Having spent the last week or so becoming accustomed to WordPress I thought it was time to actually sit down and write my first blog.
First things first, I’m Stuart King, a PhD student in Mathematics at the University of Bristol. I learnt to play bridge a little over 5 years ago when I was an undergraduate at the same institution. I have been devoid of a regular partner since James Boulton – with whom I learnt the game – moved to the North of Scotland a little over 2 years ago. Since then I’ve been playing bridge semi-regularly with a lot of different partners.
This September, however, has seen somewhat of a revival of the university club. Where last year we struggled to get a four together this year we regularly get 3 tables attending our Monday evening teaching session. As such I have started a new serious partnership with Mungo Jackson, we’ve only played together a few times but we seem to gel resonably well.
My blog is going to be me rambling about whatever bridge related things I happen upon, I imagine that will mostly be interesting hands that come up (and usually how I butchered them!) and the evolution of my new partnership and our bidding methods.
I’ll end this post with a hand that came up a little before Christmas, it was one of the first times Mungo and I had played together at the local club. We hadn’t really had much a system discussion, we were playing some flavour of SAYC when I picked up this lovely hand as East, third in, game all:
Partner, helpful as always, opens the expected 1♠. My 2♦ prompted the equally obvious 2♥ rebid from partner. Having already decided on my plan of bid diamonds then clubs over and over until P gets the message, I plodded on with 3♣, forcing to game. 3♥ showed 5-5 in the majors, and as per the plan I continued with clubs. Partner then bid 4NT. What does this mean? Well it certainly wasn’t RKCB, as one of our few agreements was that we only played Blackwood if we had explicitly agreed a suit beforehand. I guess it was an attempt to play but I saw no reason to stray from The Plan and bid clubs yet again. Partner, after a short think raising to 6! This was the bidding;
Firstly was my plan the right thing? What would you have done? Secondly what do you expect (hope) partner holds?
It turns out Partner did get the message and was holding about as perfect a hand as you could imagine for the bidding:
Do you agree with Mungo’s bidding? I really like the 4NT, it must show cards in my suits, I don’t like my 5♣, I really should realise whats going on and bid 6♣.
The play wasn’t quite so interesting. After receiving a non-trump lead I set about ruffing two diamonds in Dummy and claimed shortly after the queen dropped on the second round of the suit and I discovered trumps weren’t 5-0.
Needless to say this was a good score for us, but do we really belong in 6♣? On a trump lead I need diamonds 3-3 or the queen to drop, which is it a little over 50%, so I think that we do.
What do you think?