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22nd Jan 2021 08:47 GMT
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11th Jan 2021 09:34 GMT
Welcome to the Royal Automobile Club Bridge Circle - Pall Mall
Saturday Duplicate online on Real Bridge on 23rd January 2021
January 2021 Bridge at RAC Pall Mall.

Happy New Year everyone and hopefully later on this year we will be able to meet up again and both have social functions and play bridge other than on line. 
However certainly for next few months we are still on line. I had hoped not to have to bother you all with another newsletter after the extra one in Christmas week but we have some more information for you all!
All the previous weekly sessions are going to continue until further notice including Wednesday evening at 6.45 pm but Nicole tells me this will now be covered by the monthly subscription fees £35 which many of us pay. This does need people to join in so now you don’t need BBO dollars please think about taking part. 
The big news is a new session on Saturday morning  on 2nd and 4th Saturdays on Real Bridge  where you can see and chat to your partner and opponents. These sessions are included in the monthly subscription or you can pay £5 for an individual game as usual.
In January this will be on 9th and 23rd January at 10 am. We will play 12 boards. You do not log on to BBO for it instead you need to book in for it by clicking here and filling in booking form.

You need to do this by Friday early afternoon  and as the form says Nicole will send you a link before 8pm on Friday evening

Many of you have tried this and we have been asked to run sessions so please support it! 

The only other happening to note is the AGM being held by Zoom on Thursday 21 January at 5.30 pm . The link and papers for it will be sent out to RAC members nearer the time. 

Keep safe everyone

Best wishes from Sally ( RAC member on Pall Mall Bridge Committee) 


Last updated : 8th Jan 2021 20:02 GMT
Cotton Cup Final 2020

This years Cotton Cup final was played on 14 Dec 

The less well known to us pairing of Jeremy Bard and Robert Woodbridge put in a particularly strong showing to beat several established partnerships on their way to the finals - Colin and Howard, and Michael Bailey and David Manooch in the semis. Jeremy and Robert have played occasionally at both clubhouses but certainly the pairing was this years X factor.

Pitted against them in the finals was Lester Pereira and Pralab Barua, a pair with a fair bit of rubber bridge experience to fall back on. 

Experience and a good deal of Lady Luck ultimately prevailed in a match played in great spirit, with Lester and Pralab lifting the trophy. 

No doubt we will encounter Jeremy and Robert more often, as we have done on BBO, and hope to see more of them when the regular bridge resumes at Pall Mall.


Last updated : 3rd Jan 2021 15:52 GMT
RAC vs MCC - First ever victory

The RAC was pleased to register its first ever victory against the MCC. Maybe the secret to the RAC success was to play at a neutral venue (BBO) or might it be that the team remained sober! In the past we have been unable to benefit from the Pall Mall Home advantage and at Lord’s we have been undone by the treacherous slope...

The RAC team was captained by Lester who was partnered by Robin and making up their foursome were Michael Bailey and David Mannooch. The other half of the team was Marina and Terry and Isabelle and Tony. The two halves of the team compared scores via text at the half way stage after the first two innings to find the RAC were 31 Imps up. Runs on the board help and although the MCC rallied in the 3rd and 4th innings  it was only to reduce the final margin of victory to 29 Imps. We are grateful to our good friends at the MCC who have agreed that we organise these bilateral friendlies once a quarter during the current period of social distancing. We look forward to our next match with the MCC and live in hope that it may even be in person.

Lester Pereira

Last updated : 4th Jan 2021 10:38 GMT
Ros and Bob Bowman Championship Pairs - a big success

I am not sure what Ros and Bob Bowman would have thought about  a virtual Championship Pairs event in their names but if they were looking down on us on Sunday they would have smiled at the outcome. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let us congratulate Malcolm Bricknell and Peter Hardyman for coming top of the list on 59.5%. I have not retained detailed records but I would guess that this is possibly the lowest ever score to win the RAC annual Pairs Championship. As my partner and I vied for bottom place in the field of 40 pairs I can personally testify to some serious competitive playing throughout. There are a number of recognised star bridge players in the RAC, most of whom competed on Sunday, stars recognisable from the many many  cup and plaques, which they have won in recent years. None of them finished higher than halfway! So let us praise those members who did, starting with John Craggs and Pascale Hakim who came a close second on 58.6%, Andrea Geser and her partner Malcolm McIvor who came 6th on 55%, Martin Langdon and David Wilson 9th on 53%, John Kemball and Chris Morris 10th on 53% and Sally and Paul Found 15th on 51%. An excellent turnout and no high tea. A few prizes to distribute which Howard Salter is organising and Sally will no doubt share with us in her next bridge news bulletin.

