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Bidding: 1NT rebid = 15-17

Lead: Q 

On the lead of the Q  East plays the 2. Their card says low is encouraging and West continues the suit.

Plan the play in notrump and so, like a good General, you should make C.A.M.P.

C - Count your TOP tricks.

A - Add tricks from other sources.

M - Manage the hand.

P -  Play - or as one of our students said PRAY!

On the lead of the Q  East plays the 2, their card says low is encouraging and West continues the suit.

Plan the play in notrump and so, like a good general, you should make C.A.M.P.

Count your top tricks by power - four ♠, one one  , and one ♣ = 8 TOP tricks.

Add tricks from other sources. In diamonds you have possible tricks by position (you can finesse both ways is you guess who holds the  Q) and two slow tricks by power.

Manage. You must break communication between the defenders and so you duck the  twice. Now West is you dangerous opponent and you must not let him get the lead. Win the third  and play the  9. I West plays low play the  4 from dummy. Even if this loses all your gates are guarded. Win the return and cash your tricks. If it wins cash your diamonds.

This is an interesting hand in many ways.

This starts with the meaning of 2 . If it is Asptro (spades and another). West will need a mechanism to find the best game. Even if it is natural can you fnd the 4  contract?

The first lesson from this hand is, with the auction shown, what does 3  say? I thought it asked for a stop. Partner thought it showed one!

The infortunate thing is while RealBridge shows you the lead and the way the contract was played we do not get it from the Live part of the club. In the F2F section, three pairs bid 4♠ and were allowed to make it. I suspect that this was afer a club lead. Now 4♠  was easy. Win, draw three rounds of trumps, cross to the  K and draw the last trump and win four spades two hearts & four clubs.

However I have a rule - don't look for a ruff when we have four trumps. Following that rule I play three top diamonds. Whether this is ruffed or not declarer has 4 losers.

4  is lucky in that you are ruffing in the short hand and trumps break 3-3.

The final point with the hand is this. At one table the East/West pair felt aggrieved when South doubled the no trump opening and they were told it showed the majors. West with both majors stopped just bid 3NT and was surprised to see five diamonds being cashed. East/West complained at the end of the session and bythen their opponents had left. As I explained (directors hat now) it is hard to find out the facts after the opponenets had left. The moral is that if you feel that something might have gone wrong call the director at the time. Do not be aggressive say something like "Sorry opponents but I really feel that I need a director" and then call.

Oh and one final thing the collective noun for for directors is a "pint".


Board 8  4/10/2021

An unusual selection for hand of the week - at four tables this hand was passed out. At the others the contract was spades, if West opens the final contract is likely to be too high. At one of the tables in the face2face game after West had passed, East opened 1C and passed the spade rebid.

Well done Simon & Marjie and to

Ann & Tom who were the only pair to sneak 9 tricks.

4♠  by South

Lead:  K

Keep C.A.L.M.

Count your top tricks by power - that is tricks that you have NOW.

Add tricks from other sources. Tricks by power, length and possible tricks by position

Loser check. Count your losers if there are too many reduce your losers before you lose the lead.
Manage - work out which hand you need to be in at a certain time and then which order you are going to take your tricks.

How do you play the hand?

Count your top tricks by power - that is tricks that you have NOW.

6 spade tricks, 1 heart & 1 diamond = 8

Add tricks from other sources. Tricks by power, length and possible tricks by position

Power - a slow trick in clubs and a possible trick by position.

Position - a possible trick by position in hearts

Loser check. Count your losers if there are too many reduce your losers before you lose the lead.

2 diamonds, 1 club, a possible hearts.

Manage - work out which hand you need to be in at a certain time and then which order you are going to take your tricks.

When we are trying to develop our tricks we must try the clubs first. If the heart is wrong we could be 1 off with the club right. Okay we might have to lead clubs twice from the South hand or, if the ♣ A is wrong take the heart finesse and the only quick entry to hand is in trumps. So our first concern is NOT to draw trumps but play a club. The queen wins we draw trumps and play a second club. Either we do not lose a club or our heart loser is discarded on the club honour.

Contract made well done.


North cannot hold spades and hearts because he would double so it is safe to raise even if it is a 4-3 fit.

This board seemed to cause a lot of problems in the Monday game on 6th September with pairs getting too high and playing in the wrong suit. At tone table declarere was in 4 which made after a diamond lead and careful play (on a club lead this contract is two off). At another table West made a junior style weak two overcall. Partner bid to the level of the fit 4D, not a success. At a third table instead of supporting partner South jumped in clubs again not a success.

We have put in one possible auction but the hand demonstrates the axiom "good things happen to people who raise partner"!


Lead:  9

We get a trump lead and that's a worry. OK so keep CALM:

Count your top tricks by power. Four hearts, a spade and a club. We also have a diamond if we can get at it. Total perhaps 7.

Add tricks from other sources. Two tricks by length in hearts and a slow trick by power in spades.

Loser check. We have two club losers and two spade losers one too many.

Manage. If we could get to dummy it would be easy. Can you guarantee to make this contract?


You can gurantee your contract by leading the ♠ J at trick two. Now you can either ruff a spade or the ♠ Q is an entry.

Place the spades the way you like, it always woeks remembering that if the opponents get the lead a trump will come back stopping the ruff.

