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Welcome to Burnham Bridge Club
Hand of the Week [29 Jun 2020]

Hand 14 was an easy slam to play and should have been easy to bid at most tables if the players  – especially South - realise the value of their distribution.

North has a very strong hand with 9 probable tricks and 21 points.  At most tables it was opened 2♣  showing some sort of strong hand.  South responded  2, either a relay  or a negative bid, depending upon partnership agreement and North should rebid 2♠.

At this stage South must re-appraise his hand.  From being an ordinary hand with a moderate  eight points it now has excellent support for partner, including a singleton and a KQ, and South must do something to show it.  By far the best bid is 4, a splinter showing good spade support with some values.

After this bid it is a very pessimistic North who does not bid a slam; he is not sure where South’s values are, but whether they are in diamonds or hearts they are likely to be of use.  RKCB will probably come into action, mainly to check for a grand slam, but the fact that partner shows no key cards should not prevent the slam being bid.

At some tables the EW managed to find a very sub-minimum bid; at one table West opened a psychic 1 with a bad 5-card suit and a 7-count, and at another table it was opened  with an even more remarkable 2.  It might still be possible for NS to reach the slam, but of course it is more difficult, which is why third-in-hand semi-psychic  bids have addicts.

David Beever

Teams-of-8 2019-20

This has been a unique season, for reasons with which we're all familiar. None of our three teams were able to complete their programmes.

Our A-team, playing in Berks & Bucks Division 1, came within three days of playing its final match. Three other Division-1 matches were not completed. As things stand, Burnham A tops the division.

Our B-team, playing in B&B Divsion 2, also finished the season with one match not played. Six other Division-2 matches were not completed. As things stand, Burnham B lies second in the division.

The B&B committee have urged teams to consider completing their programmes online, with a deadline of 31 July, but neither of our teams have elected to do this, and there is only one match planned as far as we know. After this date, the league secretary will utilise the relevant rules to allocate scores and finalise the league, which is likely to mean that the current order of teams will prevail, with corresponding promotions and relegations. At this stage no-one can say what form the league will take next season. 

B&B are intending to add a new rule which will allow a team to decline promotion for one year if it so chooses, which could be relevant for our B-team.

Our C-team, playing in the Chiltern League, lay in fifth position with two matches still to play when the decision was taken to freeze the league.

Pre-bridge Seminar, Monday 22 June, 9:45am

Charles Chisnall is following up his May seminar which covered opener's rebids by moving round the table and looking at responder's second bid. Here are three example sequences you might like to mull over in advance. In each case partner has opened the bidding, opponents have passed throughout, and your hand is shown.  What would you bid as your second response?:


  • ♠ Axxx  xxx  Jx  ♣ AQxx                 1  -  1♠  -  2♣  -   ?  
  • ♠ AQxxx  KQ   AQxx  ♣ xx               1  -  1♠  -  2  -   ?
  • ♠ AQxxx  xx  Qx  ♣ KQxx               1  -  1♠  -  2  -   ? . 


If you'd like to review last month's presentation with recommended bids appended as the final two slides, please click 25th May Seminar.

The seminar will be presented as a Zoom video conference. If you're interested in attending, please contact Graham Dickens to receive the relevant Zoom details. If you attended last month's seminar you'll receive these details automatically. If you're unfamilar with the use of Zoom, let Graham know.

Burnham seminars are free to all and are timed to last approximately half-an-hour. We look forward to 'seeing' you on Monday.

Click May 25th seminar slides for slide copies with recommended bids appended as final two slides.

Pre-Bridge Seminar, Monday 25th May,10:15am

Charles Chisnall's seminar will be addressing the factors affecting opener's rebid in a variety of situations. Partner may have responded or passed, and opponents may have intervened.

Here are a few example hands for you to think about

  • You hold   ♠ xxx   AKxx   AKJxx   ♣ x   and the bidding goes  1 -  P - 1♠ - 2♣  Over to you: what's your rebid?
  • You hold   ♠ x  AQx  AJxxx  ♣ KQxx   and the bidding goes   1 - P - 1♠ - P   What's your rebid this time?
  • You hold   ♠ Axx  Axxxx  ♣ KJxx    and the bidding goes 1 - P - 1♠ - P    What's your rebid?

The seminar will be presented via Zoom, and you will need to let Graham Dickens know if you're thinking of sitting in - he will need to email you with the specific Zoom invitation. Don't worry if something crops up that stops you attending - we're not counting!

Burnham seminars are designed to help the average club player improve his/her bridge. Each seminar lasts half-an-hour, and they are free to all.

Please contact Nigel Lancaster with any general queries.

Burnham On-line From 13 April

Afternoon All,

Following up yesterday's news item, the Committee has decided to switch our weekly event from 7:30pm to 11:00am, at least for the time being [10:30am from 8 June].

We'll take a further view once the dust has settled, but we don't want to risk repeating last Monday's experience.

This virus has a lot to answer for!

Burnham On-line 6 April

We are very sorry we could not provide our usual Monday night bridge last night. 

