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Match vs Stroud
Match vs Stroud

Stroud Bridge Club v Wotton-under-Edge Bridge Club

Thursday 17th October 2019

Played at the Imperial Hotel, Stroud

Thursday 17th October saw Stroud Bridge Club host Wotton-under-Edge Bridge Club in their biennial teams of 12 match, which was played at the Imperial hotel in Stroud. Wotton were represented by Keith Radmall, Barry Shephard, Jennifer Rogers, Desley Radmall, John Acton, Hilary McDermott, Sue Wickenden, Trefor Jones, Keith Hill, Maureen Gale, Bob Hitchcock and Gavin Bailey. As always, the hosts were extremely welcoming, and the match was played in a very friendly and enjoyable environment.

The first half was an extremely tight affair with both sides winning 6 of the 12 boards played. Bob & Gavin were harshly punished for a weak 2D opening which was doubled for take-out and astutely left in for penalties. A harsh split of the cards meant that the vulnerable contract went 3 down for a deficit of 800 points! However, on board 6 all 3 Wotton E/W pairs (Keith & Maureen, Keith & Barry, Sue & Trefor) managed to bring home 9 tricks in a marginal 3NT contract, whilst 2 of the 3 Stroud pairs only managed 8 tricks, whilst the 3rd pair managed 9 but had stopped in 2NT. The result was an 18 IMP swing to Wotton which gave them an 11 IMP lead at the break.

With all to play for in the second half, the match continued to be very tight. On board 19 Keith & Maureen did exceptionally well to bid and make 6C, the only slam of the evening, enabling Wotton to come away with a flat board. Board 16 was the turning point of the match. Once again, all 3 Wotton E/W pairs (this time Bob & Gavin, Jennifer & Desley, John & Hilary) bid and made a game in hearts. However, one Stroud pair pushed on to 6H, going 1 off and another pair ended in 3NT with a similar result and a 17 IMP swing to Wotton. This turned out to be exactly the winning margin as Wotton held on to win by 86 IMPS to 69 equating to a Victory Point win of 14-6.

Thanks go to Michele Lazarus, who organised the match and to everyone involved in providing the hospitality and delicious cakes at half time.

 

Last updated : 18th Oct 2019 17:21 BST
Bridge Etiquette

 

Reminders to all members:

In order to keep the play running smoothly and in a timely fashion, please give priority to bidding and play, and completing travellers.  Hence, for those of you who keep personal scorecards, please complete these AFTER you have looked at your hand and, where applicable, made your opening lead or completed the traveller.  Also, please keep discussion of the hand(s) until after you have completed the set of boards.  Many thanks.

It is one of North's duties to complete the traveller and show it to East and/or West.  Please ensure that the pair numbers are correct, not just the score.  If you notice an inconsistency or error in one of the previous entries please bring it to the attention of the Director; do not just place a query on the traveller.  It is much easier to resolve queries on the night, whilst all parties are present.

 

Last updated : 18th Oct 2019 17:18 BST
Reports for the Gazette

Wednesbury 4th February

Interesting times at the Wotton Bridge Club, with two innovations this year.

Firstly, the Club has decided to take on trial a card dealing machine.  This has primarily three advantages.  It removes the tedium of hand-dealing 24 or more hands of cards at every club meeting.  It facilitates the publishing on the club web-site of all the deals themselves so that those club members who wish to improve can analyse what they could/should have done.  Finally it will produce much more interesting challenges in both bidding and play.

Secondly, on Monday 18th January at the Wotton Civic Centre Wotton Bridge Club took on the Tudor Bridge Club from Chipping Sodbury in an inaugural 24 board Teams of 8 (4 pairs) match. The cards were dealt by the newly acquired dealing machine and a number of interesting hands resulted.  Tudor started the evening strongly and at the halfway point had built up a considerable lead. However, Wotton fought back strongly in the second half and were able to reduce the deficit. In the end Tudor ran out worthy winners by 13 Victory Points to 7.  It is hoped that further similar events will take place over the next few months and that a Southern Gloucestershire League might be formed in the autumn.

Attendance at Club meetings has been excellent so far this year, with 8 tables or more every Wednesday.

Wednesday 7th January

Hands which are suitable for a pre-emptive bid don't crop up that often, perhaps once per evening, but when one does it often causes chaos.  Opening at the 3-level is a relatively straightforward action, showing 7 or more cards and relatively few values.  Opinions vary as to whether or not you should do it if your values are in the side suits, though expert advice is that they should reside in your long suit.
 
