Buchanan Bridge Club
Release 2.19n

Supported Tournament - New schedule in the Calendar

Afternoon Tournament


Avoiding problems at the table

Next Committee Meeting

Tuesday 21st January, 6.00pm

Interesting Hands
Lots of wee clubs

In the Westchester Teams I was sitting South. Hand 3 occurred and we came second because I forgot I was playing with my wife.

On the second round of bidding I raised her Club bid to 4 Clubs, Slam invitational and she said 5 Clubs and I did not believe her so bid 6, one off.

The hand reminded me of this hand from long ago. As in board three, Dummy’s club holding was long but not broad and North played in 6 Clubs.

A spade was led 6, 2 , Q and A.

On any other lead six was a walk in the park. No suit breaks badly but most failed on a spade lead.

spade A J 3 2

heart A K 10 3

diamond 4  

club K Q J 7

spade 9 2

heart Q 2

diamond A K Q J 10

club 9 8 6 4 3 2

Can you get it right? Take your time.

You cannot draw trump immediately as they will take their A and the K of spades. To discard spades in North’s hand requires four rounds of diamonds and the best break is 4 – 3 so you make, only if the holder of three diamonds holds the singleton Ace of trump. To discard the losing spade from Dummy requires three rounds of hearts, the missing seven may well break 4 – 3 or 5 – 2 with the two holding the singleton A of clubs will also serve.

You duly play three rounds of hearts discarding dummy’s second spade and all went well.

Job done?


You must now play two rounds of diamonds to discard your last Heart. Now the Club K and a fourth heart, from the defence, ruffed by the club ten no longer beats you, you can over-ruff. Did you fall asleep at the wheel?

Deal 20, from Wednesday 11th September teams

♣ West deals and passes, North opens with 1diamond, East Bids heart and South doubles, West bids a pre-emptive 3heart and North bids 4spade. That does not appear to be what happened if we look at the results since no North was declarer. It was always South! 1spade over 1heart and getting to 4♠ rather inelegantly would appear to be the norm.

It is teams and the only thing that matters is - Make the Contract. South was in 3spade or 4spade and even one in 6spade. One declarer made 4spade. Everybody else went off.

A: - Heart is led. Your plan?

B: - The 8♣ is led, plan your play.

A: - A Heart is led and in general you appear to have three clubs to lose. At a glance it appears if the contract will rely on getting the diamonds to run. Ruffing the heart appears to be attacking the entries to dummy. A loser on loser play seems to solve the problem. East cannot attack clubs readily, so discard a club and east wins with the Aheart. East has no easy return. On a heart, diamond or club return, you get in and play the spade Ace. You find the bad split. Play the Kheart, discarding a club, then small spade towards the table. West splits his 10, 9 and you win with the K. Play the two top Diamonds and ruff the third round with the spadeJ. A spade to the table and draw the last trump and claim.

B The 8♣  is led and you play small. If East gives his partner a ruff then the contract makes easily. The extremely unlikely play at trick two is a small heart from East and South will probably not play the K and will now go down. Try it.

Seeing ahead

This hand should be aspirational – one day you will be good enough to see this defence. The hand itself comes from a match between Great Britain and Greece in 1976.
R A Priday was sitting East and he is the hero of the hand. NS are vulnerable and EW are not. The bidding goes









2   *





Stop 3♠ 




2  * is multi and in this case showed a weak 2H.
Lead J♣ and Dummy goes down.



A Q 10 7 3 2

A Q 5



K 10 3



K 9

10 6 3


Q J 6

A 9 7 5 4

The lead of the J has just promoted the 10, Declarer has the Q, The J is almost certainly a singleton.

Your partner has 6 Hearts and Dummy and you have another 6 so Declarer has one.

Declare has either 6 or 7 diamonds. So, we can count his hand. 6* , 4*♣  and 1* , thus 2*♠ . or 7 , 4♣  , 1  and !♠ . If the latter then declarer has 6 diamond tricks, two major aces and after you take the ♣ A, he will have two clubs. You will get one diamond trick, one ruff and one club. If on the other hand it is the former then 5 diamond tricks, but the losing spade will go away on the marked heart finesse. So, 10 tricks in both cases!

Declarer plays small from the table and it is up to you, if you win this trick what do you return?

Your defence please to put this contract one off on the basis that South has 6 Diamonds

You play small and declarer wins with the Q♣ .

Declarer now cashes A  and K  before playing a third round which your partner follows and you win.

Now the killer play, you play the A♣ , then the 5♣  and declarer is locked in dummy.

He cannot get back to hand without giving up the heart finesses. You must make your KS and your 9C beats declarers 8, that’s 4 tricks …… one off.

 In the other room the UK made 4S.

The team from Greece could not handle West’s under par bid of 2D. Of course, declarer misplayed the hand, but as east you gave him every chance to go wrong. If you don’t give the opposition that chance, they will not stray.

Now you can decide how declarer should have played it.

