Retford Bridge Club
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The EBU operates a National Grading Scheme which runs in tandem with the Master Points system. The NGS scheme now covers the last 2000 boards you have played resulting in a current assessment of your standard of play. The scheme is accessed from the EBU website under NGS & then clicking Nottinghamshire.

Click"Useful Links" for a short cut to the scheme

Welcome to Retford Bridge Club

We are now in a position to start realbridge on a trial basis. The first session will be on Thursday 5th November starting at 730pm. This session will be repeated each Thursday at 730. Logging on should be simply clicking on the link on our home page which takes you to the bridge room. Enter your Christian name and surname, no password, and log in. You will see some tables, then click on a seat, opposite your partner if he/she is already seated otherwise at a free seat. Keith is going to circulate members with more information about how to access and myself and Ian Maxwell will be on hand to help with any teething problems by phone or by calling the director in the director box on the screen. Malcolm Boyack from Exeter is also available to help. He advises us to look at the Cullompton or Exeter bridge club websites which are very helpful. Initially there will be no charge but the committee will be discussing this in 3 weeks but it will certainly be less than the usual £2 table money. At present there is no charge from realbridge.

You can try it out on Friday at Exeter BC. The link will be on the home page. Look forward to seeing you next Thursday.

More details in due course.

 Sandy Fulton.

Last updated : 28th Oct 2020 13:52 GMT
Welcome to the Website of Retford Bridge Club.

Visitors & members are always welcome to our Club Nights on Tuesday & Thursday evenings (6.55pm prompt start) with table fees currently £2 for members and £3 for visitors.


Last updated : 25th Oct 2019 11:17 BST

It is over 6 months since we last faced each other over the bridge table and probably that long before we meet again. Several members have played on line on various platforms. Whilst allowing us to play most of us miss the social interaction of playing at Hallcroft. REALBRIDGE is a new platform which is being launched soon which allows you to see and talk to your partner and your opponents and recreates the bridge table as closely as possible. It is being trialled by Exeter Bridge Club and those of us who have tried it have found it as close to face to face bridge as is possible. Have a look at their website to see how it works. We hope to have a trial session up and running within the next few weeks. More information will appear as and when we know more.

Last updated : 27th Oct 2020 17:52 GMT
Hand of the day, Wednesday 4th March

The deciding hand from the teams of four final, board 20. John passed as West, as did North and I opened a weak NT as East. South bid 5♣ and John came in with 5 , North bid 6♣ and I reflected on the bidding so far. It looked like West has a big major two suiter as he didn’t open a weak two or preempt with 3 so I took the push to 6 as my hand couldn’t be better for partner. You have to feel for North’s double when dummy tables K,9,8 of  . There was no problem in the play when John played a  to the 8. +1660 to the good guys. We were 22 imps down at the time so had the match been closer I don’t know whether I would have bid it. 

At the other table I think the bidding was similar but a level lower. Irene bid 4♣ , West 4 , North 5♣ , East now doubled which Irene had no problems making for another +750 to the good guys, 2410 or 20 imps. We were up 8 imps with 8 to play and tight defence in the last set saw us win by 15 imps.

It just goes to show that aggressive bidding is a winning tactic! Don’t be frightened of bidding with long suits!


Last updated : 5th Mar 2020 16:13 GMT
Wednesday Afternoon Bridge at Hallcroft

The afternoon session of bridge continues now at Hallcroft. This will be more of a social occasion rather than the more competitive evening sessions. It will hopefully attract those members who dislike travelling at night in the dark as well as those who prefer a more relaxed game. It will also act as a stepping stone for those who are learning, to practice and improve their skills. Start time is 2pm and there will be a coffee/tea break halfway through the afternoon with an expected finish time of 4 to 430. It is open to members and non-members alike.

These will continue throughout the winter months and the fee will remain at £2 per session, BUT, only if you become a club member. This will enable you to play in the twice weekly duplicate sessions at Hallcroft as well as the Wednesday sessions. You can however still play as a visitor but the fee will now be £3. The fee for joining the club is £20 and application forms are at the Hallcroft Community Centre. Experienced club players will offer advice on the intricacies of the game.

