Page 0005

AUG_08_EB_p05 Robson + Whitrow 15/7/08 5:13 pm Page 5

The Two-minute Interview Do not

PAIRS TACTICS

Benjamin Whitrow

push for

close slams

at pairs

Andrew Robson

BAFTA-nominated for his perform- THE first and most important thing to say

ance as Mr Bennet in the BBC produc- about bidding slams at pairs is: do not

tion of Pride and Prejudice, Benjamin push for close ones. A failed slam venture

Whitrow has appeared in TV dramas is always a near-bottom, whereas a missed N/S Game. Dealer South.

since the 1960s. He has also been a reg- chance to make a slam, staying conser- ♠74

ular stage performer with such famous vatively in game, rarely scores much below ♥AK3

companies as the Royal Shakespeare average (assuming you make all your ♦AK72

Company and the National Theatre. tricks). However . . . ♣KJ86

How did you start playing bridge? ♠ Q632 ♠K985

My parents used to play rubber bridge ♥ 10 9 8 4

W

N

E

♥Q65

and I learned from them, but I became Andrew’s Tip: Go for the higher ♦ 86 S ♦943

really interested as a young actor. When scoring slam when slam values are ♣ 10 7 5 ♣932

I worked at the National Theatre, Lau- clearly present, but go for the slam ♠ A J 10

rence Olivier, the director, allowed us to with the best chance of making ♥J72

set up a table in the wings. It was good when slam values are marginal. ♦ Q J 10 5

fun to play until you heard your cue, go ♣AQ4

on stage, do your bit . . . and come back

to find that someone else had played the For example:

hand for you! West North East South

Partner You 1♦

How often do you play? 1♦ 2♣ Pass 2♣ Pass 2NT

If I am not working, two or three times 2NT1 ? Pass 6NT All Pass

a week. I play duplicate at the Wimble- 1

15-16 points

don Bridge Club: I like the ambience The slam with the best chance of making is

– and the club is not far from home. 6♦. This is 100% certain on a 3-2 trump

What does bridge mean to you? Hand (a) Hand (b) split – drawing trumps, then throwing a

It keeps me occupied in the evening ♠74 ♠74 heart on the fourth club, merely conceding

and gives me the opportunity to meet ♥AK3 ♥AK3 a spade. But at pairs, 6♦ making will score

people from all walks of life. More ♦AK72 ♦AK72 below average. Yes – with 33 partnership

importantly, I like the fact that bridge ♣KJ86 ♣K862 points, almost all pairs will bid slam, and

enables you to be totally absorbed for many will sensibly choose the higher-

three hours and forget all about your scoring 6NT. You must do likewise.

sorrows and problems in life. Hand (a): Bid 6NT. You have 33+ points, 6NT is not 100%. It is 75% (broadly

If you could change one thing about so expect to make 6NT most of the time. speaking). Win the ten of hearts lead

bridge, what would it be? 6♦ will probably have an even higher with the heart king and lead to the ten of

I would re-instate the re-redouble! The chance of making, but at Pairs it’s spades. Win the heart nine return with

redouble has become almost a conven- frequency of gain not amount of gain the ace of hearts, cash all your minor-

tion, so it would be good to have a call that’s important (i.e. it’s not how much suit winners, then lead to the jack of

that only means business! you gain, but how often). You must go for spades (in fact East’s king of spades will

the higher scoring contract. pop up, as he has had to retain the queen

What are your other hobbies?

Hand (b): Bid 6♦. With only a guaran- of hearts). Your 6NT slam will make

Golf, though I am not very good at it,

teed 32 points, some pairs will stay out of unless West holds both the queen of

reading and going to concerts.

slam. You should bid the slam with the spades and the king of spades – a one in

higher chance of making – clearly 6♦. four shot.

www.ebu.co.uk August 2008 English Bridge 5

Index

  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056
  57. Page 0057
  58. Page 0058
  59. Page 0059
  60. Page 0060
  61. Page 0061
  62. Page 0062
  63. Page 0063
  64. Page 0064