A new course will be starting in October on Wednesday after noons or Monday evening. Brochure
Fast Track Bridge is a course for complete beginners who want to learn to play and get started quickly. It will also suit people who have learnt before but need to refresh their knowledge and anyone who cannot commit to a longer course of weekly lessons. The pace is more intensive than my longer beginners courses so it may suit faster learners.
Fast Track is a new course which is part of the National Learning Programme of English Bridge Education and Development CIO*. (which the *charitable organisation for bridge education)
For more details see http://www.bridgeclassbristol.
In mid 1950's Graham Griffith, John Spielman, Stephen Thomas and W. Morley Burry used to play bridge in a house on 41 Oakfield Road, just off Whiteladies Road. It was run by a lady as a business. She was charging them too much for the use of the premises. So they moved, with many others, to Aces Bridge Club.
Graham Griffith was the driving force behind the BBC being formed. He, John Spielman, Stephen Thomas and others loaned or donated money to the new club and subsequently bought the lease for the new premises on The Promenade in Clifton (close to the Mayor's residence) and registered it as Bristol Bridge Club. Graham was the first chairman of the club 1958-1960.
In the early 80's, they were approached by the landlords to see if they would sell the lease as they had a buyer for the whole building. The lease still had 7 years to run so they were in a strong position to get a good deal. After finding new premises it was put to the members at an EGM. Only a few did not like the idea mainly because it was "Hotwells " and not Clifton. They raised extra money by way of loans/ gifts from members and a bank loan.
After many months searching for new premises and further negotiations, they bought the lease of the present building in March 1981. Many members gave their time to get the building in shape. It took around six month to get the place ready to be used as Bridge Club. So in November 1981 they moved from The Promenade to Grenville Hall, Oldfield Road, our present premises (this was done over one weekend).
This building was previously used as a printing works, and store for printing materials.
Bristol Bridge Club aims to provide facilities and opportunities for all its members to enjoy playing and learning bridge, no matter at what level. Beginner or international.
We are a large club and are able to offer playing sessions that suit all levels of ability. Non-members are always welcome.
The club has its own premises and we are situated near the centre of Bristol in Hotwells. The club consists of a large playing room with a smaller area for classes and a licensed bar that also offers light refreshments.
The club plays duplicate bridge on most days of the week, usually with a qualified director.
BRISTOL BRIDGE CLUB is a charity and it has been entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1167959.
There is car parking close by.
For directions and map, click here.
We have introduced a new format for the Curtis Cup event this year. One... read more...
Congratulations to Keith McIndoe who has won this year's competition. See... read more...
Congratulation to Sheila Hodges and Paul Keaney and to David Jones and... read more...
A little known condition suffered by some bridge players is called "Sound Bidders Disease ".
The key symptoms of the disease are as follows:-
1 A failure to put the opposition under sufficient pressure with pre-emptive bids; typically when not vulnerable because the hand is considered unsuitable in some respect e.g. the suit not good enough or the distribution of the hand is impure or we might lose a penalty.
2 A tendency to underbid in the game and slam zones.
3 A tendency not to overcall in marginal situations.
4 The underbidding of hands where our side have a fit. Such hands should in general be overbid not underbid for two reasons to pressurise the opposition and because the total number of tricks available to each side increases with fits and increases even more if each side have a double fit (a fit in two suits).
5 Taking a cautious approach in sacrifice situations often due to an inability to see the big picture of the hand in terms of what the opposition can make.
One of the big differences between pairs and teams bridge is that playing teams the game bonus is much sought after and so a cautious approach in this area can prove very costly whereas at match points bidding marginal games is less critical.
I am often asked what style of opponent I prefer to play against and the answer is without hesitation the conservative player who is technically very sound and orthodox since all the bridge inferences and information tend to be clear .The player who pre-empts a lot and pressurises you and overcalls very light is much more difficult to play against.
The other point to remember is that when your side is vulnerable all actions should be sound but when not vulnerable it is a bidders game so get into the auction as much and as often as you can .
I will let you into a secret when I started playing the game I think I showed symptoms of the Disease but plenty of therapy have assisted me in this respect and now I have almost a clean bill of health!
This week some bidding problems which cropped up at the Spring 4s in Stratford over the May bank holiday weekend.
First you hold
It is game all and you hear 1h -p- 1nt ? 1nt may be up to 11 if that makes any difference but denies spades.
