June 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the latest Auckland Bridge Club Newsletter

Winter is making its presence felt, and while the days are shorter and cooler, what better activity than to join us around the bridge table for communal warmth, companionship, and a little intellectual stimulation. In this newsletter we bring you the usual

·         News from the office

·         Upcoming events at the club and in our region

·         Summaries of recent club events that members have shared

·         The long ago promised Health and Safety explanation from Immediate Past President, Anthony Hopkins

·         Hamish Brown tells us how a lead indicating double can help take down a contract

·         Richard Solomon recently had an article published internationally; we share it here with Richard’s permission.

·         Part One of a series of Ethics articles by Larry Cohen, reprinted with permission


Club News

In case you missed the news, we had an amazing sponsor for the recent Queen's Birthday Congress.
a tremendous THANK YOU to The Taishan Building Group... a little more on the event below.

From the Office

After 16 years cleaning up after us, Bill leaves us at the end of this week. Thank you Bill for your years of service.

The Club is exploring alternate arrangements for keeping our environment clean.

A request to all members to Please help tidy the room at end of play. Bidding boxes back to the shelves, chairs pushed under the tables to keep walkways clear.

From the Committee

Please keep the floor clear of tripping hazards. This means bags on tables or chairs, taking care to ensure straps are not dangling or trailing where someone could trip. Coats can be hung in the cloakroom.

Thank you to those of you who attended the Building sub committee's presentation on their current findings.

Nau mai, Haere mai

New Members – Mason Lore, Jacob Kalma (Youth, Second club), Bronwyn MacKenzie, Linda Ellingham, Richard Flower, Jann Geddis, Julie Dick, Sylvia Hunt, David Hunt, Donald Nelson, Nancy Lee, Laurie Andrews, Trish Gwynne, Kinga Hajmasi,  Vonnie Harrison, Rosamonde McMillan, Patricia Young

Welcome Back - Joan Caldwell, Karen McNeill, Nancy Shiach

Passed Away – Helen Erdos (member since 1983), Leslie Porter (Member since 1969), and Vera Woollerton – long time member and at time of passing an active member.
Koutou te hunga mate, kia okioki koutou i roto i te rangimarie, koutou ko te hunga ora, kia ora ai ki runga i te rangimarie.  May they rest in peace. Our condolences to their friends and loved ones.

Country of Origin 10A teams

June 25th

Play starts 09:30 am


Grace Joel 8B Open Pairs

Thursday June 16th

Prizes for best Juniors and best Intermediate pairs

Play starts 09:45 am

Sponsored by Ryman Healthcare


Bruce McLaren RV 8B Swiss Pairs

Thursday July 7th

Play starts 09:45

Sponsored by Bruce McLaren Retirement Village


Waitemata Junior 3B pairs & Waitemata Intermediate 5B Pairs

Saturday June 18th 

Howick Intermediate 5B
& Howick Open 3A Pairs

Saturday July 2nd

Mt Albert Intermediate 5B
& Mt Albert Open 3A Open Pairs

Saturday July 9th

Northshore restricted 8B pairs

Saturday July 16th

Auckland Northland Main regional 10A Pairs

Saturday July 23rd

Auckland Northland Main Regional 10A Teams

Sunday July 24th

National 15A Swiss pairs

Auckland Bridge Club hosts this two day event over the weekend of June 18th and 19th

Premises Sub Committee Report

On Friday June 10th and Tuesday June 14th, Mark Robertson presented the current findings of the Premises Sub Committee to those club members who were present. We hope to bring a more detailed summary in our next newsletter, however we are able to succinctly summarise the following:

  • The committee has very clear goals to build and grow the club membership and attendance
  • A number of options have become available in regards to club premises
  • The committee is continuing to gather as much information as possible about the available options
  • There will be further updates in the future when the committee knows more
  • Options that are finalised will need to meet the growth goals 
  • Any finalised options will be presented in full to the membership
  • No decision will be made without a Special General Meeting of a minimum of 50% attendance, and a vote.

Double for the lead

Hamish Brown

This month I will describe two hands in which a double for the lead was used to devastating effect.

When the opponents are bidding towards game or slam and make an artificial bid, a double can best be used to ask for the lead of the suit bid artificially. 

The opening lead is the hardest part of the game of bridge because it contains the greatest degree of uncertainty. Prioritised rules for opening leads such as lead top of an honour sequence, like K from KQJT, removes some of the ambiguity. However, since these rules are based on probability, they will not necessarily be the lead to take the most tricks on any particular hand. For this reason overcalls based on good honour strength and lead directing doubles are useful because they give the opening leader more information to guide them on the specific hand.


Both the following hands were played at big teams events where IMP’s scoring is at play. This means making or defeating the contract is the main concern, with over tricks being much less important.  At the Easter Teams in Auckland North/South bid to 6S on this auction:












N             E              S              W

1H           /              1S           /

4C           X             4D           5C

5D           /              6S           /

/              /


4C is a splinter showing 4 spades and a singleton or void in clubs. 

The X asks for a club lead (shows the A or KQ or a void).

4D suggests slam is possible and shows first or second round control in diamonds (cue bid).

5C is suggesting a sacrifice against slam

5D is the Turbo convention showing 1, 3 or 5 key cards with spades as trumps and first round control in diamonds (X would show 2 or 4 key cards and Pass would suggest a minimum for the bidding)

6S – is frisky to say the least. 

On a club lead, 6S cannot make as N/S have a heart to lose.  What about on a non-club lead?  The Queen of diamonds is likely to be in the hand that does not have super long clubs so playing towards the Ace of diamonds and leading the T back to finesse against the Q is likely to be right.  On any other lead, after the trumps are drawn, the singleton Queen of diamonds drops and the 6 of clubs can be discarded on South’s 4th diamond.


This is a classic lead directing X.  They come up often in slam bidding because North/South are unlikely to try to play the contract of 4CX.  When the opposition make artificial bids while looking for slam it’s worth being alert to opportunities to X to show your partner where you have a trick.  Once you regularly X when you want a lead, the hands where you don’t double an artificial bid also give your partner important information about what not to lead.


Is 6S a good contract?  North needs the Q of hearts or a 6th heart for slam to be sound and the Q of diamonds would be nice.  The 4C splinter here should show around 18+ so that is sound.  The 4D cue bid is reasonable since we could have a bad 6 and we have 11 with good spades and a second suit.  The 5D bid should show extras since partner can already assume North has most of these cards for their splinter so South might expect the Q of trumps or a 6th heart for 5D.  The raise to 6S is pushy.  North showed their hand with the 4D cue bid and 5S would show a minimum for 4D bid. It is Important to note here that with the X of 4C the K of clubs is wasted opposite partner’s singleton (although if partner had the Q of hearts, the K of clubs is the 12th trick and provides a discard for the third diamond so has some small value).  Most tables played 4S and made 6S on a non-club lead, however with the lead directing X of 4C, 6S is very likely to go light.   

Playing at the North Island Teams in Wellington you must pick a lead to 3NT from this North hand:





With no information at all, including any bidding, you might lead a major and maybe a small heart would be best since you have a 5 card suit and probably some entries.

This is the auction:

W            N             E              S

2NT        /              3C*        /

3S           /              3NT        all pass


3C is puppet stayman showing one or both major suits.  It seems that your left hand opponent has 4H and your right hand opponent has 4S, also your right hand opponent has 20 – 22 HCP and left hand opponent between 3 and 11 points…. Look at your hand again; does this information change your lead?

At the table South doubled 3C which asks for a club lead.  This is South’s hand:





 Asking for a club lead might not stand out.  In fact, as the South hand is sitting under the 2NT bidder, a club lead will subject his broken honour sequence in clubs to an immediate finesse into the danger hand, which probably holds AQX or better in clubs.  However, on the upside, the only way this hand is any help to the defence at all, is if the club suit wins some tricks.  Anytime North or East has one of the two missing honours and North has an entry (which is likely because South and East have such limited values) a club lead could be devastating.

If your partner will double for the lead only when they have a solid suit you should lead their suit every time they double.  If they double anytime a lead of that suit might be best you should use the information to guide you, prefer to lead your own suit if it is a good suit. On this hand North leads a club because: this N/S partnership doubles for a lead more frequently; neither a heart nor a spade looks very good after the auction shows E/W each hold a 4 card major; and at least the club lead can be repeated.

Here is the whole hand:





KQJ76                         8

KJ                              Q932

AQT53                        98764

A                               QT7





As you can see a club lead by North to 3NT, after the lead directing X of 3C, picks up 9 tricks for the defence when declarer plays ace and another diamond at tricks 2 and 3. 

 What do you think of West’s bidding?  With holds in every suit his hand meets that important criterion for a balanced 2NT opening; however 2NT loses the diamond suit. Calling this hand ‘3 losers’ to justify opening 2C is awful. The suits aren’t nearly good enough, and it is often impractical to show 2 suits after a 2C opening.  Opening 1 spade, intending to rebid 3 diamonds is normal, and best preserves the chances for a spade or diamond slam; however even after a 1 spade opening showing both suits and stopping in 3NT when that is best is uncertain, on the actual hand 3NT was much worse than 5D.  The upside of 2NT is that it expresses the range and stoppers – but it makes 3NT the most likely final contract.    

