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NCBA Committee Meeting

The next County Committee Meeting will be held,
Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 5:30 pm in Nottingham Bridge Club.

Match Results

Team Captains are invited to email match results to the appropriate League Secretary Jane Hall  for Team of 8 results and Shirley Ashtari
for Team of 4 results

Warwickshire (Away) 15/01/2017

Report by John Auld

The good news for Notts was that this match was played at the West Midlands club, one of the best in the country.

The teams with Butler imps were:

The Dawes (0-20)
David Hodge & Mark Goddard           -54
John Auld & Irene Auld                     -32
Sandy Fulton & Frank Ball                 -5
A Khandelwal & William Crook           -40

The Porter (6-14)
Lloyd Eagling & Keith Rodgers           -15
Anthony Pettengell & Maciej Lejman  -20
William Whalley & Pravin Tailor           22
Richard Milne & Graham Lee             -16

The Markham (14-6)
Janet Jacques & Michael Bleaney       -23
Ray Furlonger & Philip Dale                15
Timothy Anderson & Shirley Ashtari    10
Christopher Close & Dorothy Close      33

Congratulations to the Markham team and in particular to Dorothy & Chris Close who were the best pair again. The Dawes team were awful-apart from Frank Ball & Sandy Fulton who had a respectable result as a scratch pairing. From my vantage point I thought we thoroughly deserved our 0 VPs.

One area which confounds all but the very top players is high level competitive bidding. We went wrong on board 16:

Irene's 1C was overcalled by 1D and I bid 1S ( I could not double lacking a heart suit ). At favourable vulnerability South now bounced to 5D which left Irene with a decision when I doubled. The winning bid is pass but I do not crime partner for trying 5S. North kindly declined to double but -200 was still a poor alternative to +300 for 5Dx - 2. Sandy and Frank managed to double 4S for two off so that helped the Notts cause.

How to get this right? The stock answer is to apply the so called Law of Total Tricks. That is (roughly) that the tricks available depend on the total lengths of the two competing trump suits. In this case we had 8 spades and they had 10 diamonds so that totals 18 tricks. If we can make 11 tricks in spades then (so the story goes) they can make only 7 in diamonds which means 5D X is a great prospect.  However Irene does not know the suit lengths - and the Law does not always work. I think that passing the double is correct because the tricks in clubs and hearts  strongly suggest that 5D will not make so the big disaster of doubling a making game is unlikely. Also the small spades imply the possibility of trouble with our trumps.

So we got that wrong. In due course we got board 29 wrong: 


South bid 4S over my take out double and Irene gave the matter some thought before doubling. Our agreement is that such doubles can be removed but I decided- wrongly - to pass. Dave Kenward was probably disappointed not to make an overtrick. 5D can be made with normal care (ruff spade, draw trumps, A and another club, job done) but the final contract would be 5S -1.

I believe that expert practise is that 4NT by West shows two places to play. while double means we have values either to double or play in a long suit. I think we should both have bid 4NT. Of course if you have a clear penalty double as West you just cant cope. Pass and hope partner tries again I suppose.

Board 15 was a nice hand:

At the vulnerability I felt obliged to intervene over the opposing game forcing sequence. In fact compared to the blood curdling aggression displayed by our top internationals on BBO my 3S was pretty tame. Now North felt he had to make a move over 4H and cue bid 5D. I doubled that for the lead-  not confident it was the right thing but worried that 6H would make on a spade lead. Now South pondered. What I thought should I do if he redoubles? But naturally he bid 5H and made 12 tricks on club leads. What happens on a diamond lead which prevents declarer from unblocking spades before using his diamond entry for SK? Answer he wins DA and cashes 8 hearts squeezing East. See Reeses The Expert Game on stepping stone squeezes.

Willie and Ankush were unlucky to be the only pair in the Dawes match who defended 6H which made on club leads. Willie overcalled 3C over 2C (naturally) , North bid 3D and Ankush bid 6C as befits a leading junior. Willie opines that 6C will push them into slam which you do not want, whereas 5C would have them subsiding at the 5 level. That is I think experience rather than theory. Willie also makes an interesting point about the defence. On CK lead there is no reason to signal length or encourage; the club suit is known to everyone. So the C2 should be suit preference asking for a diamond switch which will defeat 6H in practise.

 They were also unlucky on board 11 when they again were the sole defenders of a slam (6D in this instance):

This was the sequence at our table with 1NT 12-14 and 2C for the majors.

 North played 5C with a grand slam almost 100%. That was entirely down to South. He had 12 points but when his partner showed a strong minor 2 suiter his hand was transformed. Aces in the majors and support for the minors were enormous. Having reached 4C he could cue bid 4H and then 5S over 5C. Partner should understand and bid 7C.


Well done Warwickshire and thanks for the excellent tea.