By Prof Tony Campbell

PENARTH Bridge Club, and those at Sully, Barry, and Dinas Powis, have all closed until further notice.

With most of us stuck at home, I hope these articles can at least remind you of what a great game bridge is, and that we look forward to happier times once the coronavirus crisis is over.

This a great opportunity to learn about this superb game. So, I will be writing about hands suitable for beginners and improvers, as well as aficionados.

There are two excellent online bridge sites – and We are hoping to set up a virtual club using Bridge Club Live. This is quite complicated, but watch this space.

Initially it should be possible to use it for teams of four. But we believe it will be possible to have a virtual pairs session as well.

First, I suggest you have a go on your own, and try and select a partner you like playing with. Tell me how you get on. I will also be recommending books for beginners and improvers, which will be available from Griffin Books in Penarth.

If the Government close all shops, then Griffin Books with still be able to take orders online (

So, here is this week’s hand, one of the last that was played at Penarth before we had to close. It shows how you can bid to an excellent slam, and even risk a grand slam.

East opens with one heart, as he has a five card suit.

If West bids two clubs, then East must only bid 2 hearts, as he is not strong enough to reverse and bid 2 spades. West’s 2NT is a very useful system bid with such a strong hand. Oswald Jacoby was an international bridge player who invented two system bids of immense value – Jacoby transfers in response to a 1NT opener, and the bid shown here.

Initially, the idea was to show a hand with four card major support, or possibly three if you are playing 5 card major openings, and a flat 12 plus points.

But many players now prefer to use the 2NT for a really strong hand, and the so-called ‘pudding’ bid of 3NT for major support and typically 11-14 points.

Crucially both bids deny a singleton or void. With either of these a ‘splinter’ bid would be used. East then cue bids his singleton club. East, with the ace of clubs, knows his partner must have a singleton club and probably at least 5 hearts. Roman Key Card Blackwood is preferable to normal Blackwood.

There are five key cards, the four aces, and the king of trumps. So West shows two by bidding 5 hearts. If he also had the queen of hearts, he would have bid 5 spades. East is then certain 6 hearts must make, as he can count 12 tricks.

After drawing trumps, East has 3 spades, 5 hearts, two diamonds, the ace of clubs, and either a club or spade ruff.

In fact, as the spades break 3-3, East makes all 13 tricks. 6NT also makes on the 3-3 spade break, but is not the best contract, only making 12 tricks. Well done to those who bid 6 hearts. No one risked 7!

I will be bringing you up to speed with The Carte Blanche club and its quirky members. At present, they are however, the whales had a serious problem because the TD criticised them for communicating with the partners using whistling, and for squirting water over their opponents using their blowholes.

So please email me your comments, and ideas for hands you would like to share with other readers. If you have had an interesting hand online, please let me know, with the bidding sequence, and I hope to use it in one of these articles.

Keep an eye open for more information on the club web site - email me at Sadly, there will be no results from Penarth Bridge Club until further notice. Keep well. Keep safe. Bon chance.