East evaluated that with two queens they probably had an entry and that 25+ high card points are more likely than not.  However if a heart fit exists, game is almost certain, so moving over 2NT has a lot going for it.  On this actual hand 3NT will be made after a normal heart lead – 4 diamonds, 2 hearts, 1 club, and 2 spades for nine tricks.  Without the lead directing X of 3C,  3NT is the only making contract with 5D going light on the diamond finesse. 

Queen’s Birthday Congress

Auckland Bridge Club hosted the Auckland Northland Queens Birthday Weekend Congress, which this year had very generous sponsorship from the Taishan Building Group (pictured right), for a total prize pool of $10,000. We often hear that some players are reluctant to play at a club or in a tournament, when they can play on-line in the comfort of their own home. What better way to draw them in, than the chance to win some significant cash?

The Saturday Open Pairs saw 51 pairs battle it out over three sessions, with Ashley Bach and Michael Cornell coming away with the top spot, followed by William Liu/George Sun in second, Grant Jarvis/ Jonathon Westoby third and Michael Whibley / Mathew Brown fourth.

The Intermediates started their two sessions to coincide with the second and third sessions of the Open players, with 16 pairs entered. Marlene Young / James Thomson took out top honours in this category, with Jan Brown / Glynis McNicoll placing second and Fiona Moon / Carol Joseph taking third place.

Sunday saw the qualifying round of the Teams, with 32 teams entered to fight it out over 6 x 12 board rounds for the top 10 spots to play in the final on the Monday.

Those that failed to qualify for the final rounds, and still had the energy to do so, played the West End Pairs along with anyone who had decided to spend a pleasant day at the club in honour of the Queen’s designated celebratory day. A total of 58 pairs, along with the remaining 10 teams, resulting in 69 full tables of bridge players. The West End Pairs was won by one of our fantastic sponsors, Jeter Liu, and his partner Dong Huang (pictured right) with Wayne Burrows / Murat Genc in second place followed by Jerry Chen / James Wang and fourth went to Pam Livingstone / Johnny Davidson.

The finals of the team (results pictured right) had some disputation in the final round, creating some interesting statistics. Patrick Carter sums up the situation:

"A very close finish which involved some controversy. Both M3A and Courtney had received a warning from being involved in matches against other teams where the speed of play had been so slow that a board was not played.

 In both cases the teams were warned that for every board missed after that first infraction they would be penalised 1 Victory point for every board missed. Prior to the last round there had been only two cases in the whole event where that had occurred. The two pairs who had previously been involved in those slow matches involved sat against each other on the final round. Neither saw fit to complain that the opponents were playing too slowly or call the director to see if he or someone else could act as a monitor at that table. They played so slowly that a board was not played so both teams were penalised the Victory point that had been previously advised. That is why their score is showing as 9.34-8.66. Without penalty it was 10.34-9.66. The one victory point penalty proved to be of little consequence to the Courtney team, but very important to M3A. That was obviously not known in advance. If Courtney had won the match by a greater margin then the penalty could have had equally important consequences to their result."


All in all a very successful tournament with a tremendous turn out. To support our club and our sport, please support our sponsors. Remember to mention Auckland Bridge Club when you do, so our sponsors recognise the value of continuing their sponsorship.

Partner Makes a Slow Pass (Part 1 of 2)

By Larry Cohen, reprinted with permission from his website

The most frequent "ethical" problem is when a player takes advantage of his partner's slow pass. For example, with both sides vulnerable:

 3♠Pass*Pass ??



* Slow (45 seconds)

After North takes an exceedingly long time (45 seconds) to Pass, South has an ethical dilemma. He knows that his partner has some values (isn't broke). North didn't pass in tempo (normal would be 5-10 seconds). He thought 45 seconds and passed. Clearly, North was thinking of doubling or overcalling. Suppose South holds:

♠ A4  

♥ AQ9652  

♦ Q42  

♣ 32 

Should South balance with 4♠? It is very dangerous, but not as much as when you are sure your partner has some values. Had North passed in tempo, he could easily have held an ugly 5-count. The slow pass makes it clear that North has close to opening bid values.

Is South "allowed" to bid 4♠? Is he allowed to take advantage of his partner's tempo? In other words, is it "authorized information" to South that his partner has a decent hand?

This is an unfortunate part of the game. The speed/tempo of an action gives away information.