It is not, however, so easy to decide whether or not to compete.  The pre-emptive opening makes life very difficult for the other pair, especially if they are 'vulnerable'.  It is essential to compete if you can, even if it produces the occasional disaster.
 
It also often makes life difficult for the Opener's partner, especially with a middling strength hand - do you raise or not?  A useful guideline is to assume that your partner will make 7 tricks if you are vulnerable, or just 6 tricks if you are not-vulnerable.  Add on your (near-certain) winners to help decide whether to bid or not.  You also need to determine how many (near-certain) losers there are, assuming the Opener has nothing in the side suits.  Don't raise just because you have a couple of Aces and some trump support - you might find that there are indeed enough winning tricks, but sadly the defence take their winners first.

The top pair with 69% was Desley Radmall and Barry Shephard, with Kate Jotcham and Carlton Jones in second place on 66%.  Bob Hitchcock and Gavin Bailey came in third with 60%.

 

Wednesday 17th September

Doubling.  For penalties.  The vast majority of club players do not double anywhere near enough.  So says one of this country's top bridge teachers - Bernard Magee.  He believes that you should double the opposition's contract, for penalties, at least 4/5 times an evening.  A brief inspection of the results for each board on a Wednesday evening supports this statement.  There are always lots of contracts which do not make, often by many tricks, but which are rarely doubled.

One of the basic premises of competitive bidding is to try and push the opposition too far, into a failing contract.  Having done so, a top score will often result from then doubling them, especially if they are 'Vulnerable'.  Even only just one off scores 200 points - better than any part-score you might have made yourself, but if you don't double you only score 100 points - worse than most part-scores.

The challenge, however, is then to defend the hand well, having doubled.  You must make Declarer work very hard for his contract, giving nothing away.  If you do get into the habit of doubling more, you might then convince your opponents to be less competitive, thereby giving you an easier ride on other hands.

There were two sets of winners last night, with the top North/South pair being Maureen Kee and Keith Boden, whilst Geoff Nattrass and Andy Birkinshaw were the top East/West pair.

 Wednesday 9th July

Your Left Hand Opponent (LHO) opens the bidding with one of a suit, your partner passes and so does your other opponent.  So, if you also pass, the contract is set at one of that suit.  You are sat in what's called the 'protective seat'.  Unless you have a decent holding in Opener's suit, you should seriously consider overcalling with poorer values than you would normally, especially if you are not vulnerable.  There is a common maxim - 'transfer a King from your partner', and consider what you would do with such a stronger hand.

Hence, you could happily 'double' with as few as 8 High Card Points (HCPs), or bid 1 no trump with only 12 HCPs.  Even overcall in a suit with only 6 HCPs, as long as the suit is a good one.  Your presumption is that your partner is very likely to have a good hand, but which failed in some important criteria for an overcall.  You hope to find a good contract yourself, though sometimes your intervention results in the opposition continuing to bid and ending up at too high a level - still a good result.

The top pair last night was  - Kate Jotcham and Carlton Jones.  Second pair was Geoff Nattrass and Andy Birkinshaw, whilst the third pair was Hilary McDermott and John Acton.

If you are interested in joining the club, or learning to play bridge, please refer to Wotton Bridge Club's web-site - www.bridgewebs.com/wotton.

 

Wednesday 30th July

The cards sat very unkindly yesterday evening, with many Declarers failing to make quite reasonable contracts.  In particular on one board, where East opened a standard 1 No Trump at every table, but nobody at any of the 6 tables made more than 3 tricks.  One unfortunate East being doubled thus giving away 1100 Match Points!

Board 21 set the North/South pairs an interesting challenge, holding a double fit - in both Spades and Diamonds.  This tempted 4 pairs to try for a small slam, two in Spades the other two in Diamonds.  All failed, demonstrating that adventurous bidding can sometimes be painful.  This was the only board that gave a hint of a slam, though one over-optimistic pair did have a go at a slam in Spades on Board 13 - perhaps they should have looked at the Board number as the contract went off by 4 tricks.  Doubled!  Vulnerable.  Ouch!

There were two sets of winners last night, with the top North/South pair being Mike Morris and Jim Edwards, whilst Jenny Booker and Brian Oke were the top East/West pair.

If you are interested in joining the club, or learning to play bridge, please refer to Wotton Bridge Club's web-site - www.bridgewebs.com/wotton.

Ian Cooke

 

Last updated : 18th Oct 2019 17:18 BST