April 23, 2016: Fresh from their successful trip to the San Francisco Bay High School Team Championship Tournament, McQueen’s Team of Four Captained by Emma Miller returned to capture the RYB Silver Cup Team Championship when they scored a resounding victory in the tournament held at the Golden Nugget Hotel on Saturday. Playing in this highlight event were representative teams from all participating District Middle Schools and High Schools. McQueen’s team of four was made up of Emma Miller, Sidney Inouye, Matt Oakley, and Vitas Gedilva. In second place were Ashley Unerbasami from Billinghurst, Leigh Fisher from Sparks Middle School and two guests. In third place were Haley Oliver,Alex Heredia-Nunez, and Luis Heredia-Nunez, representing Sparks Middle School. For the first time, attendance was disappointing for this very special event, however, the play by students from Billinghurst and Sparks Middle school, two institutions that have been participating in Reno Youth Bridge since inception was reflective of the excitement that goes along with playing in intramural competition. Leadership provided by those school’s Faculty Representatives has made a big difference in how their students are able to take advantage of the benefits of learning how to play this great game.Learn More
April 17, 2016: The McQueen Bridge Team finished fourth in the Bay Area High School Team Championships held on Sunday April 17th at the Bayshore Bridge Center in Burlingame, California. The Team performed very well in this their first effort in this high level championships. High School Students 19 years and under qualify to be members of their high school team and each team played five boards against each other team with the two teams scoring the highest number of victory points facing each other in an 22 board final scored by International Match Points. Sarah Macharg (Captain), Matt Oakley, Sidney Inouye and Emma Miller, entered the consolation Pairs Tournament and both pairs finished second, Sarah and Matt sitting North South and Emma and Sidney sitting East West. Now the four players will be entering the Reno Youth Bridge Spring Duplicate Team match competing to win the WCSD-RYB Silver Cup to be held at the Golden Nugget hotel concurrently with the April Showers Sectional Tournament sponsored by Unit 473 of the American Contract Bridge League.Learn More
Lesson for the week. Here is a hand in which you as south find yourself after the bidding goes 1NT by you then Pass,Pass, Pass.
They say that 1NT is the hardest contract to make (one of my students once suggested that your partner should always raise you to 2NT, since that contract is easier). From an online game, as South, you hold:
94 A53 AQ53 AJ64
Your 1NT opening buys it and LHO leads the 6 (standard). What is your plan?
This was IMP scoring, but I don’t see that the plan should be any different at matchpoints. In notrump, I like to count winners. You have 3 sure diamonds and 2 aces for 5. This spade lead gives you a great chance for extra tricks. If LHO has led from the ace-queen, you can win the jack now and later lead up to the king.
Players are reluctant to lead from AQ against 1NT, so let’s say you choose instead to hope LHO has led from Q10-empty. You play low from dummy and hope East produces a low one or the the ace. No, he plays the queen. That’s not terrible news–at least it wasn’t the 10. Now, you will be able to later build additional trick(s) in spades. Note: The Rule of 11 tells you that East had only one card higher than the 6 (11-6=5 and you can see 4 of those cards). Looking at those great spades in dummy, RHO switches. He plays the Q. And you?
Well, in my tricky way, I have glossed over the key play. Did you unblock your 9 at trick one? You will soon see why that was a good idea. Let’s say you hold up in hearts and the defense plays them until you win your ace. The diamonds can wait; you want to play a spade now while dummy still has the K as an entry. If you play the 9 (which you carelessly retained), LHO plays low. Your 9 wins the trick (winning in dummy is no better), and you are stuck in your hand. When you test diamonds they don’t split and you have only 6 tricks for down one.
What if you properly unblock the 9 at trick one? Your foresight makes the rest easy. When you win your A you lead your 4 to dummy’s 8. Then you are in dummy to knock out LHO’s A and you have 7 sure tricks. This was the Real Deal:
My lawyers have made me state that there is a double-dummy way (too many players out there run my deals through double-dummy software and write letters to the editor) to survive without unblocking the 9 at trick one. Still, it is the correct play and be proud of your +90 if you saw it!Learn More
The Board of Directors of Reno Youth Bridge, Inc. has announced it will hold its annual Spring Intramural Team Game Tournament on Saturday, April 27th during the Reno Bridge Unit’s “April Showers” Sectional at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Sparks. Each year, RYB sponsors this event to determine which of its member schools will take possession of the WCSD-RYB Silver Cup pictured here and presented annually to the school whose four man team wins this tournament.
Be sure to inform your parents of the date and time for this event. Registration begins at 9:15 AM and the tournament starts at 10:00 AM. Snacks will be served between 11:00 and 12:00 Noon and a light lunch will be served during the awards presentation after the end of the tournament at 1:30 PM. Tell your parents you will be ready for pick up by 2:30 PM. Group pictures will be taken for inclusion on the RYB Website so be sure to wear your RYB Tee shirt or RYB Polo shirt. At your next after school Bridge Club meeting, talk to your Faculty Representative or instructor about who you would like to partner with and who will be the other pair as members of your 4 man team.
