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The American Bridge

Teachers’ Association

Quarterly
Magazine
Winter 2015
Issue 212
AUDREY GRANT
world renown bridge author and educator

Bridge Basics 1: Bridge Basics 3:


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ABTA Quarterly Magazine

Regional Directors Continued


The American Bridge Teachers’ Association Quarterly Magazine (ISSN 0891-6462) is
published quarterly by The American Bridge Teachers’ Association. Office is P.O. Box South Atlantic
232, Greenwood, MO 64034-0232. Annual subscription of $40 is included in $45 an- FL GA NC SC Caribbean
nual membership dues paid to The American Bridge Teachers’ Association. Periodical LINDA GREEN
postage is paid at Kansas City, MO and additional mailing offices. 40 Bosun Way
Delray Beach, FL 33483
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the American Bridge Teachers’ Association irwinlinda@bellsouth.net
Quarterly Magazine, P.O. Box 232, Greenwood, MO 64034-0232
North Atlantic
DE DC MD NJ NY PA VA
TERRY JONES
ABTA Officers and Regional Directors 5977 Jan Mar Drive
Falls Church, VA 22041-2414
terry@fallschurchbridgeclub.com
Officers Special Officer
North Central South Central
President Business Secretary/Treasurer IL IN KY MI OH WV WI AL LA MS TN
CHUCK HODEL KATHY ROLFE ROSALIND HACK JOE CARBO
1901 Dayton Road, Apt. 120 P.O. Box 232 200 East Ravine Drive 160 Pleasant Valley Drive
Chico, CA 95928-6955 Greenwood, MO 64034-0232 Mequon, WI 53092 Pineville, LA 71360
cchodel@sbcglobal.net abtaemail@gmail.com roshack@gmail.com jcarboiii@gmail.com

President-Elect Regional Directors South Pacific Southwest


PATTY TUCKER AZ CA HI NV NM UT AR OK TX
4757 Luray Drive East Canada WENDY DEWELL DAVID GLANDORF
Dunwoody, GA 30338-5214 MB ON PQ NB NL NS PEI 12405 Mt. Hamilton Road 15530 Saint Cloud Drive
wimsey@mindspring.com KATHIE MACNAB San Jose, CA 95140-9736 Houston, TX 77062-3523
5 Wren Street wendy_dewell@yahoo.com drglandorf@sbcglobal.net
Recording Secretary Halifax, NS B3M 2R1 Canada
SHARON CARTER kmacnab@eastlink.ca West Canada
573 Golden Links Drive AB BC SK
Orange Park, FL 32073 New England DELMA MURRAY
sharoncarter1950@att.net CT ME MA NH RI VT 1297 Ocean View Road
BRENDA MONTAGUE Victoria, BC V8P 1J6 Canada
Immediate Past President 14 Capstan Way delmabridge@live.ca
BRENDA SIMPSON Swampscott, MA 01907-1231
11725 East Glenview Circle bestbridgeteacher@yahoo.com Midwest
Spokane, WA 99206-5716 IA KS MN MO NE ND SD WY
bsbridge@aol.com North Pacific Michael Hughes
AK CO ID MT OR WA 312 Benton St.
DEE BERRY Jefferson City, MO 65101-4007
7211 Harrow Place michael@jcbridge.org
Arlington, WA 98223
deeandduane.berry@comcast.net
4 5
From the Editor Table of Contents

In 1676, Isaac Newton wrote to Robert Hooke, “if I have seen further it is by standing on the The American Bridge Teachers’ Association Motto is:
shoulders of giants.” He meant, of course, that he could not have achieved his success without
the work of those who had come before. This is my first issue as Editor and Publisher of the
To help those who teach bridge to do it better— more effectively—
ABTA Quarterly. This is also the inaugural issue of a larger, full color format. I hope you like more knowledgeably—more professionally.
what you see, but I cannot take the credit. Charlie Williams, whose long and dedicated tenure
with the Quarterly concluded last issue, suggested the changes which I helped implement. It
was Charlie’s idea, among others, to change to full color. The design and layout of the Quar- Articles:
terly is not my own, but that of my friend Marian Bloom. You will see more of her talented
design work in coming issues. Finally, the articles and content are the work of you, the ABTA How to Get Youth Interested in Bridge 10
membership. I hope the new look and new direction of the Quarterly will inspire ever-greater
participation by the readership.
Hand Evaluation & Revaluing 12
Chicago Conference Information 16
Kathy Rolfe has contributed an article to this issue on the topic of getting youth to participate Teaching Two Suited Overcalls 20
in bridge. She writes about the importance of exposing children to card games of all types, How Many Cards are in This Deck 23
such as war, or cribbage; from there a natural love of games will take over. This advice struck
a particular chord with me, as I was fortunate enough to grow up in a game playing family.
My grandmother loved games of all types: crosswords, cribbage, scrabble, spite and malice,
hearts, and of course, bridge. Many evenings, weekends, and holidays were spent playing
Regular Features:
games with my grandmother. She taught me bridge when I was young. I was, unfortunately,
slow to take to it, but it left an impression. Not until I moved away from my hometown of ABTA Officers and Regional Directors 4
Milwaukee, first to Los Angeles, then to New York City, did the itch to play become too strong From the Editor 6
to ignore. I rediscovered the joys of bridge by playing online, and when I returned home for President’s Report 8
visits, my grandmother would always arrange a game. (She never played duplicate, only rub- Book Review— Shortcuts to Killer Bridge 9
ber. Her cards sense was excellent, but her bidding theory began and ended with Goren.) As
bridge became an increasingly significant hobby for me, and an eventual vocation, my grand-
Nominations for Teacher of the Year 11
mother delighted in hearing stories about my adventures in the club, and at tournaments. Book Review— Bumblepuppy Days 18
She, in turn, told me her experiences with her rubber bridge group. My grandmother died Apple Basket Submissions Information 22
last year at the age of 88. Part of her legacy is my love of bridge, this endlessly fascinating, Submission Information: Nominees for ABTA 27
frequently frustrating card game. Book or Software of the Year Award Submissions 27
Submission Info— ABTA Quarterly 29
I believe it is impossible to describe why bridge completely captures the imagination of those
who play it. Bridge must be experienced. I recall someone saying to me long ago that the best
New Members and Address Change 30
teachers don’t so much teach as give their students the tools to learn. As we all know, once
hooked, there is no going back.
Advertisers:

