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‘Social bridge’ evenings begin on Monday

Fig 1: the week’s hand and the bidding

Introducing newcomers to the game of bridge has always been a challenge and the current thinking is to introduce the game in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere and let the learners move on to competition at their own pace.

The Bridge Club is making its own efforts along these lines as per the following message from Sancia Garrison:

Dear Members,

For those of you who would like to hone your bridge skills in a relaxed informal setting, our “social bridge” evenings will commence on July 1 at 7pm.

Bring your reference materials, bring a friend, and have some fun playing bridge for a couple of hours.

You may refer to the bridge calendar of events to see when other social evenings will be held in the future.

Please contact me if you need any further information.

Kindest regards, Sancia (sancia@northrock.bm)

So if you know someone who will benefit and enjoy these evenings, pass on the message.

I spend a bit of time in England each summer and last Wednesday hooked up with Jean Johnson, who I used to partner in Bermuda, for a game at the Woking Bridge Club in Surrey, where another ex-Bermuda player Cliff Alison also plays.

It was an 18 table game. The field was varied in standard and I would say that the average was about where the Bermuda Bridge Club is, but we did not have any pair come to our table that gave the impression that they would be competitive with our top five Bermuda pairs, whoever they are.

The one thing that I did notice was the few pairs that actually bothered with giving their partner count in a suit when they were defending, but that might be because they didn’t think partner would notice.

The game was held in a community centre and the staff and players were really friendly and welcoming. We were the only Precision pair in the room and most of the players played Acol, with some playing 2/1.

Despite not having a lot of the bidding we managed a winning 66 per cent game, based largely on solid defence, and this hand was one of many where we squeezed out a few extra match points (Fig 1).

The bidding was over quickly but was interesting

I was sitting West and after South’s 1 Heart bid I had no sensible bid; I couldn’t double as this would usually promise Spades, or at least support for partner in two other suits, and I was not strong enough to bid 1NT, so pass was the only option.

North made a disciplined pass with his four points (one usually promises at least five points by taking a bid) and Jean now made the good decision to pass, as bidding on hands like hers usually just ends up in turning the opponents’ minus score into ours.

When defending, I like to make declarer do all the work and I decided not to give anything away at trick one, so I led a trump which went to the queen and king.

Declarer was now in a bit of a pickle and tried a low diamond to the king which lost to the ace and a Heart came back won by my jack and I cleared the Hearts putting declarer back in his hand.

When the smoke had cleared declarer lost two Spades, a Heart, a Diamond and three Clubs — down one, plus 100 and 80 per cent on the board.

So, some things to learn from this hand: first, just because you have 13 points does not mean you have to bid, and often silence is golden.

Second, be disciplined, as North was by refusing to bid a Spade with just three points- if she had bid a Spade partner would bid two Clubs and would end up playing in the two Hearts for the dreaded minus 200.

Lastly, patience in defence, especially when declarer has a dead dummy, don’t open up new suits for declarer, just give him his winners and put him back on lead.

Quite often beginner players see declarer ruff a suit and then never play it again, when that may be exactly what they should be doing; it forces declarer to use up his trumps and, as in this hand, makes them lead away honours.

Bridge defence is usually about patience, and the adage “Aces were meant to take kings’ still holds true.

Once in a while you may end up missing a trick you should have taken, but more often than not you will gain by making declarer do all the hard work without your help.

<p>Bridge results</p>

Results for the week of June 17

Monday afternoon

1, E Betteto/M Taussig

2/3 S Rayner/M Farag

2/3 D Diel/E McKee

Tuesday evening novice/student


1, Andrew/Krystalle

2, Andy/Fee


1, SJ/Adrianna

2, Kirsty/Daniel

Wednesday morning


1, D Leitch/K Keane

2, R Gray/W Gray

3, L Bolton/G Marshall


1, E Betteto/S Garrison

2, M Farag/S Sheena

3, M Bickley/D Lusher

Thursday evening

1, Alan Douglas/Jane Smith

2, Elizabeth McKee/Linda Pollett

3, Diana Diel/Simon Simply

Friday afternoon


1, William Pollett/Peter Donnellan

2, Joseph Wakefield/Malcolm Simmons

3, Alan Douglas/Martha Ferguson


1, Magda Farag/Linda Pollett

2, Sancia Garrison/Caroline Svensen

3, Diana Diel/Elizabeth McKee