Numbers for these sessions have been improving recently and have been very popular for those non members and members who have attended. So if you are free on a Wednesday afternoon and have nothing planned or if bad weather stops your afternoon plans then come along and enjoy some friendly bridge. NO PARTNER REQUIRED as a club or committee member will be present to act as host.

Please note that these sessions are now held at the club base in Hallcroft Community Centre on Randall Way from Wednesday 5th February.

Last updated : 27th Feb 2020 23:51 GMT
Hand of the day Tues 2nd Jan

Why does 3NT go one off and 6NT make played by the same hand? Quite a conundrum but today’s hand shows how! John made a slam try with 3♣ and then passed my sign off in 3NT. Irene led the  5 and they quickly cashed 5 tricks! So how does 6NT make? East suggested he would try a quantitative 4NT with North’s hand which I would have accepted and bid 6NT. Now would West lead the small  . We will never know, but any other suit lead leads to 13 tricks. Interestingly North played the hand most of the time so several Souths must have opened 1 or East opened a weak2♠ . Just goes to show how tricky the game can be.

Last updated : 6th Jan 2020 14:28 GMT
Hand of the day 1. Thursday June 20

After a long absence a couple of slam hands from last night. First off, note that I responded 1 only to partner’s opening bid. When he rebid 3 I was thinking grand slam. First of all I set the suit with 4 . This must be forcing inviting a cue bid. John did well to show the ♠ control rather than the  one. Roman Keycard came next and I was surprised that John had only 1 keycard. From that I could pencil in all his hand after his jump rebid. I can count 6  or 7  ‘s, 1 ♠ , 3  ‘s and 2 ♣ ‘s. So 6NT it was. No problem in the play.

Last updated : 21st Jun 2019 15:39 BST
Hand of the day 2. June 20.

Imagine my surprise and delight when a few hands later I picked up another monster and hear partner show a powerful hand with his 2 reverse. 3 was 4th suit forcing and 4 ♣ set the trump suit. A couple of cue bids followed then Roman Keycard Blackwood. 5♠ showed 2 and the trump Q. Now 5NT was asking for specific/exclusive K’s. John’s 6 showed the  king or the other 2. With none he signs off in the trump suit. As in the last hand I can almost place all his high cards so bid the grand slam in ♣ ‘s. Not quite 70% which is the percentage needed to bid a grand but better than most of my efforts.

The theme running through both hands is that if you bid freely over 3NT into your known minor suit, especially after 4th suit forcing then this shows a powerful hand inviting cue bids with hope of bidding a slam. It is important that you and your partner have the confidence to do it and not fearful  that you will be passed out in 4 of a minor. Apologies to both E/W’s who were on the receiving end!

Last updated : 21st Jun 2019 15:22 BST
Hand of the day Tues 12th February

Lots of points of interest here. East bids 4♠ with only 3 points! However there are lots of trumps and a singleton! Priceless! Don’t worry about points when supporting partner. I always say as long as you put down 4 trumps I don’t care how many points you have. The fifth trump is a bonus!

What about South? I think he should bid 5 . Again the ♠ singleton is huge. If South take the push to 5 , what should East lead? The spade king is the correct card. If you lead 4th highest West now is endplayed. You will only have the lead once, so best to retain lead, await dummy then decide on a switch. Partner can play the ♠ Q, a suit preference signal for  ‘s the higher ranking suit on dummy. Now you can take your 3 tricks.

Don’t ask about my 6NT - 5 on board 10!

Last updated : 13th Feb 2019 17:54 GMT
Retford Bridge Club Trophy Winners - 2018
Retford Bridge Club Trophy Winners - 2018

Trophies presented at the Club AGM, Thursday 24th January 2019

Last updated : 29th Jan 2019 12:11 GMT
Retford Bridge Club Trophy Winners - 2018
Retford Bridge Club Trophy Winners - 2018
Last updated : 31st Jan 2019 11:25 GMT
Hand of the day Thur 8th November

Roger scored a deserved top for his fine play on this hand. John had a difficult choice of opening lead. It is a bit of a toss up between the  K and the 4th highest. Unfortunately for us he chose the latter. Now Roger has 8 tricks if the clubs play for 4 tricks. If he can sneak a heart past us he has a  trick in the bag to give him his contract. So a low  towards dummy’s queen held and so he then turned to clubs, cashing then from the top. He now had 2 ♠ ‘s, 1  , 2  ‘s and 4 ♣ ‘s for his contract which turned into 11 when the ♠ Q dropped. If John decides to rise with the  ace, he now has 2 ♠ ‘s, 3  ‘s, 2  ‘s and 2 ♣ ‘s for 9 tricks! If the  Q loses the ace he can now rely on the ♣ finesse. Nicely played.

