The Rueful Rabbit — Down the rabbit hole…

Happy New Year

Dear Readers,

Firstly, I want to thank all of you this past year for coming in such numbers an so frequently. Many page loaders come from overseas – I hope you continue to drop by. Needless to say I have web stats on the site and I’ve been very pleasantly surprised.
For stats I use an Irish company –

There are two reasons for being so slack bridge wise over the last two months – raising my two bunnies with my wonderful wife (lots of fun) and because of work (not always fun).

I find it hard to come up with material when I’m not in circulation. The good(?) news is that I’ll be returning to the tables on 17th Jan starting the CBAI mens pairs and teams. The womens equivalents are run over the same weekend. (Details on In the meantime I’ll be dropping in to BBO between now and then. (James_H is my username for those who don’t know – don’t forget to say hello)

Here is a situation that occurred a few months ago in the Regent’s Sean Stack League.
This was the trump suit…

(W) AQTxxx opposite (E) 9xx

I lead from the short hand and South played the King. Without breaking tempo, I played the trump Ten which scored and the contract came home.

I’m not looking for praise, I wan’t to alert you to defensive false card.

If you can trust my bidding(?), I had shown a 6 card suit so North should have figured out how to play holding Jxx in trumps.

Lets replay this suit this time you are South and hold the KJ of trumps – You should play the king and hope West does not give you credit and makes the same play as I did at the table.

Happy New Year to you all.

Have a good game,

At Long Last

Dear Bridge Players,

I’ve got two things to tell you, one important, the other not so important.

It’s with great pleasure that I’m announcing the first publically available Bridge Hand Database. This is something that I’ve wanted for years and in the end I had to create it myself.

This bridge tool allows you to search through hands played by the world’s top experts. It should prove invaluable to system designers who want to copy or build on the best of current expert knowledge.

Whats the web site???

How does it work?

You simply register with a Username and Password and your email. An activation link is sent to the same email address which, when confirmed allows you to login and search.

I want to pay credit to Fred Gittleman & Bridge Base Online for the data, Richard Pavlicek (for his article on bridge databases) and Nickos Sarantakos (Viewgraph Project)

End Bit
Finally, the useless piece of information – My real name!
My apologies to all of my friends that I’ve lied to (saying that I am not the Rabbit) over the last 18 months.

Have a good game,

James Heneghan aka Rueful


Dear Bridge Players,

Apologies for my silence over the while. I’ve been hard at work burrowing for carrots and looking after the family.

In my spare time, I’ve been working on a bridge application. This bridge tool will (to the best of my knowledge) be the worlds first publically available application of its kind.

Once launched on my website, I’ll take off my rabbit mask.

I’ll be relying on my followers to beta test and report on bugs etc.

Have a good game,

New man in town …

Dear Bridge Players,

There is a new player in town! And he has a blog! Any idiot can start a blog but it takes effort, talent and a fresh view to maintain an audience. I enjoy this new one for the quality of the writing and humour. I wish him the very best and I’ll be checking in regularly.

Here is he raison d’être :

Bridge to Nowhere

Why should the bridge superstars get all the coverage? Bridge to Nowhere is for all those journeymen in the middle ranks who love the game enough to obsess over it, but at the same time know that all they’ll get out of it is joy, laughter and human companionship – not a bad deal, if you ask us!

Have a good game,

Vitruvian Man

Dear Bridge Players,

Todays I feature another Italian artist at work. Leonardo Cima (nickname 100dog) played this hand on BBO on the 28the Sep 08. He was playing on the Stars team Vs Jimmy Caynes team.

The Hand:

Dealer S
Scoring Imp
Lead 8

The Bidding:

West North East South
p p X p
3 p 4 p
p p

The Play:
North lead the D8 and South (Jimmy Cayne) won the Ace and switched to his singleton club and
all eyes were on on Leonardo. He won the club perforce in dummy and cashed the HA and ruffed a H and finessed with the trump queen.

At this point Leonardo realised that the contract was makable. South has 7 diamonds and most likely to have a singleton club. If he holds two trumps, Leanardo was cold for the contract.
Accordingly, he cashed the ace of trumps, cashed the HK and two more top clubs, ruffed a h and scored a diamond ruff.

The crowd went wild.

Have a good game,

Lorenzo The Magnificent

This deal comes from BBO and was played on 28th Sept 2008.
It features Lorenzo ‘The Magnificent’ Lauria who sat North and declared the hand. His partner was Jimmy Cayne the high flying financier who lead Bear Stearns until recently. I always enjoy kibitzing Lauria and he never lets his fans down.

The Hand:

Dealer W
Vul All
Scoring Imp
Lead A

The Bidding:

West Lorenzo East Jimmy
p 1 p 3
p 4 p 4
p 4NT p 5
p 5 p 5
p p p

The Scene:
Some kibitzers were tickled that the contract would fail because it looks like declarer has to lose a Diamond a Heart and a Spade. In isolation, in a 9 card fit missing the queen, the odds marginally favor dropping the Queen.

Needless to say, you would not see this hand unless Lorenzo had the last word.

The Play:
The HA was lead and a heart continued. Lorenzo cashed the SA and played a club to the king, