Bendigo Bridge Club
Release 2.19p
Key Messages


Bill Hughes International Simultaneous Pairs event cancelled

On the advice of the organisers, this event has been cancelled. The Monday 4th July session will revert to being a Club Pairs event.

Yarrawonga Congress 22-24 July

The Yarrawonga Congress flyer has landed - click on this link: 2022 Yarrawonga Bridge Congress Flyer

Tuesday evening sessions

From 7th June our Tuesday evening sessions will be transitioning from ‘Mentored Play’ to ‘Supervised Play’ and sessions will be open to all club members. If you wish to play, please click on this link to read important ‘Conditions of Play’ information.

News from the VBA

The June VBA bulletin has landed.  You can find it in the Bridge Musings panel below. Our very own Seb Wright cops a mention - as do our congress results. 

2022 Congress

Our first congress since 2019 took place over the weekend (28-29 May) at The Conservatory, All Seasons Resort. Not surprisingly, numbers were down from pre-Covid times but with 46 entries for the Pairs event and 15 for the Teams, we had plenty of lively competition.

Congratulations to Pairs winners Leo Saoud & Gus Ghali. Best performed Bendigo pair (with a very respectable 4th place) were Barb Evans & Ron Wescott – doubly respectable because Ron was playing through the pain of a recent knee replacement.

The Teams event was won by Doug Newlands, Richard Laurie and Gavin and Kirsten Bailey. Best performed Bendigo team was Yvonne Forrest (playing her first congress), Kaye Parker, Janet Rogers & Rosemary Monotti – well done them.

Full results are available on the Bridge Unlimited website – click on the link on our Useful Links web page then click on Results > Victorian Congress Events.

The congress doesn’t just happen - many people contributed their time and energy to make it a success. Special mentions go to Janet R, Cathie S, the Goddards and Rosemary M for their work in planning, organising and setting up and tearing down the event. (It would be appreciated if more club members would volunteer to help with next year’s congress). Special thanks to Ken S and Adrian D for making themselves available at very short notice as an emergency pair; and (No show without Punch) to our director, Martin Willcox – authoritative and entertaining as ever. And finally, a shout-out to the management and staff of All Seasons for the delicious food and their behind-the-scenes work to make sure the event went smoothly.

Geelong Congress (Sat 25 - Sun 26 June) Flyer

Click on this link for details of the Geelong Congress: 2022 Geelong Congress flyer

The April Monthly Medal Awards have landed!

Click on 'Membership & Bookings', then click on 'Monthly Medal' to find the list of winners and to view the monthly medal reports. Check out the reports - you may find that you and your partner have scored some bonus masterpoints. (Spoiler Alert! Ron Wescott and partners did particularly well this month.)

F2F Bridge - Covid restrictions have changed

The government has announced a significant relaxation of Covid-dafety regulations - players are no longer required to provide proof of vaccination. This does not mean that all all Covid restrictions have been removed.  Please read our Covid-safe COP Summary 220424 for more information.


Improver's Corner

Counting cards during play

Learning to count the cards is vital for effective play to make your contract as declarer, and also to defend effectively.

Beginning players try to keep track of 13 cards in each of 4 suits.  This is difficult for 1 suit and nearly impossible for 4 suits (most players only have 10 fingers - don't laugh it is poor etiquette).

Every player can see dummy.  A common method is to count the cards you have in each suit, add the number in dummy, and subtract that number from 13.  Now you only count the cards you CANNOT see in each suit, these are in the two concealed hands.

This is a good situation for declarer, if she has a 5-3 fit in the 2 hands in trumps, she knows that the defenders have 5 trumps between them.  The question now is the distribution, i.e. one of 5-0, 4-1, 3-2.

As declarer you should start counting in the trump suit and then apply the same principle to the other suits according to their importance in the contract. 

It is a little trickier for the defenders because one of the hands with missing cards is friendly, the other is the enemy.  You use the same strategy to count cards in your partner's hand and declarer's hand.

As players advance in skill they learn to signal through the cards they play to communicate the length and strength of their suits to their partner.

Unassuming Cue Raise

One of the most powerful bids that one can add to the bidding armoury is the Unassuming Cue Raise.

It is used by Responder at their first response to partner's opening bid after an intervening overcall.  It is also used by an Advancer over any call by the Responder.

In both instances it tells your partner that you have 10+ total points and a fit (3+ cards) in their suit.

The Responder makes the call by bidding the Overcaller's suit at the next lowest level.

The Advancer makes the call by bidding the Opener's first bid suit at the next lowest level.

Responder's options when the intervening Defender makes a Takeout Double of the opening bid

With 10+ pts Redouble.  It does not show support of the opening bid, so Opener should pass when it is their turn to bid and wait for Responder's second bid.  It does show overwhelming strength opposite an opening hand, and this tells the Opener that any subsequent double by Responder of a bid by the Advancer or Overcaller is for penalties.

With 6-9 pts bid as though the double was not made.

With a very weak hand and a long suit consider a preemptive bid or weak raise of partner's suit, otherwise pass.

How should I compete over a preemptive opening by the opponents?

A simple strategy is to bid your own suit (5+) with an opening hand, or double for takeout with 16+HCP.

Your hand needs to be slightly stronger to double a 3 level preempt than a 2 level preempt because you may be forcing your partner to bid at the 4 level.

Over 4H/S 4NT asks partner to choose game in a minor.

Always be prepared for your partner to convert your takeout double into a penalty double.