Last updated : 10th Nov 2018 21:00 GMT
Hand of the day Tues 18th Sep

I was East and started with  king. We play count so Chris will play the 2 to show an odd number. However in this situation, because there is a singleton heart in dummy, count is irrelevant. Instead West can send a message to East to choose which suit to switch to. Here, West should throw the   Jack to suggest a high card in the higher ranking suit, in this case ♠ ‘s. I would than cash the ♠ Ace and another to the King for one off.

Although I didn’t get the signal for a ♠ switch I should have cashed it anyway. If Chris has the ♣ King the contract is going off anyway. If declarer has the ♣ King he has 6  ‘s, a  ruff and 4 ♣ ‘s by setting them up after drawing trumps. Apologies to partner, again!

Last updated : 20th Sep 2018 15:15 BST
Hand of the Day Tues 22nd May

A short auction and to the point on our last hand of the evening. As East I led the ♣ 2 which John won with the Ace. Defence is the toughest part of the game and a good declarer will loose the lead early when you are unsure of where the high cards are situated. John advanced the ♠ 9 at trick 2. Now Chris did very well as West here as she let it win and she did it in tempo with no pause for thought. John now played a heart to the 10 and Chris won with the King. With no ♣ to return she led the  9, letting me know she had no high card there. That ran round to the Q on dummy and John ducked a ♣ to me. I now have a blueprint of the hand. He has the AK of ♣ and the K of  . The ♠ play looks like he has the Q, so I played A and J of  . Then I won the  A, cashed the ♠ K and played a ♠ to Chris who won the rest of the tricks. 800 and a satisfactory end to the evening.

Last updated : 24th May 2018 17:13 BST
Hand of the Day 2 Tues 22nd May.

A dual theme on this hand. The first problem is East’s rebid after North’s overcall. Without the overcall you would rebid 1 NT. Now you have no good bid. This is where ourflexible friend comes in. You double which as opener suggests a good hand with no good bid. Perfect! Chris bid 2 and that is where we played. However South should certainly compete to 3♣ and I would almost certainly bid 3 . 

We discussed defence on the previous hand and this one demonstrates the principle of PASSIVE defence. South should start leading North’s suit. If dummy plays low, North should insert the 10. East draws trumps and exits with a ♣ . North wins and sees that West has weak  ‘s, so plays the 10 of  , top of a doubleton. East will win and exit a   which South wins and cashes  s. East ruffs the 4th round and eventually has to play a ♠ . Now N/S must make 3 ♠ tricks. If N/S Open the ♠ suit then E/W will make a ♠ trick. This ♠ layout is called a frozen suit. So named because whoever plays the suit first loses a trick in the suit. The clue to look for is Hxx opposite Hxx.

Last updated : 24th May 2018 17:31 BST
Hand of the day Thursday 22nd March

One of the key questions to ask yourself is: what is going on? Work that out and doing some mental arithmetic should allow you to reach the correct answer.

If North applies those principles then he should find the winning solution on today’s hand. South led the ♣ Q: declarer cashed both top ♣ ‘s, throwing the  K and a small spade. North was in at the next trick with the  A. What is going on? Why hasn’t partner led my suit? Answer: he hasn’t got one! Let us count East’s hand. East has only got one minor suit card. If partner has no ♠ ‘s then East has five and seven  ‘s. It all fits!! Having worked that out North should lead the ♠ 10 which South ruffs and exits with a  . In the fullness of time North will make two more tricks to defeat the game. 

Last updated : 23rd Mar 2018 13:40 GMT
Hand of the day Tuesday 13th March

How do you bid the difficult 4441 hands? They can be tough but this was the bidding at our table with Mary as East and Sue as West. It all looks fairly straightforward with Sue closing shop with her 3NT bid. She might have tried 2♠ , fourth suit forcing then Mary would bid 2NT as she has the ♠ ‘s stopped.

