M A Y 2009
BRIDGING T HE GAP
VOL.2 — ISSUE 4
Coonabarabran Bridge Club Newsletter Coonabarabran Bridge Club President
Beverley Anderson 6848 8241 *
Tinney Atkinson 6842 1945 *
Eunice Redden 6842 5507 *
Chairman, Tournament Committee
Audrey Utting 6842 4866
AFFILIATED BRIDGING THE GAP CEO:
Phone: 6844 1153 E-mail: 7NT@exemail.com.au Website: http:// preview.tinyurl.com/2c2ros
2008 Coonabarabran Bridge Club—All Rights Reserved.
The picture above is that of JUELIE BELL, one of the most colourful identities in the club and the 2009 Individual Champion. Juelie, a former State Schoolgirls Tennis Champion married David in 1954 and moved to Coonabarabran soon after. David was the local dentist in Coonabarabran until around 1990. The couple had 3 children after which she gave up having children and took up playing bridge together with such famous personalities as Jessie Fiegert and Neil McDonald. Her daughter and one son live in Sydney, her other son is the Shire Engineer at Uralla. Her eldest grandson is doing a Ph.D. at Cambridge in nanophysics. Juelie has been very active all her life particularly in community affairs such as Meals on Wheels. She is the “gets things done without being asked” type of girl. Whilst being a keen (and good) bridge player she also plays other sports such as golf and tennis, even at the tender age of….um….37(?). She is pictured above with the club Individual trophy which she won with a burst from a near impossible position to just pip out her nearest rivals. At bridge Juelie has the rank of State Master and is the third highest ranked player at the Coonabarabran Bridge Club.
Online bridge . . . . . Have you ever woken up at 3am, unable to sleep and felt like a game of bridge? Well, if you have a computer and an internet connection, you CAN play! There are many online bridge clubs on the internet that offer bridge 24/7. I have been playing online for over 10 years and enjoyed it tremendously. One of the best (and oldest) places is OKBRIDGE. The cost is about $100 per annum (27 cents a day) and is open the year round. You can play with people from all nationalities and ranges. After about a fortnight, the program measures your ability and grades you accordingly. The range is between 25 and 75, so novices will be around the 30 mark, average players around the 50 and the many world champions that frequent the club will be close to the 75 mark. But you can also watch these masters play! You can join each table as either a player or a kibitzer so if you notice e.g. Benito Garozzo (World Champion during the 60-s, 70-s and 80-s) playing at a table, you can go and watch. You can also chat with all other watchers but not the players, of course. Excellent value all things considered and it brings bridge right into your living room without having to leave home. You can find out more information from their website, including a free 7-day trial here:
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4 M A Y 2 0 0 9
INDEX Council members of Coonabarabran Bridge Club
Editorial staff &
contact numbers 2009 Individual Club champion Juelie Bell
Service providers of broadband
Solution to last issue’s quizzes
June bridge quizzes
Results of the 2009 Coonabarabran Club Individual
Over my shoulder
Over my shoulder (continued)
Lest We Forget . . . .
