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Quiz
 
Three possible hands are given for South, but only one is consistent with their bidding. Which one? What would the others hands have bid differently? Neither side is vulnerable.
 
North   East   South   West


  Pass
Pass
Pass
 

  Pass
Pass
 
Hand a)
♠ K Q 9 8 4 2
 A J 9 5
♦ Q 9
 2
 
Hand b)
♠ A Q 8 3 2
 A Q J 2
 Q J
 3 2
 
Hand c)
♠ A K 5 3 2
 A K 4 2
♦ 7
 9 5 2
 
The first correct email (send to nick@arobson.co.uk) drawn out of a hat on the of 27th of June wins a copy ofAndrew’s What Should Have Happened CD Rom

For previous quizzes please click here.
 
Bridge gifts
Beginning Bridge ARBC Flippers Bridge Lesson Booklets
 
At the Club
  
Children's Bridge on the 21st & 22nd, 28th & 29th of July, Natasha and Paddy are leading our Children's Bridge sessions. Please click here for further details.
  
Free Beginning Bridge Taster Session. It is aimed at those that have never played Bridge but would like to try it out. Please encourage your non Bridge playing friends to come along on one of, 9th, 21st or 22nd of September. Full details can be found here  
 
Our  Autumn teaching timetable has been finalised you can download a copy of it here. Alternatively you can book a course byclicking here
  
We have two weekend bridge courses running before the end of June, they are:
 
 
 
Andrew Robson Quiz
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Quiz
 
Three possible hands are given for South, but only one is consistent with their bidding. Which one? What would the others hands have bid differently? Neither side is vulnerable.
 
North   East   South   West


  Pass
Pass
Pass
 

  Pass
Pass
 
Hand a)
♠ K Q 9 8 4 2
 A J 9 5
♦ Q 9
 2
 
Hand b)
♠ A Q 8 3 2
 A Q J 2
 Q J
 3 2
 
Hand c)
♠ A K 5 3 2
 A K 4 2
♦ 7
 9 5 2
 
The first correct email (send to nick@arobson.co.uk) drawn out of a hat on the of 27th of June wins a copy ofAndrew’s What Should Have Happened CD Rom

For previous quizzes please click here.
 
Bridge gifts
Beginning Bridge ARBC Flippers Bridge Lesson Booklets
 
At the Club
  
Children's Bridge on the 21st & 22nd, 28th & 29th of July, Natasha and Paddy are leading our Children's Bridge sessions. Please click here for further details.
  
Free Beginning Bridge Taster Session. It is aimed at those that have never played Bridge but would like to try it out. Please encourage your non Bridge playing friends to come along on one of, 9th, 21st or 22nd of September. Full details can be found here  
 
Our  Autumn teaching timetable has been finalised you can download a copy of it here. Alternatively you can book a course byclicking here
  
We have two weekend bridge courses running before the end of June, they are:
 
 
 
Tips from Andrew Robson
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Beginner Corner
 
Opening Lead: Versus Notrumps

(This, and articles like it can be found at andrewrobson.co.uk.)

The opening lead is the pivotal card in many defences. It’s a unique card too, the only card played without a sight of dummy. Because there’s no dummy to help you, you have to fall back on tried-and-tested winning formulae and versus notrumps, that’s generally leading the “fourth from the top of the longest and strongest suit”. The reason for leading your longest suit v notrumps is to exhaust the opponents of their cards of the suit, so you can win tricks with your small left-over cards.

So after an unrevealing 2NT-3NT auction by the opponents, lead 4 from:

  ♠ J 8 6 3
♥ K 10 6 4 2
♦ A 3
 9 7

it wouldn’t be a big deal to lead  2 rather than 4, but an aspiring partner would think “ah, if 2 is my partner’s fourth highest, he has only four hearts”. So stick with 4.

Change your hand to:

  ♠ J 8 6 3
♥ K Q J 4 2
♦ A 3
 9 7

and now it would be a mistake to lead 4. This risks declarer winning cheaply with say 10. When your long suit is headed by three touching* honours, lead the top of the sequence. So lead K. That way you’ll force out A.

*Or near-touching: lead K from KQ1042.

 
Tips for Intermediates

Rebidding Notrumps

(This, and articles like it can be found at andrewrobson.co.uk)

When opener has opened or rebid notrumps, the strength and shape of his hand is known. Therefore responder will normally know whether or not the values for game (25 partnership points) are present. If they are, then the only outstanding issue is which game to play. The order of desirability is:

  1. 4 , 4  with an eight-card fit.
  2. 3 NT.
  3. 5 , 5  some way behind.
Every effort should be made to locate an eight-card major fit. Say the bidding has begun 1 -2 -2 NT (15-16). What next with:
 
Hand  (a) Hand  (b) Hand  (c)
♠ K 7 3
♥ 4
♦ J 9 6
 A Q 9 8 5 3
♠ A J 9 6
♥ 7 3
♦ 10 6
 A K 8 6 3
♠ 8 7 3
♥ Q J 7
♦ Q 4
 K Q 8 6 3

(a) 3 NT. No point in bidding more clubs. 5  is a long way away.
(b) 3 . May still have a spade fit (partner would bid this way with 4 s-4 s and 15-16 balanced). 
(c) 3 . This delayed support shows three hearts (with four you would support immediately). Partner may have have five hearts in a 5332 shape, in which case he will raise to 4 . With just four hearts, he will prefer 3 NT. 

South Deals
Both Vul
8 6 5
Q J 7
Q 4
K Q 8 6 3
J 10 7
A 5 2
A J 9 6 3
9 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 9 4 2
8 4
10 7 2
J 10 7 4
 
K Q 3
K 10 9 6 3
K 8 5
A 5

What happened

West North East South
      1 
Pass 2  Pass 2 N1
Pass 3 N2 Pass Pass
Pass      
  1. 15-16 Balanced.
  2. Mistake. There might still be an eightcard fit in hearts.

Declarer correctly rose with dummy’s  Q on  6 lead. He then led  QJ (ducked) and  7 to West’s  A. On this trick East discarded  9 (“throw high means aye”), so West switched to  J. East won  A and led  10, crucially through declarer’s  K. West now had to score AJ93. Down two.

What should have happened
West North East South
      1 
Pass 2  Pass 2 N
Pass 3 1 Pass 4 2
Pass Pass Pass  
  1. Showing his delayed (i.e. three-card) support, asking opener to choose between 3 NT or 4.
  2. Holding a fifth heart.

4  would make 10 tricks, losing just  A,  A and  A. Game made.

If you remember just one thing...
Explore for eight-card major-suit fits until neither can exist.

 
 
Column of the Month - for the more  Experienced
 

(This, and articles like it can be found at andrewrobson.co.uk.)

After qualifying for the knockout stages [of the last World Championships for the Bermuda Bowl] by finishing 6th (out of 22) in the round-robin, the English Open Team drew the powerful Monaco squad in the quarterfinals. Sad to report, we lost. I certainly won’t blame bad luck, for we made too many costly mistakes. However there were a few moments where Lady Luck deserted us – take this marginal slam.

Board Teams
South Deals
None Vul
J
K 10 9 7
A Q 6 5 3
A Q 4
K Q 10 9
6 5 4 3
J 9 2
10 6
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 8 6 5
2
K 10 8 4
J 9 8 2
 
7 4 3 2
A Q J 8
7
K 7 5 3
West North East South
  Forrester Andrew  
      Pass
Pass 1  Pass 1 
Pass 3 1 Pass 4 N2
5 3 Pass 6  Pass
Pass Pass    
  1. Splinter bid, showing a raise to 4with a singleton (void) spade.
  2. Four small cards is almost the best holding to have facing a splinter: just one loser and three ruffing tricks. South launches into Roman Key Card Blackwood.
  3. Zero or three “aces” (K counts as an ace).

West (irritatingly) led a trump and the tall declarer surveyed his chances. Say I crossed to the ace of diamonds, ruffed a diamond, crossed to the queen of clubs and ruffed a third diamond. Probably no king of diamonds would have appeared (in the longer length). If I then crossed to the ace of clubs and ruffed the fourth diamond with my last trump, how would I cross to dummy to draw trumps and enjoy the long diamond? I couldn’t – the player without the king of diamonds would throw a club on the fourth diamond, his partner would then win the spade and give a club ruff.

So perhaps I should take the diamond finesse. But I was loath to go down at trick two (by seeing a diamond to the queen lose to the king).

