The basement was snug and warm after the Christmas break – as was the bridge. Lovely to see so many of you all again and look forward to seeing the rest of you over the coming weeks.
Tomorrow night sees the start of the Pow’s campaign in the Newcomers Division of the London League. They play the Slammers at the Young Chelsea. This is a bit of a step up but a really good way to get the hang of competitive bridge in a friendly environment so we wish them all the very best of luck - and good cards.
Tonight we played rubber bridge – as I didn’t have the Chicago scorecards – and an interesting point about rubber tactics came up. Rubber is unlike either Teams or Duplicate. In competition bridge each single hand stands alone as a separate entity. How well you do on a particular hand makes no difference to any other hand you play that night. But in rubber there is the added extra of the part score. This can radically alter your approach to bidding and it’s best to be aware of this.
At love all, no part scores, a sequence like this has its classic meaning:
1D - 1S
i.e. opener has 16 - 18 high card points (hcp) and 4-card support for partner. Responder will bid 4S with maybe only 8 points and some shape.
But … if the opening side has a part score of 60 then this same sequence can have a very different meaning. Obviously, now you only need a score of 40 or more to make the 100 you require for game. so this is enough:
1D - 1S
This will give you your game. Therefore the original sequence – at this score – must have a different meaning as it goes past what you need for game. Now
1D - 1S
is a mild slam try. Partner can freely pass with anything up to about 12 points.
Similarly, when you're 60 on and 3rd in hand playing a weak NT (12-14) you can bid 1NT with anything from about 10 - 20 points. You won’t have missed slam, you’ve deluded the opposition, and anyway it might make!