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The Christmas break does not last long. Moving to the start of the New Year we have the first weekend of the Camrose Trophy in Wales along with Waterford Congress from January 4-6.

This clash should be avoided, but in fairness January is so busy it just wasn't possible to find another weekend. There are three Congress weekends in all and February is just as busy.

Heard a whisper of complaint this week over the fact that the two teams to play in the Lady Milne Trophy have not yet been named despite the fact that the trials were played as long ago as the end of September.

Waterford Congress is set for the Tower Hotel from January 4-6 and has the usual programme starting with mixed pairs. Congress pairs on Saturday and teams at 11am Sunday. Entries to waterford congress@gmail.com.

Dealing with pre-emptive bids is never easy and you need to discuss defence with your regular partner.

Look at this one as an example of doing the right thing. Bidding (N dealer; NS vul)


Watch what happens when you play from the wrong side.

A reasonable contract, but no chance of making, while if E plays the hand there is no defence since S does not have a diamond to lead.

So W must double and then E bids 3S and 4 makes.

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