Baron Barclay Bridge Supply—Teaching Materials 2


Baron Barclay Bridge Supply— Audrey Grant 3
Barbara Seagram Cheat Sheets 13
Beginning Bridge Using 2 over 1 15
Masterpoint Press— Congratulations Patrick O’Connor 19
Christopher Rivera, Editor GreatGameProducts.com 29
riverabridge@gmail.com Masterpoint Press— The Bridge Site 31
New from Masterpoint Press 32
6 7
President’s Report by Chuck Hodel

I had better get my tickets right away. Chicago is a wonderful city that has many attractions
“Instruction does much, but besides the NABC and the ABTA convention. It is historic and beautiful. Our convention
hosts, Marilyn Richards and Ginny Schuett, are already lining up some interesting activities
encouragement does everything.”
for us.
-- Johann Wolfgang Goethe
(1794-1832) ABTA members that want to go for the designation of Master Teacher should contact Chair
Dee Berry soon! Dee has a “pretest” that is available to you if you want to assess your qual-
ifications for this high honor. The pretest is not required; it is personal and helpful to those
that desire to interview. Master Teacher candidates demonstrate their teaching methods,
knowledge of bridge and pass an interview before a panel of other Master Teachers. I hope
You noticed immediately that the Quarterly has taken on a new look! Our new editor, Chris- to see everyone in the Windy City.
topher Rivera, has some innovative ideas, such as the new 8 ½ x 11 format and a new full
color look. I’m certain you will like it and his ideas for new and additional content. The Quar-
terly will still have many of the same features, such as this report by your now tiring President. Book Review by Dee Berry
Many exciting things are happening besides the new Quarterly. If you read my interim report
recently, I mentioned that the ACBL has revised the “Find a Teacher” link on its website.
Under Bryan Delfs leadership teachers will only be listed if they are known to be accredited Shortcuts to Killer Bridge
by the ACBL, Better Bridge, Easybridge or a member of the ABTA. The listing on their web- by Rick Logan c.2014
site has been vetted so that those that are not accredited by one of the above methods will be
removed. Many on the old listing were no longer teaching, had moved to a different area, or WOW! The author’s claim that his new book has “10 bridge books packed into one” proved
had even passed away. to be true. If you buy only one bridge book this year Shortcuts to Killer Bridge should be
that one.
Our website, www.abtahome.com, now has a members only link, so that material that is
strictly for ABTA members can be seen only by those for whom it is intended. If you haven’t This 8 ½ by 11 in. spiral bound gem is crammed full of practical information for players
visited the “Members’ Area Login” link, please do so soon. You will find interesting and valu- from the intermediate through the advanced (expert) level. “Lagniappe”—the Cajun phrase
able information there. for “a little something extra”—is the humor throughout, plus sections on Bridge Psycholo-
gy, Partnerships, Partnership Check List and Favorite Hands. I’ve already used a hand for
I just received my November 2014 issue of the ACBL Bulletin. I noticed that the ABTA was a class on redoubles that will become one of my lifetime favorites: After partner opens 1C,
featured in two places, page 59, where they acknowledged the winners of the ABTA awards, RHO doubles and you redouble with an opening bid, your RHO nestles in 1S doubled and
and page 77, with a notice of the opening of nominations for our prestigious Teacher of the you and partner defend so well that declarer takes 1 trick. Even not-vulnerable down six is
Year award. Students should nominate you, their favorite teacher, for this award…AND, it 1400, and vulnerable, a satisfying 1700.
should be done soon!
The Slam Bidding section will be especially helpful to many experienced players since it
ABTA has a Task Force that is reviewing current ACBL student materials that are being fur- includes many lesser known tools such as Zipcode Keycard, Twin Cuebids, Italian Control
nished to your classes for school students. Sheryl Mcewen is leading the group. They are in Bids and 5NT Pick-a-Slam.
the process of reviewing the present materials and will make a recommendation to the ACBL
whether to keep the current ones or to adopt new materials that Sheryl’s task force may rec- Defensive systems such as trump suit preference and Smith Echo are succinctly explained,
ommend. as are when A from AK applies (including leading the Q from AKQx(x). Leading the Q
from the latter means that A from AK(x) almost always denies the Q.
As you know, the biggest event for our organization is our annual convention, just before the
summer ACBL NABC. This year it will be held in Chicago, August 7-9. Because there will be The author is a Diamond Life Master
another convention in the city at the same time, you are encouraged to obtain your hotel ac-
commodations as soon as possible. As a baseball fan, I wonder whether the Cubs or the White The book retails for US$16.95 . Lagniappe Publishing, LLC, 854 Op La Court, Diamond-
Sox will be in town, and, by chance, one of them will be playing the World Champion Giants. head, MS 39525. Email riclynlogan@bellsouth.net
8 9
How To Get Youth Interested in Bridge? by Kathy Rolfe

