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Debs on form on BBO.


For many on-line Kiwi bridge players, on-line now means playing on RealBridge. However, there is still on-line bridge on BBO (Bridge Base Online).


The World Bridge Federation, in conjunction with BBO, run two women’s bridge competitions every year.  The "spring" one finished just over a week ago.


It runs for a week, with many events each day (and night).  There are three categories, and an overall.  The three categories of events are: individual (people playing with a couple of hands with lots of other people, like a normal individual), individual robots (like a pairs event but everyone has a robot partner), and pairs (where you can play with a real partner you organise or if you want to a robot).  The fields were quite large.


For each event you earn points for a good finish, and the points depend in part on the size of the field in the event.  Your best ten point scores count to the final ranking in each category, and again the best ten overall to the overall.


The events are scattered all around the clock, but lean toward better times for Europe.  That also impacts on field size and hence which events might get you the maximum (0.75 points) for winning them.


One player who took part was Hawke’s Bay’s Debs Smith and she did rather well. She won the Pairs event (playing with a robot all the way, which according to husband Scott “is a significant disadvantage but does make organising a partner easier!”), and finished fourth in the overall.


Here’s is Debs in action against a robot and a human.

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg


Board t93
East Deals
N-S Vul

10 9 3

K 7 4 3

8 3 2

A 9 5

8 5 4

A 2

A K 9 7 4

J 3 2








A Q J 7

Q J 10 9


K 8 7 6


K 6 2

8 6 5

Q J 6 5

Q 10 4








1 ♣


3 NT

All pass




Debs (West) bid swiftly to 3NT giving nothing away about her hand. The lead from the Robot in the North seat was the Spade-smallT though neither her human nor Robot opponent really distinguished themselves when South won the opening lead and switched to a small diamond.

Debs Smith 2.jpg   
Debs Smith

Although ultimately it would have made little difference since South would have to have won the second round of spades, but ducking the opening lead would have made life a little harder for Debs (the lead could have been from KT9x).

Debs did well and ran the diamond to dummy’s 10. Next came a heart finesse (no need to unblock with spade entries to dummy) and the Robot surprisingly took their king and returned a heart.

Debs cashed her top two diamonds discarding clubs before returning to dummy to take two more spade and heart winners. With two cards remaining and Debs having 9 tricks, she led a club away from dummy’s king and South lapsed by not playing their Club-smallQ (absolutely no cost at that point) thus allowing Debs to score Club-smallK at trick 13 for a very handy overtrick.

Although a declarer should normally come to 9 tricks, a duck of the first round of spades…and for the brave of the second round… would have made declarer’s life a lot harder. Perhaps, it was just as well that the Robot sat North!


Results are here:


 Maybe keep an eye out for the "autumn" edition in a few months’ time.


11, 12 or 13 tricks?

You are in 6Heart-small. So, 12 is sufficient, the 13th a bonus especially if you are playing Pairs. How though would you go about playing after West leads Diamond-smallT?


North Deals
N-S Vul

A Q 6

K 8 6 5

A Q 5

A 9 2








K 7 5 4

A Q 10 9


K J 7 5


6  by South

Richard Solomon

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