The proprieties state that information shouldn't be conveyed by anything other than the bid itself.  The speed of the bid (or heaven forbid, the emphasis of the bid--such as "snappy" or "fumbling") must be ignored by the partner of the bidder.

So, when North makes his slow pass, South must not draw any inferences. In fact, he should ethically bend over backwards to NOT take advantage. With the example hand above, he should not bid 4♠. To do so would be utilizing the information that his partner has some values. If South does bid 4♠, the opponents can (and should) call the director. The director call is not an "accusation of cheating." It is just proper procedure to draw attention to the fact that North slow-passed and South then bid. Is South allowed to bid? If his hand warrants it, of course he is allowed. Suppose South held:

♠ A2  ♥ AKJ107652  ♦ 32  ♣ 2 

Who would not bid 4♠? I don't care how long North took or even if he did a cartwheel on the table. South has every right to bid what is in his hand. I've heard uninformed players erroneously state: "South was barred--his partner's slow pass barred him from bidding." Not so. It bars him only in marginal cases. If it is 100% action, he can still take it.

But, when it gets "marginal," the partner should not bid after obtaining "unauthorized information." He should take his medicine, be a good person, and make the ethical pass.

Click here for a PDF Version of this Article.

To be continued....

Those Part Scores are Important too

Richard Solomon - originally published on the NZBridge website and later published on CSBNews

No matter what form of the game you are playing, you want to be on the right end of the part-score battles, both in the bidding but also in the play and defence. Many examples deals are about the action in playing or defeating a slam. Here, let’s look at a part-score deal where it looks like North-South won the bidding but the victory will not be that great if the play lets South down:


Looking at the North-South hands, there appear to be five losers, three diamonds, a club and the trump ace. None of those losers are going to disappear especially after the three top diamonds are played. South has to do the best they can to avoid any more losers, or in particular, a second trump. If West has  A10 and two or three others, then there is no hope in avoiding the second trump loser. If the suit breaks 3-2, then unless West has a singleton spade, the contract looks safe.

Yet, there is one more danger lurking, the actual lay-out above, which becomes a definite reality when East has overcalled without any diamond honour.

What, therefore can South do? Winning the A and then crossing to the K to lead a heart towards the South hand (East’s ace goes up “on thin air”) does not work. East plays a third round of spades (10) with South throwing the losing club but when the 9 comes next, one trump loser becomes two, no matter with which card South ruffs. Down one, again.

The winning line is quite simple. When West switches to the spade at trick 4, play dummy’s king. Capturing East’s queen is an absolute irrelevancy as there is no entry to dummy to play a third spade to discard the club. South knows that. Thus, win K and play a low heart. East wins and plays a second spade won by South’s ace. Now, draw trumps and claim conceding a club trick…making 2.

A little care and forethought was all that was needed. The opposition bidding had helped too. “Only a part-score” you may say. 2 or 3% chucked away playing Pairs, 5 imps playing Teams. Can you afford to do that? I can’t and I doubt that you can

Health and Safety

Anthony Hopkins

If you’ve not visited the club recently you’ll not have heard the notices about health and safety at the club, nor seen the new signs.  New Health and Safety legislation came into force in April and aims to reduce the injury and death rates in NZ workplaces. 

Our bridge club falls within the new legislation.  It isn’t a minor undertaking because we have about 40,000 visits to the club each year by members, staff, contractors, volunteers, tenants, visitors and youngsters.

A key point in the new legislation is that everybody must do their bit to keep workplaces safe. This means:

  • If you spot and hazards or potential safety issues in or on the Club premises please inform Ann or Deb at the Office without delay
  • Please do not enter the kitchen areas as this is for STAFF ONLY (if you need access to the kitchen areas you’ll require a safety briefing).

The Committee have employed an expert to assess the risks and their recommendations are posted on the noticeboard.

A second key point is that the new legislation allows for substantial personal and/or corporate penalties for breaches in workplace health and safety.