by Kathy Rolfe After Concentration, you could move on to War. This will begin to teach the number se-
quence – what is low versus high, thus your little student will soon understand that Jack,
Kathy Rolfe is an ABTA Master Teacher, Silver Queen, King means 11, 12, 13! If you want to teach bridge suit ranks, you could modify the
Life Master, Club Director, and Mother of Two game of War so that there are no ties possible as even if 2 Queens are turned up at the same
Sons, both of whom are now bridge players.
Kathy can be reached via her website www. time, the higher ranking suit will win!
WannaPlayBridge.com
The next choice of game is really up to you and the kids; for me, it was Crazy Eights! Then
we were on to Gin Rummy, Canasta, Cribbage, and on and on. I was watching bridge being
played by the age of 5 and learning it formally by the age of 9, but you don’t have to move
I got my start as a bridge teacher by teaching kids. First, just my own and a few friends, but that quickly to bridge. The important thing is to get them hooked on playing cards. Moving
then in 2001 I took the ACBL Teacher Accreditation Program (TAP), and I began teaching on to bridge will seem quite natural after that.
kids in schools in early 2002. I did that mainly within the Lee’s Summit, Missouri school
district for over 10 years. After the school district decided, for whatever reason (I think Look in the contents of the Hoyle’s book. It will likely have a game finder section subdivid-
Common Core), that I was not needed anymore, I managed to continue teaching home ed by Card Games and then Board, Dice, and other Games. Each of those sections will be
school groups and the occasional class in other school districts, as well as my now annual divided again by number of players and subdivided again into Adult and Children’s games.
gig at the residential youth bridge camp in Carlinville, IL. Read through those children’s games and find something that suits your age group and
number of people playing and get started! Any of these games will be fun for both adults
While I now teach mostly adults, I am frequently asked by those adults, “How do I get my and children!
grandchildren to learn this game? All they want to do is play video games!”

The answer is to start them off young, not playing bridge right away, but simply getting
them to play with cards. I know this is how I developed my own interest in games and
fostered that development in both of my sons, as well. I was so into cards at a very young
Nominations for Teacher of the Year
age that I embarrassed my mother and grandmother. I was about three when we all went to
visit a friend of my grandmother’s. This friend happened to be very religious and person-
ally thought cards were the work of the devil, clearly not a belief held in my own family! At Attention Teachers! 
any rate, being only three, I got bored and decided to count the steps from this nice lady’s
first floor to her second floor. So I proceeded to count out loud, “One, two, three, four, five, It’s time for your students to get online at www.abtahome.com and submit their nomina-
six, seven, eight, nine, ten,” (and then seeing that I was quickly running out of numbers), tions for 2015 Teacher of the Year.  You have students who know your capabilities as a
I hurried to finish with, “Jack, Queen, King!” at the top of my lungs! I think we left very teacher and feel that you are one of the best in the whole ACBL.  Have them let us know all
quickly after that! about you and your classes.  Then you can put together the teacher packet as described on
www.abtahome.com and be one of the teachers getting recognition for your outstanding
I think the best present for a young child is a deck or two of cards, and a copy of Hoyle’s teaching! Nominations will close April 1, 2015 and the committee will be choosing 5 final-
Rules of Games. Of course, this needs to be followed by active participation by the parents ists from among the professional (paid) teachers nominated. 
or grandparents in playing some of those games! Children as young as 2 or 3 can play Slap
Jack! Slap Jack is the game I recommend first for very young children. It will teach them to Nominations are to be e-mailed to NancyAbbott@juno.com
distinguish among the face cards. They will soon recognize the difference between a Jack,
a Queen, and a King!

After Slap Jack, I like to move on to Concentration (or Memory); this gets kids and adults to
pay attention to the numbers and the face cards. Not surprisingly it fosters better memory
skills as well! You can modify it using two decks (or just parts of 2 decks) and require the
match to be both number specific and suit specific. That way the kids begin to learn how to
identify spades versus clubs, for instance!

10 11
Hand Evaluation & Revaluing Barbara Seagram Cheat Sheets.
by Barbara Seagram

Barbara Seagram owns and runs the School of Bridge


Memory Aids for Students.
in Toronto, Canada, with her husband, Alex Kornel.
Barbara is the co-author of 21 published bridge books;
the most well-known being “25 Bridge Conventions
You Should Know” (now in its 13th printing) which
won Book of the Year award from ABTA, and has been
named the top selling bridge book of the last 50 years.

Many students have great difficulty with the concept of hand evaluation. I believe that it is
right to count distribution even as an opening bidder. Some count short suits (3 for a void,
2 for a singleton and 1 for a doubleton), some count long suits (1 point for 5th card in long
suit and 1 extra point for 6th, 7th and so on). Both methods are correct. Just choose one or
the other, not both.

If your partner wishes to use one method and you another, that does not matter, either. I
believe that bridge teachers tell students to not count distribution until they have found a
fit because teachers worry that students are incapable of revaluing when partner bids a suit
in which you have shortness (shortness is a singleton, doubleton or a void).

Students who are taught only to count long suit distribution are then taught the Rule of 20.
This is a different way of counting distribution, that’s all.

