busy.

As things stand I cannot see that Belper Bridge Club will be returning to normal face-to-face Bridge anytime soon, although maybe spring and summer might bring us hope of retuning to some form of normality.

This year we have not been able to proceed with our normal Club business such as the AGM and all that it entails. This will have to wait till another date.

However, during this paradigm shift the Club has managed to establish a successful and flourishing Virtual Belper Bridge Club on Wednesday afternoons and Friday evenings. I hope this, for a few hours a week, keeps you occupied, interested and most of all in touch with your friends. Perhaps when playing Bridge we can forget the troubles of the world and relax (or not) in front of our screens.

Let us all hope and wish that the New Year will bring us better, safer and happier days.

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a good normal New Year

Belper Bridge Club Chair

Natasha Romaine

Last updated : 7th Jan 2021 09:53 GMT

Congratulations to all who did well in the December BeauRepaire heat.

Full details under Competitions.

John Hopkinson & Phil Hudson gained the gold star.

A number of Silver stars also awarded.

Those with 2 or more Silver stars will also gain automatic entry to the final in March.

Last updated : 21st Dec 2020 16:01 GMT

Lots of slams last night but not many bid as 'scientifically' as we did on this one.

if AC is not led then the loser disappears and we make 13 , in this case for a top

Anyone suggest a more scientific bidding sequence?

Well, we didn't find the slam, but if you want a more scientific sequence, how about:

1S                                                                                3D (jump shift showing 16+pts)

4S (the jump showing a long solid spade suit)    4NT (RKCB in case partner has AC as well)

5S (2 key cards and the Q of trumps - so showing what was already promises and no ACs)  6S

Alan Kenny

To offer an answer to your question, I would have thought south could afford to respond 4NT to check the key card position. Who knows, you might get a surprising answer showing three key cards (AK Spades and A Clubs) and then with south’s hand you’d be pretty confident (not certain of course) that 7S would be on.
With us the bidding was entirely different in that our oppos made the rather surprising opening bid of 1C (!). Sitting north, I overcalled 4S and, of course, East very reasonably went 5C. Now, my partner has a decision to make....he went for 5S and that was passed out. No club lead and we duly made 7 but not a brilliant result. We agreed afterwards that partner could have reasoned that 6S would be likely to make. My difficulty was, when the 5S came round to me, I wasn’t entirely sure who was trying to kid who in the auction so couldn’t really do anything but leave it!
‘Twas ever thus....

We bid the hand 4D -4NT    5D - 6S

Have we gone mad? Well quite probably. The 4D bid showed a "good" 4S opener generally very good spades and could have an outside ace. Usually 8+ tricks.

The idea here is that a 4S opener shows a weaker hand something like

S KJ10xxxxx H x D Qx C xx

so usually partner doesnt get too excited.

Similarly opening 4C shows a good heart hand and 4H opener weaker hand

This convention goes by the weird name of NAMYATS. Why is it stayman backwards ? I dont know as its nothing to do with Stayman.

Its also called South African Texas after some American who got lost.

Last night that meant South played the hand and of course the AC was led and the overtrick disappeared.

Well you can't win em all.

John S

Referring to Alan’s possible sequence of 4S showing a solid suit followed by 4NT as RKCB , when I play with John Griffin he maintains that if a solid suit has been shown , then any response to RKCB should ignore the key cards you have already shown in your solid suit. In the hand shown it makes no difference but suppose you showed a solid heart suit and had no other outside key cards , then you would have to reply 5S when that might be too high.

Obviously not something to adopt without careful partnership discussion.





Last updated : 19th Dec 2020 06:17 GMT

No slams this week.

Check out this little stinker.

Natashas 1S is standard, I chose a 1NT response as the least of the evils.

Natasha left it , which I don't quarrel with and I made 6 tricks for a poor result.

Several tables did the same, then the rest are all over the place. 
Someone managed to land in 2C N/S for a good result but how did they get there?

How do you think the bidding should go?

Last updated : 12th Dec 2020 08:27 GMT

It was not our night last night.

Natasha decided to bid 3H over 2NT with the north hand and I joined in over the 3NT.

We paid the penalty.

5 tricks made for -1100

Of course if everyone had bid the slam , in diamonds,clubs or No trumps our sacrifice would have given us a top!

Congratulations to the 2 pairs that did.

How did the bidding go on your table?



Last updated : 5th Dec 2020 06:08 GMT

Several pairs managed to find 6D on this hand but it seems to me it relies on a favourable outcome in spades.

Good odds for a slam?

On the other hand 5D can often be a poor contract if 3NT is making with overtricks?

What happened at your table?

The bidding at our table was

E            S             N            W

2D [1]   Pass       2S [2]     3C

3D         Pass       5D           Pass


[1] 8 playing tricks in an unnamed suit or some big balanced hand

[2] positive but saying nothing about spades (promises at least an Ace and a King)


On the lead of a club, I played the 8.  West went up with the Ace (!) and then tried to cash the King, which I ruffed. Slam made


As you say, the slam needs things going for it.  In this case the Q of spades falls doubleton. I should point out, though, that on the layout of the suits (and on a club lead), if you swap the 10 and Q of spades around, the slam still makes on a squeeze.





Last updated : 28th Nov 2020 06:19 GMT

I pop this hand in from the Stepping Stones session on Wednesday.

I could not believe that more did not bid the Grand Slam.

Karen (a conservative bidder) seemed to be showing me 9 possibly 10 tricks in her own hand and I have 3 Aces and a King.

Doesn't take a rocket scientist.

Surely everyone must open the West hand with a strong bid of some kind?


Any thoughts?

Last updated : 28th Nov 2020 06:19 GMT

Our substitute friends made short work of the bidding on this hand. Not surprising with 15 tricks off the top.

Disappointingly for us only 2 pairs went for the optimum contract!

How did the bidding go at your table?

My fault on this one

1H 3D (game force, slam interest)

3S (a reverse) 4NT (RKCB)

5C (0 or 3 key cards) Now here I went wrong. It must be 3 key cards with the reverse, and I should go on with 5NT. Howver in case it was 0 key cards, I bid 5D saying bid slam if you've got 3 key card otherwise pass.  

Partner now bid 5S In my mind I was still unsure whether this showed 3 key cards so bid 5NT

Partner now bid 6H. By now I was jus happy to reach a slam, so passed. Oh dear.


Last updated : 21st Nov 2020 06:55 GMT

This was our bidding.

2 pairs managed to find the heart slam.

how did the bidding go at your table?

Last updated : 14th Nov 2020 06:42 GMT
Roxburgh Shield
Roxburgh Shield

Designed for intermediate players our first Roxburgh Shield took place on 28 October at 2pm

Brian and Nora Duffy had an excellent afternoon finishing with 64.5% and become our first holders.

Apologies to those who didn't manage to play because of technical difficulties.

The next Roxburgh shield is scheduled for 31 March.



Last updated : 7th Nov 2020 06:31 GMT

30 October was our first online Thompson Trophy.

Congratulations to Stuart Sutton and Barbara Rogers our winners

Davdi and Julie Lashley came second with David Tyers and Iris White third.


Last updated : 7th Nov 2020 06:31 GMT

Most pairs found the 6H bid on Hand 26, although my agricultural bidding had Natasha in consternation.

Only our winners Stuart and Barbara found the 6H on this hand.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 7th Nov 2020 06:28 GMT

How, I am sure you are asking yourselves, did we end up in 7H.

Well I had a brainstorm. On Natasha's rebid jump we clearly were heading towards a slam.

