Club News Sheet – No. 14      31/1/2003        End of the Year of the Horse    


What’s happening? 9 tables again on Monday and 7 on Friday! Perhaps I should take up Chuck on that offer of a computer scoring program? Not quite sure what the offer was – is he going to donate a lab-top and program? I may have got it wrong, but I think that he said the ‘computer’ in my head was not up to the task – in America they have the results 10 mins after completion of the last round. I guess that if I charged $10 a session I could get a computer? Or perhaps we should all be satisfied with my woefully inadequate brain cells and be happy with getting the results the next week? Anyway, let’s all wish Chuck a pleasant trip back to the USA and hope that the World is much the same when he returns (i.e. george does not start a war).


Now there’s nothing like a compliment to get what you want. One of our regular visitors (Bob) told me that he loved the news-sheets and thought that I could maybe include the names of the previous week’s winners. Everybody likes to have their name in print, don’t they? So, here goes: -


Monday 27/01/03      N-S winners    Paul/Kaj        57%     E-W winners Alex/Jeff        59%

Monday 20/01/03      N-S winners=  Don/Garry     59%     E-W winners Odd/Bjarne   71%

                                  N-S winners=  Per/Prim        59%


Friday  31/1/03  winners  Malgosia/Ian   61% 

Friday  24/1/03  winners  Chuck/Terry   71%



Passed Out


      Now the rules are pretty clear here. If all 4 players pass then the hands should be restored to the wallet and ‘passed out’ entered on the score sheet. However, this is a social club; and rather than having loads of people twiddling their thumbs it is obviously sensible to deal again if the board had not been played before. Against the rules! – so sue me.

      With this philosophy we don’t get too many pass-outs, so it was a bit of a surprise to me when I saw Malgosia sitting all alone after 8 minutes of a round on Friday. Two of their three boards had been passed out and everybody else had gone outside for a puff. As the boards had been played before, I had a look at them. In both cases, it was the 2nd player who perhaps should have opened.


East 25          South 26             Let’s consider South 26 first. 12 points, a fairly decent 5          

                                                Card suit and reasonable shape. A clear 1 opener,

732            A432               especially as you have an easy rebid (1). Hand 25E has one

AK9          A8                   more point but is much closer to a pass. All the points are

86432        97                    concentrated in two short suits. Pass may well work out

AQ            A10954           best (although I probably would open – but not if my

                                                partner is likely to leap off to 2 or 2NT on a flat 10-11

points). It really depends upon the style of your partner. I would open 1 playing with Chuck but pass playing with Hans (I would be too afraid of one of Hans’ 10 point 2 bids). Playing a weak NT I would open 1NT opposite anybody – you have no rebid problem.

Roman Key Card Blackwood.


East 5               At the end of the Friday session, Chuck wandered up to me and asked how

                        I would have bid this hand after partner had opened 1 (five card major).         

AQ54           The opponents may interfere by bidding in the red suits.





Now Bridge really can be a simple game: -       


Terry:               I bid 4NT and then 5,6 or 7 depending upon how many key cards my

                        partner has.

Chuck:             Your partner bids 5 - two aces, he does not play RKCB.

Terry:               Oh dear. Then I guess you have to ask for kings, so 5NT.

Chuck:             6 - one king.

Terry:               The hand is unbiddable. It is now a lottery. 6 or 7? Who has K?

Chuck:             So what do you do?

Terry:               Give partner a copy of last week’s news sheet where RKCB is explained.


There really is no excuse for people well past the beginner’s stage not to play RKCB. If you can last 27 boards playing with Chuck then you are certainly good enough to play RKCB – give it a go!

Responding to Partner’s 1 Opening.


When partner opens the bidding with one of a suit, you generally need 6+ points to reply. However, when you play 5 card majors (and particularly if you play the prepared § as Malgosia, Alex/Jeff, most of our European visitors and myself all prefer) then you sometimes have to stretch in order to avoid partner playing in a silly 1§ contract.


West - Alex      East - Jeff         Alex opened 1 (absolutely the correct bid) and Jeff passed.

                                                4 was bid and made at other tables and 1 was passed

QJ53            A10984        out on one other occasion. So, unlucky?

AQ65           9                   I commented that I would respond 1. The suit is excellent,

AQ9             843               you have a singleton and a fit. This hand is well worth a bid

A9                10732          because you have a fit. Bbbbu…but what fit?

                                                Partner may have a doubleton ! This is where some people

do not understand the prepared system.

      If opener has 2 ’s then he must have 4 ’s. If opener has 3 ’s then he must have at least 3 ’s. You must have at least an 8 card fit in a black suit. And with a singleton , a black suit contract (hopefully ’s) is where you want to play. Now partner may not have such a big hand. Again, a very good argument for bidding. Your side may well be able to out-bid the opponent’s ’s if partner has 3 or 4 ’s; and bidding 1 may make it difficult for the next player.

      Now I firmly believe that you should not pass with this hand. I gave it to Hans and he passed like a shot. When I gave it to Chuck he said the he would bid 1 over any opening 1 bid. I believe I have mentioned earlier that these two guys are poles apart in their bidding styles. On this particular occasion I am with Chuck (at least over a 1 opening – when you are assured of a fit).

Incidentally, one West player opened the hand 1NT (16-18) - against Chuck! I really can see no ‘excuse’ for this. It is a respectable 19 points. If you do this often, then you should state your correct 1NT range (16-19?). Please do not open 1NT outside your declared range. Especially against Chuck.


Note.   Playing a prepared 1, a 1 opener is only 2 card when exactly 4432 (♠♥♦♣). And a 1 opening is always 4+ cards. I definitely prefer this to ‘better minor’ where both 1 and 1 openings may be 3 card. The Prepared is more popular on mainland Europe and Better Minor is more common in the States. Brits have no problem – they play Acol.