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Winter Bridge Seminars can be arranged for Improvers on a monthly basis should there be sufficient interest.  These would take place from 1330hrs to 1445hrs on a Thursday prior to Social bridge sessions.  Provisional dates are Thu 24 Oct and Thu 28 Nov. 

Private lessons are also offered by Richard Woodward at home.

Interested members should contact the Secretary,

Welcome to Sarum Bridge Club (Salisbury)

Sarum Bridge Club provides competitive and friendly duplicate bridge in pleasant surroundings.  It is affiliated to the English Bridge Union and Wiltshire Contract Bridge Association.

Monday evenings are competitive sessions with Master Points awarded. We meet at 1845hrs in readiness for a 1900hrs start.   

Social duplicate bridge takes place on Wednesday evening (except 2nd Wednesday of each month) at 1845hrs and Thursday afternoons at 1445hrs.

We meet in the Reading Room, Stratford Sub Castle, Salisbury, SP1 3LL.  The Reading Room is opposite St Lawrence Church. 

The Reading Room is disabled friendly.

New Members and Visitors are always welcome.  The club has a stewarding system on a Monday and Thursday, which can be viewed on the Website.  If you need a partner it is advisable to check the Website in advance.

For further information about Sarum Bridge Club contact 

Interesting Hand - 8 July 2019

Monday 8th July.  Board 22 – Double Trouble

By Colin Jones

 This board produced some interesting results and lessons.

After a frisky non-vulnerable weak 2H opening by south, west overcalls 2S.

Now several norths thought they had enough for a penalty double. As you can see from the scores, they didn’t.

Even after AK of clubs and a ruff, north can take no more than 2 further spade tricks, with the contract making exactly.

It is often correct to force declarer on these types of hands, so it appears that an initial heart lead ought to be the best start. Unfortunately not this time: as my partner discovered to his horror, if we don’t take the club ruff, we don’t even get the 5 tricks we deserve. In the end, we conceded the last two tricks, having to lead from SQ7 into declarer’s SKT at trick 12, for a doubled overtrick, for the worst score in the room!

What did we learn?  There are a number of lessons here:

  1. After partner’s pre-empt and opponent’s overcall, you should always ask yourself this: “has partner’s pre-empt done its job and by bidding might I undo partner’s good work?”
    1. On this hand, opponents have (so far) arrived at a contract that you absolutely don’t mind defending. Why spoil things by doubling?
    2. If you double, several things can go wrong (and only one right – you get some extra points if it goes down):
      1. Opponents can make the contract easily, as on this board
      2. Opponents may find a better contract – note that clubs easily makes 11 tricks and it is no stretch  to imagine 3NT or 5D by EW making on another day when east holds x, Axx, KJTxxx, QJT and west AKxxx, x, Axx, xxxx.  Why push them to a cold game when you might just beat 2S undoubled?
      3. You might mis-defend, since not everyone can defend double dummy, and - although the contract might theoretically go down - it is very easy to make the wrong lead or miss a critical switch, letting the contract through.
      4. You alert declarer to the bad trump break and that may help him to play the hand much more effectively.
    3. If the contract is going down, you will frequently get a good or average score by not doubling: doubling essentially negates the good work done by partner’s pre-empt.
  2. When partner pre-empts – particularly when green versus red – you should assume they have at most 1 defensive trick, very rarely 2. (Even a quite ‘good’ pre-empt may only have 1 trick, for example xx, KQJxxx, Qx, xxx.)
    1. You should add partner’s trick to your tricks and if the total exceeds by two tricks the number you need to defeat the contract, by all means double. On this hand, north should estimate 4 tricks in their own hand plus one from partner is 5.  So it is wrong to double 2S – not enough tricks. 
  3. You should downgrade any trick expectations you have in partner’s suit when you have length in support of their suit, as the opponents are going to be short in partner’s suit:
    1. Here you have 3 card support for partner’s pre-emptive 6 card suit, and therefore it is unlikely you will be making many – if any - tricks there.
  4. It is essential to have both length and intermediate strength in the opponents’ trump suit for a penalty double.                
    1. On this hand, your spade intermediate cards are poor – the 743. If your spade holding were QJ986 instead of QJ743, it would much more strongly indicate a double.
    2. This is a well-established theme: having long trumps is not enough to justify a double – you must have strength in the trump intermediates as well.