Another Slam

After the last hand posted here, where I talked about the correct bidding that got us to the makeable 6 Clubs, that nobody else bid, I suppose it was to be expected that I should immediately thereafter bid the wrong slam, or in any case the one that cannot be made, which is exactly what happened So I will try to justify our bidding sequence.

Board 2 from the Twin Red set we played on Wednesday, a Match Point night. I was West and held

♠ K Q J 9
7 4
A 8 3
♣ K 10 5 4

My partner opened 1 and I responded 1. Now partner bids 3. That is showing 16+ high card points and a 5 – 4 minimum shape. My thirteen points seem to be in the other suits, but we do have a fit in clubs. As usual it is not 100% clear where we should play and I decide to bid 3. My LHO doubles and partner bids 3.

My partner has at the most 4 cards out with her two suits, if we have all four aces, we have no losers in those suits, sometimes called the pointed suits.

I have two of her hearts, therefore at least seven between us and the outstanding hearts are favourite to break 4 - 2. It may be possible to concede one heart or one club and make the small slam However we will need all the Aces to counter the diamond double. Indeed, the double is a good thing for us as it is now more certain that my partners 16+ points are in her suits. None wasted in diamonds, with hopefully 4 points outside in the shape of the Spade Ace.

If I try Blackwood at this stage, we have no agreed suit and the response should revert to Aces only. So, I try 4NT and get 5♠ in reply. Hoping my partner does not have 2 aces and the Q of some suit I bid 6♣. Note if we are an ace short, we can stop in 5 hearts.

My partner had good look at the 6♣ but decided to pass.

The full hand is

♠ 7 6 5
Q 8 5 3
  K Q 10 6 4
♣ 2

♠ K Q J 9                                           ♠  A
7 4                                                    A K J 10 9 6
A 8 3                                              J 9
♣ K 10 5 4                                         ♣ A 9 8 7

♠ 10 8 4 3 2
7 5 2
♣ Q J 6 3

Reviewing the bidding, I agree that it is not a strong heart opener or a 2♣ opener. If she had elected to bid 3  over my 1♠, then that would have caused us to miss the club fit. Indeed, the vast majority of you played in 4 hearts.  Equally without the club fit I have no real reason to bid past 4. I would not have had a chance to find out about the diamond suit and she could easily have the Q  and poorer hearts. The 4/1 split in clubs and the 4 -1 split in hearts sinks the club slam but leaves 6  afloat.

There I have ate my humble pie - Ba Humbug

Hand 14, from Wednesday 29th May

You are East, dealer and not Vulnerable. It is an aggregate tournament.

♠  A Q 5
  A J 7 4
  A Q J 9 7 2
♣ -

You have 18 points, and are a long way off a 2♣  opener even although, if you find a fit, you have first round control in all the suits. So most will open 1. Your partner responds with 2♣ , surprise surprise.
You now have to decide on your next bid.
3  is classically non forcing and shows 16 points and 6 diamonds. Also you realise that partner has no 4 card major and  probably keen to repeat their clubs.
A No trump bid is completely unacceptable.
 A bid of 2  shows 16 plus points, and is game forcing, (a reverse after a two level bid is always game forcing). You now would expect a 3♣  from your partner and you could then bid 3NT, or, a 2♠  bid 4th suit forcing and asking. So 2  it is, getting you off the hook for now.
Partner now bids Stop 3NT. They could have bid 2NT – you have forced to game. After forcing to game the partnership should play fast arrival is weak, slow arrival is strong. So in this case 2NT would be stronger than 3NT. You take 3NT to be 10 – 12 points and importantly a spade stop and 2 or three diamonds, but not 4.
With a void or singleton diamond West would have circled the wagons and left the final contract to you.

So no spade losers, good prospects that the slam in diamonds will rest on a heart or diamond finesse. In old parlance you have an eight or nine card trump fit. You have 28 to 30 points with a six card suit. On the bidding you are extremely unlikely to get a heart lead and you are stronger than advertised. You have no need to know whether your partner has an A and anyway the trump suit is unknown to your partner and so you bid 6 . Your partner gives that an old fashioned look but passes.

The full hand is:

♠ J 10 6 4 2
 K 9 2
 10 4
♣ J 8 5

♠ K 8 7                                    ♠ A Q 5
8 3                                        A J 7 4
6 3                                          A Q J 9 7 2
♣ A K Q 10 7 4                        ♣ -

♠ 9 3
Q 10 6 5
K 8 5
♣ 9 6 3 2

 and ♠ 9 is led.
Luckily it is Aggregate, so just make the contract, keeping the spade K for later, you win with ♠ A, lay down  A and follow with  Q. South wins and  10 shows from N. You win the return draw the last trump and claim.
It pays to bid slowly, giving partner room to describe their hand. Trusting your partner to know what is forcing and what is not.
Only two pairs bid any slam and the other pair bid 6NT which could be beaten with a heart lead. (It was not Match Points.)


