Tales of Akarana

  • Tales of Akarana

    19 Jul 2019

    TWO BIDS TO SUCCESS. Some bidding sequences can be very drawn out and can take many minutes to conduct. Others are very succinct….and I do not just mean ones like 1NT – 3NT. This particular sequence following involves a bid which... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    5 Jul 2019

    Opportunities Lost Or are they? Do we bid too much at the wrong times even at a lowish level? Are we too afraid to penalise at too low a level? How many of those questions apply to you? (Sorry, I promise not to ask any more questions!) I lie!... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    28 Jun 2019

    Good Bidding…. Not Good Luck. Luck plays its part in a hand of bridge. The best of contracts can succumb to a bad break while some with a much lesser chance of success come home thanks to some good fortune. However, when many pairs miss... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    14 Jun 2019

    Difficult to bid: Difficult to defeat. The high card points were evenly split on Board 4. In fact, even though North-South had the majority, it was East-West who were more likely to record a making game. However, the first problem for East-West... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    7 Jun 2019

    NO TRUMPS, NO HOLDS, NO WORRIES….. There are two good things that can happen when you have not got a hold in a suit and you contract for a no-trump contract. Firstly, your partner, who is on your side may help you out with a useful card or... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    31 May 2019

    Strange Singletons. Those "pure" folk who rarely risk the slam zone with less than a combined 30 count may have prospered this week at Akarana, though not entirely. There were a number of lower point count combinations where a slam looked most... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    24 May 2019

    All routes lead to…. A case, perhaps of what might have been. Sometimes, unfortunately, our own system works against us! So, two questions for you. First question. We give you the score and you tell us the contract. No warm up... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    10 May 2019

                        FOUR MIGHTY HANDS What have the following four hands got in common other than they all appeared at Akarana this week and they, one... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    3 May 2019

    A SECOND CHANCE It was a night oozing with slam possibilities. They were generally making if you bid them though two of the more appealing contracts, both on the same deal, were likely to fail. Most found their way to 6 on these North-South... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    26 Apr 2019

    What a Difference a Lead Makes. That is not a revolutionary statement. Combine a poor choice of lead with an excellent piece of declarer play and you have a 12-imp swing. So, we had better give you the lead problem and see whether you are able to... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    19 Apr 2019

    PUNISH THEM! Who are “they”? Maybe you know some of them. Maybe you are one yourself! “They” just do not know their place! “They” have been given multitudinous “pass cards” (if you use written... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    12 Apr 2019

       When entries are at a Premium. We do not always get the dummy of our dreams, do we? One in particular this week was both a trump and an entry short on requirements! Sometimes, the opposition will come to our rescue but that is not... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    5 Apr 2019

    Game Values: Part-Score Played! So, you open a weak 12-14 1NT with a standardish mid-range 13. Your partner has an unbalanced 12 count with a 5- card major opposite opener’s doubleton. 25 high between the two hands. You would normally be in... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    29 Mar 2019

    LIVING IN A NEGATIVE FREE-LESS WORLD Can we survive? There are those who love this method of bidding who say we cannot! Theirs is the best way, the only way. Let’s look. We are, of course, talking about bidding after the opposition... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    22 Mar 2019

    How High Would You Go? ..in clubs, that is. Who needs the “boss” suit, when you have clubs…and plenty of them!  If you were North-South this week, there were some interesting decisions. The first one came about when your... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    15 Mar 2019

    BID ‘EM UP AND SQUEEZE ‘EM Well, that’s what you are supposed to do in Teams, is it not? A little disciplined over-bidding can bring in a decent return of imps in the “in” column. Mark Hangartner scooped a... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    8 Mar 2019

    Have you ever doubled a slam with a 4333 Yarborough? Have you ever wanted to? Declarer thus misplaces the defence’s cards! Read on. A different kind of question for you this week. We are going to give you two hands, the bidding and the... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    1 Mar 2019

    The Club Suit is not always short. How many clubs do you need to hold in your hand before you get to be declarer in a club contract? We always seem to look elsewhere though the suit did get a little look -in this week.  A32  2 AQ4... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    22 Feb 2019

    WHERE THE REAL ACTION WAS. Not on the Gold Coast, of course. Take a trip to the Akarana Bridge Club where “the cinderellas” did battle, victory in the end going to the team of Owen Camp (he came back especially from Broadbeach for... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    8 Feb 2019

    A Hand to Declare…But where? Welcome back after the break to some more stories from the Akarana Bridge Club. Akarana closes during December but had a small Rubber Bridge event during January. This week, it was back to normal…and as... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    7 Dec 2018

     TWICE IN A NIGHT …. BUT ONCE A YEAR. What is “Total Diversity?” You learn a lot when you play an evening’s bridge and it is not all about how you can bid, play and defend any particular hand. There are some things... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 8

