Tales of Akarana

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    20 Oct 2017

    INSPIRED LEADERS Does that description fit you? Jacinda Ardern or Winston Peters, perhaps? Maybe they had other things on their minds last Wednesday evening.  There were plenty of imps available on the following two boards….Will you... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    13 Oct 2017

    “Currie(d) Ducks” So, about playing a board with David Dolbel? We all know David’s system is a little “eft field” but when it comes to being declarer, he is in the same uncertain melting pot as the rest of us. So,... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    21 Sep 2017

    A TALE OF TWO “SHORT” KINGS Partner and I have a kind of agreement that we do not treat singleton aces or kings as singletons. They tend to lead partner astray as to the strength or otherwise of their own holding in the said suit. So,... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    15 Sep 2017

    ANYONE FOR HEARTS? Trying to play boards in hearts this week at Akarana proved or could have proved a little difficult. From Board 1 through to 28 would see a multitude of failed contracts. On Board 1, East-West held:... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    8 Sep 2017

    Passing…and Doubling. What is the highest number of high card points you have ever held when you passed your partner’s opening three-level pre-empt? Secondly, would you double the following 4 heart contract after the following... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    1 Sep 2017

    Tales of the Absurd: Do you want to play in hearts? How else can one describe a couple of boards from this week’s play? No fancy squeezes or end-plays this time. It’s all in what we bid and how much…which usually means too... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    25 Aug 2017

    Playing with Stanley…and like him! Well, that has to be a compliment. It certainly would be true on the following board from play at Akarana. The moral of what follows is: Never be fazed By the difficulty of the contract By a lack of... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    18 Aug 2017

    Play Low, Low and Low Again With plenty of action from Lyon at present and a quiet night at Akarana, here is a little story involving some unusual happenings in the spade suit. The first was in the bidding. You are sitting there as West and... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    11 Aug 2017

    SLAMS A’PLENTY There were good slams to be bid. There were bad slams which were both bid and missed. There were 50% slams where the missing king was well placed for the brave. There was even one lay-down slam in each direction, “lay... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    4 Aug 2017

                             The Glorious Dummy. Don’t you love it when you struggle your way through the play of a hand, in... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    28 Jul 2017

    HEART ATTACK …and HEART BREAK! The evening was littered with long heart suits. The heart suit normally has to play second fiddle to the black  spades but much of the action revolved around the red hearts. Spring Lin and Kevin Fan were... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    21 Jul 2017

    ONCE MORE INTO BATTLE In English History, it could be “The Wars of The Roses” between Yorkshire and Lancashire. In cricket, it could be the battle for “The Ashes” between England and Australia. It could be Trans-Tasman... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    14 Jul 2017

    Hope Springs Eternal The emotions one can through during the 7 or so minutes you play a hand of bridge can be quite contrasting. You can start off with dreams of gold, a nicely shapely hand with an almost solid suit…and just for once, your... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    7 Jul 2017

    UNIVERSAL CONTRACT THOUGH NOT RESULT Many argue that the bidding is by far the most important of the three parts of our game. Get that right and you will most of the time achieve a good result. Maybe it takes the exception to prove the rule but... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    30 Jun 2017

    PREEMPTING A PRE-EMPT.....The Eighth Deadly Sin. Do you? Should you? What are the dangers? Can your partnership pull up short of disaster? These are some of the questions generated by Board 23 this week. Look at the West hand and decide if you... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    23 Jun 2017

    GIVE NOTHING AWAY….NOT EVEN GERBER! One up for Gerber this week. Firstly, though, some thoughts on opening leads to games. Do you attack or go defensive? No-one should answer that question without asking one in return. “What do I... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    16 Jun 2017

    Nicely Bid: Nicely Played Board 6 at Akarana this week resulted in 8 different contracts being played at the 9 tables with only three declarers being successful plus another achieving their aim taking a sacrifice against game. Board... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    2 Jun 2017

    PATIENT DEFENCE REQUIRED Last week, I moaned at the lack of middle cards I was dealt. Moaning had little impact when it came to Board 26 this week. My trumps were 6543 and with partner holding the 2 among his four, it was hardly going to be a... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    19 May 2017

    ONE CHANCE Leading partner’s suit is not always a good idea as North was to find out on the first board of this evening at Akarana. There was to be no recovery when dummy proved to be rather unusual:   Board 1North... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    12 May 2017

    Critical Choices Challenging, frustrating, at times exhilarating.  Could it be marriage about which we are talking? No! Partnership of another kind. Defence, of course! Drawing inferences, looking for signals from partner. Knowing when to be... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    28 Apr 2017

    WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE “BOSS” SUIT? You like to have a handful of spades. They are pretty good to have in any competitive auction. Yet, this suit did not get a look-in in either of the hands which follow. However, the possessor of... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    14 Apr 2017

