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Welcome to Burnham Bridge Club
Hand of the Week [21 Oct 2019]

For a hand with relatively little “swing” last night, this board is of interest in bidding and defence. I suspect for most, the bidding went 1♣  from South, pass (1♠  vulnerable from West seems a little over-aggressive at teams), 1  from North, pass, 2♣  from South, all pass. But North might have judged to bid 2NT over 2♣  playing teams, which South will surely raise to 3NT after a “maximum” weak rebid of 2♣ .

What should East lead against 3NT by North? If he follows the principle of “4th highest of your longest and strongest” and leads a diamond, he will be sadly disappointed, for there is no defence. North will let the lead run to his J and that will yield at least 5 clubs, 3 diamonds and 2 Aces for an overtrick.

If East finds a magical spade lead, normally choosing the ♠4, as actually happened at one table, West plays the ♠9 if Dummy plays low, which North ducks. A simple spade continuation by West, playing a small card to East’s ♠Q, also ducked by North, is not enough. All East can do is play another spade but North can now prevail with the diamond finesse, 5 clubs and 2 Aces for 9 tricks.

West, when allowed to win the first trick with the ♠9, must then have the foresight to play the ♠K, holding the trick, to play – not a 3rd round of spades, but a counter-intuitive diamond at trick 3! East covers whatever card North plays and South wins the Q. Declarer tackles clubs, East winning with the ♣A over North’s ♣K, then must lead the J. Declarer probably plays low, West wins the K and exits with either red suit, forcing dummy to win the trick. Poor North never gets back into his own hand to make the stranded ♠A and the contract fails by one trick.

Congratulations would be in order to any E/W pair who found this defence. No wonder it is said that defence is the hardest part of the game and also that 3NT is the contract most frequently mis-defended.

Nigel Marlow

Pre-Bridge Seminar, Monday November 4th

Our next monthly seminar will be on November 4th.  Led by Bill Godenzie, the topic will be: Trick 1 - Hands to make you think.

The majority of hands you play as declarer will not need you to come up with advanced techniques (such as squeezes) to make your contract. Many hands will be quite straightforward and the line of play will be clear when you make your plan.  However, some hands fall between these two stools and need more careful thought before you play from dummy at trick 1.  In this seminar, Bill will take a look at some innocuous looking hands that will repay more detailed analysis before you play a card.  This seminar is aimed at players who want to develop their declarer play and avoid that sinking feeling, half way through a hand, when you realise that you could have done better - if only you had thought more at trick 1.

Our seminars are held in the Garden Room, begin at 6:45pm promptly, and last half-an-hour. They're free of charge to all-comers, and hand-outs are provided. If you'd like to come, and stay for our pairs event at 7:30pm, we'd be delighted to accommodate you, whether you've come with a partner or not [we operate a hosting system].

If you'd like to be added to our seminar mailing list, sent out during the week preceding each seminar, email our webmaster, Nigel .

Our seminars are held in the Garden Room, begin at 6:45pm promptly, and last half-an-hour. They're free of charge to all-comers, and hand-outs are provided. If you'd like to come, and stay for our pairs event at 7:30pm, we'd be delighted to accommodate you, whether you've come with a partner or not [we operate a hosting system].

League-of-8 Underway

All three Burnham teams have opened their 2019-20 campaigns.

The A-team have played against both Ascot teams [B&B Divn 1], winning both matches. The B-team have also played two matches  [B&B Divn 2], losing their first to Loddon Vale but striking winning form against Maidenhead B. The C team has played one match [Chiltern League], beating Caversham Park.

All matches show in the website Calendar, and completed matches are included in the website presentation of results once results are uploaded.

Just a reminder: the Club plays in league-of-8 tournaments for the benefit of members. For any members who haven't already registered an interest in being involved, it's not too late: contact Club captain Nigel Lancaster.

Berks & Bucks sim pairs - Oct 14th

Berks & Bucks run a simultaneous pairs week once a year, whereby clubs around the county can elect to operate their normal pairs event within the sim pairs structure. So, in addition to our regular duplicate event being scored as a normal Club event, our results have also been merged with other clubs running the sim pairs event. Results are on the EBU website (use the Sims tab).  There is a booklet available for download from the Berks and Bucks web site, in which one of the county's strongest players provides a commentary on how the hands could (should?) have been bid and played.

Seminar on September 2nd

Charles Chisnall discussed "responding to partner's overcall".

So, you have overcalled and partner bids a new suit - is it forcing, invitational or to be passed?
What about if partner jumps in a new suit - forcing, invitational or to be passed?
What about if partner bids the opponents' suit - UCB  or something else?
What if the opener's partner bids - does that change any of the above for your bid now?
Then we have the question of Vulnerability to consider ...........