If she has both minor suit aces and QH then 7H must be on. When Natasha responded RKCB with 2 aces plus QH then I thought that's it.

What did I forget - A of trumps!

Interestingly on any lead other than diamonds 13 tricks can be made for a top. Wouldnt that have been a suprise!

Of course with abundance of tricks and to protect KD, 6NT should be the right resting place but how do I know which Aces Natasha has? If she does not have AC, 6NT could be very embarrrassing ( equal only to bidding 7H with an Ace missing!)

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 31st Oct 2020 06:11 GMT

23 October was the second round of this year's Moss Trophy. Post event scores have been handicapped based on your NGS rankings. See under results.

Your best 5 results through to next March will be averaged to establish our winners. The current position after 2 rounds is shown under competitons

Last updated : 28th Oct 2020 18:15 GMT

Fortune continues to favour the bold.

I was unconvinced by my 3C bid, although vulnerable it would be on the strong side.

Natasha felt, and I agree that 3NT should be the right home.

Congratulations to the 2 pairs who successfully brought home 6C.

You need KC to be onside but 3NT is difficult if KC is offside and held up.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 24th Oct 2020 05:58 GMT

I expect many tables had something along these lines as bidding.

On a spade lead we were held to 11 tricks.

If south declares in 3NT a heart lead brings at least 12 if not 13 tricks?

Some bid and made 6D but it seems to me they should struggle against best defence

What happened at your table?

 I can’t see 12 or 13 tricks on a H lead if South is in 3NT. I think the defence should still get two tricks if they play it right. A Spade lead from west will get South to 12 tricks though. Against us the vagaries of bridge damaged our oppos. Kathryn bid the correct contract, played it perfectly and still only got 27 percent for her troubles. Hardly seems fair! SOK 
Last updated : 17th Oct 2020 06:49 BST

A slam going begging here.

how should it be bid?

the wonders if modern science this is being updated on a ferry. Not tried to edit.



You might want to edit this down a bit!


2 bidding sequences depending on whether West opens or not


If West opens 1 heart (only 10 pts but a nice hand nevertheless), then I think East is bound to go to a slam. 

Various options here.  

a) East can bid 4NT (Roman Key card Blackwood). A 5H reply would show 2 key cards (perforce the A & K of hearts) without the Q of trumps. East could bid a straight 6 hearts here, but that would rule out the possibility of a grand slam if West is stronger. So E could try 5NT asking for Ks. This gets the 6C reply showing none, so sign off in 6 hearts.

b) If playing Jacoby, bid 2NT to show a good raise to at least 3 hearts. Even if partner signs off in 3 hearts, you would still go on to slam. The problem is if partner is strong he would take control and never realise how strong you are and perhaps miss a grand slam

c) a temporising bid of2 clubs waiting for partner to show more info.  When he bids 2 diamonds you can bid 4NT (now asking with Diamonds as trumps). Partner now shows only 1 key card.  So it looks like you have a loser, so bid 6Hearts 

d) east bids 3 spades, a splinter agreeing hearts. Don't think this gets you any further forward and again risks partner taking control


If West passes. then East opens, his opening would depend on the system agreement and could be 1C, 1D or 1H.

a) 1H.  I think west should now bid 4C, a splinter agreeing hearts.  East now asks with 4NT and, after partner shows 2 key cards, bid 6H. As partner hasn't opened, then a grand slam doesn't seem to be on.

b) 1D (my systemic bid).  West will bid 1H. Now it's difficult as West could be quite weak. So going straight to 4NT is perhaps over bold. A jump to 4H is likely to be passed, even though West knows he's got a double fit in diamonds and hearts. Instead east could try a splinter with 3S (even though he's got the Ace, but I still think West will sign off in 4H.

c) 1C. Again I think West will bid 1H. West won't know about the double fit, so even less likely to be encouraged to go on with the options in b)







Last updated : 10th Oct 2020 08:38 BST

We keep missing the slams!

I valued this South hand at 9 tricks so opened with 2C rather than our game forcing 2D.

I can't fault Natasha's bidding when she knows I have 9 tricks she thinks she can add 2 tricks not 3.

Even if I had opened 2C game forcing and Natasha showed me AC it would still have been a guess as to whether I bid the slam.

Some pairs got there though and Richard and Alan went one better with 6NT. How do you make that?

What happened at your table?

 I was leaving this to Alan since he bid the 6NT. He started with our 8PT or strong balanced opening of 2D. Now, in our system, my 2S response was simply a positive relay saying nothing in particular about spades. 3S from Alan showing his suit and 4S from me since I’m minimum. Alan bid 4NT - finding me with one Ace - and because our system meant I would be the one playing in Spades, he neatly bid 6NT as a protection against a lead through either of his Kings. Since I had values for at least an Ace and a King the KH was pretty nailed on. Of course it still needs the missing Ace to be in the right place if West makes a passive lead but it was and so 6 makes comfortably. In the actual play west led a D so the contract was claimed immediately after the AD won. Just occasionally partner knows what he’s doing...... SOK
Last updated : 3rd Oct 2020 06:17 BST

From September we have recommenced all our usual competitions albeit in a virtual format.

See Competitions for full details

Congratulations to Theo Rofer and Terry Roberts who won our first BeauRepaire heat on 18 September they automatically qualify for the March final.

Stephan Read and Elaine Coldicott, Ian Roxburgh and Tim Hallam scored over 60%, earning silver stars and the possibility of qualifying.

25 September brings the first round of the MossTrophy. all can play, handicapped scores adjusted for NGS rankings will be carried forward through the year.

Last updated : 1st Oct 2020 09:07 BST

We missed this slam. I expect our bidding, shown, was replicated at many tables.

Congratulations to the 2 pairs who bid it. Needing a good spade outcome.

Fortune favours the bold!

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 26th Sep 2020 06:14 BST

Lots of slams around last night.

Ian Roxburgh has slipped into the lead in the Slamaster Trophy after his grand slam (lucky with the finesse!)

I have chosen this stinker as the hand of the week.

I really can't blame Natasha for stretching a point or two for her 2D. 
Perhaps you should never bid 3NT with a void - I certainly regretted it and felt lucky to get away with 1 down.

6D can make but how do you bid it?

What happened at your table?

Our bidding went

1H                                                   1NT (not enough points to bid at the 2 level)

2S (a reverse showing 16+ pts)  3D
3NT (hating diamonds)                4D

pass (Don't have the nerve to raise to 5 , let alone 6, with a void)


Fortunately it was enough to score 50% on the board





Last updated : 19th Sep 2020 06:19 BST

Most pairs managed to find the spade slam on this hand but not at our table.

What happened at yours?

Interesting hand. With us, Alan decided to discount his singleton JH and open a weak 2S (he could easily have opted for a 1S opening as some pairs did). I made a 2NT Ogust inquiry and when Alan showed good points and a poor Spade suit (not a surprise given my holding!) I pushed on. After 4NT found Alan with only one Ace, I left it at 5S. We were trumped bound and with my H holding you might not even make 5 if Alan also had 3 small Hearts. 
With a 1S opening there would be ways to make a better stab especially if one was playing a system to show first or second round control cue bids. Looking at some of the other bidding sequences however it seems Blackwood was popular, and then you have the same dilemma. 
Fortune favours the brave punt but I’m sorry to say I shied away from it. 


Last updated : 12th Sep 2020 06:36 BST

Some of you have been asking how tables are allocated.

Apparently the machine simply takes pairs in the order in which they log on.

If you run out of time on a hand the machine will try to award a result if the position is totally clear eg, just a couple of cards to go.