If a hand has: ♠Axxx ♥Axxx ♦Axxx ♣x


The short suit counters have 14 points and will open with 1D. Long suit counters may
worry that they do not have the required 13 points to open the bidding. Thus, along came
the RULE of 20. If you find yourself close to an opening bid but feel you don’t have enough
points to open, use the Rule of 20. Count your HCP and then add the length of the two lon-
gest suits. If this totals 20, then you have permission to open the bidding. (This is the same
as counting distribution, but this is how some get around this issue!)
Intermediate: All the standard bidding $10.00 Retail; $6.00 to teachers.
NOTE: You should not use the Rule of 20 to give yourself permission to open the bidding
when you have a hand such as this: Advanced: Conventions $12.00 Retail; $7.00 to teachers.
♠Qx ♥KJx ♦KQxx ♣Jxxx Defense: Standard Signaling Methods: $12.00 Retail; $7.00 to teachers.
This assortment of junk will tally 20 with Rule of 20, but doubleton Queens or Jacks are
a sorry sight and do not deserve much respect. We call Queens and Jacks “Quacks!” This
should not be an opening bid.
Order Now!
Here’s what you REALLY have to remember: The value of your hand is in a constant state Contact Barbara at bseagram@uniserve.com or at 416-487-8321
of flux. Once partner starts bidding, your hand is like a flower: it either blossoms and grows
or it wilts and dies. (continued on page 14) www.barbaraseagram.com
12
Hand Evaluation & Revaluing (cont.)

For example, if you have a short suit in your hand and partner now names that suit, you are
depressed. Your hand has wilted. It is NEVER good to have a shortage in partner’s suit. We
are constantly searching for FITS, not MISFITS. If partner bids spades and you have a small
spade singleton in your hand, subtract two points from your hand, even if you are a long suit
counter and did not add any to this to start with. Your hand has gone downhill. It is devalued.

♠3 ♥AJ65432 ♦AK4 ♣76


Counting points on this hand totals 15, regardless of which method you are using (long suit
or short suit method). This time both methods tally to the same number, but it will often dif-
fer a bit by a few points here or there. Never enough to worry about at all.

If we open with 1H and partner bids 1S, this hand has now dropped in value and we only have
13. We should now bid 2H as our rebid as this is now a minimum hand.

BUT

If, instead, partner bids 2H after our 1H opener, then our hand now grows up. We must add
1 extra point for the 5th card in the suit which has been supported and TWO extra points
for each remaining card. Long suit counters must do that also, even though they already
counted three length points to start with. (Yes, they are double dipping.) YOUR hand has
INCREASED in value, now that you know you are going to be declarer. If you do not do
this, then you remain with the same old 15 points and will have to pass partner’s 2H bid that
showed 6-9 points. How can this be right?

This was the invention of Charles Goren, many years ago and will never fail you in getting
you to games and slams. I truly believe it is the best hand re-valuing method. In the above
example, we now have 20 points (after adding the extra 5 points) and after partner has raised
us to 2H (showing 6-9 points) we should now bid 4H.

NOTE: Short suit counters should never count extra for distribution for value for doubleton
Qx and Jx or singleton K or singleton Q or singleton J. Those holdings just get the high card
points (except with singleton J, where they get 2 points, or it would be worth less than a sin-
gleton 3 which would seem wrong).

If the opponents have bid a suit in which you have a singleton K or Q, count nothing for these
cards, they are most unlikely to win any tricks.

DUMMY POINTS: When you are going to become dummy, if you have THREE card support
for partner, then short suit points are worth 3-2-1 (3 for a void, 2 for a singleton and 1 for a
doubleton).

When you are going to become dummy, if you have FOUR (or more) card support for partner,
then short suit points are worth 5-3-1 (5 for a void, 3 for a singleton and 1 for a doubleton).
(continued on page 22)
14
Attend the Convention!
Meet and share ideas with fellow teachers
from all over the US, Canada and even the
world. Attending the Convention is the per-
fect way to rejuvenate and get ideas for up-
coming lessons.

Photo by Eric Chan Linda Green is busy booking speakers for the
Convention, and Ginny Schuett and Marilyn
Richards are planning a couple of exciting
expeditions for members by night, including
American Bridge Teachers’ Association a boat ride along the spectacular Chicago
waterfront.
Annual Convention Become a Master Teacher
in Chicago!
CHICAGO
August 4th - 7th, 2015 This is a prestigious status to have on your
business card or resume. You must apply be-
At the Hilton Chicago fore the event. For more information, please
visit www.abtahome.com Interviews take
720 S Michigan Ave. place on Monday evening under the Chair-
manship of Dee Berry.
Chicago is a great city on Great Lake!
Barbara Seagram
has kindly researched
some alternative hotels.
Travel Lodge Hotel at 65 East Harrison
(Wabash & Harrison St)
For the budget conscious. Ask for a AAA rate.
Canadians, if you are a member of CAA, you
qualify for AAA rates. This is only a 5 minute
walk from the host hotel.

Essex Inn at 800 South Michigan Ave.


A block south of the host hotel, and a step up
from the Travel Lodge.

Please make your travel arrangements soon!

