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Stamford Bridge Club has been at Empingham Road playing fields for 10 years

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It is good to see that our Wednesday morning sessions are again attracting a steady dozen or more tables, writes Marcus Witt from Stamford Bridge Club.

Their structure follows a three-week cycle of having a workshop followed by two weeks of supervised play.

The workshops alternate between covering specific topics and looking at some random deals.

Marcus Witt, of Stamford Bridge Club (6113803)
Marcus Witt, of Stamford Bridge Club (6113803)

We started these sessions more than 15 years ago in our old Ryhall Road hospital premises and they have contributed greatly to our increasing attendances.

Their existence gave us a core of support that allowed us to raise the funds to build our premises by the Empingham Road playing fields. That has been such a positive development for us.

And that reminds me. We have now been in our current home for just over 10 years.

Our barbecue and bridge day on Saturday, June 4, will celebrate both that and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Stamford Bridge Club hand diagram (56374971)
Stamford Bridge Club hand diagram (56374971)

Hand of the Week

Today’s deal arose in our supervised session a couple of days ago.

The hand is a good illustration of planning the play of a hand to maximise the chance of success.

Declarer has nine clear tricks (five spades, a diamond, two clubs together with a red suit card that can be ruffed in dummy). From where will we find our 10th, and game-going, winner? We have three main chances.

We can play a heart towards the king and hope West has the ace.

If, however, that loses, we can play another heart towards the knave and will succeed if East also started with the queen.

If that doesn’t come off, we can take a diamond finesse.

Yes, all very good but we can do better.

After taking the first club we draw trumps ending in dummy to cash CA throwing a diamond.

Now we ruff a club to hand and play the ace and the queen of diamonds, eliminating all minor suit cards from our hands.

The defence wins but is forced to give us that tenth trick.

A minor suit lead gives us a ruff and discard and a heart forces the defence to open up the suit.

If West returns a heart, we play low from dummy and must make a trick there. We’ve guaranteed the success of the contract.


It is perhaps a now familiar refrain that we should find ways for the defence to do our work for us.

Once we realise we can strip both our hands of minor suit cards, and can see the benefit of the defence opening up the hearts, we are home.

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