Tuesday, 31 January 2017


Do you call the director when someone revokes? I do. Following David Stevenson's advice every week in Mr. Bridge magazine a friendly club is one where there is no hesitation in calling the director and accepting her ruling. Much better than the players trying to sort it out themselves.

My policy was tested last night. I was at the Buchanan Club in Glasgow, and the contract was 5♦x. The auction was as below:


I had the North hand, with fine Diamond support for partner, which I only showed at the five level. Anna asked me when I showed her the hand why I didn't support earlier, and I wasn't really sure, but I think it was because I thought the 3♥ bid was a mix-up so my strategy is to stay out of it.. Anyway, it worked well and 5♦x has excellent play, with just a Club loser and eventually a Diamond.

Partner was well on the way with a cross-ruff, when I noticed that after a Spade lead West discarded a Club. Then on the next trick she followed with a Spade. I was dummy - but thought it within my rights to point this out.

After a bit of turning cards over we realised West had indeed revoked, someone said it didn't matter as she didn't win the trick, then someone asked if I wanted to call the director. I said yes. The rules for a revoke are pretty simple - the defence forfeits one trick if they win the revoke trick, and one further trick assuming they win a trick subsequent to the revoke. In this case that meant a one trick transfer, so we made an impossible 5♦x+1. The revoke had not been crucial, only causing an overtrick.

There was no hard feeling, and we moved on swiftly. The opponents were not too aggrieved as they had previously made a great 6NT (at aggregate scoring), which always helps.

This was my first night at the Club in a while, and it was a very enjoyable evening playing with standby June, after my partner was late. Except he wasn't really late, arriving at 7:13 pm for a 7:15 pm start. But bridge clubs tend to be pretty punctual, and in fact at 7 pm we were all set to go and at ten past we went ahead without him.

I like playing in new partnerships, and happily agree to everything the other person suggests. So I readily accepted the suggestion for Reverse Benji, which seems to be the club standard, even though I'm a bit shaky on it. As the first round started June tried to rapidly communicate a few other things, then someone knocked over a glass of Coke so we had to change the table cloth, and it was rather a chaotic start. But I felt happy enough, the merits of a new partnership is everyone keeps it simple, and I'm protected from my usual flaw of over-thinking it.

Our agreement for discards - low means like - was tested on the very first round, when I lead a Diamond and dummy won with a singleton Ace. When I got in later I remembered my had partner played an encouraging 2♦, but did this still apply now that dummy was out of Diamonds? I decided it did, and didn't want to lead anything else anyway, so continued with a Diamond, giving declarer not one but two extra tricks. Afterwards, everyone said I should have switched to a Club.

On the one where Reverse Benji came up I surprised partner by responding to her 2♦ opening with 2NT (should have just relayed with 2♥), but we got to the right contract anyway.

We had a few bad contracts that were off two, but also made a couple of good games that not everybody was in. At the end of the night I said "that was quite a steady night" at exactly the same time my partner said "that was a bit up and down". Overall we finished about average, but with the scores very close we were only 500 points from winning - certainly close enough for me to put it down to the opponents bidding that 6NT against us.

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