    The Natural Psyche…or “Bidding the Boss Suit”. The race to bid spades was a key factor on one particular board this week. Would you bid them in this auction? You are South with:  KQT5  9854  63 986 and... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    7 Apr 2017

                                             &... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    31 Mar 2017

    Good Defence: Bad Luck If there was voting for the “Good Defence” and “Bad Luck” categories at the end of a year’s bridge at Akarana, then I would have a couple of nominations from this week’s play. Firstly,... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    24 Mar 2017

    The Card that never came and the ace that came too soon High level decisions often end with “if onlys”. One player per side could have been saying those two magic words on the first of the two featured deals from this evening’s... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    17 Mar 2017

    “A Very Successful Operation….” And you know what happened to the patient! Why? The preparation (the bidding) had gone perfectly. On a part-score deal, the opposition were heading for either -200 or -500, certain imps in. Let... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    10 Mar 2017

    A Deal of Problems Two bidding and one play problem from the same deal. Sounds like worth a little look. Pre-empts usually make life difficult for someone. This one made life rather so for everyone including the pre-emptor. Yet, what would be... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    3 Mar 2017

    The Bizarre and The Absurd Fortunately, the following board was only played at two tables as the results achieved at other tables would have taken too long to describe. Why at only 2 tables? Perhaps because all other tables passed the board in?... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    24 Feb 2017

    TAUGHT IN THEORY: PROVEN AT THE TABLE If you were forced to write down good and bad aspects of a bridge hand, then theory suggests that where you only have a 4-4 trump fit, having a singleton in partner’s first bid suit is not a great... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    17 Feb 2017

    WE LOVE THEM: WE HATE THEM What are “they”? High level competitive decisions, of course! Get them right and the sun shines and the imps flow in. Misjudge and you are left with that “if only” feeling in your stomach. I... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    10 Feb 2017

    Ignore at Your Peril Who cares about clubs? Lowest of rank, outbid by all. They have far more status in “500” than in bridge. Ignore them at your peril, though. Take the opening lead to 3NT on Board 15. West opened a strong 1NT with... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    3 Feb 2017

    Dangerous Doubling Welcome back to another year at Auckland’s Teams and Swiss Pairs club, Akarana, scene of much interest and excitement at the bridge table. The first night of February was a relatively quiet evening, barring the odd missed... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    9 Dec 2016

    AND THE JOKER IS?   We finish the year with a light-hearted look at a recent Akarana deal …and with only 14 boards played on Akarana’s last Wednesday of the year because of the club AGM, we will go back three further days... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    3 Dec 2016

    STRONG PRE-EMPTS Back even before I started playing bridge, rumour has it that one opened at the 3 level with a hand one trick short of game. I think most players’ 3 level openers today are generally more than one trick short. First or... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    26 Nov 2016

                                             &... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    18 Nov 2016

      Pointless Why do we bid? Maybe the short answer is that if we kept passing, we would end up defending all the time and that’s tough! So, let’s bid and try and be the declaring side, make our contract and get a good score. You... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    11 Nov 2016

    Chances Both Ways That’s what makes a good bridge hand. Both sides have the opportunity of a good score…and in the case of Board 7, there were a few “if onlys” afterwards. We will look at from the point of view of some... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    28 Oct 2016

    “TRIED and TRUE” Some of those lessons we learnt many years (well, “very many”) years ago in Beginners’ Classes are still pretty relevant. A couple saved my partnership a lot of anguish this week at Akarana. Try... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    21 Oct 2016

    The “Get out of Jail Free” Card. How can a lead be right and be so wrong? We will come back to that but will firstly look at a play problem. You have reached, or been pushed to the 5 level by the usual frisky non-vulnerable... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    14 Oct 2016

    It’s Easier for Some Just not for me. Somehow, when I pre-empt the opposition, the sky is the limit if they want to be aggressive. Yet, when the boot is on the other foot, the roof is just about to fall in! I held what seemed a pretty... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    17 Sep 2016

    CREATING YOUR OWN FUN On a night where so many of the deals seemed to be routine games (even 6-6 in the majors is fairly common-place these days!), one player decided to create his own piece of excitement. I am not sure what your thoughts would... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    9 Sep 2016

    ‘‘Ducking and Diving” If you play a hand as well as you can, you are sometimes rewarded by an opponent’s slip. That was certainly the case for John O’Connor who is quite a new player to Akarana. He reached 3NT from... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    3 Sep 2016

    “The High Road or The Low Road?” There are times when the standard approach to bidding makes it difficult to explore for the best contract especially when you are in the “maybe slam zone”. “One step too many”... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    26 Aug 2016

