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Welcome to Burnham Bridge Club
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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Hand of the Week [2 Dec 2019]

There were one or two candidates for this week's featured hand, including one that achieved a 'save' of 1100 against opponents' possible, non-vulnerable 3NT.

But the hand I've picked is the unlucky-for-some board 13. As is often the case it's the part-score battles where judgement and interest are to be found.

I've given the bidding at our table. For me the East hand is not worth an opening bid second in hand, irrespective of vulnerability. In this case, the diamond bid assists NS in quickly establishing their heart fit, though I think it would come to light even if East passes [P P 1 P 1♠ P 2♣ P 2]. EW would probably come in rather than let 2 play, but NS will be prepared to compete to 3.

With the bidding at our table, what should West bid? 2 is promising a good raise in diamonds, but the high-card points outside are relatively 'soft'. The other option is a direct raise to 3 - close decision but I think the one I'd go for in view of the soft values and relatively balanced shape outside the trump suit.

Once EW have landed in 4, the other aspect of the part-score battle comes into play, namely accurate defence, which should take the contract two off but, as the traveller shows, two pairs did better than that, actually making ten tricks in one case.

The net result of 4 -2 yielded the much-sought-after score of 200 in the part-score scenario.

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.

Hand of the Week [18 Nov 2019]

I imagine the auction was similar to ours at most tables, with the possible exception of North's double. At our table, this was alerted as being for take-out. At one table, 2♠* was allowed to play, a dangerous decision in teams, and South quite reasonably chose to rebid 2NT, giving North a relatively straightforward raise to 3NT.

At all 3NT tables, West kicked off with a spade honour, and now battle commences.

South can see there's going to be a struggle to arrive at nine tricks, but the defence is going to have to be on its toes to stop this happening. Where to look for these nine tricks? Four clubs for sure, two hearts by force, two spades by force once the queen and ten have been conceded, and the chance of an eventual diamond. Our declarer took ♠A at trick 1, led a small club to dummy, and returned a small heart, ducked by East and won with J in hand. Now declarer led a small spade, taken by West's ten. Crunch time.

From West's point of view, South can't hold ♣A and K, else she will have nine top tricks and nothing in diamonds, so there'll be no messing around in spades.

With K and A, declarer will establish her three club tricks to go with four hearts and two aces.

With A and ♣A, declarer would have started with 14 HCP, which is not impossible, but seems inconsistent with the 2NT rebid. And this would put East with K and Q. But the odds are on South scrambling to nine tricks.

With ♣A and neither K nor A, South must hold Q to make up an initial 12 HCP.

So, West has to assume that K is with East. Probably 10 as well as declarer hasn't sought to establish a third heart trick. There's no urgency in cashing ♠Q, as West has a further entry with K. All in all, the stand-out lead after taking ♠10 is a heart.

Well done declarer, you put us to the test, and we failed!

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.
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.


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.
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].

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



Teams (Seminar at 18:45)
Director: David
Slough A v Burnham A
Duplicate Pairs
Director: Malcolm
Duplicate Pairs
Director: Sue
Thame A v Burnham A
Duplicate Pairs
Director: Nigel
Wed 19th Feb 2020
Reading C Vs Burnham B
Jesse Terrace RG1 7RS 19:30
Mon 24th Feb 2020
Duplicate Pairs
SBBC 7.30 pm
Wed 26th Feb 2020
Bradshaws A Vs Burnham B
Market Place Community Centre RG6 3HE 19:30
Mon 2nd Mar 2020
Duplicate Pairs
SBBC 7.30 pm
Mon 9th Mar 2020
Duplicate Pairs
SBBC 7.30 pm
Mon 16th Mar 2020
Teams (Seminar at 18:45)
SBBC 7.30 pm