Sue took the obvious nine tricks and imagine my surprise when they were the only pair in 3NT! So, we bid these hands by opening the suit below the Singleton with a red Singleton : if we have a black Singleton we bid the middle of the other three. Another way of looking at it is checking you have a rebid when partner responds in your Singleton. One other pair bid 3NT later in the evening so it was only a second bottom!

Last updated : 15th Mar 2018 14:07 GMT
Hand of the day Thur 8th March

A tricky hand to bid today. I was North, John and I bid as described. We play 4th suit forcing for one round only. So when I bid 3 this is now game forcing. John bid 3NT admitting to his  stop and I bid a quantitative 4NT. No suit had been agreed so it was not Blackwood. John did well to accept and so I finished matters by bidding the NT slam. 6 is probably the best place to be, but even that it is not cold. 

It is important with powerful two suited hands like mine and no fit to take things slowly. Try to decide how forcing bidding the fourth suit is. It is always forcing to game at the three level. I could have finished matters by bidding 3NT at my second or third turn but I wanted to garner as much information as possible before making a final decision. I also didn’t want a ♣ lead through John’ second suit. My 3 goes by the name of fifth suit forcing! After John’s 3NT I could maybe try 6 which is probably the best spot.

Last updated : 9th Mar 2018 14:29 GMT
Hand of the day Tues 6th March

A bidding system improvement and a missed opportunity are today’s themes. John’s 2NT rebid is 15-19 in the modern style and game forcing. This allows room to investigate slam below 3NT. Gerry then bid a quantitative 4NT and John optimistically accepted. He has seen my defence before!

Chris led a club and John cashed his black suit winners. He threw a heart and three  ‘s from dummy, I shed two  ‘s and Chris A ♣ . When John cashed the  A I rather woodenly followed with the 3, then the nine under the K. Now he can only keep his fingers crossed and hope the  ‘s are 3-3.

However, look what happens if I follow with the  9 and Jack. Now he has an option to play the  ‘s as 4-2 and end play Chris with her bare   Ace. It depends whether he believes my carding!

Last updated : 8th Mar 2018 15:42 GMT
Aboard the Oriana
Aboard the Oriana

Julie,Chris,John and Sandy on board Oriana on their recent Canary Island and Portugal cruise.

Last updated : 1st Mar 2018 08:26 GMT
Hand of the day Thursday 25th January

There is a saying that says that the 5 level belongs to the opponents. East/West were doomed to a bad board on today’s hand. Once I bid 5 as North East should probably pass. Although there are 6 good spades, it is a semi balanced hand, it is equal vulnerability, the 5 level belongs to the opponents and partner’s bold barrage bid of 4♠ has done its job. John did very well as South to bid the  slam with his Singleton trump ace, but even if he doubles that will net us 800.

In East’s defence all these 5 level decisions are very difficult. However as long as you apply the above criteria you will come to the right decision most of the time. Whether John would bid 6 without the 5♠ bid is a moot point!

Last updated : 26th Jan 2018 13:54 GMT
Hand of the day Thur 11th Jan

John and I bid the ♣ slam as above. However I had the mechanism to bid the grand confidently but was rather lazy in the bidding. Rather than just bidding 6♣ after John’s heart cue bid I should have gone through Blackwood. I was listening to Bob Hamman’s advice, if you think that partner has the exact cards then he almost certainly hasn’t. I was bidding the slam anyway so it doesn’t cost to go through 4NT. He would show 2 keycards and then I could bid 5NT. When he bids 6 promising either the  K or the other two (his 3 promises the  K) I can confidently count 13 tricks and bid 7NT.

The important point of the hand is my initial 3♣ bid. After a 1NT opener, 3 of any suit promises a good 6 card suit and slam interest. John has a superb hand for me, a maximum with good clubs and good controls in the other suits. If he had a minimum with no good fit then  he would sign off in 3NT. We were rather lucky to score a joint top as only Gerry and Sue bid the club slam.