As far as we can ascertain, this was because BBO was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of users who wanted to play at the same time as ourselves.  We weren’t the only club to have their 19:30 tournament disrupted.

The Burnham committee is working on an alternative start time for next Monday; we will announce the new start time as soon as a decision is made.We have every intention of maintaining our online presence in the existing format, because we understand that most of our members enjoy playing with people they know and have played with before.

Bridge Base Online is struggling with the huge increase in demand for online bridge; last night they were apparently faced with a record number of tables. One step they are taking is to restrict club events such as ours to a maximum of 20 tables, along with a stipulation that such events should have a start time no later than 3pm. Our BBO director claims that Monday is a particularly busy night on BBO, and that only events with a starting time between 7pm and 8pm really face a problem. We're continuing to monitor the situation.

Burnham Bridge Club On-line

We've been working together with SBBC to establish a platform via Bridgebase Online [BBO] for running our events on-line. Such events will be limited to SBBC members who've joined BBO and registered their BBO details with either Burnham or SBBC [or both]. We have added a field for you to supply your BBO username: click on Members Only, go to Account, scroll down until you see Online, select BBO, and enter your username in the BBO box.

The first Burnham event to be hosted on the new platform will be on Monday 30th; participation is open to all SBBC members.

A few notes about playing at BBO:

  • participation in EBU events is charged at $1 per session [of 12 boards]. This 'table money' is deducted automatically from your BBO 'wallet', so you must have charged up your wallet with at least $10. You don't need money in your BBO wallet unless you intend to play in events such as the EBU's for which a BBO charge is levied.
  • participation in events on our new platform will be charged at £3 per 18-board session: SBBC will monitor the sessions in which you participate and contact you approximately monthly to request you settle your account by bank transfer.
  • BBO events are listed in order of start time, the more imminent at the top. Only events due to start with the next two hours are shown.
  • once you're sitting at a table and play has commenced, you'll see a largish green window corresponding to your on-line bridge table, including your on-line bidding box.
  • irrespective of whether you're N, S, E, or W, you will be at the bottom of the table.
  • underneath the 'bridge table' you'll see a smaller window for 'chatting', bridge-related chatting that is.
  • you'll see a button that allows you to control with whom you're having a 'conversation': it may be the other three players at the table, it may be just your opponents, or it may be a 'private' chat with one opponent. You can't have a private chat with your partner. It's permitted to compliment an opponent on their play for example, but slagging off opponents or even partner is frowned on. Opponents may use a private chat to ask you to clarify your partner's bidding for example.
  • alerting/announcing is different in the on-line world. If you're about to make a bid that your partner would alert or announce in the face-to-face world, you will alert/announce before making your bid. Your partner will not see this, so it's advisable to alert/announce more often than usual, as a courtesy to your opponents.
  • At the end of an event, the highest level result you see is a ranking table with pair percentages. Pairs are identified by their BBO usernames, hence our request that you give yourself a recognisable name. If you click on a percentage, you'll see that pair's scorecard.You can drill down to get progressively more detailed information, probably including what players are wearing and what they had for breakfast. Our website Calendar items link to the BBO results. 
  • although not necessary for playing casual bridge, playing in an event requires that you and your partner have a convention card. BBO provides a handful of what they regard as standard cards, and you can start with one of those and edit it appropriately, before saving it under a name of your own. You can tie a particular card to a particular partner.
  • we're all on a steep learning curve here. We'll be providing more information as we assimilate it.

Can we ask all members to keep abreast of Coronavirus insomuch as it affects playing at the Centre by regularly checking with the relevant news item on the SBBC website.

Many thanks.

Anders Wallen

Many of our members will already be aware that Anders passed away in hospital on 5th March, following a severely debilitating stroke the previous week. In his time as a Burnham member, Anders had captained one of our league-of-8 teams, and of course he had served as both Treasurer and Chairman of Berks & Bucks CBA.

We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Eva and her family.

Links to League-of-8 Tables

We've added a league-of-8 item to appear within the Results section of the website menu, principally to make it easier for members to  find out how our teams are doing.

At the end of this l-of-8 item are links to each of the three league tables in which our respective teams play.

Good Week for Burnham A

Our A team played away against Thame on Wednesday, and was pleased to secure a 17-3 win.

But surprise of the week was Friday evening's 14-6 defeat of bookies' favourite New Amersham A by Bourne End A, elevating Burnham to the top spot in the division for the first time in many years.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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].

Pre-Bridge Seminar, Monday 16th March - Beating The Contract

Our seminars this year are being held on the third Monday of the month, preceding our teams-of-4 event. That being the case there's some emphasis on the different tactics we employ in teams events, both in bidding and in play.

Last month we looked at things from declarer's point of view, specifically using safety plays to help guarantee a contract. This month it's the other side of the coin, and presenter Nigel Lancaster will be focusing on defence, the most difficult part of the game.