Michael Bailey 

Last updated : 4th Jan 2021 10:31 GMT
The Opening Two Club Bid.

Many members today prefer to have the top three suit bids available as “weak” leaving 2C as the all - purpose game force. Unfortunately, they tend not to agree the criteria accurately or the responses. They use the 2D relay too freely and this often leaves them at the3 level yet to make a natural bid. It is for this reason that Benjamin developed his two bids differentiating between the Acol 8 playing tricks (2C) and the 23 point + (2D). The key question if you are playing the all - purpose bid is, game force or not? If so, what are the parameters for 2C. B36 of the Championship pairs produced a fair quota of chaos! Five different contracts. Look first at the South hand only. West deals at Game All.

All three Pass and you must decide on your bid? Suppose you open a catch all 2C. The most likely response is 2D and now you are forced to bid 3C the suit you least wish to play in. how good is your hand? It has 21 points but 4 of those are Queens and 18 are in the short suits. Next will this hand makegame opposite a bust? Well opposite six card reds and a bit of help in Clubs it will make a slam. Say S.Jxx H. 98xxxx D. JX CQJ. In which case we need Partner to tell us where his length is. I therefore favour 1C – unlikely to be passed with all thirteen spades out. Paul F told me what happened at his table. Show all four. They opened 2C and the bidding continued 2S and now 3C North quite reasonably took this as a good suit and raised to 4C and South went 6C -2 with one other. West rightly did not double. No need.

Two pairs bid to the cold 6D requiring only careful play. Philip & John.2C-2S -3C -3S -4D -5D – 6D. Pralab and Geoff lane bid 2C – 2S – 3D (avoiding the trap) 4D – 4NT (RKCB) – 5D (one key)- 6D.  

Last updated : 17th Nov 2020 10:37 GMT
Hurlingham Swiss Teams OCT 10.

This Day saw four RAC teams join 26 more at 1015 am for this annual Hurlingham event. Six x 6 board matches 20 VP for a maximum win. Imp scoring. The winners from Roehampton got off to a flyer scoring 85% from the first four and despite two marginal losing score draws could not be caught.

My team Marina, Terry, Isabelle. Tony after a 62% start at the same stage were lying 8th. A couple of heavy fingers (no undos) by us were costly but they doubled me in an easy  4S+ 2 to return the favour later. The fireworks were reserved for the pen ultimate board. We were EW Vulnerable, South deals and passes.    

Tony.        S.AQ                        S.K                Isabelle

                 H.Q107                   H. AK8542

                 D.AQ1087              D9

                 C.985                      C.AKJ104

We bid 1D – 1H – 1NT (12-14) – 3C (two suiter, game force) 3H – 4NT – 5S (Key card, two +QH) – 6H. On the lead of 6C Isabelle know that 12 tricks were now secure, relaxed and played immediately to the QH discovering JXXX in South. Quick to point out her own error she knew that the routine safety play of AH from the double honour would yield all 13.

The small slam was bid just 6 times and 7H three times once doubled and of course made! Our opponents also bid 7H in R2 and on the same lead missed the safety play. +1530 and gave us 19 VP and 3RD place. The final triumph came from Michael and David M who bid the Grand (should not, against the odds) on a spade lead Michael got the safety play and admitting to sweating, the club Finesse.

Well organised as always by the hospitable There was one warning halfway through about ethical conduct, but I know no more.

Last updated : 12th Oct 2020 13:06 BST
Sunday Duplicate online
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Wed 27th Jan 2021
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Evening Duplicate Online
Flexibility Again

I return to this subject and suit management. Look at this holding we seem to encounter regularly.

       K92               AJ854

Assume first that the suit is trumps. Our aim here is twofold. First to take 5 tricks with the suit, secondly extract opponents trumps so that they cannot ruff our side winners. A 3-2 break is about 62% and a finesse to trap the Q, 50%. Lead to the K (caters for single Q) and if nothing happens finesse the J on the way back. Five tricks; but look at it again. When you finesse the J it loses to the Q. and a third one returned. Just four, only now. Suppose instead you play K then A now if you can ruff with dummy’s last trump you still have your 5 tricks from the suit. However, bonus time! When you play A on the second round the Q drops on your left. You have avoided the losing finesse and still have the third trump, Six tricks. Now suppose you do not draw trumps at all but play a complete cross ruff that amounts to 8 tricks.

Finally look once more at the holding we started with. You are in 6S and can afford to lose one trump but not two. Begin with Ace and all follow. The 4S, small card again, to the NINE if it loses then the suit broke 3-2. If it wins you have avoided a double loss. If when you play the second round the LHO shows out you win KS and play back towards the J, for one loser.

My point is when you encounter any holding ask yourself what do you want / require from the suit?