Last updated : 12th Jan 2018 20:13 GMT
Hand of the day Tues 9th Jan

It is said that experts like to avoid finesses if at all possible. Ten tricks are guaranteed on today’s hand if declarer can engineer E/W to open the club suit. East starts with top diamonds. Declarer ruffs the second round, draws trumps and tries a ♠ to the Q and K. West returns a ♠  which North wins. Now North plays a  to the 9 and ruffs the last  . Finally North exits with the last ♠ leaving E/W to open up the ♣ suit or give a ruff and discard.

Game made without a club guess.

Last updated : 10th Jan 2018 21:22 GMT
Hand of the Day Dec 28th

The par result was found at only one table today. Both pairs scored exactly 50%. The bidding was short and to the point. Nick bid a direct 7 after Irene’s 4♠ bid. There is a lot for bidding what you think you can make (or what partner can make!). He only needs partner to have the  K for the contract to be cold. And even if partner doesn’t have the  K, the contract makes if the trumps divide 1-1. John Auld judged well to take the sacrifice in 7♠ . 

Last updated : 29th Dec 2017 18:38 GMT
Hand of the day 2: Thur 28th Dec

After a couple of lean months your correspondent is in full flow today. This was the second hand that caught my eye. We are encouraged to get into the bidding if at all possible and that is what Roger did as North board 11. It is generally good tactics to get involved, particularly at love all. The downside is as today’s hand demonstrates in that it gives a blueprint of the hand. I ruffed the third round of spades, cashed the ♣ A, finessed the Jack with the help of Roger’s double which suggests clubs are 3-1 and cashed the ♣ K. If Roger started with 4-4 in the red suits he is now squeezed. Whichever red card he discards I can ruff out the suit to establish the long card without having to resort to a red suit finesse. 

Last updated : 29th Dec 2017 19:49 GMT
Hand of the day Tues Oct 31st

Monster hands like North’s can be notoriously difficult to bid. A suggested sequence is illustrated above. North’s 4♣ bid shows an extremely powerful hand with excellent clubs and is game forcing. Even had South initially bid 2  it would still be forcing. Now South can cue bid her  control, agreeing clubs as holding the Q will solidify the clubs. Now North can bid the grand slam in NT with reasonable confidence. South has shown a balanced hand with about 8 to 10 points and has only shown five so far. Either red Q makes the grand solid and there are lots of squeeze possibilities too. 

Saving space by South relaying with 2 makes it harder to bid the grand with the same degree of confidence. We bid 2♣ -2 -3♣ -3 -3 -4 -6♣ . The main thing to remember is to take hands like North slowly. Have confidence that partner will not pass below game.

Last updated : 2nd Nov 2017 16:33 GMT
Hand of the week Thursday 5th October

We look at a rare trump reduction play this week. A model sequence is demonstrated above. South’s 4 should be a cue-bid agreeing ♠ ‘s and N/S should  subside in 5♠ . We got a bit too high and bid the precarious slam. East led a  to the Ace and it was returned. North cashed a top ♠ then went to dummy with a  and finessed the J. When West followed with low ♠ ‘s the Q,10 sunk the contract. However if West covers the ♠ 9 with the 10 and North finesses then North is sitting with K,6 sitting over the Q,4.

Now North has to reduce his trumps to the same length as West and be in dummy at trick 12 to lead a plain card through West. Best to cash K and A of ♣ , ruff a  then back to dummy with a  and cash Q of ♣ . If West throws a  YOU MUST RUFF your winner then play your last  to dummy and play any card at trick 12 to scoop up West’s ♠ holding. 

Well done to John Auld and Frank Norton who were the only declarers to make 12 tricks.

Last updated : 6th Oct 2017 15:48 BST
Hand of the day Tues 3rd October

David Dobbie did very well to pass David Garside’s limit raise. He scored a joint top for just making his part score in spite of his 15 HCP. There is a lot of controversy about whether 3NT or 4 of a major is the best game on 4-4 or 5-3 fits. The modern expert trend is to go for the 9 trick game. This is especially so if one hand is 4333, even more so if both have the dreaded 4333 shape.

So to hit the bullseye David D should bid 3NT. David G has no hesitation in passing this with his sterile distribution. Tricky to make but almost any line will result in 9 tricks. Sadly not a single E/W pair tried the 9 trick game.

