Newsletter 11 March 2022


In this week’s newsletter...

  • From the President
  • Supervised Play and Lessons
  • Upcoming Events
  • Australian National Championship Qualifiers - Territory representation through BFACT trials
  • CBC Novice & Restricted Pairs
  • Autumn Nationals 28 April to 2 May - Adelaide
  • Barrier Reef Congress
  • Do you have Very Special Skills?
  • Bridge Tips by Joan Butts
  • Ian Morison Card Play

From the President

While masks are no longer compulsory indoors in the ACT, the Club encourages its members to wear a mask whilst at the Club. The Club also encourages players to sanitise their hands between rounds and to sanitise the bidding boxes, chair arms and the bridge mates at the end of play. Please also remember that as the kitchen is quite small, only one person in the kitchen at a time.

Please enjoy your game 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.

NB: There 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) 
  • 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 9.30am at the club (18 boards following lesson) 
  • Friday morning walk-in session will return to the clubrooms at 9.30am on Friday 18 March
  • 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 9.30am 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 on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Master the Basics

Master the Basic lessons are back on Zoom on Thursdays 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 Declarer Play - promotion, length and finesse.  If you want to register, the cost is $6 for members and $8 for non-members.  Please email if you want to be added to the notification list and get on Zoom.  

Upcoming Events

As you may be aware the National Championships this year are face-to-face this year and expected to be staged in Adelaide in early July.  The Bridge Federation of ACT is organising the selection process for ACT 'State' representation.  Events are being run at the Canberra Bridge Club over the next few months.  

BFACT will be holding events to select pairs to play as ACT representatives at the Australian National Championships (ANC).  Women, Senior, Open and Youth teams can go to the ANC.

The Women's team will be decided by a weekend event on 9 and 10 April; eligible BFACT affiliated players can enter via the CBC website:”” or by emailing “This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.”.

An ACT Youth team may happen if sufficient players come forward and contact “This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.”. If anyone knows of any youth players who might like to compete in the ANC, please ask them to email, or otherwise contact Niek Van Vucht.  

The Senior team will be decided by a weekend event on Fri., Sat., Sun. 20, 21, 22 May. Depending on number of entries received by 22 March, a qualifying event may be held to reduce the number of pairs that will compete on the weekend. Entries are required by 22nd March so that qualifying events can be organised if required. If Seniors qualifying is required, a stage 1 event on 3 Thursday evenings from 29 March will qualify pairs and a stage 2 event on 24 April (combined with Open) will qualify 2 additional pairs.

Open will have a Stage 1 event to select pairs to a final, and a Stage 2 event to select 2 additional pairs to a final:

       Open Stage 1 – 4 Tue. evenings, 22 March to 12 April

       Open Stage 2 – 2 session event on Sun. 24 April

       Open Final – Fri., Sat., Sun. 13, 14, 15 May

Eligible BFACT affiliated pairs are invited to enter via the CBC website: ”” or to email “This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.”. Note that payment for entries will be via CBCPay or direct deposit to BFACT, please contact “This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.” for details.

The ANC will be in Adelaide from 2 July till 14 July, see ABF website.

2022 ANC Seniors Team Selection process

The Tournament Committee has scheduled the final stage of the 2022 ANC Seniors Selection process (the Finals playoff) on the weekend of 20-22 May. To determine whether a qualifying event for the final is necessary, we are calling for entries to the final event with a closing date of Tuesday 22 March at 5.00pm. Those pairs entering the event should do so with a genuine intention to play in the weekend event and to represent the ACT in Adelaide in July. The Tournament Committee appreciates that calling for entries at this stage will create problems for some players and they may not be able to ultimately fulfill their commitment.

Assuming an entry of less than 15 pairs, there will be no qualifying stages to the event. However, if a qualification is required, BFACT will hold a three session F2F event starting on Thursday 29 March at the Canberra Bridge Club and a “last train” stage 2 event will also be played on Sunday 23 April for all BFACT affiliated seniors. Please remember that the closing date for entries is 22 March.

BFACT Australian National Championships Women's Team Selections 

This face-to-face 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.

State 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.

State ANC Butler Pairs Restricted Qualifying Sunday 24th April

Restricted Butler Pairs, 2 pairs to win a trip to Adelaide to attend Australian National Champtionships 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
Two (2) Sessions commending 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 

CBC Novice & Restricted Pairs

Saturday 9 April

A one session Pairs event starting at 1.15 pm with a short lesson from 11.00 am to 12.30 pm

Come and join us at the clubrooms on Saturday 9 April for a friendly one session Pairs event in the afternoon preceded by a short Kantar-style lesson on “How to get most tricks for your bucks” hosted by Jodi Tutty and Ian Robinson.