    30 Nov 2018

    PATHWAY TO DISASTER. Maybe you know many such ways to get a bad score at the bridge table? One is certainly making a weak hand as declarer and the strong hand as dummy. It gives free licence to imaginative defenders to underlead aces to give... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 7

    23 Nov 2018

    The five level’s for the opposition….but the 4 level? One board at Akarana demonstrated that the famous saying of the 5-level belonging to the opposition does generally hold true, while another challenged whether the same might hold... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 6

    16 Nov 2018

               “ Two suits” “MICHAELS WEEK”. It was in the Open New Zealand trial last week-end when Michaels Ware and Whibley won the head to head match, to be followed by... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 5

    9 Nov 2018

    DESPERATE MEASURES Whether you are a declarer or a defender, when the chips are down, you do not want to go down without a fight. The odds may seem against you but there may just be a chance. Can you take it? Firstly, you are in the driving seat... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 4

    2 Nov 2018

    MISFITTING “MAYHEM” It seems a good philosophy that when your and your partner’s cards fit well together that you can bid relatively aggressively though when they do not, stay as low as you can….and best do not bid at... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 3

    26 Oct 2018

    The Lure of the Vulnerable Game. It’s Teams. We’re vulnerable. We have enough high card points to make game a possibility. Should we therefore go for gold? It seems many of us tried at the wrong time on this evening. So, a couple of... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 2

    19 Oct 2018

    The Achievable and The Unachievable Here are two questions for you. We will pose a third later.You hold:  T                 ... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 010

    28 Sep 2018

    Normal Breaks do occur….. Normally! You do not believe the above statement, do you? You have seen it all..bid a grand slam with 10 trumps missing the queen and find Qxx behind the AK. You have played in countless excellent games with 4... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 009

    21 Sep 2018

    THE FOOLISH FIVE? It’s OK. There will be no names except my own. I have to admit to being guilty..or am I just being wise after the event? What would you do? There’s not too much to this bidding sequence:  ... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 008

    14 Sep 2018

                   Different Routes: Same Result.                Party Spoilers! There were many different... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 007

    7 Sep 2018

    “Innocent Bystanders”. Or were we? Everyone (well nearly everyone..or some people!) say they love Swiss Pairs. I might sometimes even agree with them, or some of them, or some of the time but there is one time when I and others are... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 006

    31 Aug 2018

    Tales of Disruption Surely there should be a rule about the number of times you can disrupt the opponents’ bidding?! That’s what you would wish for if you were the side who had reached a sensible game contract. Not so if you were the... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 005

    24 Aug 2018

    “GAME” FOR ALL Three makeable suit games and a great sacrifice in the fourth. Even 3NT was only one down! The board must be worth a look. A poser for you first. You are West: Board 8West DealsNone Vul    ... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana 004

    17 Aug 2018

    SUITS MISHANDLED That’s all four of them. Spades should never have got a look-in. Hearts just cannot be trumps, for anyone. Diamonds were largely ignored while clubs proved too tough a suit to defend against accurately. These are the sad... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    10 Aug 2018

    Hearts A’ Flutter. Three successive boards, all with a similar theme, that of doubling heart contracts. Are your nerves up to it because in two cases, there will be no bloodbath! Let’s start with a bidding problem, or maybe it is... read more here

  • Tales of Akarana

    3 Aug 2018

    “ Game Forcing” Bids? Two pieces of interesting hand evaluation thrust  partnerships up into the slam zone..but would they drive on to too high a level? Let’s see: The first board offered both partners a chance to value... read more here


    27 Jul 2018

                          Camouflage. If you make it plainly obvious how you are going to play a contract, then the chances are that the... read more here


    20 Jul 2018

    “Badley” Done The title hardly literally reflects the theme of what follows because in this case, the defence can reflect on a job well done. The hero for the defence was, of course, Duncan Badley. So, let’s put you in... read more here


    13 Jul 2018

    "UNLUCKY" FOR SOME. That’s Board 13. It was there this evening to test one’s superstitions and liking or otherwise of safety plays! Safety plays are there when there is no apparent danger in taking one…so, you be the judge!... read more here


    6 Jul 2018

    AND THE MINIMUM PERCENTAGE IS? That’s for bidding games, especially vulnerable ones. How bad can they be for us to say we should be in part-score? There were 6 low point-count, lowish percentage games to be bid this week. Most were makeable... read more here


    29 Jun 2018

    DISASTER! So you think our top players always get it right? It’s nice to show how well they can play. Sometimes, though, it is just not their night. So, if you have a bad night at bridge, then what follows is here to cheer you up. It can... read more here