I reverted to the first plan and sought an improvement. Aha! The penny dropped. Cross to the ace of diamonds, ruff a diamond, cross to the queen of clubs and ruff a diamond. If both opponents have followed to three diamonds but no king appeared, I now make the small change to my original plan of cashing the king of clubs before leading to dummy’s ace (key play).

If clubs split 3-3, I can now ruff a fourth diamond (with my last trump) and lead the long club throwing dummy’s spade. I succeed even on 4-1 trumps, as I must score the last four tricks in dummy withthe three trumps and the fifth diamond). I’ll make my slam if either the king of diamonds is trebleton or clubs are 3-3. (And experts love either-or lines of play).

Very disappointingly, though, after cashing the king of clubs and leading a third club to dummy, West ruffed. He led a second trump and I was soon conceding down two. There had been no way to win.

Books, Flippers and Arrow Packs
ARBC Diary ARBC Flippers Bridge Lesson Booklets
 
 
At the Club
  
ARBC's courses are booking now
Our Autumn Courses start from the middle of September. Each course (unless otherwise stated) costs £165 and lasts for eight weeks. Further details can be found here.

Alternatively many of our  courses can be taken over a weekend. This format is ideal for people living out of town as well as, those who cannot commit to a week day course. Full details can be seen here
 
Bridge Taster session 
Andrew is leading three Bridge Taster sessions aimed at those who are new to Bridge. They are being held at 18.30 on the 9, 23 and 25 of September. For further details please click here.
  
ARBC Holidays
  
We run a selection of holidays including in the coming year: 
  • Bruges
  • Malta
  • Grindelwald
  • Zermatt
  • York
  • Millstream -Bosham
grindelwald
The Eiger: We are delighted to be hosting our ski/Bridge holiday to the 5* Hotel Schweizerhof in Grindelwald, Switzerland. It has an imposing backdrop of the world-famous Eiger. The hotel is only a two to three minute walk from the centre of Grindelwald and offers excellent cuisine, an indoor pool and full wellness/spa facilities. Grindlelwald offers excellent skiing and is easily connected with nearby Wengen.

View of Prague
Malta: The 5* Le Meridien, St Julian’s, is enviably located in the pretty Balluta Bay leading to the Mediterranean Sea. St. Julian's started life as a little fishing village and this working tradition is still in evidence with brightly coloured boats bobbing about on the almost too-blue water.

Bruges Canal
Bruges: And, in June we, will be hosting a midweek break to Bruges, a UNESCO heritage city. We are staying in the 4* NH Brugge Hotel, which is centrally located in the perfectly preserved medieval city. Bruges offers beauty and tranquillity and is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the North'.

See full details here. Or Email:jack@yorkshirebridge.com
  
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Beginner Corner
 
Overcalling 1NT

(This, and articles like it can be found at my new website.)

That expression causes endless confusion – and I’ve finally worked out why (I think). In Bridge players’ jargon, “overcalling 1NT” means “bidding 1NT as an overcall”. 

The confusion arises because it is perfectly natural to interpret the expression “overcall 1NT” to mean: bid at the two-level as an overcall over the opposing 1NT. This is not what “overcall 1NT” is intended to mean in “BPJ” (Bridge Players’ Jargon). 

Bidding as an overcall over the opposing 1NT is not really much different to bidding as an overcall over an opening such as 1 ♠. You’d have a good five/six card suit and at least about eight/nine points at the (very) low end.

To bid 1NT as an overcall, you should have 15-18 (or 19) points, balanced with a stopper in the suit opened.

After your right-hand opponent opens 1 ♠, you would bid 1NT as an overcall (“overcall 1NT”) with these hands:

Hand (a) Hand (b) Hand (c)
♠ K 10 3 2
 A Q
 J 8 2
♣ A K 8 6
♠A Q 2
 9 2
 A Q 8 3 2
♣K 9 7
♠ 7 3
 A J 2
 K J 8 3
♣ A Q J 6

Hand A: Bid 1NT
Hand B: Bid 1NT, a better description than 2.
Hand C: Double - for take-out. Do not bid 1NT as an overcall because you have no spade "stopper".

 
Tips for Intermediates

Those tricky 4441s

(This, and articles like it can be found at my new website.)

Hand distributions fall into four categories. Here are three of them:
(1). Balanced. 4432, 4333, 5332.
(2). Single-suited. e.g. 6322, 7321.
(3). Two-suited. e.g. 5431, 5521.
Note that some shapes - 6-4s - belong to both (2) and (3).