If this does not happen then the machine initially awards 50/50 but the TD will then review this and award a fair result. So there is no advantage in "running out the clock".

When the TD adjusts he will then inform both pairs of the revised result

Last updated : 7th Sep 2020 10:04 BST

No slams last last night but this looked like an interesting hand.

Only 24 points but a double fit, always useful.

Best played in 4 spades in match pointing, you can afford the KS to be offside and still make.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 5th Sep 2020 08:02 BST

Feedback has suggested people prefer 7 minutes a hand to 8 minutes by almost 2 to 1

It also enables us to play 26 or 27 boards instead of 24 when this provides a more balanced movement.

We will continue with this at the present time.

Last updated : 29th Aug 2020 06:31 BST

Julie & David ,Mike & Lucy were the only pairs to find this E/W slam last night.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 29th Aug 2020 06:24 BST

Several pairs found the spade slam on this hand.

The trick is to identify the Heart shortage, perhaps a splinter bid?

I missed this week so I need input into how the hand should be bid.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 22nd Aug 2020 06:44 BST

Our virtual bridge sessions start at 6.30pm every Friday and 2.00 pm every Wednesday.

If you have already played in one of our sessions you will be automatically eligible to log in for future sessions.  Log in any time from 2 hours before the session starts.

Results for the night will be posted on the website as soon as possible and will count for NGS and Master Point purposes. 

To add a little extra fun we will have Virtual Slammaster and Challenge Trophy Competitions going as well. Look under Competitions

These are really friendly sessions. Introduce yourselves at the begining of the round and ‘chat’ if you have spare time. 

Last updated : 22nd Aug 2020 06:44 BST

This hand has been suggested by Malcolm.

His commentary follows.

Anyone can suggest a hand if the week and I will include.

you don't have to provide commentary.

I do not know if it is too late to include a second hand of the week but I think hand 23 is very interesting and shows off the skills of the N/S winners. It is surprising how few bid a slam despite having 32 points and controls in every suit. If you could look at both the N and S hands I think you would like to be in 6D if playing teams but 6NT if playing pairs as all it requires for that  is a 3-2 break in clubs to make. The N/S winners were in 6NT and managed to make despite the 4-1 club break. They tested the clubs early and after playing 2 rounds and finding the 4-1 break played off their spade and diamonds and backed their judgment that W had come down to CJx and HKx. When AH was played and W did not throw away his KH to avoid being endplayed then the contract was brought home by playing another heart.


Last updated : 22nd Aug 2020 06:43 BST


If you are interested in playing bridge either on Wednesday afternoon or Friday evening but have not got a partner, the BBO site has a facility called “Partnership Desk”.

The option is open only to those peope who are on the Belper players list and becomes available 2 hours before the game starts.

Log on to BBO and find the session in the same way as you would if you had a partner, you will be given the option of “Partnership Desk” on the top bar. Click and add your user name. Now wait and see if anyone else is looking for a partner.

More information:

Last updated : 15th Aug 2020 16:32 BST

I thought this more interesting than the pretty much universal slam bid by east wests on board 11

On a spade lead the machine says you should be restricted to 10 tricks whatever the contract.

I will not quarrel with Natasha's removal to 5C, I actually think I might have gone 6H?

I contemplated 6C knowing that 5C was not likely to be a good result but those 2 diamonds stared me in the face and said keep quiet!

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 15th Aug 2020 07:02 BST

Just for once we got something right.

My 2NT showed Natasha 2 aces.

Our version of RKCB does not contain a continuation to ask for QH in this sequence so I just went for it.

I guess I expected a slightly stronger hand from Natasha and probably an extra heart, Bidding the grand with. 10 card fit without QH would seem odds on. With only 9 cards it is perhaps not such a good bid?

anyway this time it worked.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 8th Aug 2020 06:53 BST

We played this hand against our subs, including our TD.

3D was alerted as a very powerful hand.

the 3NT was a very courageous bid by Jonathan giving them a top.

Everyone else ended up in a part score although 7C can make.

What happened at your table?


Last updated : 1st Aug 2020 08:09 BST

Virtually everyone ended up in 4H.

Who would have thought it mattered so much who bid Hearts first.

Natasha had no clue on the opening lead and chose QS, I would have done the same.

Suddenly my AK Clubs we're worthless! And a poor result ensued. The start of our slide from a good start.

What happened at your table?



Last updated : 25th Jul 2020 06:27 BST


Virtually everyone got to the East West slam on this hand.

Sitting as south I had to choose the opening lead.

it seemed imperative not to give anything away ie. passive defence.

So not to lead from either Queen. The opposition had not explored a spade fit so a spade, six , second from rubbish, was my answer.

Not unreasonably declarer took the finesse immediately hoping I had QS. Not so.

The slam can still be made by taking the heart finesse the wrong way round but this is counter intuitive. So eventually I ended up making QH as well, one down.

What happened at your table?

Someone made 6NT even with a 6S lead.

You’re not usually associated with being passive Phil!

The same start at our table, losing to QS. Partner tried to see if he could test out how things were breaking but things were too flat all the way round. He ended up two off After taking the H finesse losing to the Q. 

Perhaps I should have been more passive with my bidding!

SOK (currently never sitting out at all!)


I had an easy ride on this.  I was in 6NT by West:

E  -   W

1H - 2NT (balanced 16-18 pts)

6NT - pass

North led a heart from his 4 to the 8.  South went up with the Q and I made the Ace. Crossed to a heart in dummy and ran the J of spades which lost.  On the heart return, I claimed the remaining tricks. This wasn't accepted, so I played the K&J of heats throwing 2 clubs, cashed the 10 of spades and claimed again, which was accepted.




Last updated : 18th Jul 2020 07:51 BST

Another slam passes us by although not everyone made it.

Not sure what is the safest way to guarantee 12 tricks.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 11th Jul 2020 06:47 BST

Our bidding does not fully reflect these extreme hands.

results ranging from 5S making to 6C doubled making.

What happened at your table?

At our table the bidding went

W   N   E   S

3C 3S 4C 4S
5C 5S

I did consider doubling 5C and I would have certainly doubled 6C, and suffered the same fate as the rest who doubled it.

In 5S, E led the A of clubs, followed by a second club, which gave me a ruff and discard, allowing the contract to make.  One off is still a good score.

The "optimum" score for the board is 6S dbled, -2. Not surprisingly, no-one finished in that. 




Last updated : 3rd Jul 2020 22:02 BST

No slams last night.

Our opponents were not the only ones to be in the unfortunate contract of 2S dbled by West. Which not suprisingly did not fare well.

i was spitting teeth when partner passed the double, I should have trusted her.

what happened at your table?

Last updated : 27th Jun 2020 08:23 BST
The Gnomes
The Gnomes

Chatting over the garden wall

Last updated : 21st Jun 2020 10:11 BST

This was Tom and Gill’s bidding last night. 3C showed slam interest but they settled for 3NT.

Despite 32 points the slam relies on the club’s splitting and a non diamond lead so probably not a good bid.

Yet many bid it. On lead, the choice was between spades and diamonds. I would usually choose the major with no stayman type interest shown by the opposition. I also had Gill’s diamond bid so choose 8S as so many did.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 20th Jun 2020 06:54 BST

A slam chance for east west.

Someone had a go at 7S which the computer says can make.

6NT is a good bid but 6S feels safer.

What happened at your table?

Playing with Kathryn our bidding was 1D , 2S , 2NT , 3NT , 6NT

Regards Malcolm

Last updated : 13th Jun 2020 06:36 BST

we missed several slams last night.

we didn’t manage to get to game on this one!

