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OCT_08_EB_p05 Robson + Henig 12/9/08 11:53 am Page 5

The Two-minute Interview When to


Baroness Ruth Henig

of Lancaster prefer 3NT

to four

of a major

Andrew Robson

BUCKETLOADS of match-points rest on

the 3NT vs 4♥/4♠ decision. Contrary to

BARONESS Ruth Henig of Lancaster

public opinion, there is more case for The 4♥ game – reached via Stayman –

was a distinguished academic before

playing 3NT as opposed to the eight-card will make eleven tricks. It will lose the

taking up a political career that has

major-suit game at teams/rubber, as the black aces (a third diamond going on an

led to her being made a life peer in

major-suit needs to play for two more extra winner in a black-suit).

2004. She is currently Chairman of

tricks for there to be a material difference. 3NT also rates to make eleven tricks –

the Security Industry Authority, and

At pairs, though, just one more trick unless West hits upon an unlikely diamond

still lectures and writes on 20th

and the major-suit must be trumps (for opening lead. On the normal spade lead to

century international history.

the extra 20 points). There are many ways East’s ace, declarer has ample time to

How did you start playing bridge? that this extra trick can be achieved, the knock out the ace of clubs and make the

I played Solo Whist at university, so most obvious being a ruff in the short (or same eleven tricks as 4♥ – scoring a

when I got married and saw my in-laws equal length) trump hand. This will occur crucial extra 10 points in the process and

play bridge I thought I could easily learn if you have, for example, A-K-4 facing a 85% of the match-points.

and enjoy the game. I did not take les- small doubleton; but it will not occur if

sons but started straight at a club where you have A-K-4 facing queen-doubleton.

I learned by humiliation, doing badly So my guideline would be to play in a 4-4 Andrew’s Tip: Play in a 4-4 major fit

for quite some time! major-fit game unless you have comfort- unless you have comfortably the

How often do you play? ably the values for game (say 27+ high- values for game (say 27+ high-card

About once a week, either at the House card points), and no suit worse than Q-x. points), and no suit worse than Q-x.

of Lords (I am the Secretary of the HOL In that case, play 3NT. In that case, play 3NT.

Bridge Club), or at Young Chelsea.

When I am in Lancaster, I play at the

Lancaster Bridge Club. N/S Game. Dealer South. Make North’s queen of spades into the

What does bridge mean to you? ♠Q2 queen of diamonds, though, and he should

It gives me the opportunity to escape ♥AJ32 bid Stayman because of his spade weakness

into a parallel universe which is chal- ♦K72 and likely ruffing value. Alternatively, make

lenging and competitive, but also fun. ♣KQ96 his queen of clubs into the two of clubs, and

If you could change one thing about ♠ 10 8 7 5 3 ♠A96 he should also bid Stayman: with marginal

bridge, what would it be? ♥ 10 8 4




♥96 game values, there is such a likelihood that

♦ Q 10 8 S ♦J964 there will be an extra trick in a 4-4 fit that it

The boorish behaviour of one or two

♣ A7 ♣8532 is worth giving information away in the

opponents – no names mentioned!

♠KJ4 quest to see if such a fit exists.

What are your other hobbies? ♥KQ75

Fell walking, gardening, watching foot- ♦A53

ball (I support Leicester City), wine ♣ J 10 4 YOUNG CHELSEA

appreciation and especially Sudoku.


Name up to five people you would GREAT BRIDGE CLUBS

invite to your Dream Dinner Party. West North East South

Duplicate every weekday

I have a low boredom threshold, so I 1NT

would invite Rory Bremner, Victoria


Pass 3NT1 All Pass

Wood, Lenny Henry, Dawn French and

especially my husband, Jack Johnstone.

020 7373 1665


27+ partnership points, and no suit worse

than Q-x. October 2008 English Bridge 5


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