16 17
Book Review by Dee Berry Congratulations,
Bumblepuppy Days
Patrick O’Connor!
The Evolution from Whist to Bridge
by Julian Laderman 2014 Praise for
c.2014
A First Book of Bridge Problems
Coming with a money-back guarantee from the author, Bumblepuppy Days is a most de-
lightful recount of the period from 1880-1940 “from the glory days of whist to the mature
state of its ultimate successor, contract bridge.” ‘[An] impressive and thoughtful collection.
I wish that I had a book like this when I first
Delightful background stories abound, including many from even earlier times. A reprint-
learned the game.’
ed segment from Hoyle’s A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist, “Some general rules to be
obferv’d by Beginners” (in the 18th century the printed letter “s” often looked like an “f ”) — The Bridge World
begins with this maxim: When you lead, begin with the Beft suit in your hand; if you have
a sequence of King, Queen, and Knave or Queen, Knave and Ten, they are fure leads.” ‘Well-written and precise, O’Connor’s book offers
Another notes that Anne Aikin’s 1792 book Hoyle Abridged: or Short Rules for Short Mem- fine guidance to the newer player, and I highly
ories at Whist was the first whist book by a woman author. recommend it..’
— Australian Bridge Federation Newsletter
William Payne’s Maxims for Playing the Game of Whist, published anonymously in 1793
begins with this phrase, “The Game of Whist is so happily compounded betwixt chance
and skill that it is generally esteemed the most curious and entertaining of the cards, and is
therefore become a favourite amusement to people of the first consequence and the most ‘[The book’s] main strength is the
distinguished abilities.” quality of the problems. If you [can]
solve them in a heartbeat, this book
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was a Whist player? Or that one writer suggested
“Whist players were among the chief aversions of that prosaic monarch George III. No
is not for you. If not, you will do
wonder he lost the American Colonies?” The infamous Stamp Tax applied to playing cards, yourself a huge favour if you rush
and aided in uniting the colonies. George Washington kept a detailed record of his wins out and buy a copy.’
and losses at cards.
— Paul Marston, in ‘The Australian'
This reviewer will leave the anecdotes regarding contract bridge and duplicate bridge to
readers, who will find the book most delightful reading. ‘If you need a Christmas gift for
Bumblepuppy Days may be obtained from Master Point Press, www.masterpointpress.com a beginning bridge player, this
or info@masterpointpress.com. It retails for US$22.95, CAD$24.95, GBP14.95. would be an excellent choice.’
— Belleville Intelligencer

2012
KEEP CALM and REDOUBLE

18 FROM MASTER POINT PRESS, THE BRIDGE PUBLISHER


Teaching Two Suited Overcalls by Dave Germaine

by Dave Germaine
For example:
Dave Germaine has been teaching bridge since
1999. For the past four years, he has been a
volunteer for the BIL, the Beginner Intermediate Over 1♣: ♠KQxxx ♥Qxxxx ♦K ♣xx Overcall 2♣
Lounge, started online by Maureen Hall. Dave
teaches privately in the Chicago area and on the
♠xx ♥QJ10xx ♦AQxxx ♣x Overcall 2NT
internet. Find him at www.davegermaine.com ♠KQJxx ♥x ♦QJxxx ♣xx Overcall 3♣

Over 1t: ♠KQxxx ♥Qxxxx ♦K ♣xx Overcall 2♦


I teach a course to intermediates on the joys of competitive bidding. We cover overcalls and
doubles, including those of the weak variety, but the fun really starts when we get into two ♠KQxxx ♥xx tK ♣Qxxxx Overcall 3♣
suited overcalls. Many advancing players have never thought about the magic that some- ♠xx ♥Qxxxx tK ♣KQxxx Overcall 2NT
times happens when you and your partner have less than opening strength hands but have
a good fit in a suit. Three positive outcomes are possible; you steal the contract and make Over 1♠: ♠xKQJxx ♦AJxxx ♣xx Overcall 2♠
it; you steal it and don’t make it, but score a successful sacrifice; or you interfere with their
♠xx ♥KJxxx ♦x ♣Axxxx Overcall 3♣
bidding such that they don’t reach their optimum contract. Of course, sometimes you tank
and get a bottom— but that’s the fun of bridge! ♠x ♥xx ♦KJxxx ♣AJxxx Overcall 2NT

Once the student gets the feel of the power of shape over points, they readily take to Mi- The same pattern can be expressed for a 5-5 bid over 1♥.
chaels and the Unusual Notrump conventions. However, I have lately adopted a simple
adjunct to these two workhorses. In the Unusual Notrump overcall, the two lowest unbid Like all conventions, one has to give up some things, like the 3♣ weak jump overcall. This
suits are implied. In the Michaels Cuebid over a minor, the two majors are implied. When can be compensated for by overcalling either 2♣ or 4♣. Pass is always available, as well.
the Michaels Cuebid is used over a major suit opening, the other major is implied, but the
Cuebid is ambiguous about the second suit. It is one of the minor suits. In order to uncover Most players use the Michaels and Unusual Notrump conventions with weak and very
what that minor suit is, the advancer must “ask” by bidding 2NT. In addition, unfortunately, strong hands. With intermediate hands in the 12-16 point range, they overcall in one of
there are a couple of combinations that can’t be described by these two conventions. the suits and try to mention the second suit in a later round of the bidding. Others use the
conventions with any strength hand.
That’s why I think it is worthwhile to add a third overcall that describes all of the two suit
combinations— unambiguously. It is what Marty Bergen calls the 3♣, Hi-Lo. Here’s how it I teach the weak and strong version of the conventions. I teach that the advancer expects his
works. A cuebid of a major promises the other major and diamonds; that is, the two highest partner to have the weak variety, but if he bids again over the advancer’s reply, he is showing
ranking suits. If we have the other major and clubs, we jump to 3♣. A direct overcall of 3♣ the strong hand type. This restricts the overcaller from using the 3♣, HI-LO with strong
over a minor is a two suited call that promises at least 5-5 in the highest and lowest of the hands if one of the implied suits is clubs. The reason is that the advancer can pass 3♣ if he
unbid suits. In other words, the jump to 3♣ is for the HIghest and the LOwest. desires to play in clubs. That could end in an underbid by the overcalling side and a resulting
low score. With hands over 16 points, either start with a double and if your partner picks
the short suit, bid your best suit; or overcall in the higher ranking suit and try to mention
the second suit later.