Last updated : 4th Oct 2017 21:21 BST
Hand of the week Tues 26th Sep

Good defence needs partnership cooperation. West had a tough problem after East led the  Q. This was covered by the K and won with the Ace. Who has the  singleton? West needs to know whether the AK of ♠ will stand up. So at trick 2, West cashes the ♠ K. King for Kount! East follows with the 2, promising an odd number. Even if North falsecards with the ♠ Q, West can now cash the A as East has 3 or 5. Only then does West play a second  for a ruff if East has the singleton. I encourage everyone to learn the balanced hand distributions off by heart: 5332,4333,4432. It makes solving this type of problem much easier.

By applying the Ace for Attitude and K for Kount you can solve a lot of defensive problems. This applies throughout the defence and not just on the opening bid. You only have to add up to 13!

Last updated : 29th Sep 2017 18:45 BST
Retford A v Retford B Hand Record Sheet


Last updated : 28th Sep 2017 09:20 BST
Hand of the day Tues 24th August

This looks a fairly routine bidding sequence to what I would call the normal contract. Keith's 1NT, dustbin response to Frank's  opener was spot on as was Frank's raise to 2NT and Keith's pass. I made the normal 4th highest ♠ lead and Keith played it well to emerge with 10 tricks. I thought we would get average minus but imagine my chagrin when I discovered that every other East was playing in 1 or 2 ! What was worse was that even had we held it to 8 tricks it would still have been a bottom!

Why were all the Easts in 2 ? I can only assume that South overcalled 2 and then East bid 2 . Having spent a fair amount of column time espousing the use of double, it is a little disappointing that all the East's have decided to repeat their  's rather than the more flexible double. West can now convert that double into a penalty by passing the double which would net them 300 or 100.

Should John overcall 2 ? Expert wisdom likes to have a 6 card suit. However Andrew Robson is more flexible and suggests a hand like South's with three honours is worthy of an overcall at the 2 level. You add your honours to the suit length: here 3 honours and a 5 card suit. This makes 8 allowing you to contract for 8 tricks. Very useful rule to decide whether to venture in at the 2 level. A close decision though either way.

Last updated : 25th Aug 2017 13:24 BST
Hand of the day Thursday 17th August

The beauty of the game is it's never ending supply of problems that occur which you can generally get right if you think along the correct lines. Today's hand is a case in point. Bob took the push to 4  and got a well deserved top by end playing West.

My bid of 2♠ was rather an overbid and I probably should have doubled the final contract. In these situations when you have a strong holding in declarer' second suit it is generally a good idea to lead a trump. So I fished out the  Q. John won the Ace and returned one which Bob won. He played a  to the king and John's ace. It looks natural to now lead the ♠ K which is what John did. Two tricks later he found himself endplayed to lead into the  Q,10 or setting up dummy's ♠ J. As I must have four ♠ 's for my 2♠  bid he knows declarer has only one so can afford to play a small one. Now he can safely exit with a top ♠ when in with the ♣ J and declarer is a trick short.

I could have prevented this debacle by leading a ♠ at trick 1. Also if John ducks my initial  lead then declarer cannot get home. Anyway, bravely bid and well played by Bob.

Last updated : 18th Aug 2017 18:02 BST
Hand of the day Thur 10 th August

Bernard Moore has never been a politically correct sort of person. He is the same at the bridge table as today's imaginative effort shows. His 1 overcall is not a bid of beauty and will not be found in the teaching manuals. Only a 4 card suit, doesn't eat up any bidding space but what a great result. I showed my ♠ suit and John Haddon made an excellent pre-emptive effort of 3 . This gave John Rolph something of a headache as he has no good bid. He would like to bid 3NT but only has 15 HCP,  only 3 card ♠ support so out came the takeout double. Now I developed a headache: I eventually opted for the ♣ game as I felt I was too good for only 4♣ . Now the wheels really came off as John thought this could be exclusion Blackwood (don't ask) and we eventually landed in the ♠ slam which is even worse than our usual efforts. Bernard kindly didn't double but it was still no match points for us.

Anyway, well done Bernard. The egg on our faces was worth it for the grin on yours!

