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Stamford Bridge Club launches new classes

Our autumn beginners’ lessons are well advanced but there is little rest for our indefatigable teachers, John Prior and Sue Moss, writes Marcus Witt of Stamford Bridge Club.

Once our current intake has completed the course it will be time for the next round to start.

Our winter-into-spring instalment begins on Thursday, January 4, with, again, Sue taking the morning course (9.30am) and John the evening sessions (7pm). Both courses run for 10 consecutive weeks (same day/time) and the cost is £65. If you (or someone you know) are interested in registering for one of the courses please contact me via marcusstamfordwitt@gmail.com.

Stamford Bridge Club
Stamford Bridge Club

Hand of the Week

Today’s hand arose in a recent Tuesday afternoon duplicate. Of the 16 tables, one pair reached the grand slam (failing), two the small slam (one successful) and the rest languished in game. Just three pairs managed to make all 13 tricks. It ought to be possible to reach the small slam and the diagram shows a somewhat involved auction to do even better, reaching 7H. After 4th suit forcing, suit agreement and an exchange of cue bids, South took control with Roman Key Card Blackwood. North was known to hold at most five black cards (having shown at least eight red ones in the bidding) so there was no possibility of a loser in spades or clubs (any losers covered by the solid black suit cards). Hence 7H. West would lead DQ. Declarer has eleven top tricks and can make a further two by either ruffing two diamonds in the South hand or two spades in the North hand. Which to choose? Ruffing diamonds is better as there are communication issues when ruffing spades (try it) which may also break 6-1. You will note that, barring H2, declarer’s heart holding is solid. Take DA, ruff a diamond, cross to CA and ruff another diamond. Cash a trump, overtake a trump and draw the remaining hearts. 13 tricks from two spades, four hearts, one diamond, two diamond ruffs and four clubs. Satisfying.

MSMP 171123 Hand Diagram
MSMP 171123 Hand Diagram


The young England player, Ben Norton, has written a recent book of interest and humility, Why I Lose at Bridge (not that he does much; the title is a play on the classic Why You Lose at Bridge by S. J. Simon). He says the main attributes of a good player are thinking clearly, taking time to plan and keeping a calm state of mind. Good advice for this hand.

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