Newsletter - 25 February 2022

In this week’s newsletter...

  • Upcoming Sessions
  • Supervised Play
  • Master the Basics
  • Competitive Bidding & Play Lessons
  • Upcoming Events
  • Hugh Hudson Pairs
  • Australian National Championship Qualifiers - Territory representation through BFACT trials
  • Barrier Reef Congress
  • Results
  • 60th Gold Coast Congress 
  • Bridge Tips by Joan Butts
  • Richard Hill's Winning Ways
  • Member Spotlight - Rowan Bergin
  • Ian Morison 
  • Lighter Moments


From the President

For some years, CBC and its members have raised funds for a well-known charity.  Currently the club charity is Beyond Blue, which we all know does wonderful work supporting Australians to achieve their best possible mental health.

CBC has a fundraising page on the Beyond Blue website (see link below).  Donations over $2 are tax-deductible.  Please consider making a donation via the CBC fundraising page to support Beyond Blue and CBC’s fundraising efforts:

In addition, please provide your surplus produce or other suitable items for the Produce Table at the club.  If you wish to take an item, please leave an appropriate cash donation. All proceeds go to Beyond Blue.  We had a wonderful supply of lemons during 2021, now it’s time for any surplus summer crops.

The ACT Government has announced that face masks are no longer mandatory in most indoors settings from Friday evening.  The ACT Government has also said that masks are still highly recommended to mitigate COVID transmission, particularly in indoor settings where it may be difficult to maintain appropriate physical distancing, or when interacting with vulnerable community members.

Accordingly, anyone at the club is free to wear a mask if they wish and should not be discouraged from doing so.  However, anyone who is unwell should stay at home, and certainly not come to the club in the belief that wearing a mask will reduce the risk to others.

Please enjoy your bridge and stay safe.



 Sessions in the club and on RealBridge are outlined below. 

From 2 March Wednesday evening sessions will return as face-to-face - RealBridge sessions at that time will cease.  Friday morning face-to-face sessions will resume from 18 March 2022.

Please note that visitor fees on RealBridge will increase to $10 from 1 March 2022.

 NBThere may be possible changes from time to time but if any of the advertised sessions below change we will send another email advice. 

Upcoming Sessions

Our weekly sessions

  • Monday morning 10.00am at the club
  • Monday 10.15 am RealBridge
  • Monday 2.00 pm (24 boards) RealBridge
  • Monday 7.00 pm RealBridge
  • Monday 7.15pm RealBridge event
  • Tuesday afternoon 1.00pm at the club
  • Wednesday morning 10.00am at the club
  • Wednesday morning 10.15am RealBridge
  • Wednesday evening supervised at the club 7pm (18 boards following lesson) commencing 2 Feb
  • Wednesday evening 7.15pm at the club
  • Thursday morning 10.00am at the club - Butler and walk in duplicate
  • Thursday afternoon 2.00pm (24 boards) RealBridge
  • Friday morning supervised 10am at the club (18 boards following lesson) commencing 4 Feb
  • Friday afternoon 1.00pm at the club
  • Friday afternoon 1.15pm RealBridge
  • Saturday afternoon 1.15pm RealBridge

Watch the newsletters and website for advice on face-to-face sessions at the club, and RealBridge sessions as these are fluid, depending on COVID developments and demand.  At this stage it is intended that the Monday and Thursday afternoon RealBridge sessions will continue indefinitely.  

Member table money will be deducted from players CBCPay accounts. Visitors' fees will be paid for by their member-partner, or via prior arrangement by emailing the office.

Cost: face-to-face $10 members/ $13 visitors, concession $9.  RealBridge $8 members and $7 concession (including event) $10 visitors from 1 March 2022.

Links to sessions are on our RealBridge page.


Supervised Sessions happening Wednesday nights and Friday Mornings at the Club

If you know the basics and just want to refresh your bridge knowledge come along on Wednesday nights at 7pm or Friday Mornings at 10am for an 18 board supervised session.  Come individually and we will match you up or come with a partner if you have one. Learn from the pros and develop your confidence with bidding and play.  We are very grateful to Brian Thorp and Bob Cox who are assisting with these sessions and as indicated above if you are an experienced player and want to help others, please let Morag know.  


Master the Basics

Master the Basic lessons are back on Zoom Thursday's at 9.00am sharp!   These are half hour lessons worth a zillion to your knowledge, bidding and cardplay! The topic list is here. Next week's topic is 1NT doubled - now what? If you want to register, the cost is $6 for members and $8 for nonmembers. Please email if you want to be added to the notification list and get on Zoom.  


Competitive Bidding and Play

If you are new to duplicate bridge and find competitive bidding a challenge this 4 week face-to-face course is a must.  Over 4 weeks we will cover doubles, overcalls, leads and signals.    These sessions started on Tuesday February 15 and finish on Tuesday March 8.   The classes run from 10am to 12 noon on Tuesdays. We start with a lesson, discuss and may bid or play practice hands.

This course will be run face-to-face in the club rooms.  Cost is $15 per lesson . EFT to BSB 032730  Acct 355176.  In the Reference field please put "Compbidplay" and ABF number please

Feedback on week 2 Overcalls was sought.  Barbara Herden said the course was "good! It clarified a lot of things for me. I have a bag of tricks which will help with overcalls and doubling. I particularly enjoyed the card play at the end and saw the principles we discussed in practice"  Thanks for the feedback Barbara!

Just turn up and we can charge your CBC Pay.  


Upcoming Events

Hugh Hudson Pairs -  Mondays 7.15pm

The Hugh Hudson Pairs Club Championships is a Butler Imps scored event to be held over 3 weeks on  Monday evenings commencing 28 February via RealBridge.

 The competitive group will return to face-to-face at the clubrooms from Tuesday 22 March (Open Trials Qualifying).


BFACT Australian National Championships Women's Team Selections 

This competition runs for 2 or 3 days from 9-10 April at the CBC. Three (3) pairs from this event will represent the ACT at the Australian National Championships to be held in Adelaide from 2-8 July 2022.  If there are sufficient entries a Friday Evening sesson 8 April will be held. For more information and to enter please go here.


Territory ANC Open Team Selection - Stages 1 and  2

Stage 1 is a 4 week competition going from Tuesday Evening 22 March to 12 April face to face.  Winning pairs will qualify to the Open Team Selection Finals to be held at CBC on the weekend of 14 &15 May 2022 (stage 2).  Qualifying teams participate in the Australian National Championships in Adelaide from 2 to 8 July 2022.

More details and entry here.


Territory ANC Butler Pairs Restricted Qualifying 
Sunday 24th April

  • Restricted Pairs, 2 pairs to win a trip to Adelaide to attend Australian National Championships in July (eligibility criteria apply)
  • Open to PAIRS with each of the two (2) players having fewer than 300 masterpoints as at 31/12/2021. 
state ANC Restricted selection for pairs       

    Two (2) Sessions commencing at 10:00 am on Sunday 24 April


Barrier Reef Congress

Hosted by the Townsville Bridge Club, this congress is from 9-13 May 2022, the program includes Walk-in Pairs, Open and Restricted Pairs and Open and Restricted Teams.  Details are at 



Gold Coast Congress

Results from the Gold Coast Congress are at


Inverted Minors with Joan Butts

Playing Inverted Minors means swapping responder's bid for weak and stronger hands with a minor fit. 

The standard approach is:

1♣️/♦️ p 2♣️/♦️ = 6 - 10 points, unbalanced, no four+ card major, and at least four diamonds (five if clubs)

And for stronger hands,
1♣️/♦️ p 3♣️/♦️ = 11 - 12 points, unbalanced, no four+ card major, and at least four diamonds (five if clubs)

This style wastes space: by jumping to 3♣️ or 3♦️, you don’t know you have stoppers for 3NT which is the preferred contract to five of a minor.  

SO…a great answer is to play Inverted Minors Raises

This (swapping the meaning of the two bids) allows us to find the correct no trump contract or the correct minor suit contract. It’s called “inverted” because you “invert” the meaning of the two raises.

1♣️ /♦️ p 2♣️ /♦️ becomes unlimited (11+).  It’s usually a force to game showing a fit for the minor, and no four card major.
NEXT opener shows stoppers for no trumps. With both majors stopped opener will bid no trumps, but if not, they will show their stopper, eg 1♣️ p 2♣️ p 2♥️ shows a heart stopper, but denies a spade stopper.

And 1♣️ /♦️ p 3♣️ /♦️ becomes the weaker, preemptive 6-10 point raise.

If you hold a balanced hand with four cards in partner’s minor, prefer to bid 1NT with 6 - 10, 2NT with 11,12 or 3NT with 13-15. 


Four decades of bridge - Richard's Rules


  1. Points Schmoints. (Gratefully borrowed from my favourite partner, Dorothy Jesner.) The point count invented by Milton Work is approximately accurate when the hands of both declarer and dummy have more-or-less balanced distribution. But when one or both partners holds a Marilyn Monroe (sexy shape) then not many points are needed to make game. Which brings me to my Sixth Rule ->
  1. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble. If your partnership bids and makes game, but the opponents could also have made game in their own suit, then that is a Double Game Swing. For matchpoint pairs, if your side gains that swing, then it is usually worth a top or near top. Playing teams / Butler the swing is even more significant, as you gain double-digit IMPs (the International Matchpoint scale, which has been carefully designed to make games much more important than overtrick).
  1. When in Doubt, Bid One More. This is a consequence of Rule 6. If you think that the opponents' game will fail by one trick, but they might make, AND you think that overcalling to your game will fail by one trick, but you might make, THEN bid one more. On a good day you pick up a Double Game Swing.
  1. Do Not Put an 8-Card Suit in Dummy. This is sort of a twisted consequence to Rule 7. - except that this time you are competing in the auction against partner (not the opponents). If you have a regular partner it is useful to discuss before the session which are or aren't "drop dead" bids.

