Improver articles

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    17 Apr 2018

      giving a helping hand. Signalling for Success. Whatever methods you normally use to exchange information to partner, there are times when clear suit preference signals are required. For many pairs, this occurs when one player leads an... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    10 Apr 2018

    The Curse of Board 11 Keen bridge players and most Scottish people (surely all Scots play Bridge!) know that the diamond 9 is the “Curse of Scotland”. Our der knowledgeable friend “Google” will enlighten any ignorant... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    3 Apr 2018

    Signalling and Counting One of the advantages of being a defender is that you have someone else at the bridge table on your side, with the same aims as you have and someone who is taking an active part in the play of the hand. So, even though you... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    26 Mar 2018

    King for Count in Queenstown This is the tale of an actual hand (well, all the stories are) but this is a kind of special one from last weekend’s Queenstown tournament. Are you ready for a defensive problem? Board 2East... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    20 Mar 2018

    PAIRS AND TEAMS PHILOSOPHY They can be the same and they can be so different. One similarity would be when you are in a normal contract, you would not risk going down in your contract by taking a finesse for the sake of an overtrick, unless you... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    6 Mar 2018

    Finessing is Fun Yes, it can be. Trust me. They do work sometimes. Indeed, sometimes, well maybe all the time, you really hope they work. Let’s see how many finesses you need on the following board. If they all fail, you could be in serious... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    19 Feb 2018

    There are many ways of discarding which work most of the time. Sometimes, they all run into difficulty. When that happens think about the easiest way you can get your message across to your partner. If your card is not going to be easy to... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    13 Feb 2018

    USING THEIR TIME So, what do you do as a defender when the declarer goes into what seems like a 10 minute reverie at the first sight of dummy? OK, it was only 30 seconds but you only had four minutes to play this board or else time penalties... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    5 Feb 2018

    SECOND PLAYER PLAYS….. You know the rule. You learnt it five or ten or thirty years ago in the days when you wanted to be dummy…less pressure. It’s good to know that the rule is alive and very well. Yet, there is another rule... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    30 Jan 2018

    MISSED GAME: STILL PLAY CAREFULLY So you played in a stupid part-score contract when you see that slam in a different suit is cold? Don’t give up. Try and make +90 even in your 3-1 fit. It might just be worth + 4 imps when the cold slam... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    23 Jan 2018

    "ROUGHLY" DOWN Maybe the first word has been misspelt but the second word is clear evidence of what happened as another contract which should have been made bit the dust. A test for you. You made a very respectable overcall and much to your... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    16 Jan 2018

    SACRIFICE THE QUEEN Queens are good cards to hold, often winning tricks on the second round a suit is played. That does not mean you should always keep them in your hand when defending. One sacrificed queen carried an important message on the... read more here

  • Tip for Christmas Day

    25 Dec 2017

    A TIP FOR CHRISTMAS MORNING Or the day or week after…by the time you have read all the bridge books you have been given for Christmas. “What, you did not get any? Then, read on. Glad to be of service.” Today’s tip... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    12 Dec 2017

    Another Finesse That Failed They all do, or so it seems. Selective memory, perhaps, for the 50% or so that work…usually when you have missed an iffy game and play in part-score, when every finesse seems to work! Yet, there are some... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    5 Dec 2017

                                 “To continue or to switch”? That is the question. One of the... read more here

  • Play and Defend Better..a piece of bidding and The Lighter Side of Bridge

    20 Nov 2017

    PLAY and Defend Better….a piece of bidding….and The Lighter Side of Bridge. Three articles around one bridge deal. How do you rate your partner? Now, that is a very interesting question. You can see in print what your partner... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    13 Nov 2017

    A squeeze you can perform. You may have heard of this term “squeezing an opponent”. You may think it is something the “better players do”. Certainly, they do get extra tricks, make seemingly impossible contracts, by... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    7 Nov 2017

    The Wonderful and “Worrisome” HJ The HJ proved both a wonderful and a “worrisome” card for the East players on the following deal. Let’s first give East the problem of what to do when trying to make their 4 of a... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    30 Oct 2017

                       ASSIGNING BLAME As well as being a story about a bridge hand, this is a story about attitude at the bridge table. We know that our game... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    26 Oct 2017

    And the Danger is…..? Often the danger that can await you on a board may not be apparent as it can arise from a card or series of cards held by the declarer. On the following deal, the defender should have been aware of the danger as it... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    17 Oct 2017

    THE “MISSING” HEARTS Have you heard that defence, maybe declarer play, even bidding too, is about “counting”? Right from the time you sort your cards (are you sure you have 13?), you are counting…high card points,... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

    20 Sep 2017

    The Reopening Double This article is more about the bidding than the play. The more bridge you play the more kinds of uses of double you find. Initially, it is just the take-out double, the penalty double and maybe the negative double.... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    4 Sep 2017

    Make Them Pay. They have stolen your contract. There’s a slam to be bid and made your way but you decided to take the money off them at the five level. The vulnerability is in their favour but you were never going to bid the slam any way.... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    22 Aug 2017

    Careful or Careless? When suits break evenly, playing a contract is relatively easy. There is usually more than one path to success even if your path is not the one taken by the experts. Yet, the mark of a good Bridge player is a careful Bridge... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    15 Aug 2017

    The Best of All Worlds Signalling…easier to give than to interpret. “How could I realise that the 7 was your lowest heart?” exclaimed a frustrated player after they failed to find a club switch. “How could you want me to... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    8 Aug 2017

    A Difference between Pairs and Teams? It may seem a strange question to ask but sometimes when confronted with a problem, you have to ask the question “are we playing Pairs or Teams?” In bidding, it may be a choice of bidding 3NT or 5... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    1 Aug 2017

    EXPOSING A RISKY RUSE On this board, a declarer played a dangerous game and came up smelling of roses, but should the defence have been able to work out what was happening? Let’s look at the board from the point of view of West.... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    25 Jul 2017

    A “Partnership” Slam Much of the time when we have bid to slams (good slams, that is!), the play can be quite straightforward. One must be very careful in the play but barring very bad trump breaks, the line to success should be quite... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    18 Jul 2017

    DIAGNOSIS OF A DISASTER The opposition reached a very poor 3NT contract, with insufficient high card points and no real long suit to run….at least not without a loser or two first. They got a little lucky with the break and position of... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    11 Jul 2017

    THE IMPORTANCE OF…..or Replacing the Guess You can manage without it but without it, it becomes guesswork. You can try and guess what is happening with a deal, what the declarer wants you to do and therefore do the opposite. You can... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    5 Jul 2017

    COUNTING WINNERS – A WELCOME TO THE NEW PLAYERS With players coming out of Beginners’ Lessons at about this time of year, this week’s example hand is one for those new to the club session. Perhaps you could give the following... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    27 Jun 2017

    Guiding Partner Good defence can be thoughtful defence. You know what needs to be done but partner may not be on the same wave-length. If you can, guide them. Look at the very simple error which occurred in the defence to this part-score.... read more here

  • PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

    20 Jun 2017

    “Don’t Send a Boy on a Man’s Job” The “boy’s” name was Jack.  He was sacrificed, was sent out too early. His loss caused a break-down of the whole operation (contract) resulting in failure. Cause of... read more here

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