Bridge lessons for beginners coming next month
Great news for all of you out there who want to learn this wonderful game of ours, or have friends that do – beginners’ bridge lessons are soon coming to the Bermuda Bridge Club on Pomander Road!
Running the lessons will be the popular pair of Bill Pollett and Charles Hall – the lessons will start on Tuesday, April 5, and will continue for eight weeks every Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm.
The course will be suitable for absolute beginners and will cost just $50 – and it gets better, as the $50 will be deducted off your first-year fee if you join the Bridge Club. Sign up now at email@example.com – it could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
Pomander Road is the first left after Aberfeldy Nursery coming into town – the Bridge Club is really smart so you will have great facilities, tons of parking, and a free drink of your choice (no Cristal!) on the first night – what could be better.
Now back to the present, and today I want to talk a bit about cuebids. Cuebids are usually used to help you locate key cards or controls (usually Aces, Kings, voids or singletons) in order to decide whether or not to go to slam. My approach to cuebids is simple – once you have agreed a suit in a game-forcing situation, any new suit bid by you shows a first-round control (Ace or void) and, if you miss out a suit (or suits) along the way, you are denying a first-round control in those suits. Once first-round controls have been shown in a suit, the next bid of that suit will show a second-round control.
Let me give you a bidding sequence as an example (see Figure 1).
I will just explain this “conversation” – you don’t need to see any hands.
1, game-forcing 2/1 bid.
2, slam try in spades (slow arrival in a game-forcing situation).
3, first-round control in diamonds, but not in clubs as that suit was bypassed.
4, first-round control in hearts.
5, second-round control in clubs – King or singleton (North had previously denied first-round control).
6, second-round control in hearts (but not in diamonds as that suit was bypassed).
7, thanks, I know enough.
By using cuebids one can pinpoint working cards instead of just high card points and that is hugely important at the slam level.
Why not just rely on Blackwood? Because that is the wrong use of Blackwood – you use Blackwood after you have already decided that you want to play a slam and you just want to check on the way that you are not missing two or more Aces. You do not use Blackwood in order to decide whether you should go as far as the slam, depending on partner’s answer.
All of this came from a hand sent to me by Tony Saunders where he and his partner Molly Taussig nearly got to the top spot, and I think certainly would have if they played regularly (see Figure 2).
South passed and West opened 1 heart and Tony, with the North hand, started with the bid of 2NT which was “unusual” for the minors – I really like that as the bid is forcing and gets to set the trump suit leaving time to investigate a slam.
Molly bid 3 diamonds, saying that her diamonds were longer than her clubs, West rebid 3 hearts and Tony now had to control the bidding. He bid 4 hearts, showing a big hand and first-round control in the suit and Molly continued the good bidding by cue-bidding 4 spades, showing the Ace of spades.
Tony was now (almost) certain that the 4 spade bit was a cue-bid, but, not being in a regular partnership, he settled for the safe haven of 6 diamonds as he was also not certain that Molly had a four-card diamond suit as she would make that bid with three diamonds and one or two clubs.
As you can see, the grand slam in diamonds is cold, and on reflection Tony feels he should have bid it as Molly rated to be short in clubs.
Amazingly not one pair got to the Grand Slam and only one other pair got to the small slam so Tony/Molly scored well, but that is not good enough for a top class player who wants the bidding to be as close to perfect as possible!
The North hand is basically a 1½ loser hand and wild horses would not keep me out of a small slam, and if I was fully confident of the spade Ace in partner’s hand I would bid the grand.
Interesting hand, and the power of that North hand is immense!
BRIDGE CLUB RESULTS
Friday, February 25
1. Judy Bussell – Joe Wakefield
2. Julia Beach – Magda Farag
3. Elysa Burland – Pat Colmet
Monday, February 28
1. Judy Bussell – Magda Farag
2. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith
3. Molly Taussig – Jack Rhind
1. Aida Bostelmann – Julia Beach
2. Marge Way – Heather Woolf
3. Martha Ferguson – Joe Wakefield
Tuesday, March 1
1. Malcolm Moseley – Mark Stevens
2. Vivian Pereira – Wilena White
3. Amanda Ingham – Heidi Dyson
Wednesday, March 2
1. Magda Farag – Joe Wakefield
2. Molly Taussig – Tony Waunders
3. Linda Pollett – Bill Pollett
1. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray
2. Greta Marshall – Heather Woolf
3. Judy Bussell – Dorry Lusher
Thursday, March 3
1. Marge Way – Misha Novakovic
2. Elizabeth McKee – Linda Pollett
3. Rachael Gosling – Diana Diel
Non-Bridge Club Online Results for Bridge Club Members
March 3: Elizabeth McKee and Stephanie Kyme – 8th out of 320 Pairs