ANZAC Day 2009
Service providers of broadband . . . . . Those members who own computers and have access to the World Wide Web certainly appreciate the value of fast broadband. Thirty years ago the thought of having the world at your fingertips was nothing more than a pipedream, yet here we are today where, with the press of a button, you can access the latest news, check the value of your stocks on the Stock Exchange, pay your bills in a flash with internet online banking, look up everything from the lifestyle of your favourite film star to a recipe for Hungarian Goulash, download your favourite movies to watch at a time convenient for you, listen to the latest news as you’re vacuuming, play bridge for an hour with someone from Turkmenistan, send a birthday card to your best friend and a gazillion of other projects all with the press of a mouse button. Now you have to pay for all this, of course and the trick is to shop around and get the best value for your hard-earned. Most people simply choose Telstra because their mobile is with them and they get a $3 discount for having their internet access with them as well. They may not even realize that there are dozens of providers out there who can offer far, far better deals than their current providers can. In fact, almost any ISP offers more than Telstra. Perhaps they don’t want to get involved in a complicated and messy transfer to someone else. I feel sorry for such people because they miss out on so much simply by not shopping around a bit. As a computer technician I need more than the minimum download offered by ISP-s, having to keep 6 or 7 computers up to date constantly, as well as a lot of bandwidth to get updates for customers who bring me their sick computers to eradicate viruses, revive a dead hard disk or whatever, so I chose carefully. I came across a provider who, ever since I’ve switched to has not stopped increasing their offer of extra bandwidth within my plan, offered 30 free faxes, 30 free SMS messages per month (a heaven-sent for me as I don’t have a mobile phone or a fax machine), 100 free VOIP phone calls per month to landline numbers anywhere in Australia, even to totally transfer your landline phone to VOIP and cut out the monthly lease Telstra charge you (a saving of about $42/month), a massive 90 gigabyte download limit per month for the same cost Telstra charge for 3 gigabytes. The mobile plans seem quite generous also: (there are more but only a few selected here) PLAN
If you have an interesting story to tell, perhaps a hand from a rubber game played at home, send it to us. This is YOUR newsletter.
PER MIN CALLS
CALL CHARGE CREDITS INCLUDED
So don’t stay with Telstra, Optus or anyone just because you have something else with them. This is just one provider, many of them offer really good deals (few as good as this, but still…) and it pays to shop around. Contact Paul if you would like more info on better internet deals. Copies of this and earlier issues of the newsletter are available on the web for your enjoyment. http://home.exetel.com.au/bridge/newsletter.html for the latest copy of the newsletter. http://home.exetel.com.au/bridge/Archives.html for all earlier issues.
Solutions to last issue’s Bridge Quizzes
M A Y 2009
♠2 ♥Q87 ♦AKQJ
Contract: 4♥ by South. West leads the K♠. It looks routine to win the ♠A and ruff a spade, but this is a shortsighted plan. Even though you are able to ruff both spades, the opponents will force you to lose trump control by leading a 4th
spade when they win the ♥A. The elegant solution is to duck the opening lead. If another spade is led you will ruff in dummy
and lead trumps to force out the ace. Retaining the ♠A prevents the opponents from making
you ruff in your hand, and 10 tricks are easily won.
West held: ♠K-Q-10-5 ♥4-3 ♦9-8-5-2 ♣K-J-8
Contract: 4 ♠ by South. West leads the J♠.
♥843 You would like to win a trick with your fourth diamond, which will be easy if diamonds are 3-3. ♦AK6 ♣5432
More likely, they will be 4-2 and you will need to ruff a diamond in dummy, which requires exact technique. After winning the ♠A, the elegant solution is to duck a diamond immediately. Whatever the re-
♠AK765 ♥AK ♦5432
turn, you will cash the ♠K, win the top diamonds, return to your hand with a heart, and ruff your last diamond. If you played diamonds any other way, you would fail. Try it. West held: ♠J-10 ♥Q-9-7-5-2 ♦10-7 ♣A-J-9-6
♠A32 ♥K6543 ♦T54 ♣76
Contract: 6 ♠ by South. West leads the 2♥. East plays the 9♥. It looks like 12 easy tricks, but the heart suit is blocked. If you draw trumps and cash the top hearts, you will have the ♥8 opposite the 6-5 and never enjoy the long heart. It would not help to duck a heart because you need all five heart tricks. So what to do? The elegant solution is to win the ♥A, cash the ♠K-Q and the ♣A. Cross to the ♠A ( drawing
♠KQJT9 ♥AQ87 ♦AJ2 ♣A
their last trump ) then lead a club and discard a heart. Now the remaining hearts can be run, and both of your losing diamonds go away. Neat! West held: ♠8-7-5 ♥2 ♦Q-9-6-3 ♣K-J-9-4-2
M A Y 2009
This issue we present three problems a bit off the beaten track. The idea will be to work out the least number of high card points needed for a particular contract. To give you an example, what is the least number of combined points needed by either East or West to make 7S? WEST
Well, that was easy: 10 high card points by either East or West, against any distribution. So you get the idea? OK, let’s hit the road! (Incidentally giving N or S a singleton K♠ to reduce the count to 6 points won’t work because then you would have only 12 spades and an outside loser, so you would have to insert an Ace in that suit in one of the hands. That would actually increase the count to 11 points. Problem 1. What is the least number of combined points required for 6NT by either East or West against any distribution? Display the E/W hands. Problem 2. What is the least number of combined points required for 7NT by either East or West against any distribution? Display the E/W hands. Problem 3. What is the least number of combined points required for 7NT by either East or West where YOU define the opponents’ hands? Display all 4 hands please. (This means that you can stack the N/S opponents’ hands as well as the E/W hands any way you like, to make the count minimal.) This competition is open to all members of Coonabarabran BC. Only winners’ names will be published and all entries are confidential. Prizes will be awarded to winners so why not enter?