Well done the 2 pairs that could see the slam potential

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 6th Jun 2020 07:39 BST

Again no slams.

We rode our luck a bit last night.

Here is a good example.

3S is a bit of an overbid here but there clearly seemed to be a game on.

having found our fit 4NT seemed obligatory. Natasha gave me nil point , I thought I could convey that my hearts were much longer than my Spades with the 5H bid which Natasha could remove.

Most ended up in the heart game with mixed results.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 30th May 2020 06:29 BST

Until we can resume our normal Bridge sessions we are proposing to continue with the virtual bridge on Fridays at 6.30 and perhaps developing it even further.

Last Friday’s session was free for all the participants. However, from Friday 22 May the players will need to pay “table money” to cover the club's costs.

You will need an account with BBO and $4 ( £3.50) for our first paid session on 22 May - see below for details

Hope to “see” you all on Friday 22 May.

Last updated : 23rd May 2020 06:28 BST

No slams last night, but this was an interesting hand.

Not sure on our precise bidding but Bernie bid 4S and I took the bold step of going 5H, ending up 1 down for a good result.

Some made 13 tricks in Spades , if there is not a diamond lead.

What happened at your table?

 I made 13 tricks on a heart lead, as we were vulnerable I would have been pushed to 5  but not 6 - as you said a diamond lead would have gone down 2. Jill
Last updated : 23rd May 2020 06:27 BST

Playing bridge on BBO

Last updated : 21st May 2020 09:20 BST

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your appreciative, encouraging and positive comments about our first session of Virtual Belper Bridge Club.

From your response it appears that those of you who turned up to play, as they said they would, had a good and enjoyable night.

Until we can resume our normal Bridge sessions we are proposing to continue with this format on Fridays and perhaps developing it even further.

Last Friday’s session was free for all the participants. However, from next week the players will need to pay “table money” to cover the club's costs.

You will need an account with BBO and $4 ( £3.50) for our first paid session on 22 May - see below for details

Hope to “see” you all and more next Friday 22 May.

Last updated : 21st May 2020 09:11 BST


Intend to LAUNCH on FRIDAY 15 May 6.30 pm

All those interested and committed to play on the 15 May, please provide me with:  real name; EBU number; BBO user name; mobile numbers by

4 pm Thursday 14 May please.

This is our first foray as a club into the virtual unknown.

First and foremost it is intended to be fun.

We will have an official TD provided by the EBU who will help if there are difficulties.

Bear in mind some of our participants have very little online bridge experience, so be understanding.

For this first tournament we are not asking for any payment. We will come up with a suitable mechanism for future events.

Once you have signed up with Natasha you should treat your commitment as fixed , like any of our other pre-booked events. If you have to make changes try to give us as much notice as possible.

We will be using a standard 2 winner movement.

We are going to allow 9 minutes per hand to start with. Speeding up as we gain experience.

Depending on table numbers we will not try for a huge number of completed boards may be 18-21 which should mean a finish about 9.30 certainly by 10pm.

If you get into a mess with an individual hand just do your best and move on.

This is not a serious competition.

We do not intend to issue Master points or use for NGS purposes, again this will change for the future.

There is a chat facility at the bottom left of the screen. Please use this to “talk” to fellow members who you may not have “seen” for some time.

Please be discrete with any comments about the hands just like you would at the table.

We should be able to post results and the hands to the website after the event.

Please give us some post event feedback so we can test reaction and modify future events as appropriate.

Any further help contact

Click on VIRTUAL CLUB title above for precise log in instructions

Last updated : 16th May 2020 13:24 BST


What does the last double mean in each of these sequences?

1 Pass-1D-Pass-1S-Dble

2 2C-Dble

3 Pass-3H-Dble-4H-Dble

4 1NT-Pass-2C-Dble

5 1H-Pass-3H-Dble

I have received 2 helpful and broadly agreeing responses as follows

From Mick

As ever these things depend on partnership agreements, but playing with Jill I would assume the following:

1 Pass-1D-Pass-1S-Dble

Happy to compete in either of the unbid suits.

2 2C-Dble

No partnership agreement!

3 Pass-3H-Dble-4H-Dble


4 1NT-Pass-2C-Dble

Suggesting a club lead.

5 1H-Pass-3H-Dble


I hope Jill would agree!!!

From Alan Kenny

1 Pass-1D-Pass-1S-Dble
I’d take the dble for take out.  I’d expect the shape to be at least 5-4 in the other 2 suits with opening values.  If instead of double they bid 2NT (or 2D if you prefer) that would also be the other two suits but showing at least 5-5, but could be weaker in points than a double.

2 2C-Dble
It depends what the 2C bid is.  If the 2C is an ACOL or Benji, 2C, then I’d take the double as showing clubs.  However some people play the Truscott defence over an ACOL 2C.  Depending on the details of the agreement it would be showing either clubs and hearts or diamonds and spades with 2NT showing the other of the pair.  If the 2C is a Precision 2C, which promises clubs, then the double is for take out.

3 Pass-3H-Dble-4H-Dble
I’d play this for penalties.

4 1NT-Pass-2C-Dble
Assuming the 2C is Stayman, then the double shows clubs. In the unlikely event that it’s showing clubs, then the double would be for takeout

5 1H-Pass-3H-Dble
I’d play this for takeout.  As a side comment, it might be worth checking what the 3H bid promises. In traditional ACOL it shows 10-12 points with 4 card support, but if the opposition is playing a Jacoby 2NT, then the 3H bid may be weaker

I am not sure it needs much further commentry.

If in doubt you can usually sort out whether a bid is for take out or penalty from first principles.

Low bids doubled are rarely for penalty.

If the doubled bid is artificial then the double is often lead directing and could be left in in the unlikely event that another bid from the opposition is not forthcoming

Any more comments?

In the first example I tend to be be a little bit more aggressive than Alan and my double could be 4-4 in the unbid suits and as little as 10 HCP  , whether a passed hand or not. In the example shown it is by a passed hand so would therefore not usually have the values of an opening hand. As always , vulnerability needs to be taken in to account.


  Phil, try these 1) tell me your better suit, C or H 2) with Jenny, 2C means 23+ points, so Dble is most unlikely, but presumably says tell me your best suit, I have some strength 3) Dble after pre empt, happy in any suit except H, tell me your best one. Sec9nd Dble by partner is for penalties 4) After NT bid, usually for penalties 5) I have some strength, happy in any suit other than H, let’s try and find a fit, tell me your best suit. I haven’t looked at the other answers yet Cheers Peter
Last updated : 15th May 2020 14:57 BST


To play in VBBC (Virtual Belper Bridge Club) on Friday 15 may at 6.30 pm I will require following information:

to be received by 4pmThursday 14 May

Name: required

BBO user name : required

EBU No,: required

Mobile No.: optional


Last updated : 14th May 2020 22:50 BST


Nb You need to agree your system with your partner.


Normally the doubling of a suit contract at a low level is asking your partner to bid – a TAKEOUT DOUBLE.

It is normally made with around the points to open and often indicates a shortage in the opponents bid suit. The important thing is to know what you will do when your partner bids ie you can cope with any bid, always assume that partner will bid your weakest suit.

It is very rare for partner to leave the double in, and almost always a mistake.

Given you have to bid even with no points, if you have a good hand 8 or more points you need to jump in response other wise game may be missed.

If the opponents make a second bid partner is not obliged to bid and will pass with a weak hand.