Something for you to think about between now and Monday evening: with which of these hands would you overcall 1 over a 1♣ opening bid?

  1. ♠ xx  AQxxx  xxx  ♣ xxx
  2. ♠ xx  AQxxx  Kxx  ♣ xxx
  3. ♠ xx  AQxxx  KQx  ♣ xxx
  4. ♠ xx  AQxxx  KQx  ♣ Axx
  5. ♠ xx  AQxxx  KQx  ♣ AKx
The seminar will be in the Garden Room at SBBC, starting at 18:45 and finishing in time for bridge.  The seminar is open to all (you don't have to be a member of Burnham) and free of charge.  If you wish to stay on and play in our duplicate session afterwards, you will be most welcome.  We offer a host for all our duplicate sessions, so you don't need to come with a partner.
League of Eight
At the end of the B&B CBA League of 8 2017/18 season our "A" team finished in 3rd place of Division 1, winning 6 and losing 2 matches with 1 match drawn. Similarly Burnham "B" finished 3rd in  Division 2, winning 6 and losing 3 matches.
Teams-of-8 2019-20

We'll be fielding three teams again in the upcoming season, the 'A' and 'B' teams playing in Berks and Bucks divisions 1 and 2 respectively, and the 'C' team playing in the Chiltern League.

Our aim is to provide the opportunity for all interested members to play in one or other team. The team captains are Nigel Marlow [A], Graham Dickens [B], and Nigel Lancaster [C].

Note that the 'C' team, being outside of the Berks & Bucks system, can accommodate members also playing in Burnham or other clubs' B&B teams.

Those members whose vacation or other commitments limit their availability are nonetheless welcome to play an appropriately restricted part.


Monday Evening Organisation

Our standard organisation for Monday evening is that we start play promptly at 7:30, play 26/27 boards, and finish at 10:45. In order for the Director to be able to start play at 7:30, the movement must have been entered into the computer, and boards[/movement cards] distributed, so he/she needs to know the number of participating pairs/teams by 7:25. If you know you won't arrive by 7:25, please notify either the Centre or your partner that you're on your way and your expected arrival time.

Club policy as validated by the recent members' vote is that 3-board sit-outs for pairs events are to be avoided and so, with a half-table, our standard movement will be based on 2-board rounds. Our Directors have been instructed that, once the movement for the evening has been selected, it should not be significantly changed to accommodate unnotified late arrivals, particularly where this might prejudice the prompt commencement of play.

Burnham Regains the Burnham/Ascot Trophy

The 29th annual team-of-24 match took place last evening [Thursday 15th August] between Ascot and Burnham.

Home advantage didn't prevail as our team of stalwarts regained the trophy. This is primarily a social event, very much enjoyed by all who take part. Still, coming home with the trophy adds a layer of icing to the cake.

The match details may be seen in the Results area on the right of this page.

Hand of the Week [16 Sep 2019]
A wide variety of conventional bids is available for use by regular partnerships, but it is of course essential that both players are using the same ones, to avoid what can be disastrous results.
Board 31 provided a good example of how conventions can lead to a good result, which would otherwise be missed.
At one table the bidding was as shown, with the 3♠ response being alerted.
After a couple of rounds of bidding, with lots of thought, it seemed probable that something was going wrong, but no-one including the perpetrators was quite sure what!
South, on lead, was fairly confident that the opponents had reached the wrong contract.  He would obviously make the ♣A and, as opponents clearly had no real fit, it seemd best to lead a trump to cut down possible ruffs in dummy.

Declarer took this in hand, played A, K, led a small trump to dummy's Q, ruffed a heart back to hand, and drew the remaining trumps. He now played ♠K, finessed ♠J, and when spades broke 3-3 made all 13 tricks as South had discarded a heart in order to hang on to his ♠Qxx.
Surprisingly enough every other table was in 3NT+2.
And the bidding?  This was accounted for by the fact that West thought that 3♠ showed 5 spades and 4 hearts whereas East thought it showed the minors.
North was not too pleased that South had not made the obvious lead of CA!
[Incidentally, if 3♠ does show the minors, opener rebids 3NT with no minor-suit interest, otherwise 4-minor is RKCB in the suit bid. A 4♠ response to 4 would show zero or three key cards, and leave declarer somewhat perplexed. Opener took responder's subsequent 5♠ bid as possibly showing a spade void.
As always when the wheels have come off, declarer has to make the best of a bad job. The only chance is that spades break 3-3 with the Queen on-side, and that was the position.]
Burnham AGM & Prize-giving


This year's AGM  and annual prize giving was held on June 10th.

