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Stamford Bridge Club marks 10 years at base in Empingham Road playing fields

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One of the more benign effects of the pandemic has been a sense of losing track of time, writes Marcus Witt of Stamford Bridge Club.

With that thought, it’s poignant to note that it is, this month, 10 years since we moved to our permanent home in the eastern corner of the Empingham Road playing fields. What was derelict land has provided us with an area on which to build an attractive clubhouse, one of only a few purpose-built bridge clubs in the country. We are grateful to the district council for having given us this wonderful opportunity and we shall have a celebratory barbecue and bridge day sometime in the spring.

Hand of the week

If you are looking to improve your declarer play you could do worse than look at the Bridge Master software within the Bridge Base Online platform (www.bridgebase.com). This really is a fantastic “textbook” for declarer play in the 21st century. It is free and there are hundreds of problems grouped into five levels, ranging from beginner to world class. You can call up a commentary showing how each hand should have been played. Today’s hand is one of the Intermediate problems. West leads SQ and declarer can count nine top tricks (two spades, three hearts, a diamond and three clubs). Clearly the diamond suit will provide the extra tricks but how should the suit be played? A finesse of the queen may lose to the king and a finesse of the 10 may lose to the knave. If that happens declarer won’t know whether to cash the ace next or take another finesse. The solution is to cash DA first. If that draws an honour declarer will only lose one diamond, at most (if DK falls from East declarer can finesse D10 for an overtrick). If, however, the defence play small cards on the ace, declarer can come to the South hand with a top heart and play another diamond. Provided West follows (now necessarily with an honour) the problem has been solved. You will note that there are question marks attached to the defence’s diamond holdings. The program is clever in that it will vary the position of these cards, depending which mistaken line declarer has taken.


Always concentrate on what’s important. Here the objective was to secure 12 tricks in the safest way. Playing DA first was an example of a safety play, maximising the chance of success.

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