Bring your own lunch or sneak across the road to a Deakin café.

Two divisions -  Novice (up to 50 Masterpoints per player) - Restricted (50 to 300 Masterpoints per player)

Cost for lesson and session play: $20 members, $25 visitors

Session only entries can be accommodated at a cost of $12 - Lesson only entries may be accommodated based on space

Enter on the CBC website. (coming soon)

Red Masterpoints will be awarded.  Payment by CBCPay for members and bank deposit for visitors. (No cash on the day.)

CBC is looking for a club member with very Special Skills

As you know RealBridge has been a valuable resource for members to be able to play bridge when Covid made it impossible to play bridge at our premises. While we are happily back to face-to-face bridge, many members are still playing online, and occasionally technical problems arise which spoil the enjoyment of the game or even prevent members from playing in a particular session.

So, we are looking for any member who could help players with these technical issues. We do not expect this person to be present at any or every RealBridge session, or to solve technical problems ‘on the spot’. But if you are someone with advanced computer skills, some familiarity with the RealBridge format, a general understanding of different computer platforms combined with an ability to solve video interface problems and software conflicts -- and you are willing to help members sort out any technical issues outside of the bridge session -- we would love to hear from you.

Please contact the managers at the club or any one of the committee members listed on our website. 

New Minor Forcing (Checkback) with Joan Butts

New Minor Forcing (Checkback)

A useful convention for responder to elicit more information from opener after a 1NT rebid (eg 1♣️ p 1♥️ p 1NT), is New Minor Forcing, or Checkback. What is it? The bid of the other minor (1♣️ p 1♥️ p 1NT p 2♦️) asks opener to describe their hand further, regardless of what they have in the other minor. It shows 11 + points and is invitational or stronger. 1♣️ p 1♥️  p 1NT p 2♦️ or 1♦️ p 1♠️ p 1NT p 2♣️

Opener will now describe their hand in more detail.  

After 1♦️ pass 1♠️ pass 1NT pass 2♣️, opener's will bid:  

  • 2♥️ with a four–card heart suit (could still have three spades)

  • 2♠️ with three-card spade support, or jump to 3♠️ with maximum 

  • 2♦️ with five diamonds

  • 2NT/3NT with a balanced hand and 2-3-4-4 shape

  • 3♣️ with a four-card club suit and five diamonds


Ian Morison - Canny Play - Can you make 6C?

You are in 6NT on this hand.

When this was played last week, Declarer found the only way to go down.

No opposition bidding. D4 is led by West (if a Spade had been led, it was an easy contract to make).





Q654                                                                                       AJ9

97                                                                                           J10654

1086432                                                                                 9

8                                                                                             10732





What went wrong?

  1. After D4 was led by West, Dummy came down.
  1. What must South do first?
  1. Count your winners, and look how to develop other suit(s) or winners.
  1. There are 5 Clubs, 3 Hearts and 3 Diamonds = 11 sure tricks.
  1. As is often the case, you need 1 more.
  1. It soon becomes obvious that the only hope is the SK. East needs to have the SA when you lead towards SK from Dummy.
  1. It is a 50:50 chance that East has SA, otherwise the Contract is doomed – if West has it then the Defence may cash the other high Spade(s) as well, so down you go.
  1. But you can see above that East has the SA. Home and hosed. [Bring out the G+T on ice, maybe  a second one].
  1. BUT - despite the finesse working, Declarer went down --what did Declarer do wrong?


  1. Declarer needs to realise early on that SA must be with East to make the Contract, and take the Spade finesse early enough.
  1. You should run just 5 Clubs, 2 Hearts and 2 Diamonds (9 tricks) leaving 1 Heart and 1 Diamond trick for later, then take the Spade finesse leading from Dummy.
  1. Declarer in this example ran all the Clubs, all the Diamonds and all the Hearts (11 tricks), ending up in Dummy. Then he* led a small Spade hoping the finesse would work (as it was going to). But East took SA and cashed her ** winning Heart, which she** had kept, waiting to pounce. Contract down.
  1. Making this hand turns completely on the finesse working. You need to face it fair and square, and early enough.
  1. Do not leave yourself exposed in the side suits before taking the finesse.

So our (apparently) brave Declarer here was down, having found the way not to make a makeable Contract. The timing of taking the finesse was imperative.

 Ian Morison - Bridge lover 2 March 2022


Tamara will be back on deck next week after a lovely visit to catch up with family in Queensland