Sunday, January 29, 2017


Ronald L. Palmer  
 June 5, 1915 - January 21, 2017

Ron quit playing bridge years ago because of health issues. Listening to MDBC members describe him during his original bridge playing days there was never a dull moment with Ron around.  He even had a nickname, Jiminy the Cricket. Rumor was Ron could jump and click his heels like Jiminy.  He even managed to make bridge romantic by meeting his second Wife, the late Evelyn G. Palmer (Lynne Ogden’s mother), at the Club. 

Ron did a lot in his 101 years, from a veteran of the United States Air Force and fighting in World War II to an honorary Life Master of Macon Duplicate Bridge Club and playing trumpet in the Community Band.

Generosity was natural to Ron when it came to his Episcopal Church, family, and other things he enjoyed and loved.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Rule of 20

The Rule of Twenty(Do it Correctly)
What are your criteria for opening the bidding with one of a suit? 12 HCPs? Good 11’s? Really good 10’s? Yes, HCPs are the most commonly used measure, but, as we all learned early in our bridge career, counting HCPs is only part of the story, we must also factor in our distribution.
One increasingly popular method for evaluating hands is the Rule of 20. Here is how it works. Add up your HCPs, and to that add the length of your longest suit, and your second longest suit. If the total comes to 20 or higher, then you are looking at an opening bid. Some examples:
♠ AK65 Q75 986 ♣ K87
12 HCPs, so some might open this crummy hand on that basis alone. But add the length of the two longest suits, and we get 12+4+3=19. Only 19 “Rule of 20” points, so this is not an opening bid. Nor should it be, those square hands should be devalued, as indeed they are by the Rule of 20.
♠ AK65 QT5 98 ♣ K874
Still 12 HCPs, and still not much of a hand. But, the improved distribution gives us 12+4+4=20. An opening bid!
♠ AQT65 Q754 98 ♣ K8
Now we have 11 HCPs, but 11+5+4 equals 20, and another opening bid.
♠ KQT65 AJ754 98 ♣ 8
Yes, there is a trend here. The more extreme we make our distribution, the fewer HCPs are required to make up the magic number of 20. Here, 10+5+5 gets us to that number.
As a corollary to the above, what is the top end of your Weak Two bids? If it is 11, then you are not following the Rule of 20 … you cannot have a 6-card suit and 11 HCPs without reaching 20 “Rule of 20” points. A hand that good should be opened one of a suit.
The beauty of the Rule of 20 is that it factors in HCPs and distribution into a single number. But, that does not relieve us of the obligation to actually think. Just as there is a difference between a good 12 HCPs and a bad 12 HCPs, so there is such a thing as a bad Rule of 20 hand:
♠ KQ865 Q754 Q8 ♣ Q8
This one passes the Rule of 20 by virtue of its 11+5+4. But, what an ugly 20! Those minor suit doubleton Queens are not pulling full weight, the hand is Aceless, there are no fillers … not an opening bid!
♠ KJ865 Q9742 J3 ♣ K
This one gets to 20 via 10+5+5. But more minor suit wastage, and, again, not an opening bid.
Conversely, just as some 20’s don’t cut the mustard, there are some 19’s that are just too good to pass. Here is one such example:
♠ AT975 AJT96 542 ♣ --
Only 9+5+5, for a total of 19, but who could possibly resist opening this delicious 9 HCPs with 1♠? The void, the fillers, the Aces … this hand isn’t merely an opening bid … it’s an opening bid with extras!
So, there you have it … the Rule of 20. It’s a better evaluation method than HCPs alone … but, don’t use it blindly … as we saw there is still room for judgment when deciding whether to open one of a suit.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

STaC Shedule

STaC D7  January 30-February 5, 2017

Macon DBC
January 30, Monday at 10 am
January 31, Tuesday at 7 am Novice
February 1, Wednesday at 7 pm
February 3, Friday at 7 am

Robins Duplicate Bridge Club:

February 1, Wednesday at 1 pm
February 2, Thursday at 7 pm

McRae DBC:

February 2, Thursday at 1 pm  (Good food at Ocmulgee State Park and Southern Star Restaurant)

Play two games in one day.

Double Headers

February 1, Wednesday; play in Warner Robins at 1 pm  and Macon  at 7 pm

February 2, Thursday; play in McRae at 1 pm  and Warner Robins  at 7 pm

Thursday, January 19, 2017

ACBL-wide International Fund Game #1

February 2017

ACBL-Wide International Fund Game #1 (3 games a year)

These games raise funds to defray the expense of North American participation in international competition.

Date: February 4, 2017(Saturday afternoon)    
  • 50/50 red and black at 81% sectional rating
  • Overall Awards: 1st, 20; depth of awards, 10 places
  • District Winners: 1st, 10; depth of awards, 5 places

Winners recognized on website and the Bridge Bulletin.

*Hand records and analyses provided.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Self-Sufficient Suit

By Eddie Kantar

There is an easy test to apply for this.

Count the number of cards in your long suit. Add the number of honors in that long suit.

The total is the Suit Quality (SQ).

If the quality is 10 or more, the suit is self-sufficient.

AKQJ54: Length = 6. Honors 4. Total 10. Thus this is a self-sufficient suit.

Likewise, these suits are self-sufficient (SQ is 10 or more): KQJ1032 or AQJ6432 or QJ1098632, and so on.

If such a suit is a major, try to insist on it as trumps.