Last updated : 11th Aug 2017 12:56 BST
Hand of the day Tues Aug 1st

It is unusual to find oneself endplayrd on the opening lead. This fate befell Mike Crook on Tuesday's duplicate. He led the  Q which I ducked! The double suggested he had the majority of the points and Phil had the  A.

Once he remains on lead Phil cannot get the lead to send a ♣ through. Mike switched to the ♣ K but to no avail. Game made. The good news for Mike was that the double cost no matchpoints.

In the bidding note Chris's 3♠ , an excellent bid and although I normally advise that when you open a weak 2 you keep quiet for the rest of the auction my hand has excellent shape (6421) and could easily open at the 1 level, hence why I bid on to 4♠.



Last updated : 3rd Aug 2017 14:24 BST
Hand of the day Tues 25th July

Chris tells me that players tend to freeze a bit when playing me and today's hand is a case in point. I have a rather minimum overcall on the North cards. The only thing going for it is the good suit. What should East do? Bid straight to 4♠! You have 8 points, you can add 1 shortage point for the doubleton  and 3 for the singleton ♣ , making 12 high card point equivalents. If partner has only a minimum he will have 5 or more ♠ 's, if he has only 4 then he will have a strong no trump hand. The ♣ singleton is also likely to be pulling full weight as North has bid the suit.

So the message is when you have good trump support make sure you bid up and don't forget to add your shortage points as above. As I say to Chris many times: as long as you table 4 trumps then I don't care how many high card points you have, I will be a happy bunny.


Last updated : 27th Jul 2017 14:24 BST
Hand of the day Tues 18th July

Two good lessons on today's hand. I was East and poked in a minimum overcall. At the 1 level I consider this a minimum and would never dream of overcalling at the 2 level. The distribution is good (5431) and the suit qualifies Andrew Robson's suit quality test. A five card suit and add  the two honours equals seven so it is ok to overcall contracting for seven tricks. The main reason for this type of weak overcall is to get the defence off to the right lead as we will see later. After Keith's 1NT, Chris correctly competed to 2♠ . Again she is minimum but she knows of the eight card fit so supports my suit to take away the bidding space. Alan doubled to show his extra values and they alighted in the good game contract.

That is the bidding lesson and now comes the defence lesson. Chris led the ♠ 2, low from three to an honour. I won the ace and returned my original fourth highest. Keith perforce won the king and Chris paused for thought. She knew I had five ♠ 's, hence declarer only two so she brightly ditched her Q under the K! Now when she got the lead with the  Q, she was able lead her small ♠ to my three winners. 


Last updated : 19th Jul 2017 20:03 BST
Hand of the day Thursday 29 June

With Sandy's absence we have not had a 'Hand of the day' for some time so I offer this exhibit from last Thursday. Hand 25 did little to help our cause as we scored a meagre 14% on the board. However, being generous in nature, I have decided to credit Bernard with a rare example of a 'Stripe-tailed ape' double. This is where the double of a game contract is meant to deter the opposition from bidding a makeable slam. (5H doubled +1 scores 1050 against 6H which scores 1430).

The double is so named because the doubler, if the contract is redoubled, is recommended to run like a 'striped-tailed ape' to a sacrificial contract. In this case it would be 5S doubled which would lose 800. Unfortunately the rest of the field played in game or worse, and it was only John & Irene, who bid the excellent slam, that saved us from a complete bottom..

In practice, I don't think either Bernard or I would have bid over a redouble, and if declarer takes the Heart finesse and sets up Clubs, they make all 13 tricks for a score of 2000!

Last updated : 4th Jul 2017 09:42 BST
Teaching programme

Mike Coggles and Sandy Fulton are both offering bridge lessons at their respective homes catering for beginners and improvers. These are open to any member of Retford Bridge Club as well as any friends or relatives who are keen to take up the game. They are happy for students to interchange if one of them is away for any reason. 

Timings of other sessions are:
Monday afternoon: improvers at Mike's.
Thursday morning: beginners at Mike's.
Wednesday evening: beginners at Sandy's.
Thursday morning: improvers at Sandy's.
Contact details: Mike 01777703610.
                        Sandy 01909479748.
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