    A “Helping” hand Your partner is there to help your side. Believe it! It’s true. Just because they do not always lead the suit you bid (they had their reasons, maybe valid ones!) or return your suit to give you a ruff (check out... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    19 Aug 2016

    Crashing Honours A series of curious events resulted in 12 well won imps on the following board (4). In the cold and reflective light of the post-mortem, one can find a reason why the defence could have prevailed but the declarer, Carol... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    12 Aug 2016

    AVOID THOSE MINORS Two boards played this week proved some well-known rules about where you should be playing game if you can and conversely what to avoid. They both involved some potentially hefty opposition pre-emption. One involved one of... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    29 Jul 2016

    “Good Prediction, Owen” When the opposition have done well against you and say words like “obvious defence” or “everyone will do that”, you have a little hope that your world has not caved in. Last night, it... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    22 Jul 2016

    “Michaels Issues” solved by James.                        How do you play Michaels Cue Bids? There are more theories than there are bridge players... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    15 Jul 2016

    What Every Aspiring Golfer Needs….. If you hit those golf balls regularly down the fairway onto the green and then with minimum shots into the hole, there are some basic things you need….rub of the green, a good swing, a reasonable... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    8 Jul 2016

    The “slow” or the “fast” lane? A night of fairly routine games and part-scores was brought to life at some tables by a deal where no pair could bid the better of the available slams but where there was much interest in... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    1 Jul 2016

    LEADING AGAINST SLAMS There are those who think leading against slams is a pretty random occupation. Actually, “leading” against any contract is pretty random. By the time they have key carded or cue-bid their way to slam, you may... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    24 Jun 2016

    Which is more important: The Bidding or the Play? It’s a long-standing debate. Is the battle won or lost when you reach the right contract or has the real battle not started yet? Let’s judge from two hands from this week’s play.... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    3 Jun 2016

    31 POINTS FOR 6H? “NOT TODAY, JOSEPHINE”. No, we are not referring to the wife of one of the bridge greats, Ely Culbertson, who was no slouch of a player herself. If you read the advice given to beginners, you need at least 31 points... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    27 May 2016

    BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS So you thought 15-17 was a range in respect of strong no trump openings or overcalls? That maybe but at Akarana Bridge Club, it spelt out some boards which attracted some rather hefty scores. Board 15 was fairly tame at all... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    6 May 2016

    An Unfortunate Bid The textbook definition of a balanced hand is getting stretched these days.5 card majors in a 5332 shape,  5-4 shapes, 6 card minors (like one last night), even the odd singleton…almost anything goes. For some... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    29 Apr 2016

    Playing Russian Roulette with Michael Cornell Or “How high do you go, Joe?” Joe is not his real name. If you are really interested, you could flick through the results on Board 26 at Akarana last night. What you do need to know is... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    22 Apr 2016

    THE HIGH ROAD OR THE LOW ROAD? Many Acol pairs rebid 1NT after a suit opening and response from partner with 15-17 hcp and 2NT with 18-19. The rebid of 3NT becomes something of a redundant response, giving you the option of choosing a meaning. My... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    15 Apr 2016

    The Effect of Heart Overcalls There is a saying that pairs would be a lot better off as far as imps are concerned if they had never bid a slam. That saying was reinforced for the North-South pairs in the second match at Akarana this week. For... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    8 Apr 2016

    Getting to Game…the right game.   When one partner has a really strong strong no-trump hand (18 count) and their partner a good long heart suit, you would think getting to 4 would be a formality… but this was not always the... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    1 Apr 2016

    WHEN WILL YOU EVER LEARN “Where have all the trump leads gone, long time passing. Where have all the trump leads gone, long time ago. Where have all the trump leads gone, gone to wise bridge players every one. When will they ever learn,... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    25 Mar 2016

    JUST ANOTHER DEFENSIVE DECISION…. You’ve got the bidding, your hand and dummy to look at. You’ve even seen the play to the first three tricks. It can’t be too hard…can it? You are North. South... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    18 Mar 2016

    WILD and WONDERFUL That’s if you end up on the right side of the pendulum. I was a little surprised that only just over half the tables got to grips with Board 26. Firstly, let me give you the problem I faced…and really did not find... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    11 Mar 2016

     AVOIDING FAILURE : Once more to Wednesday night at the Akarana Bridge Club.... When 9 out of 13 Akarana declarers fail in a reasonable and according to Deep Finesse makeable 4 contract, we should have a look and see what went wrong. At the... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA

    4 Mar 2016

    For those of you who do not know, the Akarana Bridge Club is different from any other in this country in that it plays only Teams events. When we say “Teams”, we also include Swiss Pairs and even the occasional “Point A... read more here

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