Note even if you have a one suited hand , if you have good points, 15 or more it is best to double first and then bid your suit so partner can differentiate this from a hand you might make a simple or jump overcall on with limited points

Systems vary about doubling higher suit bids , usually preemptive.

A simple rule might be that any bid of a suit 2S or lower is for takeout.

A double of a preemptive bid below game is for takeout.

A double of a preemptive bid at game level is for penalties.


This is not normally for takeout but is made primarily for penalties with say 16 points or more.

NB If your partner doubles 1NT and you are very weak – 0-4 points you must take out the double by bidding your longest suit.

Last updated : 8th May 2020 09:03 BST

Today (Friday 24 April 2020) we would have been having our 53nd AGM with all its razzmatazz and excitement smiley, various proposals to vote on, election of committee members and officers, presenting reports etc. However, all this will now have to wait for another date.

The club has had quite a turbulent year!  We had to move out of our old premises, that had been Belper Bridge Club’s home for many years, at short notice and find new premises rapidly.

Our new home now is Strutts Community Centre. After a turbulent start and many teething problems we seemed to have been heading towards a comfortable and settled bridge playing venue. And then of course: WHAM !!!.

Please keep in touch with one another for support and friendship and keep playing bridge. I hear playing bridge on line, although not the same, is fun.

I would like to thank the Committee Members and all the members of the Belper Bridge Club for their support, help and patience during this past 12 months.

I wish you all good health and hope to meet you all again, face to face, sooner rather than later.

Keep well and safe

Natasha Romaine


Belper Bridge Club

P.S. Phil has prepared a “Roll of Honour” for the Club’s 2019/20 achievements and this is now displayed for you to view. The actual Trophies and Plates are, at the moment, stored away.

Last updated : 1st May 2020 13:59 BST


The first in an occasional series of more technical notes.

Please feel free to contribute and give feedback if this item is welcome or useful

Ever heard of borrowing a king?

Also know as “balancing” I think.

Assume for example you are sitting North , East opens a weak 1NT and there are 2 passes, should you bid?

Let’s assume you have no artificial defence available and you are not strong enough to double or bid on your own. Let’s say you have 10 points

Yet you know that on average the opposition will have may be 18 points between them . West will have between 0- 11 points.

Your partner will have on average 12 points.

In this situation , borrow a king, 3 points and see whether you feel like bidding, quality of suit is important here but with an artificial 13 points you may often feel like bidding.

As partner of a player in this “balancing” situation , South in the illustration, you have to be careful. Knock a  King off mentally to measure your response.

The same applies in the situation , 1of a suit followed by 2 passes, but bear in mind there is a bigger point range for opener and you may be reopening and giving  him or her a second bite at the cherry.

19 April

Last updated : 30th Apr 2020 09:15 BST

Do me a favour. Take a few minutes off from playing online bridge. Love Games, Best Games, Games To Play, Play Bridge, Bridge Game, Cool Games Online, Play Online, Dragon Games, Charades

Last updated : 23rd Apr 2020 22:42 BST

Malcolm Young contribution





































Replace the question marks by each of the remaining digits 1-9 in this grid to make the sums work. You have been given digits 7 and 9 to start you off.

Peter has it already and so has Mick

17 April

Answers to:

Last updated : 20th Apr 2020 09:45 BST

Angie's contribution

Puzzle 1 : January =717;   February = 8216;  March = 5315;  May 3515;  June = 4624;  April = 5420 (number of letters in the month X order of the month)

Puzzle 21234 = 0;  6213 = 6;  2155 =1;  5424 = 3;  9274 = 4 (the difference between the sum of middle and extreme numbers)

16 April

Answers to:

Last updated : 17th Apr 2020 13:56 BST


1 shoe = 5

1 man = 5

1 cone = 2

If you look carefully at the man in last row he is now wearing shoes and carrying 2 cone. (may be specsavers)

Therefore the last row is:

1 shoe + [(1 man + 2 shoes + 2 cones)] x 2   

that is   

 5 + [(5 + 10 + 4)] x 2 = 43

Angie Matan Puzzle

11 April

Answers to:

Last updated : 13th Apr 2020 16:53 BST

Angela and Craig want to know how to bid this hand to arrive at the best contract.

The simplest way to bid this hand would be 1NT by N raised to 3NT by S. Whatever is led you can play the 9 winning tricks on top and when the Q doubleton drops you make 3 overtricks.

Although in theory you can always make 12 tricks if you take the right view you would never bid the slam with so few points.


7 April

Yes the contract should be 3NT but if as Malcolm suggests N takes the first 7 tricks then plays the A Clubs then a small Club Yes the Q will drop and be won by S with the K but S can't get back to N to play the rest of the Clubs and will only make 11 tricks.  N can't try a Club finess once their other winners  have been taken because of the same problem. Ian Roxburgh

10 April

If you are in 3NT and have found diamonds to split 3-2 giving you 7 tricks from AS , AH and 5 diamonds you only need 2 club tricks in order to make a total of 9 and do not need to risk a finesse. At that stage the best way to play the clubs is to play KC then JC ( with no intention of running it but planning to play AC on it even if not covered by QC ). As the cards lie you make 12 tricks when the Q drops - on another day you might make 12 tricks because JC is covered by a hand holding Q to 3 clubs. Malcolm

11 April




Last updated : 13th Apr 2020 16:48 BST





In the absence of ‘live’ bridge I thought I would continue with our discussions from last week about bidding big hands.

The first hand we looked at was

                                    S          AK62

                                    H         KQJ8

                                    D         AK

                                    C         K96

I think most people would bid this with their strongest bid (let’s call it 2C)

This is not free from doubt as you could downgrade it slightly and bid 2NT

We had 3 different hands in response.


                                    S          J8

                                    H         T53

                                    D         9753

                                    C         T532

Whether playing a relay or positive /negative system we were all happy that we would respond 2D (or pass if any interference) and after a 2NT rebid would pass again. Our 1 point is not really worth much and it is difficult to see any entry at all. Indeed our partner may struggle to make 2NT depending on how the clubs lie.

Our second hand we did not get to discuss was.

                                    HAND 2

                                    S          QJ84

                                    H         T5

                                    D         53

                                    C         T7532

Despite only having 3 points, after the 2NT rebid you have to bid again. Opposite 23 points and with useful spades and a 5 card club suit you have enough to bid 3NT.

Having said that you should first bid 3C (stayman) as a fit in Spades might make this a safer contract. Partner should first respond 3H (better than 3NT to show 4 cards in both majors). Initially disappointed you bid 3NT and then partner, realising you must have 4 spades, bids 4S.

Any comments? Our more experienced players can pull me up anything I have said wrong. Are all our less experienced players on board?

Okay our third responders hand was as follows

                                    HAND 3

                                    S          QJ8743

                                    H         T53

                                    D         9753

Initially I am going to leave it at that please give me your comments as to how the bidding should proceed. I will post a summary later. (Don’t worry the only person I will make look stupid is me!)

Thank you for making my brainwork!

Hand 2 - I  would have done what you said and “trusted my partner” to understand what I meant when I responded 3NT. Having said that it is comforting when they respond with the suit you have the four cards in.

Hand 3 - using the given bidding sequence over 2NT I would have gone 3H and to 3S response I would have gone 4S.  

If after 2NT there had been an overcall of 3C I would have gone stop 4S and hoped that I had worked out the rule of 500 correctly!!!

Online  bridge is not the same.


Hi Phil,

With regard to the third response hand, 

Your hand is of little value except in spades, so bid 3 hearts as a transfer.

If partner’s bid indicated 23+ points then you must raise to 4S.