If it is wrong for north to double for penalties, what should north have bid instead? Let’s consider the options:

  • 2N – This is completely wrong - 0/10 points. Partner is showing 6-9 points and you have a fairly poor 12 points, so a combined 18-21 points maximum – not enough to contract for 2N. Nor do you have a source of tricks, unless the opponents badly mis-defend, and you should not bid on that basis. 
  • Pass – this is a reasonable choice, as argued above - 8/10. Partner’s pre-empt may have done its job and opponents could be in the wrong contract and you may defeat it. This would be my second choice. 
  • 3H – the best option for several reasons – 10/10:
    • It is generally correct to ‘bid to the level of the fit’ – particularly green versus red – as this makes it harder for opponents to exchange information and helps partner to make decisions about whether to sacrifice.  Partner has shown 6 hearts, I have 3 in addition, therefore we should bid to the (6+3=9) level = 3H.
    • The Losing Trick Count indicates we will be only one down in 3H:
      • South’s 2 level weak pre-empt will typically have 8 losers. North has 8 losers, therefore our contract should be 18-(8+8)=the two level, or 2H. So it’s OK to bid 3H to aim for 1 down, and it could even make.
    • When our side has a 9 card fit, it is probable that opponents also have a 9 card fit. Since we know that can’t be in spades, they may have a 9 card fit in diamonds or clubs.  By bidding 3H, I prevent east from being able to introduce a long minor cheaply at the 3 level. (It is much more difficult for East to freely bid 4 of a minor in this sequence, since many partnerships would play that as forcing).
    • By bidding 3H, I might tempt opponents to compete to 3S – some players simply cannot resist this sort of bait and will invariably overbid. Now I am very happy and may reconsider my decision about doubling. 
      • As you can see, on this hand (provided you don’t defend as we did!) this bid could well convert a certain minus score into a plus score.

For those of you only interested in declaring, here is your challenge:  make 3H* by south:

  • West leads SA, then follows in quick succession with the HA, DA and D8.
  • East wins DK and switches to the H7.
  • Over to you….

And for the expert defenders amongst you: did West mis-defend? If so, at what trick did West go wrong, and what should they have played instead?


Any member requiring a partner should advertise their availability by using the "find a partner" option on the left hand menu.   This system will supplement and not replace the Club stewarding system.   


EBU Spring SIMS Pairs - 1 Apr 19

Congratulations to Brian Johnson and Sue Hands scoring 71.76% at the Club and are 4th Nationally out of 43 Clubs and 709 pairs that took part.

Best Behaviour at Bridge

A gentle reminder to ensure that every member of our club has an enjoyable evening/afternoon. Even when concentration and pressure take their toll these simple guidelines should be followed:

1.   Greet others in a friendly manner prior to the start of each round.

2.   Be prepared to help new players or players who may not understand bidding sequences you may use.

3.   Give credit when opponents make a good bid or play.

4.   Do not criticise either your partner or opponents at the table.

5.   Ensure that you help make the session an enjoyable time for all - enjoy the company as well as the game! 

Club Honours Board 2018/19


Club Champions -    Georgie Dalton and Sonia Blandy

Mixed Pairs -            Pat Ussher and Mike Osullivan

Club Teams -            Sonia Blandy, Georgie Dalton, Dave Hale and Paul Wright

Handicap Teams -    Breda and Sid Adcock, Jenny Coats and Terry Hillman

Handicap Pairs -      Gillian Nolan and David Ward

Mens Pairs -             David Clayton and Sid Adcock

Ladies Pairs -           Sue Hands and Jenny Coates

Social Duplicate
Social Duplicate
Mon 22nd Jul 2019
Director: N. Lewis
Wed 24th Jul 2019
Director: N. Lewis
Steward: G. Currie
Thu 25th Jul 2019
Social Duplicate
2.45 PM
Director: TBA
Mon 29th Jul 2019
Director: T. Hillman
Wed 31st Jul 2019