    22 Jun 2018

    PUSHING THE RULE TO THE LIMIT. You may have heard of it, “Hamman’s Rule” where if 3NT is a possibility from among your options, then you should give it a go. The boards at Akarana this week did little to doubt the wisdom of this... read more here


    15 Jun 2018

    IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO, DO NOTHING! How many boards when you are defending have you had no idea how you should be defending? If you are truthful, then the answer could be “quite often”! I would put two boards from this... read more here


    8 Jun 2018

    PLENTY OF FUN WITH POINTLESS HANDS. Welcome back to stories of a night’s bridge at the Akarana Bridge Club. After a gap of two months, it was nice to be back. It felt like a good practice for my first up-coming Rubber Bridge match in the... read more here


    29 Mar 2018

    a real hold FOUR VIEWS OF DUMMY So, what is a hold for no-trumps? You cannot always have AQJT in the suit the opposition bids. Sometimes with Kxx, you have to play the whole hand trying to keep one opponent off lead. Then, there are lesser holds... read more here


    23 Mar 2018

    Triers “Rewarded” 26-30 high card points between your two hands are an awkward number to handle. On some days, you want to be in a cold slam while on others, you are picking up the mess of how many under-tricks you need to concede.... read more here


    16 Mar 2018

    Making the best of a bad job Whatever happened to Hamman’s Rule? If 3NT is amongst your choice of makeable game contracts, then go for it….or words similar to that! It did not seem to be particularly true at Akarana this week. When... read more here


    9 Mar 2018

    Viva “The Law” Many pairs use cue-bids of the opponents’ suits to make serious game tries when our partner makes an overcall. This enables a jump raise, or in certain circumstances, even a simple raise to be of a pre-emptive... read more here


    2 Mar 2018

    Forcing and Invitational Bids 25 hcp between the two hands, a 4-4 spade fit, and not one of the 12 East-West pairs made it to the almost cold 4 game. Four will claim some dispensation as they reached and made 3NT, a contract which relied on the... read more here


    23 Feb 2018

    The Unchanging Commodity Bidding styles change over the years because some traditional approaches, whilst effective, occur so rarely that we find more frequent uses for such bids. A prime example is reserving one’s 2 level suit openings... read more here


    16 Feb 2018

    “Full Marks”. There are some jobs in Bridge which are very hard to pass on to anyone else. One such role is President of the Akarana Bridge Club. Ask Jonathan Westoby although after at least a decade in the job, he did escape. Ask... read more here


    9 Feb 2018

    SPADES A ‘ PLENTY After three weeks of Rubber Bridge, Akarana started its Teams and Swiss Pairs program with a lively night of Bridge this week. There were three interesting spade slams to be bid, only one of which stood a chance to be... read more here


    26 Jan 2018

                                     High Level Action at Rubber Week 2 of the three week... read more here


    19 Jan 2018

    “SWISS RUBBER” Welcome back to 2018. Akarana has welcomed the first month of the year with something a little different, a 3 night “Swiss Rubber” competition. Each night pairs play 2 x 14 board matches with Rubber Bridge... read more here


    8 Dec 2017

    “Passing” Time. I thought it would be nice to finish the Akarana year with the story of an exciting board, high level bidding, drama, a grand slam..the sort of story we all enjoy reading. Alas, no. We start this story a couple of... read more here


    1 Dec 2017

    Following in Michael’s Footsteps? Could they be? Zachary Yan and Vincent He are two students at Macleans College, the school in East Auckland which has had a keen group of Bridge players for around 6/7 years. Several are now members of the... read more here


    24 Nov 2017

    PRE-EMPTING PAIN and PLEASURES One can experience and inflict both types of feelings when pre-empts are around. … and there were a few. What, for instance, would you do when your partner, bless him, gets the ball rolling with 3NT, a solid... read more here


    17 Nov 2017

    When being “bad” is “good”. I learnt my lesson the hard way. Opening 4 of a minor with a four card spade on the side was a recipe for disaster…and it was disaster as we never found our way to the cold 4 spade... read more here


    10 Nov 2017

    THE MORE USEFUL CUE-BID “I’m your partner. Please do not pre-empt me”. Too late. Your partner is not listening. First in hand, not vulnerable. Off they go with the “stop” card. “3¨”. What pile of... read more here


    3 Nov 2017

    TOUGH TO BID…AND TO MAKE? That’s an obvious conclusion to draw from Board 12 at Akarana this week. Of the 11 tables in play, the correct contract was reached only five times and of those five, only two made their contract. Back in... read more here

  • TALES OF AKARANA by Mark Hangartner

    27 Oct 2017

                                  A Question of Judgement. Two newer players to Akarana, Kinga Hajmasi... read more here


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    7 Apr 2017

                                             &... read more here


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    26 Nov 2016

                                             &... read more here


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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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