OCT_EB_p34-35 North plus Bramzel 18/9/07 12:10 pm Page 35
West North East South See what you think went wrong on my South went to those players who were able
1♣ final deal, which occurred recently in a to stay at a more modest level. So what
Pass 1♥ Pass 1NT* local pairs event. went wrong?
Pass 3NT All Pass Certainly this was not a lucky hand for
* 15-16 points North-South but should they really have
Deal 2. Dealer East. Love All. reached 3NT?
The lead is the five of spades. Although it ♠ 10 9 7 4 Have a look again at that opening bid:
may seem natural to play on the club suit, ♥ 10 6 ♠ K Q 6 ♥ K J 2 ♦ K Q 6 3 ♣ J 7 5.
the opening lead renders this impractical as ♦AJ7 Yes, the point count is 15 but it is a
the defence would surely win the race, ♣KQ63 shapeless, aceless affair with no inter-
mustering five tricks (three spades and two ♠ A83 ♠ J52 mediates. As it happens, the lack of tens
clubs) before declarer could gather in nine. ♥ Q9743
♥ A85 and nines didn’t matter, but the lack of
However, the fine intermediates in the red- ♦ 854 S ♦ 10 9 2 aces did.
suits offer ample compensation. So at trick ♣ 92 ♣ A 10 8 4 In my view the South hand was a clear-
two let’s say declarer advances the queen of ♠KQ6 cut case for fine-tuning and should have
diamonds. With the king of diamonds ♥KJ2 been downgraded to 14 points. As a 14-
under dummy, declarer’s contract is now ♦KQ63 pointer it would have been opened 1NT
secure because even if he misguesses the ♣J75 and that, no doubt, would have been the
location of the queen of hearts there are still final contract.
nine tricks available.
Let’s suppose that East holds the king of West North East South SUMMARY
diamonds. Well, that needn’t necessarily Pass 1♦
be fatal; it just means that declarer will Pass 1♠ Pass 1NT* Fine-tuning balanced hands usually
have rely on four tricks from hearts. Pass 3NT All Pass means demoting by one point because of a
Going back to Hand 3, it is clear that 1NT * 15-16 points very flat shape (4-3-3-3), lack of aces
would be the final contract if faced with the and/or intermediates, or promoting by one
same dummy as in Deal 1. On a good day West led the four of hearts and it wasn’t point because of better shape (say a five-
declarer might make a lot of tricks but most long before North-South had to admit card suit, although two four-carders are
Souths would be happy enough to play in a defeat, losing four hearts and the two better than only one) intermediates and/
part-score. black aces. The plus scores for North- or aces.
Bridge Club Live!
THE World Bridge Federation governs the either a different scoring method or event.
rules of on-line bridge, played on your Opportunities are there to play match-
computer and connected to a ‘website pointed pairs, teams, IMPs and individuals.
bridge club’. Some small ‘tweaks’ have In addition to elective seating, there are
been agreed to allow for the vagaries of soft- Automated movement rooms for many of
ware and the logistics of people linked only the competitions that offer on-line master
by technology, who may be thousands of points and where results affect the BCL
miles apart. rating system.
Perhaps the biggest difference you will Leagues and Special Competitions run Fran Bramzel
find between Bridge Club Live (BCL) and all year round.
your local club is that there are literally You don’t feel competitive? There is a
hundreds of boards available every day. Social Bridge Room (does exactly what it are the starting points of great friendships
Whilst regular events start at set times daily says on the tin and where all new Guests – many of which go beyond the Internet
and/or weekly, there is on going ‘drop in’ first arrive). into ‘real’ life.
bridge 24/7. Board results are instant – a double- A good on-line club offers all the variety
Simply join a table, play a few hands, edged sword sometimes! Good because of games and facilities, including coaching,
then get back to work (or bed), go out for scores are seen immediately and bad that you expect of a bridge club in your
lunch or even move into another area of because, just occasionally, when something local town – except that there is no waitress
the club. goes wrong, players will type/chat the first service and you have to provide your own
Whatever your choice, you may play thing that comes into their head without snacks. In some ways, there is more on offer
either with a pre-arranged or a pick-up- thinking and emotions may run high. on-line.
partner (pup). Usually, however, the chat bar is one of Connecting to www.bridgeclublive.com
The club is divided into rooms that offer the great plusses of BCL. The conversations opens a whole new world – literally!
www.ebu.co.uk October 2007 English Bridge 35