CITI COUNTRY CLOTHING
38 John Street, Coonabarabran
Tel. 6842 1460
RMS <> AKUBRA HATS <> THOMAS COOK <> LEVIS <> WRANGLERS <> SALTBUSH Chalkies of Coonabarabran are our latest sponsors who have generously donated the CBC Individual Trophy. It is only with the generous support of such sponsors that we are able to present trophies to our members that they deserve. Support those who support bridge.
2009 Butler Pairs commences 2nd June - make sure you enter! Contact a club official.
M A Y 2009
2009 Individual Championship PLAYER
TINNEY ATKINSON 224
PAULINE McISAAC 212
NOLA SAUNDERS 174
Over my shoulder . . . . . . .
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4
by Paul Sherman
M A Y 2009
Over the past 2 years I have played with almost everyone at the club and have witnessed various degrees of declarer play from very good to below woeful. I have seen the almost universal aversion to playing in no trumps (the winning strain in duplicate) and the equally strong desire to play in a minor suit (the losing strain) club wide with few exceptions. I have seen declarers who cash their aces and kings as soon as possible, then look for the extra tricks they needed to fulfill their contracts, after they have set up the defences’ queens and jacks and subsequently going off. I have witnessed players who held a 5-card trump suit in their hands, counted it as 5 tricks, then journeyed to dummy and ruffed a side suit in their own hand, counting them as extra tricks and being totally surprised when they went down. Most of all I have noticed that with very few exceptions, nobody planned how to play the contract they had declared. For instance, holding AQJ10 in their hand, crossing to dummy and playing a low card finessing the 10, recrossing and playing a low card finessing the J etc. constitutes a plan. But how could you have ANY plan in progress if after every trick you have no idea which hand you ended up in?? That’s how I know they haven’t formulated a plan. And without a plan at trick one of every hand, you’re not playing bridge. Cashing an ace with a “Look partner, I won a trick here, see?” expression on your face, then cashing the king and “Lookie here, see, another trick? Am I good or what?” then losing a trick to the opps who quietly cash the QJxxx in that earlier suit and saying: “I must have been unlucky going down when the others all made it” will not win you many duplicates, nor the respect of your partner. That is why I have decided to introduce a new column starting this issue. I invite you to sit behind me and watch over my shoulder as I plan to tackle a difficult hand each issue. My thought processes will be revealed card by card as the hand evolves. The idea is so you can see how declarers should plan the play of the hand, not just aimlessly cash aces and kings. The first hand comes from the 1992 ITS, the Interstate Team Selection event that usually starts immediately after the Summer Festival of Bridge in Canberra. It is a pairs event with Butler scoring, my favourite type of event. My partner and I had been looking at a new variation of splinter bids called “reverse splinters” and we sure ran into a doozie in this event! With both sides vulnerable, I picked up the following hand as South: ♠82 ♥Q1052 ♦AJ107642 ♣--- . East was the dealer and passed. I would be happy to preempt in first or third seat with this hand. In second seat, I don’t know. I do have some defence. We have gotten past one opponent; if North (my partner) has a good hand I’ll do better not to get in his way. Since I have two first round controls (in clubs and diamonds) my hand will make a super dummy for a heart contract. I even have tolerance for spades. So I pass. West also passes and North opens 1♣. We are playing Acol so this is at least a 4-card suit, more likely 5. I respond 1♦ and North bids 1♠. My hand has playing potential but with only 7 points and no sign of a fit, I can only rebid 2♦. Things heat up with North’s