2♣  = 10 + points and four plaus clubs;

2NT = 15 - 19 FORCING ie you must bid again;

3  = Three card suit, partner to choose between 3NT & 4 .

Lead: ♠ 4

Count you quick tricks by power - four hearts & two clubs;

Add tricks from other sources - after the spade lead we have a slow trick by power in spades and two in diamons, we might have a trick by length in hearts. We might have a trick by position in clubs but lets keep that in reserve.

Loser check - After spade lead we have one loser in spades, one in diamonds and a possible loser in clubs;

Manage the hand - win the second spade and draw their trumps in three rounds FINISHING ON THE TABLE, then lead a diamond. Regain the lead and play the ♣ J and play low unless it is covered. We ose a spade and a diamond.

This hand was interesting we played in Division 1 of the EBU Lockdown League and shows unexpected actions can cause one side to make an error.

The auction shown was table one and after a club lead all 13 tricks were made. Steve Ray drew trumps and pitched diamonds on the hearts.

In the other room it was a different story the bidding went:

West North East South
Dave Armstrong                          Jill Armstrong                     
P 1♠  P 2NT*
3  4 * 5  x*

We have found it better to pass with sub-minimum hands and bid later,

2NT - Jacoby

4  - splinter

x -    penalties pass would have been forcing

Lead: ♣ A and then a   switch

South won and naively tried to cash the ♠ A

Contract made but notice one off would have been 14 imps but 5 x making is 17 imps to the good guys.

Even better it was the last hand in an 8 board match which until then had been close.


Contract: 2♠ x by South

Made 3 - NS +570

This hand came up in our supervised practice and everyone had trouble with it.

The first question is should East open? Well it obeys the dreaded Rule of 20 and you are 6-5 so perhaps you should come alive.This is how the bidding went at one table. West thought that East had reversed, ie bidding a new suit above the level of the suit opened at the two or three level. The 570 was a disappointment.

So, now consider what happens if East passes? 

East.       South.       West.     North

Pass.        1♠             Pass.      1NT

2♠ *

* Michael's cue bid showing  & a minor. Whilst this will not make at least the score is better than -570

Moral 1 - you can always pass and bid later.

Moral 2 - if the hand is difficult for you it is difficult for others

Lead:  Q

South must bid 2  & not 2  as that would show at least a 5-card suit.

A trump hand so we must keep C.A.L.M.

Count our quick tricks by power three one  & one ♣ TOTAL 5.

Add tricks from other sources in ♠ we have four slow tricks by power, in ♣ we have a possible trick by position or we can ruff a ♣ in the short hand (South) or both.

Loser check one ♠  two   and one ♣ - one trick too many.

Manage the hand first we must look after our losers so play three rounds of hearts and discard a ♦. Now we must look after our ♣ suit play Ace and another club when the King is right we have done our work and we can draw trumps.

Play easy keep calm.

Term 1


Remember that with a balanced hand we open 1NT if we are 12-14. 

If we are 15-19 we open a suit with 4 or 5 cards in it and usually rebid in notrump.

Okay bidding over, we make a plan (you might think that experts don't make a plan but they do. However, usually their experience allows them to plan more quickly than you).

The acronym that Dave & Jill use for notrump hands is C.A.M.P.

C - Count your quick tricks those that you can take now. Three ♠, three  and one ♣ = 7 tricks

A - Add tricks from other sources. we have one slow trick by power in ♥, and maybe a trick by position after the lead. There are possible tricks by length in ♠ and ♦. There is a possible trick by position in ♣ if East holds the K by playing small towards the Q. 

M - Manage the hand. Remember we do not just cash out winners, we do the work first. First, try to work out what the opponents lead means; it looks like a sequence from A, 10 9, and so we play the Q from dummy. Good that worked taking our total tricks to 8. Now we will try for a 3-3 break in   and ♠. When neither work we play ♣ A and a ♣  towards the Q.

P -  Play - or as one of our students said PRAY! At last the club worked for 10 tricks we lose one  one  and one ♣ 

Well done


2NT - 20-22 (announced)

4NT - Quantitative. Telling partner to bid 6 with maximum.

Lead - J 

Ok we see dummy and say 'Thank you partner' and make C.A.M.P.

C - Count your TOP tricks.  We have two ♠ , three  , three  and one ♣  TOTAL 9 top tricks

A - Add tricks from other sources. We have two slow tricks by power in ♣ and a possible trick by position in that suit if the finesse works; if it fails we need to find the ♠ Q. Notice we can finesse spades in either direction. Is it a guess or can we do better?

M - Manage the hand. We need to play ♣ from the table (West) so we win the lead on table. We play the ♠ Q, if it is not covered take the finesse.

This hand is quite complex so will proceed to that point and make one plan if the finesse works and a different one if it fails

P -  Play - When we finesse the club it fails. What now?

Clue: When a second round of diamonds is played you find that South started with six diamonds and North had one.

Manage again  When this finesse fails we cash all our winners and count.

When we cash diamonds note that South started with 6, We now cash the clubs and note that South started with 3.

Okay now hearts and all follow 3 rounds so South started with 3 or 4 hearts. Therefore South has 1 spade at the most. So we play a spade to the king and a spade to East and take the finesse.