Upcoming ABTA Conferences: The origin of this convention is unknown to me, but I tried to track it down. I came across
Chicago IL: August 4-7, 2015 the convention in one of Marty Bergen’s pamphlets.  I wrote him to find out its origin.  He
didn’t invent this version of Hi-Lo, but thought that Larry Cohen had.  I wrote to Larry,
Washington, DC: July 20-23, 2016 but, although he has used it, he didn’t know its origin, either.  He contacted Steve Sanborn,
his college bridge partner who wrote to me about it.  Steve remembers using it with Larry
Toronto, ON: July 19-22, 2017 in the early 1970’s but he, apparently, wasn’t the first.  As Larry said, sometimes it’s hard to
pin down the origin of some bridge treatments. Whatever its origin, I wish you successful
bidding with this useful tool.
20 21
Hand Evaluation & Revaluing (cont.) How Many Cards Are In This Deck?

It is my belief that as soon as you are going to become dummy, if you are a long suit count- by Sandy Suttle
er, then long suit points go away and short suit points come in. Too much time and energy
is spent fussing over hand evaluation, unfortunately. This is the only time that we do not Sandy Suttle began learning her first trick-taking card
have to be on the same wave length as partner. Let partner do it one way and you do it game—bridge—10 years ago. She became familiar with
another and all will go well. BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER to revalue your hand the Socratic Method when her special godson was en-
rolled in a Paideia School. She teaches small groups locally
and also teaches online in a 64-hour program for begin-
ning learners she developed and continues to improve and
expand with the help of other expert teachers on Bridge

Apple Basket Submissions


Base Online (BBO).

Attention All Teachers!


Our popular Apple Basket contest will take place again at our Conference in Chicago in
August. Please submit the method you use to interest your students in a particular concept,
hand, or dilemma that they frequently encounter. An entry may be a way that you present a
concept, things you do in class to hold their interest, or any other way that you make their
learning experience memorable.

Your successful techniques may be of great use to other teachers, so please send in your
best teaching tip!

We request your discretion in not speaking Many of us remember from college days the professor at the podium with the PowerPoint
about your submission until the voting pro- presentation as he lectured 300 students. The assigned chapters had hopefully been read
cess is finished. The final day of the Confer- and the professor reviewed and clarified with a few extra examples which led to … midterm
ence, we ask the winner and top place fin- exams!
ishers to showcase their entries. Bring your
own props, if needed, to our annual meeting Fortunately, though teachers of bridge may very well use PowerPoint presentations, we rare-
in Chicago. ly experience a group of 300 students. Learners in small groups have many advantages as do
we, their teachers.
Submissions may be made by regular mail to:
Teachers not only of bridge but also of language arts, for example, understand participatory
Brenda Montague learning with a small number of students allows exploration and questioning that brings
14 Capstan Way more clarity to the why of things. If I understand why, I will likely remember and apply the
Swampscott, MA 01907 knowledge more quickly.
Or you can email your submission to Brenda “How many cards are in this deck?” They smile. Someone finally ventures—“Fifty-two.”
at: bestbridgeteacher@yahoo.com
“If there are four players at each table, how many cards are dealt to each player?” Humm…
The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2015. where is she going with this? “13…”

How many tricks are taken with each deal?


22 23
How Many Cards...? (cont.) by Sandy Suttle

How many suits are in a deck of cards? “I hope you calculated 16 combinations. How many 2 – 2 splits did you list between the two
How many hearts will each player receive? opps’ hands?”
“Six!”
Ah… there’s the rub—how many hearts does a player receive?
“How many 3 – 1 splits?”
“If the declarer has five hearts, the dummy has three hearts, you have four hearts; how
many hearts does your partner have?” Reasoning (even with simple addition) begins. Fingers moving down the columns, then . . . “oh oh, eight.”

As learners are challenged to think, confidence in the subject matter as well as individual Once having completed this exercise, students understand the probability of hand distribu-
self-confidence, so important to learning, develops. The teacher’s role becomes a guide not tion is not as clear cut as at first thought—math seems to have a magic unto its own. How-
only to the content but also to the thinking process required. ever, it would be a rare day following this exercise for a student to forget the probability of
a 3 – 1 split with 4 cards out. This leads the way to calculating the odds of a successful play.
A concrete example is presented when teaching play of the hand. Teachers introduce prob-
able hand distribution. Students might be given a sheet of statistics to memorize; however, Learner participation, involvement, questioning— this teaching style goes back to Socrates
given the task of putting pen to paper brings home not only probability but also the odds and has been found highly effective in learning situations through the centuries. It requires
of a successful finesse. more time and patience. It results in faster assimilation and application.

“If you have nine spades between your hand and the dummy, how many spades are held by No lecture, just the request to think.
the opponents?”
As a final example, let’s look at teaching defense—everyone’s favorite subject to learn and to
“Four,” is the resounding response. teach, right? Signals.

