The Oxford Junior Bridge Club welcomes participants to its summer term sessions on Sundays at Summertown Church Hall. Click here to download details. You may also want to read the report on activities during the spring term by clicking here.
Oxford Bridge Club runs a comprehensive bridge education programme under the banner of Oxford Bridge School. Courses are available at all levels, from beginners to more experienced players. Further details are on their website.
This is a teams-of-eight competition for Oxfordshire clubs. We have two teams: our "A" team is in Division 2 and our "B" team in Division 3. For fixtures and results, as well as match reports click on the link on the lefthand side of this page.
The A team played its first match of the season on 14th November, against Blewbury – quite a long journey to a village hall near Didcot. There were some interesting and eventful hands, with three possible slams and another 12 possible games, so unsurprisingly it wasn’t a close match. East-West had most of the hands, with North-South defending for long stretches. Summertown had much the best of it in the first half, and were leading by 50 IMPs at the interval, mostly won on the first three boards. On board 1 Steph got to a thin 3NT game after opponents opened 1 heart (it could go off against better defence but made for an 11 IMP swing). On board 2 one Blewbury pair overbid to an impossible slam – another 11 IMPs. But the biggest swing (17 IMPs) was on board 3 below:
3. EW vulnerable, dealer South
South generally took advantage of favourable vulnerability and opened 3 clubs. West bid 3 spades, and East then had some thinking to do. Both the Summertown pairs explored slam and got to 6 spades, which made comfortably. Both the Blewbury pairs simply raised to 4 spades. It’s true that the East hand is very balanced, and that the king of clubs might not be much use, but I think it’s worth a try for slam, especially if you’re playing Roman Key Card Blackwood – when West shows two aces plus the queen of spades the slam is looking good.
Blewbury pulled back 15 IMPs in the second half. On board 16 some aggressive bidding at my table unfortunately pushed our opponents into a 6 diamond slam which no one else bid (it depended on a finesse, but it worked). Board 17 was interesting:
17. None vulnerable, dealer North
Both our EW pairs made 3NT (quite a tricky contract to play and to defend). One Blewbury pair went off in 3NT, and the other went off in 3 diamonds, so that pulled some IMPs back. In the end we won the match by 111 IMPs to 76, which was 15-5 on victory points.
Our EW pairs bidding and making all the games and slams were Alison & Robert and Lorraine & Peter. Our NS pairs defending valiantly most of the night were Ruth & Howard and Steph & Steven. Erica & Christopher and Trevor were our reserves. Thanks to all of them.
West opened 1 heart and East bid 1 spade (the diamond suit is longer but not very strong). When West raised to 3 spades East investigated slam. Both our EW pairs and one Abingdon pair bid 6 spades. Everything now depended on the lead, and it’s a tricky decision – do you cash the diamond ace or not? Everyone did, and it was the only lead to allow the slam to make! Unlucky really for South, but that’s how matches are won or lost.
Our good fortune continued in the second half. On board 13 Steph & Ruth made an ‘impossible’ 3NT contract (opponents didn’t cash their five top club tricks). On board 18 EW have a combined 31 points with a 6-2 club fit and a 5-4 diamond fit. EW can make 6 clubs or 6NT but not 6 diamonds (because a defender is sitting over the ace with KQx in diamonds). Both Abingdon pairs bid 6 diamonds and went off, and both Summertown pairs stopped in game contracts, so that was 14 IMPs. On board 19 Krys & Sandra made a very tricky 4 spade contract which no one else bid, and on board 20 one Abingdon pair made an expensive sacrifice against Trevor’s 4 heart contract which was likely to go one off anyway. At the end of the evening we won the match 113-57, which is about 17-3 on victory points.
Thanks to all the team – Sandra & Krys, Alison & Robert, Ruth & Steph and Trevor & Steven – and to Erica & Christopher who were reserves. This result moves us up to third in division 2, with two matches still to play.
South opened 1 spade, and West, who was too strong to overcall in hearts, generally doubled. North made some sort of spade raise, and at every table NS bid on to 4 spades. Not surprisingly both our EW pairs and one Oxford pair doubled this, but unfortunately there’s no defence and it made 790. The other Oxford EW pair bid on to 5 hearts, which went off but was cheap. The curse of the double struck again on board 14, where Sandra & Krys doubled a thin but making diamond contract. On board 23 Steven then chose the wrong hand to pass with 12 points (fourth in hand and vulnerable), and we missed a good spade contract. At the end of the evening we had narrowly won 68-65, which is about 11-9 on victory points.
Thanks to all the team – Sandra & Krys, Ruth & Howard, Alison & Robert and Steph & Steven – and to Erica & Christopher, our usual reserves. The A team is currently lying third in division 2. Our last match (against Witney, who are currently just above us) is on 11 April.
Summertown B had its first match of the season on Tuesday 30th October, at home against the University. We played at the Wolvercote village hall, which was distinctly chilly, as we remembered from last year, despite Paul providing an extra electric heater!
The first half of the match went very badly, and we were 3-32 down by the break. The second half also went somewhat badly, and we lost a further 8 IMPS, but provided several interesting and exciting boards. Slams were made on three hands - one of which was only found by Rod & Jeremy. Overall though the end result was 30-67, or 4.74 to 15.26 in VP's. Let's hope we do better next time!
Here was the biggest hand of the night:-
North deals, both sides vulnerable. Three pairs played in small slams, but one University pairing made 7NT. Could you bid to the grand slam? and should you? There are 12 top tricks, and 13 unless the clubs split 5-1 or worse. How should you plan the play in 7NT on a club lead? It turns out that East does have 5 clubs - can you do better than taking the heart finesse?
Thanks to the team:
Bridget & Holly
Betty & John
Rod & Jeremy
Paul & Roger
and to Tunde who stood by as reserve.
The first half of the match went somewhat badly, and we were 42-56 down by the break. Our worst hand saw a negative swing of 1650 (=17IMPs) when our opponents sacrificed over a making vulnerable game, were doubled, and made their contract - ouch!
Fortunately we did better in the second half, where there were smaller swings, going mainly our way for a total of 41-25. This put us 83-81 ahead overall. A win, but only just! We are currently 5th out of 8 in Division 3 with one match to play. We are not yet safe from relegation, needing a further 3.3 VPs from our match against Oxford D next week. And we still have a chance of promotion if we win well.