Both entry and your lunch are free and this is the single most important tournament of the year for members of Reno Youth Bridge. It will enable the winners and other rankings to earn up to 50 RYBAP Silver points in the race for the $1000.00 “Condition Precedent” College Tuition Scholarship Award granted to the RYB student earning the highest number of total RYBAP points during the 2015-2016 school year. In other words, this tournament is a big deal so you don‘t want to miss participation. Form your four man team now. Practice with your partner on BBO during Spring Break. This is a great value and a lot of fun!Learn More
April 1, 2016: Sarah Macharg, (Captain), Matt Oakley, Sidney Inouye and Emma Miller, members of McQueen High School Bridge Club are putting in extra hours of practice in preparation for their entry as the Reno Youth Bridge Team of Four who will be competing in the Second Annual Bay Area High School Team Championships scheduled for April 17th at the Bayshore Bridge Club in Burlingame, California. This will be the first year that Reno Youth Bridge will have a WCSD Member High School entering this celebrated event. Six Bay Area High Schools also have entered Teams to compete for becoming the Bay Area High School Team Champion in District 21 of the American Contract Bridge League. The event is being sponsored by the Silicon Valley Youth Bridge Center, Debbie Rosenberg, President.
Emma Miller and Sidney Inouye are an experienced partnership that has competed successfully in several Reno Youth Bridge Sponsored Duplicate Tournaments over the last three years and have been very successful in their efforts at ACBL National Tournaments venues in Chicago last Summer and here in Reno last month. Sarah Macharg and Matt Oakley are also an experienced partnership having won the RYB-WCSD Silver Cup at the RYB Spring Intramural Team Matches in April, 2015. Kathy Lane, Chairman of Reno Youth Bridge Inc., has said that this team should perform very well given their experience and we are confident they will do their best to bring back the winner’s trophy.
By Larry Cohen
Bidding and Rebidding to Partner’s opening
If you respond 2 over 1, you are guaranteeing at least 5 hearts.
That is the only major-suit response (other than jumps) that guarantees at least 5 cards.
Responses on the 1-level guarantee only 4 cards in that suit. When your response to partner’s opening bid is 1 or 1, you are showing 4+ cards.
What if you actually have 5 or more? How do you convey that information?
It depends on opener’s rebid. Let’s take a look:
|1 any||1 or 1|
If the opener’s second bid is a suit (either repeating his own suit or bidding a new suit), responder should not repeat his major with only 5. He needs 6 or more cards to repeat his suit. So, in each auction below, responder should have 6 or more of his suit:
Responder shows 6 or more hearts (not forcing/weakish).
Responder shows 6 or more spades (invitational).
I know what you are thinking. What if responder has 5 of his major and opener happens to have 3? Too bad. Bidding isn’t perfect. Sometimes opener will actually raise with 3. For example, I would raise 1 to 2 if partner responded 1 after I had opened 1 with:
KJ2 3 J765 AKJ54.
What if opener’s rebid is 1NT or 2NT? For example:
|1 any||1 or 1|
|1NT or 2NT||??|
This slightly changes things. Now, opener has at least a doubleton in every suit (a notrump rebid shows a balanced hand). If responder repeats a 5-card major, it will land him in no worse than a 5-2 fit. Not perfect, but contrast this to rebidding a 5-card major in the auctions above. In those situations, it could lead to a 5-1 or even 5-0 fit.
So, should responder repeat his major with only 5 cards after hearing a notrump rebid? As much as I like to give Yes/No (100%) answers, I can’t do it here. I firmly espouse always showing a 5-card major when partner has opened 1NT. When the rebid is 1NT, I tend to rebid the 5-card major (hoping for an 8-card fit, but relying on at worst a 7-card fit). But, not always. For one, some partners occasionally rebid 1NT with a singleton in my suit. I don’t advocate that style, but others do. If I fear a 5-1 fit, repeating my major (unless it is a very good 5) is scary. Also, if I have scattered values and a so-so 5-card suit, I might decide that no trump is okay.
The above paragraph is referring to hands where the responder knows there is no game. For example, you have:
54 KJ765 A43 876.
Partner opened a minor, you bid your major and partner rebid 1NT. There are only 2 possible contracts (1NT or 2). You either pass or correct to 2 (100% signoff).
What if you have more strength? For example:
A4 KJ765 A43 876.
Now, when partner rebids 1NT, you have many possible contracts in mind (partscore or game in hearts, partscore or game in notrump). This is where “new minor forcing” (a popular convention) can be used.
Use/learn this convention only if you and your partner are prepared to study and memorize. Note that this convention should only be used if the responder has a decent (at least game interest) hand. With less than game interest, he either passes the notrump rebid or corrects to his major.
What if responder has 6 or more of his major? That suit is always rebiddable and there is really no need for new-minor forcing (responder knows there are at least 8 trumps). Also note that new minor forcing is used only when the rebid is in notrump.