Difficult, but as we'll see, by no means impossible. Based on three simple rules and good communication between the defenders, we'll see how many contracts that are allowed to make could in fact have been beaten. Invest half-an-hour of your time on Monday, and North will be using the Bridgemate's minus key rather more often when you're defending.

One of the hands we'll be analysing is shown in the quiz above this article.

We look forward to seeing you at 6:45pm on Monday; our seminars are free of charge and open to all.

Pre-Bridge Seminar, Monday 16 March, Quiz Hand

You are East and West leads ♣Q against South's 4 contract.

You take your Ace. It's time to analyse the situation. Can the contract be beaten, and how do you set about it?

Pre-Bridge Seminars in 2020

Starting in January we're switching our pre-bridge seminars from the first Monday of the month to the third. This is teams evening: whilst some of our seminar topics are equally applicable to both pairs and teams events, it's teams-oriented topics that will take priority for the next few months.

The first seminar of the New Year is on 20 January, entitled Hidden Signals - revealed by Charles Chisnall. We'll be publishing further details in due course. Make a note in your diary now - this is one seminar you can't afford to miss.

Good and Bad Breaks - The Art of Safety Play

Our February seminar [17th] will be led by Bill Godenzie.

A safety play may cost nothing or you may need to sacrifice a trick to ensure your contract. The latter is often used in teams play but rarely at pairs. Test yourself on some sample hands for half an hour on Monday evening, starting at 18:45.  The venue is the Garden Room at SBBC.  There is no charge for the seminar.

The hand above is an example for you to think about in advance. West leads A and switches to K. The contract is sound, but why would the declarer play be different between teams and pairs?

Feb 17th is a teams-of-4 night. Should you wish to stay on afterwards to play bridge (we hope you will), you will need to come with 3 other team members - there is no hosting on team nights. If you would like to find team-mates, use the link at the top right of the home page or email Nigel Lancaster, and we'll see what we can do.

Seminar 20 January: Hidden Signals - revealed by Charles Chisnall

Have you ever wondered why some players seem to get the defence right - was it a guess which suit to play or which cards to keep?

There are signals used by a few players that are unkown to most. Very rarely are they written about. But Charles is going to share these signals with you at the seminar.

Note that this methodology is additional to your existing system, be it HELD, McKenney, reverse, Italian, revolving, etc.

Your defence should never be the same after this seminar!

Here are a couple of situations for you to ponder in advance:


Example 1
  ♠ A J 10 6
5 3
A K Q J 4
♣  8 4

With North the dealer, the bidding goes:

1 - P - 1♠ - P
3♠ - P - 4♠ [End]

West leads ♠9, declarer wins ♠A, and continues with ♠J, partner following with ♠8.

What do you play at trick 3 and why? 

    ♠ K Q
J 10 9 8
10 9 8 7
♣ J 10 9


Example 2
  ♠ 4 3
A 10 4
A Q J 6 5
♣ 7 6 5

With South the dealer, the bidding goes:

1NT - P - 3NT  [End]

West leads 2, dummy 4, you play Q, and declarer wins with K, before leading 10. Partner follows with 9 and dummy with 5. Assuming you duck, declarer follows with 7, partner 4, dummy J, and you win with K.

What do you switch to and why?     


    ♠ J 10 5
Q 5 3
K 8 3
♣ J 10 9 2

Bon chance!

Pre-Bridge Seminar, Monday December 2nd

The next Burnham seminar will be on Monday, December 2nd in the Garden Room at the LCBC. It will start at 18:45 and finish in time for bridge.

When partner leads and you win the first trick, you will often want to return partner's suit.   But there will be hands where the winning move is to switch to a different suit.  Under what circumstances might you decide to switch?  And what might encourage you to switch to a particular suit?  We will be looking at hands where it pays to switch, hands where returning the suit led by partner is the right action and looking for underlying themes to help you to decide between the 2 options.

The seminar is free; it is open to members and non-members alike. We hope that you will want to stay on and play bridge afterwards, in which case there is no need to come with a partner - as with all our duplicate pairs sessions, there will be a host available.

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.
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



Duplicate Pairs
Director: BBO
Duplicate Pairs [Seminar at 9:45am]
Director: BBO
Cross-imped Pairs [AGM at 9:45am]
Director: BBO
Burnham Pairs Online
Director: BBO
Duplicate Pairs
Director: BBO
Duplicate Pairs [Seminar at 10:15am]
Director: BBO
Mon 6th Jul 2020
Duplicate Pairs
BBO 10:30 am
Director: BBO
 Click for more information
Mon 13th Jul 2020
Duplicate Pairs
BBO 10:30 am
Director: BBO
Mon 20th Jul 2020
Cross-imped Pairs [Seminar at 9:45 am]
BBO 10:30 am
Director: BBO
Mon 27th Jul 2020
Duplicate Pairs
BBO 10:30 am
Director: BBO
Mon 3rd Aug 2020
Duplicate Pairs
SBBC 7.25 pm
Mon 10th Aug 2020
Duplicate Pairs
SBBC 7.25 pm