For most partnerships double would be take out of hearts here so this hand fits pretty well for that action. The alternative is to pass since partner will not hold many values although if you have a fit (spades) then a part score may well be available. I chose double and found partner with
he bid 2c got doubled and played the hand very well to lose only 800. How many imps did this cost? In fact it was a gain of 8! A weak NT went p-p and the above hand doubled -p-p redbl and they stuck this for +1160! (Partner has a frying pan or fire choice here since 2s or 2c can lose 1100)
Then an example of a superb flat board in our match with one of the best teams in the field.
at both tables 7d was reached a contract which requires the hearts to be established so no problem if the suit is 4-3 ( a 62% shot ) but trickier if the suit breaks badly. The top Bulgarian pair bid it at our table and our team mates flattened it.
Finally another awkward bidding problem you hold
the bidding starts with a weak NT on your right ?
The popular defence to no trump openings in bridge at the moment (conventions are like fashion ideas) is called Multi Landy in which 2c shows both majors, 2d one major 2M that major and a minor and 2nt minors.
To show just spades is very conservative (and even I would not do that!) and also to show spades and a minor is likewise likely to miss a game quite often. Double is maybe better but still hard to describe this hand with your rebid if you get one.
In the good old days a bid of 2nt showed a strong 2 suiter such as this perfect but that has also been superseded. At our table 4s was tried.
so 6d is the place to play but few found that contract.
This week a couple of hands from the Regional Final of the Garden Cities played on Saturday at the club. There were 9 south western counties playing and the Bristol Bridge Club Team representing Avon were the winners thus qualifying for the Final.
This proved a difficult to bid grand slam.
7h is ice cold. Typically the bidding began 1s -2h now what should north bid? 4h or maybe 4c (cue). The problem is many pairs play 4c or 4d as a splinter here rather than a cue bid. Playing 2/1 game forcing 3h is available and now cue bidding will begin 4c -4d -4s so now the 7-4-1-1 hand can use Blackwood making the hand straightforward. You would expect to reach 7h. Chris Dixon and I had a more difficult time because LHO opened 2nt (5-9 both minors) now we bid 3d (take out with better spades) (5c ) 5h -p-6h. I guess I might have bid 6h rather than 5h and partner might have tried 6c over 5h.
Then a most peculiar hand
it often went 3 passes to the 3 suited hand which opened 1d. At several tables north passed holding only 4 points playing the lay down 6c in 1d a most odd decision. Our team mates bought it in 2h at the other table for +110 a huge result. We bid uncontested 1d -1s -2c -3c -3h -4c -5c for +620 a fair effort. Notice two bids 2c and 3c. The south hand is very complicated so much the best rebid is 2c economical and still makes it possible to reach a heart contract whereas rebid 2h and reaching clubs becomes difficult. Also notice the raise to 3c pass would be very short sighted since the hand has improved a huge amount.
A pair of play problems this week which are both quite antiquated in their origin.
You reach 6nt after a simple auction on the following lay out
the lead is a heart .
You have 10 top tricks and an 11th is easily available so how to play the spade and diamond suits?
One declarer played DA diamond to the queen, which held and now he was at the crossroads since he could play for an even diamond break or take the spade finesse. He chose the latter going off pointing out that a finesse was better than playing for a 3-3 break.
A superior line is available rather than ace other diamond lead low to the Queen at trick 2. If this loses to the king you can test the suit and fall back on the spade finesse if diamonds are 4-2 and if the queen holds you simply establish a spade for your 12th trick.
As you may suspect my favourite hands involve deductions akin to the detective work of Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes and the next hand is a classic courtesy of Jeremy Flint.
You play in 6s after East has opened 4h with the following
A heart is led to the ace and a second heart is ruffed with the ten overuffed in dummy. Most declarers reasoned that holding 8 hearts the drop in the trump suit represented the best line for the contract when a low spade appeared on their right.
There are some very subtle inferences available here firstly it is safe to lead a diamond to the king and cross to the CQ to lead DA. The idea behind these manoeuvres is to work out east's shape. The reason east must hold a card in each minor is they would double holding a void for the lead (the Lightner Double).
If East discards a club on the second diamond then south also discards a club and follows with the DQ discarding his third.
Weeks 2 and 1
Sunday 23rd - ACBA Handicapped Pairs and AGM
Thursday 4th - BBC AGM & Bernard Shannon Trophy