CERTIFICATES awarded by NZ Bridge March 2016


GRAND MASTER - Neil Stuckey 1*


LIFE MASTER - Nola Clark 1*




LOCAL MASTER - Margaret Kerby, Leah Andrews 1*, Susan Burslam 2*, Robyn  Hardley 3*, Pauline Mulligan 3*, Don Murray 6*, Wayne Gyde 8*


CLUB MASTER - Lee Moselen, Patty Spencer

Club Session Series Results

Warren Cup 6/6

Thur 17 Mar

Peter McTaggart Stephen Rogers

Easter Pairs

Mon 21 Mar

Stephanie Benfell Shirley Pedersen

Swiss Pairs Section 1

Tue 22 Mar

John Khouri Sylvester Riddell

President's Pairs Section 2

Tue 22 Mar

Liz Ware Stephanie Benfell

Autumn Pairs section1

Wed 23 Mar

Rineke Mansell Leslie Watt

Autumn Pairs Section 2

Wed 23 Mar

Jacqui Furniss Sunday Millar

Autumn Pairs  Section 1

Fri 01 Apr

Setsuko Lichtnecker Ming High

Autumn Pairs Section 2

Fri 01 Apr

Sunday Millar Barbara Hayes

Friedlander Pairs 

Fri 01 Apr

Russell Watt Jo Clark

Championship Pairs Bennett Cup

Wed 13 Apr

Wayne Gyde Donald Nelson

President's Pairs

Thu 14 Apr

Jimmy Ching  Rosemary Matskows

Easter Pairs Section 1

Wed 20 Apr

Juliet Rowe Janet Barnard

Easter Pairs Section 2

Wed 20 Apr

Vivienne Redding, Anne Keisenberg

Easter Pairs Section 1 

Tue 26 Apr

Trudy Lange Brent Mandel

Teams Section 2 

 sponsored by Carol & George Wilkinson

Tue 26 Apr

Richard Parkinson  Gordon Gray Philip Jephcoate Heather Irving

Autumn Pairs

Mon 02 May

Janet Pezaro Ruth Filler

Matchpoint Pairs section 1

Wed 4 May

Douglas Russell Tracey Lewis

Matchpoint Pairs Section 2

Wed 4 May

Linda Gray Suzanne Stevenson

Championship Pairs Hunter Cup Section 1

Fri 6 May

Wendy Walsh  Liz Ware

Championship Pairs  Section 2

Fri 6 May

Kathryn Chandler Jean Brenton

Bloom Hearing Championship Pairs

Fri 6 May

Glenis Palmer Christine Wilson

Bloom Hearing Autumn Pairs

Wed 11 May

Alma Priest Jim Salinger

Queen's Birthday Pairs  Section 1

Wed 25 May

Peter Bach Setsuko Lichtnecker

Queen's Birthday Pairs  Section 2

Wed 25 May

Annie Satterthwaite Terry Melhuish

Championship Teams 

Thu 26 May

Barry Palmer / Glenis Palmer / Linda Cartner / Neil Stuckey

Pairs 4/4 11:00 14:15 Topia Tankard

Mon 30 May

Stephanie Benfell Warren Cook

Kensington Swan Teams Section 1

Tue 31 May

Douglas Russell/ Mark Robertson/ John Khouri/ Sylvester Riddell

Autumn Pairs Section

Tue 31 May

Heather Salmons Jill Benton

President's Pairs Section 1

Fri 3 Jun

Jan Brown Brett Hart

President's Pairs  Section 2

Fri 3 Jun

Barbara McDonald Marie Lovrich

Heighway Tankard Butler Pairs  

sponsored by bloom™ hearing specialists

Fri 3 Jun

Penny McRobie Jennifer Perkins

Matchpoint Pairs 4/4 19:30 22:30

Wed 8 Jun

Richard Parkinson Leif Hakansson


Tournament Results since March

Corbans Salver - Thursday

Corbans Salver

Anisia Shami & Amelia Herbert

Easter 10A Pairs

Susan Humphries & Michael Whibley

Easter 8B Pairs

Ailsa Hollis Salver

Susan Burslem & Robyn Chalmers

Easter 10A Teams,

Susan Humphries & Stephanie Jacob & Michael Whibley & Brown

Walk in 3A pairs

Steve Boughey & Andrew Tarbutt

ANZAC 8B Pairs

Anzac Salver

Feitong Chen & Clair Miao

Hedgerow 8B Pairs

George Wilkinson & Carol Wilkinson

QB 10A Pairs

Eric Tonks Cup

Ashley Bach & Michael Cornell

QB 10A Teams

Jonathan Westoby & Grant Jarvis, Dave Dolbel & Denis Humphries

QB 8B Teams

Huber Intermediate Salver

not awarded

QB 5B Pairs

Traude Leitl Junior Salver

Marlene Young & James Thompson

QB West End Pairs

West End Salver

Jeter Liu & Dong Huang


In addition to the authors of the articles in this edition of the Auckland Bridge Club Newsletter, I extend my thanks to Margaret Tapper and Carol De Luca for proof reading portions of the Newsletter before publishing. 

My apologies if you missed the April edition of the Newsletter, due to injury, I was unable to type or operate the mouse resulting in the missed Newsletter.