Friday 28th September - Sunday 30th West of England Congress
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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.
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Congratulations to Lesley Hood and Colin Lennox who won this competition... read more...
Congratualtions to Tony Zaffiro and Terry Butler who won this trophy. read more...
Congratulations to David Turner, Stephen Turner , Andrew Urbanski and Steve... read more...
Stephen Royal will be running lessons for beginners starting in October. See details
A topic which is much debated by bridge players is whether to open 1nt with certain shape hands in particular those containing a 5 card major suit. Let us assume we are playing weak NT and we pick up
Your choices are either to open 1s and over 2m to rebid 2s (since 2nt would show a strong No trump) or else to open a weak No trump. What are the pros and cons of each approach?
The risk for those who never open a weak NT with a 5 card major is missing a 5-3 spade fit which is either a superior game or part score to no trumps. The problem for those who prefer opening 1nt is the nature of the rebid; they balk at the idea of rebidding such a poor 5 card suit which does not describe the overall nature of the hand very well and they also cite the benefit of playing the 2s rebid as showing a 6 card spade suit which makes the development of the bidding easier. A middle of the road approach is to look at the quality of your suit and if it is good bid the major and if it is poor open 1nt.
How does the strong NT get on in this area of bidding? .It is more common to open 1nt (15-17) holding a 5 card major for the reason that you may leave yourself no rebid otherwise
if you open 1h playing strong NT and partner responds 1s you have no rebid since 2nt is 18/19 and 1nt 12/14 therefore open 1nt. There are methods on the market to assist in this area notably 5 card stayman and its advanced cousin 5 card puppet stayman. These bids ask opener for a 5 card major and so solve the issue on any game going hand but not on hands where responder is passing the opener.
Playing weak no trumps a wide range 1nt rebid solves the problem in one situation. Say the we are 2-5-3-3 weak no trump strength we can open 1h and provided partner responds 1s we can rebid 1nt showing 12-16 balanced. Partner will now know we have 5 hearts otherwise we would have opened 1nt.
The bottom line is neither approach will work all the time on the part score hands so returning to our example hand
if partner holds
2s is far superior to 1nt making 9 tricks probably whilst 1nt might even go off if the defence can take 5 heart tricks.
But if partner holds
The no trump contract is comfortable whilst 2s is terrible.
I have found playing both weak and strong no trumps that the 5 card major problem is greater playing weak NT for the simple reason it gets passed more often when it is the wrong contract. I think the final arbiter on this point should be Andrew Robson whose view is it is better to show the character of your hand and so open 1nt with any 5-3-3-2 shape irrespective of the quality of the major suit.
I thought I would give a couple of interesting play problems this week which are on a theme.
Firstly you play in 5d on the lead of the SK with the following pair of hands
We ruff the spade lead in hand and you must find a way of avoiding 3 heart losers in the event that the HA is wrong and the clubs do not break 3-3 (if they do you can discard a heart loser from dummy). The solution is a loser on loser play following an elimination of the club suit. So play a trump to dummy and ruff your other small spade draw the last trump (you need trumps to be 2-1) and play 3 top clubs and when they do not break 3-3 ruff your 4th club and now play the SQ discarding a losing heart from your hand. West will be forced to win the SA and must now concede a ruff and discard or play a heart allowing the HK to score either of which provides you with the 11th trick.
On our second hand we play in 6h on the following lay out
This is a superb slam which will succeed if either the spade or club finesse works or if the spades are 3-3 since you will be able to discard the losing club from dummy on the 4th spade in that event.
Still is there a better line of play than relying on one of the above three chances?
Again elimination play and a throw in provides a guarantee for the contract.
The lead is the DK so win and ruff a diamond play a heart to dummy and ruff the third diamond and draw the last trump ending in dummy and play a spade and if RHO plays low insert the Spade 7 which when it loses will leave west end played to provide you with the 12th trick (a club return is into your AQ and a spade return is into the AKJ allowing you to discard your losing club from dummy and ruff a club subsequently).
If the spade is covered with an intermediate card (8, 9 or 10) rise with the SA re enter dummy with a trump and play a second spade and if east inserts the 9 or 10 we can cover with the SJ and now west is endplayed if he wins this trick since again a club is into the AQ and we now have a tenace in spades holding the K and 7 with only one intermediate spade still outstanding. If east plays low on the second spade we insert the 7 endplaying west again.
The above pair of hands are quite difficult and require a knowledge of elimination and throw in play but when one holds a big trump fit these options in card play are quite frequent.
In bridge one must constantly weigh up whether to make a marginal bid (whether it be an overcall, opening or pre-empt) and the test is whether there is a reasonable chance of a substantial gain or little to gain with substantial risk.
In teams bridge the lure of the vulnerable game is rather like the search for the holy grail but less important in matchpoint pairs where it is the frequency of the gain which is crucial rather than its size. Therefore in pairs it is more important to get into the bidding early and often since if you do well by competing on 4 hands out of 5 and on the 5th lose an 800 penalty you are well ahead of the game.
This philosophy is important in deciding whether to enter the bidding after their 1nt opening. As always the vulnerability, the strength of their 1nt opener, the quality of your suit or suits and the form of scoring are important. The aim is to disrupt them from 1nt since at pairs it is losing bridge to keep defending 1nt unless you can beat it by 2 tricks vulnerable.
Let is assume it is love all pairs scoring and the opposition open a 12-14 1nt passed around to us and we hold the following hands
I believe it is clear cut to bid on all of the above hands at either pairs or teams.
With the above philosophy in mind one needs to be playing a defence to 1nt which enables you to bid on as many hands as possible. At a recent high level tournament 85% of the field were playing "Multi Landy " v a weak or strong NT which goes as follows
2c -both majors normally 9 or 10 cards in the two suits.
2d one major of 6 or more cards
2h hearts and a minor 5-4 or 5-5
2s spades and a minor 5-4 or 5-5
2nt both minors 5-5 at least.
This is an excellent method and has eclipsed the other methods such as Asptro.
Bridge is certainly a bidders game but one also needs to know when to temper this aggressive approach which is usually in the part score area vulnerable at teams play when interventions and overcalls should be sound.
Weeks 2 and 1
A new course will be running on Saturdays starting 29th September, please email email@example.com to register your interest. A new poster will appear here soon
This is a winter rubber bridge tournament for pairs who play in their homes against other men in their "box". More details on the club noticeboard. If anyone would like to play they should contact Duncan Ogilvie on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 0117-9736688.