“If the opponents have not bid, giving you important information on distribution, what is Learners understand why the first card played by partner is the most important card played
the probable split of four cards between the two opponents?” in the game and they understand standard openings—4th card down from longest and
strongest and top of a series.
Students may suppose this to be a trick question but likely respond . . . “2 and 2 . . . 50/50.”
“Your partner, North, leads the ace of spades against a 3NT contract. What card would you
“I’d like for you to take some paper and write all the possible combinations of distribution play on the first trick to convey valuable defensive information?”
if the opps’ hold the K, 9, 5 and 4 in their two hands. As left hand opponent could hold a
singleton, you might begin with K – 954. Then give the K to your right hand opponent as
954 – K. List all the possible combinations you are able to think of.”

Student lists usually resemble something like this:

K – 954 or 954 – K
K9 – 54 54 – K9
K5 – 94 94 – K5
K4 – 95 95 – K4
K95 – 4 4 – K95
K94 – 5 5 – K94
K54 – 9 9 – K54
0 – K954 K954 – 0

24 25
How Many Cards...? (cont.) Submit Your Nominees for the
ABTA Book or Software
“You would play low to discourage.” of the Year Award
“Yes, you certainly want to discourage your partner from continuing spades. You do not
hold a card that will take a spade trick. If partner plays the A, then plays the K, what card Did you just read a new bridge book that would be perfect for your students? A book that
will become ‘good’ in this instance?” you find exceptionally useful in your teaching? Have you authored material that’s perfect
for bridge teachers or their students? Suggest it for the 2015 ABTA Book or Software of the
“The queen in declarer’s hand.” Year Award!

“That’s correct. However, what card might you play that would not only discourage partner Presenting these awards brings our ABTA into the spotlight in the bridge world, and I’ve
from continuing the suit but also give more information?” always considered the award one of ABTA’s most important functions. Past winners include
some of the top names in bridge and bridge teaching. You can view all winners on the AB-
“The 4 of spades tells partner you don’t want spades continued – the Queen must be in TA’s website by clicking on ABTA awards.
declarer’s hand.”
The first book award was presented in 1982 to Caroline Sydnor’s Bridge Made Easy – How
“Partner only knows you might have higher cards, but probably not the Q, because you to Win More Tricks. In a Quarterly report on that award, the first committee chairman, Bill
discouraged.” Sachen, explained that the committee’s task was to select “the Bridge Teachers’ Book of the
Year” and not necessarily the best bridge book of the year. That is still our task today as I
“If you play the highest card you hold, would partner be able to figure out where the higher (Pat Harrington) attempt to fill Maggie Sparrow’s shoes as committee chair. We select win-
spades are? Would that be encouraging?” ners that are of value to both bridge teachers and students of the game. The Board voted to
change the name of the award to “the Shirley Silverman Bridge Teachers’ Book of the Year”
“We know partner is leading from a sequence, even if a broken sequence.” after her death in 1992. Shirley was an active ABTA member who authored a complete se-
ries of five-card major teacher manuals and student booklets, which are still published and
“You could agree to play your highest card in response to an Ace lead, even if it’s the Q. If sold by Baron Barclay Bridge supply.
you did play the Q to partner’s A, it would make the Jack in partner’s hand ‘good.’”
Over the years, we’ve expanded our horizons by allowing two book categories – beginner/
“If you have agreed to play your highest card in response to an Ace opening lead, as in this novice and intermediate/advanced – and adding a software of the Year Award. May 15 is
example, what does partner know?” the deadline for submissions. Only works published in the year since the previous deadline
date are accepted for consideration. Reprints of previous material are not considered unless
“First thing partner knows is the Queen is held by declarer because you didn’t play it. Part- they are substantially rewritten.
ner also knows if declarer leads the Q, partner’s King will take it. If declarer leads any other
card in spades, it can be taken by partner’s Jack. My fellow committee members are Jerry Helms, Brenda Montague, Jeff Schuett and Karen
Walker. With their help and your suggestions, I hope I can do as good a job as Maggie did
“Both K and J become ‘good!’” until she chose to step down. Thanks for all you do for the ABTA, Maggie!

“Well done! The standard play to the Ace lead is your highest card in the suit. The conse- To submit a work for consideration or to suggest a work to consider, email Pat Harrington
quence in this example is that partner must switch suits or deliberately put declarer in the at mrsbridge@embarqmail.com
lead. He does not want to continue spades, making the Q good.”

As learners continue the lines of reasoning that participatory learning encourages, they are Editor’s Note:
able to accelerate their understanding and effective play when encountering new ground.
Handing a learner a convention sheet for reference is great, but asking why opener would Thank you to everyone who submitted material.
rebid a void or a singleton to a Jacoby 2NT response sticks like super glue. Beginners and, I received more than I could fit in this issue.
yes, even the more experienced players, need lots of super glue – and thoroughly enjoy and
definitely benefit from participation in their learning experience.
Please keep the submissions coming.

26 27
HAVE YOUR LESSONS AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS
ABTA
ABTAQuarterly
Online Activities
Magazine MANY PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR iPad and Android - see website