If partner has indicated 20 – 22 points, (bearing in mind that 20 is statistically more likely than 21 or 22), then you could make a strong case for passing 3S. The club void is useful if that is partner’s weak suit, but won’t give you any extra tricks in spades.

As it happens, partner has an excellent fit, but in bridge you can often make the wrong decision for the right reasons!

Best wishes,


PS I note that my partner has a somewhat different opinion. Hey ho!

Thanks for doing this!

I have had a number of other comments from others,Natasha,Ben. Rather than copy them verbatim I will summarise and move our discussion on to the next bit.could take some Weeks?

Hi Phil
We have just looked at this, a little late I know.
In our system, Jenny opened 2C, and with my hand , it’s much stronger than a negative reply, with 7 losers. I normally assume 2C is likely to have 4 losers, so I’m getting excited about potential slams.
I reply 2S, Jenny responds 3S to agree the suit. Then I cue bid 4C, Jenny cue bids 4D, I then bid 5C, then Jenny goes straight to 6S, realising that one ace is missing.
Is this ok?
Peter and Jenny

Obviously after bidding 2C 2D 2NT, you and your partner need to have agreed that the responses are the same as after your 2NT opening bid (assuming it's 20-22), but allowing for the extra couple of points in opener's hand

Hand 1 Fine 

Hand 2 no problem.  Is there a partnership agreement about which you bid first.  My partners and I normally play 5 card puppet Stayman, which gives a different sequence but still gets us to to 4S played by the strong hand. 

Now for the 3rd hand. As the cards are, the slam is an easy make. Swap the hearts and clubs round in the big hand and it may not be as easy, but still has reasonable chances. 


You'd expect the bidding to start

2C 2D (I like to have 1½ quick tricks for a positive response)

2NT 3H (transfer to spades)

Now with 4 cards in the spade suit does the strong hand jump to 4 spades, or would that show  a maximum 24 pts as well as 4 spades? Certainly the jump to 4S may encourage the responder to go further.

With a non-maximum I would just bid 3S with the opener's hand and then bid 4S with the responders hand. Missing 2 Aces the North hand isn't going to go to slam.





Comments to


Last updated : 24th Mar 2020 08:11 GMT


As discussed on 13 March and following the cancellation of the evening session of 20 March the Pairs Competition has become a single evening event.

Kathryn & John are our new Champions winning by some 7% from runners up Richard & Roman.

Last updated : 22nd Mar 2020 09:32 GMT

Congratulations to John and Malcolm , another good performance on the 6th March secured their winning the Challenge Trophy.

Linda & Roger were second with Alan & Richard third.

Phil & Natasha secured the first Stepping Stones challenge win in the equivalent Friday afternoon competition with Rhona & Bernie second.

Last updated : 13th Mar 2020 09:38 GMT

A hand from Stepping Stones afternoon session.

Cannot remember the exact bidding on this hand  but after Jan's, South, double of 4S, Andy, East, bravely redoubled and made his contract. Well done!! Top board for E/W !!


Last updated : 29th Feb 2020 08:10 GMT


Friday 21 February

CONGRATULATIONS to BeauRepaire Trophy Winners with 73% Roman Gembicki and Richard Horsely

and runners up Phil and Natasha with 55%


CONGRATULATIONS to BeauRepair Plate winners with 60.50 % Glyn MacArthurs and  David Ford and runners up Janet Hobbs and Malcolm Young with 52%

Last updated : 29th Feb 2020 08:10 GMT


Wishing you happiness and success in your new home

Last updated : 29th Feb 2020 08:10 GMT

Thank you everyone for the leaving gifts you gave me.

It has been a real pleasure to have taught and played

at Belper, and to see all the learners develop the way 

they have is so rewarding.

I hope that on the occasions I re-visit Derby I will be 

able to get a game at the Club.  

Best wishes for the future.


Ian Roxburgh

Last updated : 29th Feb 2020 08:08 GMT

Not sure who was bluffing whom we went one bid too far in this exchange with Linda and Roger.

5S should go one off.

What happened on your table?

At our table I (west) opened 3H. Mick (north) thought a bit and then bid 3NT. Anne (east) through a bit and then passed. 4S makes. Top board for Mick and Jill



With us it was 3H, 3NT, 4S, P, P and a bit of a think from Alan before passing. Difficult choice about whether to pass or try 5C but it was actually the right decision because 4S goes off with the correct defence. We didn’t find it though!

If either I lead a small spade (which I didn’t) or Alan covers the 10S when it was later led off the table, east loses two spades, a club and a diamond. 




Last updated : 15th Feb 2020 07:01 GMT

Just 2 pairs found this slam. Mary taking us to the more risky 6NT. 

Assuming the heart honours are split a piece of cake on a non club lead.

As the cards lie it is safe even on a club lead.

What happened at your table?

The bidding went

2NT 3S

4S    6S

As we're not playing transfers, the hand was wrong sided.  

Fortunately the opposition didn't find the club lead and the contract made OK



Last updated : 8th Feb 2020 07:32 GMT

Friday 31 January

Congratulations to David Ford our new individual winner, coming from behind to narrowly beat Roger and Ray.



Our first experiment with Butler scoring seemed to work. Let’s of see saws through the afternoon. 

Ian and Sheryll won but with the qualification rules Bernie and David were the best placed “Stepping Stoners”

The inaugural Roxburgh Trophy will take place with this format on the 27 March.


Last updated : 8th Feb 2020 07:26 GMT

Only a couple of pairs made a club slam on this hand Despite having 2 top diamond losers!

We let David and Pat bluff us out of game with their 4S bid!

what happened at your table?

I am pretty certain that Sean opened 1H as west although he denies this! I bid 2C and south came in with 2S. Sean bid 3C and I punted 6C. South led the AD and I dropped the Q expecting the worst. But no..South switched to a heart so 6C made. Maybe my little ruse worked ? No..South had singleton AD ! So a lucky slam made.       John S

Last updated : 25th Jan 2020 08:26 GMT

The last heat for the BeauRepaire resulted in John & Wilson turning their silver invitation into gold.

Anne & Mick received a silver invitation with a dead heat with Roger & Linda who have kindly agreed to be reserves.

The final line up for the final on 21 February is as follows.

Roman & Richard, Andrew & Alan, Phil & Natasha, Julie & Alan, Wilson & John, Anne & Mick with Roger & Linda as reserves

Last updated : 25th Jan 2020 08:20 GMT

Most E/W pairs found the slam on Board 20, Sean & Linda bid (& made!) 6NT on this one. We should nickname them “lucky”

6C is the place to be but most were lured towards hearts as majors score better.

What happened at your table?

Board 20 was an easy hand for Sean to bid. I opened 1 spade and his bid was 6 spades! On hand 28 I opened a diamond (playing 15-17 NT) Sean bid a heart and I rebid 1NT. Sean asked for aces and kings finishing in 6NT. I was dreading the spade lead but luckily got a diamond.


Last updated : 18th Jan 2020 08:43 GMT

How to bid a slam on this hand?  Neary everyone in 4  making 13 tricks, except Roman and Janusz in 6  and Tim and Ian in 6  making 12 tricks.


I opened 1S and the bidding went as follows

N ​       S

1S      3H

4H     4NT

5D     5H


4NT was Roman Keycard Blackwood and 5D showed 1 or 4 Key cards, so South knew we were missing the K of hearts or the Ace of Clubs. My partner didn't know we had the Q of hearts so was worried we could lose an extra trick in hearts, but this is unlikely with 10 hearts between us.