Intermediate Hand

This hand is not difficult. It is targeted at the improver and covers several features that practice the improver should be becoming practiced at.

You are vulnerable, the opponents are not.

Your Partner deals and passes.

Playing 4 card majors, South opens 1♠ and the bidding proceeds
















Stop 4





Your lead: -

The feeling is that South did not raise the 1NT, yet has some feature that makes him bid on. So you place him with 5 spades. The three hearts was ambiguous, it might have been showing hearts the same length as spades, or, was a long suit trial bid, so, was he looking for help in hearts and looking at your hand you can understand why.

Leading away from Ks is only marginally better than leading away from Aces. So favourite is a spade. Normally when you have declarers second suit it is bad to lead trump as your partner could well be over ruffing dummy. In this case it seems the lesser of 4 evils and you must hope partner preserves any card that can over ruff dummy. We now lose interest in East and put ourselves in Souths seat.




Q 10 8

8 5

Q 10 9 5 4 2

A 10









A K J 9 3

A K 3 2


6 4 3








Spade 5 led.

You have 5 spade tricks, (and the only spade you could have lost is the three, the rest are high) Two hearts and one club. You are two tricks short and ruffing two hearts in dummy will sort that.

To get back to your hand to ruff the second heart, you will have to go out in diamonds, and the opposition will probably lead a second trump.

The alternate is to play on diamonds. However changing track at trick 6 or 7 may not be so easy. The way to play the hand is win the lead in dummy, simultaneously getting rid of the three of spades, and play a diamond from the table. West rises with the A. (best) and considers his options.

It must seem attractive to play a club to get any clubs you are due before they disappear on the diamonds. If so win in dummy, play two top Hearts ruff a heart, ruff a diamond back into hand and ruff the last heart.

If a second trump comes back, and all follow, then trumps are breaking. Now you play the Diamond Q and run it, throwing a cub. After winning the opposition will return  a club, you win, the diamonds are now set up (breaking 4 - 2 or 3 – 3). Draw the last trump and claim.

On a diamond return play small and ruff, enter dummy with a trump and claim.

A heart return, the diamonds have broken 4 – 2 there is no need for an insurance policy, so trump to dummy and claim.

The diamond K is not taken, Then two hearts, one heart ruff, conceding one diamond, one club and one heart.

A Note on the bidding, Having established a fit, a loser count by South was then entitled to bid again, but cautiously.

Board 4 Wednesday 1st August

♠ K 7                              ♠ A Q 6 5

♥ K J 7 3                        ♥ A 10 6 5

♦ Q J 2                            ♦ A 6 3

♣ A 9 7 4                        ♣ Q 2

West opens 1NT and North overcalls 2♠. Which shows spades and a minor. Both sides are vulnerable, so as East what do you say?

Most people play: - your partner has made a limit bid and any new suit is non-forcing. Transfers are off and doubles are for penalty. The only forcing bid is 3♠. However, that would, initially, ask partner if they had a stop in spades for 3NT. In this case, you have that, and if partner does not he will bid his suit, which is probably Clubs. Both sides are vulnerable and a double is very tempting, with 12 – 14 points for the opener and no long suit in your hand a slam is unlikely. It would be nice to find partner with 4 hearts, but Norths bid says they are likely to break bad. So East bid 3NT which is passed out.

North leads the 5♦ and west lets than run around to the 8 and Q.

You have 3 spades, 3 hearts, two diamonds and one club you are home. In teams you will play hearts to guarantee the third heart. So, with shortage on your left you play a heart to A and finesse the J on the way back, North discards a small spade.

North’s mildly eccentric vulnerable 2 spades was based on 8 points. Let us see if we can extract some punishment. Surely, they must have K♣, so a club towards the Q and the K jumps up.

Ever hopeful North tries a second diamond, which is run to your J. The Q was played at trick one on the bases that if you do not give the opposition a chance to make a mistake they just will not do it.

Our attention now swings to South whom started with 4 hearts and 5 clubs. We now have 3 spades, 3 hearts, 3 diamonds and two clubs tricks. We have lost one trick and are going to squeeze South for another trick.

♠ K 7                              ♠ A Q 6 5

♥ K 7                              ♥ 10 6

♦ 2                                  ♦ A

♣ A 9 7                           ♣ Q

                ♠10 8

                ♥ Q 9


                ♣ 10 8 6 5

We just have to play off the tricks in the correct order.

A small club to Q, the diamond A then the spade back to the K, Now the club A discarding a heart. Now the A of spades, and on the Q of spades we have

♠                                     ♠ Q 6

♥ K 7                              ♥ 10

♦                                     ♦  

♣ 9                                  ♣


                ♥ Q 9


                ♣ 10

No further counting is required, no studying of the pips all you need to see is whether it is a heart south discards or not, if not throw the ♥7 and if it is, then throw the ♣9.

North was heard to say “perhaps I shouldn’t have overcalled.”