The fourth category is a lone distribution, the only unbalanced shape without a five(+) card suit...
(4). Three-suited. 4441.

There is no right or wrong way to treat this awkward shape (mercifully only the tenth most frequent). One approach is to open using the normal rules (i.e. higher ranking, but choosing hearts before spades when 4-4). Another is to open the “suit below the singleton” (preparing yourself for partner’s most likely response); or even opening your lowest-ranked suit (to keep things cheap). I’ll make a more formal suggestion next deal.

One thing is for sure. A 4441 shape is more suited to defence than play - you know that no suit will split well for an opposing declarer. So why not pass a marginal opener?

South Deals
Both Vul
K J 9 6 3
J 7 4
10 9 7
Q 8
8 2
9 6 5 3
A Q
A K J 10 6
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 10 7 5 4
K 8
8 6 4 3
7 3
 
Q
A Q 10 2
K J 5 2
9 5 4 2
West North East South
      1 1
2  2  All pass  
  1. Mistake. Devalue  Q and is it really
    right to open this defensive collection?

What happened
West cashed  A against 2 . East signalled encouragement with  7, so West continued with  K and  10. East overtrumped dummy’s  7 with  8 and switched to  8. West won  AQ and followed with  J. Declarer trumped with dummy’s  J (not best on the layout) and East overtrumped with  K. He led  6, trumped by West, received  8 return to his  A, then led  4. West trumped with  5 - too high for dummy - and the vulnerable part-score was down four.

What should have happened
E-W would have had tough decisions if South passes as dealer. West will likely open 1 ♣ and East will respond 1 ♠, all of West's rebids are compromised (1NT / 2 ♣ / 2  ) - You can see E-W getting in a mess..... They might escape if they stop low(1 NT, 2 ). More likely, they would get overboard.

If you remember just one thing...
Do not open a 12 point 4441.

<
 
 
Column of the Month - for the more  Experienced
 

(This, and articles like it can be found at my new website.)

A little bit of Zia's magic

He didn’t start playing until he was in his early twenties – appreciably later than most other international superstars. Yet Zia Mahmood remains the inspirational player he has always been since he broke onto the scene over 30 years ago.

Zia and I always try to seek each other out at the big tournaments. Some players like to rest between sessions. We love to talk through the boards and extract every last ounce out of the game we both love.

On this deal from the European Open Pairs in Ostend, where Zia and partner Jan Jansma finished second, Zia looks certain to fail in 4  doubled. As so often, he managed to throw a smokescreen over proceedings, totally hoodwinking his hapless opponents.

West Deals
None Vul
J 9 2
J 6 5 4
K 9
A K 10 6
A Q 10 6 4 3
Q
J 7 5
Q J 4
 
N
W   E
S
 
5
A 10
A 4 3 2
9 8 7 5 3 2
 
K 8 7
K 9 8 7 3 2
Q 10 8 6
West North East South
      Zia
1  Pass 1 NT1 2 
2  4  Dbl2 All pass
  1. Not really quite strong enough for 2 .
  2. Two aces and a singleton in partner’s opened suit renders this a good double. Indeed such a double should suggest the singleton, requesting partner to lead ace (and another) of their suit for a ruff.

West led the ace of spades and declarer knew East held a singleton. Not only because West had bid and rebid spades; also because of East’s double of the final contract. Zia smoothly dropped his king under the ace (key play).

Now perhaps West should smell a rat, because it was unlikely his partner would have three spades and never support. But at the table West not unnaturally presumed Zia’s king was singleton. He switched to a diamond at trick two.

Declarer tried dummy’s king of diamonds, East winning the ace and returning a diamond. Declarer won the queen, ruffed a diamond (bringing down West’s jack) and cashed the ace-king of clubs, discarding his two spades (as East- West winced).

Needing to pick up hearts for one loser, declarer was confident West held no more than one card – East would not have singletons in both majors. The question was this: was West’s singleton heart the queen or the ace?

Can you see how declarer helped to resolve the issue? Instead of leading the normal low heart from dummy, he led the jack. Now any human East would cover with the queen holding  Q10. So when East played the ten, declarer knew to rise with the king, playing East for  A10. West’s queen was felled and the doubled game made.