Could I bid something other than 4H to show a better hand? I've only got 12 High Card points but my shape is nice ( 6 loser hand). The problem with bidding 4 Clubs is that if it's a genuine suit (which is what partner says he would have taken it as) then he doesn't know we have a good heart fit. north going straight to 4NT after 3H seems a bit ambitious.



Last updated : 11th Jan 2020 08:35 GMT

Check out the latest Challenge results under Competitions.

Can anyone catch Linda & Roger

Linda is also in the lead for the Slammaster Trophy

Last updated : 9th Jan 2020 10:14 GMT

Congratulations to John & Kathryn who retained the Thompson Trophy with late surge on the last round, passing Tom & Gill who had been leading right from the beginning.

Last updated : 7th Dec 2019 13:48 GMT

No slams last night.

This hand was interesting.

When North South bid game I felt I had no defensive values and must bid 4S.

Doubled as expected it still gave us a reasonable result as 4H makes despite East’s heart honours.

What happened at your table?

Our first board of the night and I was at fault! Pass, Pass, 1C from me (playing five card majors), 1S and double from Janet. 2S from West and, obviously being away with the fairies, I decided to show my range with 2NT rather than bid Hearts! Passed out. I redeemed myself slightly by making 11 tricks so it wasn’t a complete disaster but it could have been. Rather gleefully, Alan (a five card major sceptic) pointed out afterwards that if we’d been playing four card majors none of this would have happened! 

Great to see nine tables and to see Tom, Gill, Peter and Jennifer there again along with ‘newbies’ Craig and Angela. Hope they keep coming. Felt a bit for Tom and Gill who were way out in front for so long but well done Kathryn and John. Very enjoyable evening all told. 


Board 15

At our table the bidding was P, (P) , 1H , (1S) , 3H ( we do not play pre-emptively over overcalls ) ,

(P) , 4H , (P) , P , (P).

East led AS which allowed the losing diamond to be discarded on the third spade and 11 tricks were made by Iris.


Last updated : 7th Dec 2019 13:46 GMT

I think this was how our bidding went.

You would have thought everyone would be in the same contract but not so.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 30th Nov 2019 07:47 GMT

 This was our bidding.

I should have gone for the safer 6S option but thought it would score better in NT.

Then I made the wrong choice as to which way to finesse the heart queen.

Story of the night.

Others tried 7S and also went off.

What happened at your table?


Last updated : 23rd Nov 2019 09:02 GMT

We were lucky not to have this slam bid against us.

East should value his hand after a jump rebid and find the slam.

The big question is why did no one go for 6NT or may be 7H?

Last updated : 16th Nov 2019 08:58 GMT

Several Pairs managed to get to 6D.

How did the bidding go?

Hand 12. We found the 6D slam as follows. I was west and opened 2C (a strong unbalanced hand) Roger bid his heart suit 2H. I bid my diamond suit 3D. Roger bid 4NT Blackwood. I replied 5H (2 aces) and Roger bid 6D. The ace of spades was led then we made the rest. Linda Hubbold

Last updated : 9th Nov 2019 08:43 GMT

This week it was Malcolm & Jeff who found this 6NT slam.

We subsided into 3NT.

What happened at your table?

Last updated : 2nd Nov 2019 08:14 GMT


Saturday 26 October At Kedleston Golf Club

Congratulations to all our winners.

Thanks to everyone for making it a great day

Scores for both sessions are now on the website.

Bear in mind then hands in the afternoon do not recognise our "special" rule!

Last updated : 2nd Nov 2019 08:04 GMT

Alan & Andrew were the only ones to bid 6 Spades on this hand and the only ones to make 12 tricks.

Very skillful, deep finesse says it should always make but not easy I suspect.

What happened at your table?



Andrew opened 2NT, which we play as 20-22. He's only got 19 but upgraded because of the 5th heart

I transferred to spades and then bid 3NT, without a fit I wasn't interested in going on.

Andrew bid 4 Spades and now I was interested

4NT (RKCB) 5C (0 or 3 key cards)

6S (it must be 3 key cards)

Andrew drew 2 rounds of trumps and used his entries to lead hearts and ruff them good, making 3 heart tricks, allowing him to discard a diamond and a club from dummy . He was able to ruff a diamond in dummy and a club in hand.  Defender could take the QS whenever he wanted.





Last updated : 26th Oct 2019 07:16 GMT

The latest Gold qualifiers Phil Thompson & John Adams

A silver star for Andrew & Alan

Last updated : 22nd Oct 2019 09:32 GMT

This week a hand from another place.

How to bid and play this hand. Apparently 7H makes




On a heart lead, win in dummy, Play a spade to the Q, ruff a small spade, ruff a minor suit, Draw trumps and the hand is now good.

On a minor suit lead, win in dummy, Play a spade to the Q, ruff a small spade, play the remaining heart in dummy, ruff a minor suit, Draw trumps and the hand is now good.

Spade lead is also straightforward




I don't recommend bidding 7H as it needs a 3-3 break in hearts as well as the spade finesse,.


One sequence is

1S    2C

2H*    2D 4th suit forcing or alternatively 3NT

4H not really what East wants to hear, so possibly pass


* With various partners I play this as forcing to 2S after a 2 level response , so it can't be passed


Another is

1S    2C

3H* 3NT? East may elect to look for slam after the 3H bid. but could opt for 6NT which would  go down

4S I don't want to play in 3NT


* I play this as forcing to game and promising 5 hearts after the 2 level response. It's showing 15+ points. West hasn't got 15+ high card points but the shape makes up for it,


I don't recommend opening it as a strong 2 or equivalent Benjie type bid, as there's not enough high card points, though that stands a good chance of getting you to a slam.  I hope its the right one!





Interesting one. 7H is OK double dummy (finessing the KS and ruffing one S in dummy BEFORE cashing AS) but not sure how you’d get to it. West would take some persuading to be in anything other than some amount of Spades. Possible sequence: W might open 2D (8 playing tricks and someone will say if the rules don’t allow it). Most of my regular partners would then bid 2S (a positive response but nothing to do with Spades); 3S, perhaps 3NT?, 4H, 4S (perhaps a bit reluctantly). Now an aggressive West, knowing that partner has something in Hearts for his no trump bid, might have a look and get to 6S (with the above system it would be played by partner!). 7S goes off. Still can’t see how you get 7H though. 

I do not think that a strong opening bid at the two level is a legal option on this hand. My understanding is that with a hand with fewer than 16 HCP you must have 5 controls – an ace counts as 2 controls and a king as 1 control.


Last updated : 19th Oct 2019 07:44 GMT

We managed to get to the right contract despite my incorrect reply to RCK Blackwood.

What happened at your table?

We also bid the slam :
1S-2C  3S-4S  4NT-5H  5NT-6D  6S
Despite my somewhat underbid of 4S Richard took the plunge and was rewarded with a very suitable dummy.                 John S
Last updated : 5th Oct 2019 06:49 GMT

There were a few potential slams last night but I feature this extraordinary hand.

Neither Natasha nor Malcolm & John could let go.

Silent throughout my bidding was exemplary!

What happened at your table?

Phil – one tiny correction to the bidding as shown on board 3.

The bid of 5S was made by N not by S.

Once a pre-emptive bid has been made it is usual to leave subsequent bids to partner and that was the case here.


Last updated : 14th Sep 2019 06:36 GMT

Another slam slips by.

Only bid by Ray & Jill.

how should it have gone?

Morning. Just because the best player in the room (our good friend Deep Finesse) says you can make 12 tricks, it doesn’t mean the slam should be bid. There are huge holes all over the place and, personally, I wouldn’t want to go near it. 