 Competition Winners 2018-19








 Club Pairs

Chrys Poole &

Steve Lee


David Killick &

Nigel Lancaster


Bob Holder &

David Beever


 Teams of Four

 Gwen Stoneham Trophy

Nigel Wolfendale


Bob Holder


Chris Mooney


 League of 8

 Peter Hall Trophy

Charles Chisnall


Bill Godenzie





 Multiple Partners

 Addis Page Trophy

David Owen


Nigel Lancaster


David Beever


 Most Master Points Won

 Chairman’s Cup

Bob Holder


Evelyn Crossley


Nigel Marlow


 Most Improved Pair

 Raymond Worral Trophy

Sue Dickens &

Graham Dickens


Brenda Vitty &

Evelyn Crossley


Chrys Poole &

Steve Lee


Burnham C(hiltern) League-of-8 Team

The team completed its inaugural year in the Chiltern League with a 13-7 win away to Newbury A, leaving Burnham at the top of the division. Loddon Vale weren't able to manage the 20-0 victory needed in their final match to upset things [they lost 5-15].

Things have worked out pretty much as we'd hoped, providing opportunities for members who wouldn't otherwise have had the chance to represent the Club to take part. Some 15 members played for the team, with Colin Dale taking the role of administrative captain.

Thanks to all who've supported the Club in this venture: we hope that as many of you as possible will take part in the Chiltern Elimination Pairs heat at the Club on April 1st [see below].

Berks & Bucks CBA Events


Burnham members have already featured in the initial  Berks & Bucks CBA competitions of the 2018-2019 season:

  • Heather & Matthew Tan won the Swiss Pairs for the Denys Jenkins trophy on 17th October 2018, with  David Owen & Bob Holder in joint 2nd place, Dick Davey & Paula Hopkinson in 4th place, and Liz Hayton & Angela Flintoft in 5th place
  • David Owen & Bob Holder were placed second in the Mixed Swiss Teams for the Carole Mueller Trophy held at Windsor on Sunday 11th November, after finishing 1st equal with a Butler score of 74 - leading the field by a clear margin of 25, the final result being determined from the head-to-head boards. Evelyn Crossley & Eva Wallen finished in 4th place. 
  • David Perkins & Phil Thornton playing with Carole & Herb Mueller were placed second in the Butler scored pairs for the Jarrett Cup held at Windsor on Sunday 2nd December.  As there was a 3-way tie for the 3rd place, this was awarded on the basis of the head-to-head tie-break results to Evelyn Crossley, David Owen, Bill  Godenzie & Charles Chisnall.
  • Charles Chisnall, David Owen, Bill Godenzie & Evelyn Crossley won the Perkins Cup in the teams event played at Windsor on 17th February, with Nigel Wolfendale, Bob Holder, Dick Davey & Paula Hopkinson taking second place.

Forthcoming competitions are:

  • The Senior Pairs for the Directors' Cup to be held at SBBC on 17th April 2019

About Burnham Bridge Club
About Burnham Bridge Club

We have twice weekly sessions of good standard Duplicate Bridge at the very attractive South Bucks Bridge Centre - a purpose-converted 16th Century barn in its own grounds, between Beaconsfield, Maidenhead and Slough 

Our main session is at 7.30 every Monday evening, when we play Pairs, except Teams of Four on the third Monday each month except when this is a bank holiday.  A host is available to play with anyone without a partner on Pairs evenings.

We use Bridgemates, for instant scoring, with current scores displayed on a large screen.  Hand records and results print-outs are available within a few minutes of the end of every session. 

Several teams from the Club compete in the Berks and Bucks League of 8, with the A team in the first division.  We also encourage less experienced players and hold monthly free seminars before the start of an evening session.

Monday Night Host

A host is available for all Monday evening Duplicate Pairs sessions,
so anyone coming along without a partner is guaranteed a game.  This service may be used by any player not more than 6 times in a calendar year.

This does not apply for teams evenings or special events- check the calendar



Director: Sue
Maidenhead B Vs Burnham B
Caversham Park v Burnham C
Duplicate Pairs B&B Sim Pairs
Director: Sue
Ascot B v Burnham A
Duplicate Pairs (Seminar at 18:45)
Director: Sue
Thu 24th Oct 2019
Burnham C c Goring & Streatley
SBBC 7:30pm
Mon 28th Oct 2019
Duplicate Pairs
SBBC 7.30 pm
Director: Nigel
Thu 31st Oct 2019
Newbury B v Burnham C
Newbury 7:30pm
Mon 4th Nov 2019
Duplicate Pairs (Seminar at 18:45)
SBBC 7.30 pm
Director: Sue
Wed 6th Nov 2019
Burnham A v Bourne End A
SBBC 7:30pm
Mon 11th Nov 2019
Duplicate Pairs - CIN Sim Pairs
SBBC 7.30 pm
Director: Malcolm