To be continued.....


Member Spotlight - Rowan Bergin

How long have you been a player/member? 

  • I first went to Bridge lessons in Brisbane in 1972 after a childhood and Uni playing all sorts of card games.
  • Joined CBC in 1980 when John Roberts was the director. First partner was Ric, " the snake" Longmore. Ric was a good player but also liked a drink (could drink at the table on those days), and as the evening progressed,  the play became somewhat erratic,!
  • I've had some terrific partners over the years and very much miss my late partner, Judy Macklow

Most memorable occasion at the club?

  •  Had lots of fun times, but was pleased to be instrumental in organising the Club's first business plan. Think it has since languished. (Editor's note - see Tim Mather for the latest on this)

What do you do when you're not at the club? (Golf, Gardening, Grandchildren, All the above, or Other...)

  • I go out to lunch and dinner a lot with friends!!, but have a regular walking group, a weekly exercise class, U3A current affairs group, theatre group and love the movies
  • Visit family in Sydney a lot and look after grandchildren during holidays

What's your  favourite travel destination pre COVID?

  • So many places in Australia, though fabulous visit to Africa many years ago. Still love Paris

What's your  favourite travel destination now?

  •  Places in Australia that I have yet to visit or don't know well. Berlin. Seville, Istanbul  Budapest

What’s the best thing about Canberra Bridge Club?

  •  A friendly. community club which is well run via the committee, directors, office managers and the goodwill of the members


Count your Winners with Ian Morison

After many declarers see the lead, and dummy is down, they just start playing cards, taking easy winners first.

But it is important to count your winners at the outset, then look to see how you might develop suits to give you extra winners, to make your contract.

Your easy winners should not be cashed early on. They should be reserved for use as entry cards, and then cashed later.

Here is an interesting hand from earlier this week on this theme:













  1. You are in 6NT by South, no opposition bidding.
  1. H7 is led by West, dummy comes down, and you see it is not an easy contract to make.
  1. What must South do first?
  1. Count your winners, and look how to develop other suit(s).
  1. There are 4 Spade winners, plus 2 Hearts, 1 Diamond and 2 Clubs = 9 tricks.
  1. So you need 3 more. Clubs are the only realistic option.
  1. Let the lead come around to your HQ. [You must do this, as if you put up HA and later if you lose another trick, HK will probably be cashed].
  1. By chance, HQ wins (thank goodness, but this is not essential to making your contract). But it means it is virtually certain West has HK, and a later finesse of HJ will work. You are at 10 tricks now. There is a small chance of a fourth Heart trick (11th trick) if Hearts break 3:3, but you are still short 1 trick.
  1. So you must cross to Dummy with a Spade and lead C6 putting the CJ up when CQ is not played by East. Magically, it wins (actually, mathematically it wins 50% of the time).
  1. Then cash CA and CK. Fortunately, they break 3:3, so you run the rest of the Clubs, finesse the HJ, and play out your other winners.
  1. You now easily wrap up 13 tricks.
  1. This is the full deal:





875                                                                                                              632

K97                                                                                                             1085

Q843                                                                                                           K652

1095                                                                                                             Q72






  1. You have been lucky with the Clubs. But if the finesse had lost, you can still make 12 tricks if Clubs are 3:3, or if they are 4:2 with the 109 doubleton, or if West on winning CQ leads DK or DQ and the other one crashes when you put DA up (setting up DJ, D10 and D9). All that is about 50%.

So have a plan at the start. Look at ways to develop winners. Watch as cards are played which might help you update your plan.

Note also Defenders are under pressure, and lack information, so they make mistakes if given the chance.


Ian Morison - Bridge lover - 22 Feb 2022 (the palindromic day!)


 Lighter Moments

Our Confucius sayings continued...

    1. "Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue."
    2. "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."
    3. "Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be failure."
    4. "Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire."
    5. "Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart."
    6. "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
    7. "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."
    8. "Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles."
    9. "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
    10. "Respect yourself and others will respect you."
    11. Silence is a true friend who never betrays."
    12. "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved."
    13. "The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence."
    14. "Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without."
    15. "Study the past if you would define the future."
    16. "Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart."
    17. "Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men."
    18. "Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses."
    19. "Have no friends not equal to yourself."
    20. "He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it."
    21. "He who learns but does not think is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger."
    22. "He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good."
    23. "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."
    24. "A superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions."
    25. "Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes."

One more week of Confucius sayings to go!