Analysing a hand record

Following our trial in 2017 of a number of initiatives to help our competitively-focused players, primarily involving the Tuesday night session, the Committee has authorized a range of more diverse Playing Better Initiatives for 2018 that are not restricted to Tuesday night.

The target group is our congress players and other regular established club players who self-nominate their interest.

The proposed initiatives include:

Photo of Ed Barnes

Ed Barnes gave his last expert pre-session talk for 2017 on 28 November. It was an intermediate/advanced level talk delivered in Ed's brilliant style taking us on a journey and introducing us to some advanced signalling techniques in the context of when they are critically useful.

If you missed out on the talk or want to revisit it at your leisure, have a look at Ed's notes on Missing Signals.

We hope to see more of Ed in 2018. Keep your eyes and ears open.

Photo of Halloween costumes

At our Tuesday Challenge night on Halloween night, Ed Barnes ran through a number of situations where the generally useful guideline of second hand playing low might be better not followed.

See if you follow his logic in his notes from the talk.

Halloween was present in force with many dressing up for the occasion and all of us spoilt with Halloween sweets made by Cassandra Mitchell.


Adventures in Bridge logo

This Week in Bridge is looking at Defense in short articles suitable for club and congress level players.Try these for some good ideas:

Photo of Lisa and Maris

Joan Butts, our guest expert presenter for our Swiss Pairs night on Tuesday 17 October, spoke on the recent changes in the ways experts are evaluating their hands for preemptive opening bids. She started with a hand from the 2017 European Championships where a player, non-vulnerable in first position, opened 3S with S KJ6432 H 86 D 2 C QT76. While not necessarily supporting this as a good preempt, Joan noted that many more weaker hands were now used as preemptive openings, all trying to get in the way of their opponents finding a good contract.

Sure enough the 30 odd participants put this into good effect on the night. Joan was impressed when Anne Brown opened 3D on S5 H JT87 D KJT643 C K4 on the second board of the night and prevented her and her partner (yours truly) from bidding a makeable game - maybe I piked... You can download Joan's notes here to join the new world of light preempters.

Image showing bridge competition

We are reviewing the 2017 Tuesday night initiatives and considering possible 2018 initiatives for members who wish to improve their competitive play.

If either you attended Tuesday night over the past six months or you are interested in collaborative initiatives to help you improve your competitive play, then this is for you.

Please spend five minutes to complete the simple three page survey below. (A paper version is available should you prefer it - contact David Farmer on 0415 715 743 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

Photo of Ed Barnes

Heard of the intra-finesse? Thirty of us have now thanks to Ed Barnes' Tuesday night talk on 26 September.

When would you open up a suit, trying to win as many tricks as possible, by leading to the 975 and play the seven? When you miss the K and Q and need the eight to be onside, of course.

Quoting hands played by past world champions Ed introduced us to several plays where key cards held in short suits are the target - and need to be either squashed or forced to be played without losing your own high cards.

Sound advanced? Some of them may be, but some not - make up your own mind - see Ed's notes.

Photo of Will

Our Tuesday Challenge Night expert on 19 September, Will Jenner-O'Shea, spoke to about 40 of us on "How to detect your partner's aggression".

He was talking about bidding style - and coping with partners that might range from "cautious" to "adventurous". With the more aggressive partners he suggested not always leading partner's suit - she may only have the jack. He also suggested some self-assessment of one's own aggressive tendencies might be useful.

If you missed this talk you can at least check Will's handout - and assess your own tendency to be adventurous.