Visit www.GreatGameProducts.com / www.GGP.co / Call 800-426-3748 for ordering information

by Maggie Sparrow
Introduction to Bridge - Play &
Be sure to stay connected with other teachers through our online activities. Learn with Pat Harrington
(Lessons 1-6) & (Lessons 7-13)
ABTAhome: Check our website regularly at www.abtahome.com on separate discs
Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8 Learn to Play Bridge
In particular, there is now a section of the web site reserved exclusively for ABTA members. Mac OS X 10.5 or later Retail / ABTA
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Click on the “Members’ Area Login” link on the left side of the home page. When you log Special
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Are you listed on the teacher page, so that prospective new students may find you? provide the background for bidding
Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Learn to Play Bridge with Audrey Grant - Bridge Basics 1
has a host of features, including these:
ABTA discuss: Join our email discussion list and send in questions and comments by email.  Lessons teach opening bids and their responses  This program is designed for the absolute beginner. The material is
This is a great way to discuss bridge teaching with others. Sometimes the list is very quiet, presented in a clear, well-organized format, moving smoothly from
one topic to the next. It's based on the most up-to-date information the
other times there is a flurry of activity. Once you have joined the group you can read all the Learn and Practice Bidding Conventions
game has to offer.
past messages, and we’ve had some interesting discussions. There are also some very useful  A sound track that accompanies the lesson material, allowing you to
things for you to find in the files. http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/ABTAdiscuss Based on the focus on the hands and the graphics
WINNER OF THE 2007 ABTA
SOFTWARE OF THE YEAR
ABTA chat: Come to our once-a-month chat (usually the fourth Sunday evening) at Bridge Windows 2000 / XP /
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We get through a surprising amount in just one hour, so feel free to jump in if you have a  Help your students learn up to 7 different

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conventions
Ideal for students looking to learn a new convention

Sunday, January 25, 2015


There is a lot of interest in playing 2/1 these days, do you teach it to your students? If so, to To Order
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beginners or only to more experience players? Come and discuss the possibilities, and give Email: sales@ggp.co or sales@bridgebaron.com
us your experience.

Sunday, February 23, 2015


What are you teaching right now? New courses? Old courses? Which courses do you really Submit Your Article, Info or Ad
like using? Have you made any changes to the courses as a result of your experiences?

If you are NOT receiving regular monthly reminders by email about the Chats, it’s proba-
bly because Maggie Sparrow doesn’t have your correct email address. Send it to her if you ATTENTION COLUMNISTS, ADVERTISERS, and CONTRIBUTORS!
would like to receive reminders. If you would like to submit an article for the Quarterly, Advertise with us, or make any contribution to the next
issue, contact me, Christopher Rivera, at riverabridge@gmail.com
Many of the reminders are bounced back because Maggie’s email is not allowed by the
recipients (mostly AOL users). If you believe this applies to you, putting Maggie’s email in Deadlines for future submissions are:
your address book will often solve the problem. SPRING Issue: February 1, 2015
SUMMER Issue: May 1, 2015
If you miss a Chat you are particularly interested in, you can email Maggie for the transcript FALL Issue: August 1, 2015
at: msparrow@csolve.net WINTER Issue: November 1, 2015

28
New Members & Address Change
THE BRIDGE SITE
FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
Sandra Baker Ausma Kopf
3263 Sunset Boulevard 7126 Harcourt Crossing
Seaside, OR 97138 Ft. Mill, SC 29707-5841
bakerss@q.com ok5555@aol.com

Jeff Bayone David LeGrow


160 Burns Street, Apt. 2 34 Wilson Boulevard
Forest Hills, NY 11375 Eagleville, PA 19403-1418
honorsbridge@gmail.com d_legrow@att.net

Alan Berg Margie Quinto


205 Highland Street 2665 Iris Way
Holden, MA 01520 The Villages, FL 32162
al.berg.205@gmail.com mq26@aol.com

Janelle Coulson Tom Rajnovich


P.O. Box 719 204 Rich Street
Edwards, CO 81632 Goderich, ON N7A 4B5
janellecoulson@aol.com CANADA
tomraj@cabletv.on.ca
James Davis
8805 Greenhaven Court Joe Ramirez
Toano, VA 23168 10816 N. Glasscock Road
jdavis474@cox.net Mission, TX 78573
joe.ramirezjr@att.net
www.abta.com has just been relaunched with content that is exclusive to ABTA members! There is a
Douglas Halleen ton of new material in a members-only area, including convention presentations, old quarterly issues, monthly
25280 Allen Place Patricia Rippel IBPA hands and a host of other great stuff. Here’s a taste of what else you can find on the new site:
Carmel, CA 93923-8300 2009 Captive Court
doug@doughalleen.com Sun City Center, FL 33573  Stay informed about ABTA events and news, including this year’s ABTA convention in Chicago
patrippel@hotmail.com  Learn all about the Master Teachers Program and the Teacher of the Year
Hazel Hewitt
Box 2461 Aaron Simon
 Check out the new “Find a Teacher” program - easily find ABTA teachers by name or location
St. Mary’s, ON N4X 1A3 8522 Logia Circle  Feature articles, columns and quizzes by great bridge authors
CANADA Boynton Beach, FL 33472  Apple Basket Teaching Tips from ABTA teachers
hazeljhewitt@hotmail.com ads2738@yahoo.com Advice & insights from featured teachers and bridge author
 Curious about teaching on cruises? Need some jokes to get your class started? You’ll find it all here.
C.J. Jameson Sandy Suttle
 Bridge on the Web: Links to helpful online resources for you and your students.
1351 Hoover Street 1014 N. Cypress City
Menlo Park, CA 94025 Wichita, KS 67206  Monthly deals - just for teachers - on books and software from Master Point Press and Ebooksbridge
cjcjameson@gmail.com sandy719@cox.net
Stay in touch. You can share your feedback on the feedback form located on the “Contact Us” page. If you
Don Joseph Address Change: would like to make changes to your contact information in the “Find a Teacher” program, please contact Kathy
1125 HohlFelder Road Roz Thayer Rolfe.
Glencoe, IL 60022 9048 Whimbrel Watch Lane, #202
djoseph@northbrookconsulting.com Naples, FL 34109
30
M A S T E R P OI NT P R E SS
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Bidding at Bridge:
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Barbara Seagram & David Bird

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