I don't think you should be in slam on this hand

You are bound to lose the Ace of Diamond and need to catch the Q of hearts and the jack of diamonds (there are some breaks where one of these won't be needed).  So slightly better than a 25% chance  In this case everything's sitting right.



Lightened up so called experts. Good luck to Ray and Jill , good bid. You cannot ague with their logic having seen all the cards. However east could easily have the JD instead of JC. East could have the QH instead of the JH. 


Last updated : 7th Sep 2019 06:30 GMT

Board 22

This grand slam seemed simple but eluded most people.

what happened at your table?

As Jeff would say, you can’t argue with success but in your bidding sequence you can’t be sure of the King of Hearts position. Partner could easily have a second/third Heart and then it’s relying on a finesse....
Perhaps the following: 1C; 2D (strong jump with strong D - possibly six); 3H (splinter agreeing D); 4C (cue bid); 4NT (far easier if S now takes control in my view); 5D (obviously 4 key cards). I think S can then bid 7 although it would be even better if you play a Q of trumps asking system and take virtually all doubt out of the question.  

In my defence, we were obviously playing a simple bidding system but Joan must have some points somewhere. Ace spades, 4 , odds on KC that’s 7 points. Still another 4 plus, if she has a second king then I thought the grand slam was the right contract, with only one I stop in six.


Last updated : 31st Aug 2019 08:06 GMT

Not many points between them but North South can make a Grand slam.

Only 3 pairs managed to find a small slam.

How should the bidding go?

Our bidding was 1H; 2NT (raise to at least 3H); 4C (splinter); 4D (cue bid); 4H; 4NT; 5S (showing two Aces and length in hearts so forcing to 6 irrespective of K or Q); 6H from me. now the question is whether I should investigate a move to 7. Roman thought so but I’m not so sure. Asking for Kings would have left me none the wiser when only one was shown.  Even though we both have nice singletons opposite partner Aces if we are missing KD the grand is likely to rest on a finesse (not wise). Also factored into my thinking was the fact that after my 4D cue bid, Roman hadn’t investigated the slam himself even though I subsequently found him to have the AS. To my mind there must be some weaknesses somewhere so I plumped for what I considered the most secure contract.

Last updated : 23rd Aug 2019 21:50 GMT

Belper Bridge Club 

has moved to

Belper Strutts Centre, DE56 1UU

The sessions will be held in room 10


Last updated : 17th Aug 2019 09:42 GMT

North South had 2 chances last night of bidding and making 6C.

Only Glyn and Jan did both.

Here looks like the more difficult one to get to.

What happened at you table?

 This is the one we found.  The other escaped us thanks to some enterprising bidding by our opponents in Hearts which had the desired effect so fair play. Back to board 27: I opened 1C, 1S from Roman, 2C, 4D (second round control which, to be fair, I wasn’t precisely sure we were playing), 5C (I did consider bidding 4H    showing my second round control but decided against risking it and in any case the hand isn’t that great) and then Roman took the chance on 6C offering an apology as he tabled his hand. Ruby cashed her AD and switched to a S. We agreed the most impressive thing that happened all night was Alan’s complete stoicism when I ruffed his AS! SOK
Last updated : 17th Aug 2019 06:34 GMT

I was in 3NT making 8 tricks. John lead JH. How to make 9 or even 10 tricks in NT?


Last updated : 17th Aug 2019 06:33 GMT

Ian bid 2S after my 2D, I complitely forgot that it indicated AS and things got complicated. After Ian's 5D I had nowhere to go, so it had to be 6NT. Ian went for a squeeze, Roman discarded diamonds and Ian made his 6D for the 12th trick. 


Last updated : 10th Aug 2019 07:03 GMT
Last updated : 5th Aug 2019 08:35 GMT

Handicapped Result using NGS as at 27Jul19 Not Scaled


      Pair                                         Original    Handicap    Adjusted

  North / South

   1    4  Andrew Skidmore & Kathryn Shaw           65.77%      +7.35%      58.42%

   2    1  John Shaw & Natasha Romaine              61.01%      +8.28%      52.73%

   3    3  Adrie Box & Sean Connolly                50.30%      -1.46%      51.76%

   4    2  Peter & Jennifer Arnott                  39.88%      -5.02%      44.90%

   5    6  Jeff Calladine & Gary Watson             50.00%      +6.11%      43.89%

   6    8  John Gould & Wilson Howden               45.83%      +2.96%      42.87%

   7    7  Janet Hobbs & David Ford                 47.32%      +4.51%      42.81%

   8    5  Andrew Huskinson & Allan Doyle           39.88%      -1.96%      41.84%

  East / West

   1    3  Jill & Ray Sellars                       63.69%      +4.75%      58.94%

   2    7  Christine & Ralph Woodcock               55.06%      -2.36%      57.42%

   3    1  Julie Groves & Alan Bullock              46.43%      -5.66%      52.09%

   4    6  David Tyers & Iris White                 52.08%        N/A       52.08%

   5    4  Peter Smith & Peter Bell                 54.17%      +3.71%      50.46%

   6    5  Roger Eley & Linda Hubbold               55.95%      +7.21%      48.74%

   7    8  Anne McLean & Jean Robshaw               42.86%      -0.37%      43.23%

   8    2  Mary Jones & Robert Williamson           29.76%      -5.58%      35.34%

Cumulative scores are shown under 2019/20 Competitions

Last updated : 4th Aug 2019 21:04 GMT
Last updated : 28th Jul 2019 08:00 GMT

Congratulations to our latest Gold qualifiers. Richard & Roman

Last updated : 26th Jul 2019 22:12 GMT
Hand of the Week

.Only one pair bid the solid slam on this hand , fittingly Richard and Roman 

How did they do it?

why did others not see the same thing?

The bidding was over in a flash....1H, 1S, 3S, 6S. The slam interest really depends on how you view South’s 15 points. I took the more aggressive stance and raised to 3S based on a nice A doubleton, good clubs and adding a couple of points for Roman’s card play! Malcolm and Kathryn weren’t impressed that no-one else bid it so they suffered. It was a good thing it wasn’t against Glyn after last week....he’d have been apoplectic. 

Shouldn't North check for aces ? After all South may have


(a)     S  Qxxx                           Or (b)    S Qxxx

         H  QJxx                                        H KQxx
         D  AKJ                                          D KQx

         C  Kx                                            C KJ


On (a) you can lose AK of hearts and on (b) the 2 aces  

The other option might be to start cue bidding with 4C over 3S with the disadvantage that this may help the oppos to find the right lead.Certainly a leap to 6S gives nothing away !

John S

Last updated : 26th Jul 2019 21:57 GMT

Everyone who is in spades makes 12 tricks. Is the slam not biddable?


I think this one is difficult to find given the combined point tally. Yes there are a couple of singletons but West’s is in partners suit which isn’t ideal. East’s H are rubbish and even the Ds aren’t great without knowing how the oppos cards lie. Although it makes, best out of it in my view. At our table I overcalled the 1H with 2C. Jan bid 2S and Roman came in with an enterprising 3NT which had the added benefit of irritating Glyn for the rest of the evening! Roman had clubs so was happy to go even six off given the S contract he assumed was against us. Glyn doubled so Roman duly bailed out into 4C of course. It didn’t stop a 4S bid but certainly got in the way of any potential slam hunt.....


Last updated : 20th Jul 2019 05:10 GMT

On this board most people are in 4H making 12 or 13 tricks. Why hasn't anyone bid a slam?


To answer your question, there’s a good reason for not bidding a slam.....on a club lead you’d be two of