next bid: 5♣! This is the “reverse splinter” I had mentioned before. It is not a signoff to play in 5♣, rather it shows a long suit with no strength. I suspect North has a diamond fit with no values in clubs. If he has a singleton heart (which sounds like it, if he has 5 clubs, 4 spades and diamond fit, probably 3 cards), surely we can make 6♦. Even 7 is possible I suppose, if North has the singleton ♥ Ace. Since my hand is already limited, it’s free for me to cuebid 6♣. As partner thinks for a long time, visions of a disaster dance in my head. Finally he bids 7♦. Everyone passes and West leads a trump. North puts the dummy down and this is what I see: ♠AK63 ♥A ♦KQ9 ♣T8642 ♠82 ♥QT52 ♦AJT7642 ♣-----7 ♦ is a beautiful contract. I can’t blame North for bidding 7; I might, after all, have had the Q♠ instead of the Q♥. Alas, our bidding has drawn West a roadmap. Without that trump lead I could crossruff for 13 tricks (ruffing 3 hearts in dummy) but now I am a trick short, with 2 spades, one heart, 7 trumps and 2 heart ruffs in dummy. I still have chances. Clubs may split 4-4. It would be ironic if North’s worthless suit may prove to be the key, although it’s against the odds. I win the opening lead in dummy and lead a club. East puts up the K and I ruff. I lead a heart to the A and ruff another club, East playing the J. Both opponents follow low when I ruff a heart and East plays the A on the next club. If the A is East’s last club, I can forget about setting up a club winner. But with East short in clubs I see another possibility. If West guards clubs, there may be a squeeze on. [CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 ]
Over my shoulder . . . . . . .
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4
by Paul Sherman [continued]
M A Y 2009
If West has 5 spades, I can squeeze him in the black suits. That looks unlikely. A heart-club squeeze against West is impossible: I have no entries. But if East guards hearts and West guards clubs, neither will be able to guard spades, the middle suit. I think West is more likely to hold the K♥; East, a passed hand has shown up with the ♣AKJ and the ♠QJ and ♥J are missing. In any case it won’t cost to lead the Q♥ now. Even if West has the bare K left, the trick will come back since East will be left with the hearts to guard. When I lead the Q♥, West pauses for an instant and covers with the K. Dummy ruffs and East plays low. If East has the J left, I like my chances. I have transferred the guard in hearts to him. When I ruff a fourth club, East discards a spade so the 4-4 club break is out but the double squeeze may still be on. I now draw trumps to reach this position: ♠AK6 ♥----♦----♣10 ♠82 ♥10 ♦J ♣----I lead the J♦. West must hold on to the Q♣ as dummy still has a club so he must discard a spade. I pitch the 10♣ from dummy: it has served it’s purpose. East, who must save 3 spades (otherwise the 6♠ will score the last trick) throws the J♥ and so my 10♥ and the ♠AK win the last 3 tricks. The full deal: ♠AK63 ♥A ♦ KQ9 ♣T8642 ♠J74
♣AKJ ♠82 ♥QT52 ♦ AJT7642 ♣-------
Squeezes are the hardest part of bridge to master, but the most productive. Lay the cards out at home and play through the hand as described above. Watch how the defenders’ certain trick disappears into thin air. On the back of the reverse splinter bid, my partner and I went further and worked on two other areas to improve our Acol system: the weak jump shift and the escape mechanism from 1NT doubled. Both of these conventions were added to our armoury and became so popular that most other Acol players also adopted them in their systems and are still being used all over the country today. My co-theoritician partner, Kevin Davies was so pleased with the success of the latter that he named the convention SHINE, which stands for SHerman’s 1 Notrump Escape. They will be described extensively in the forthcoming ACOL course.
ANZAC DAY 2009
Lest we forget . . . .
Photos courtesy of Myra Devenish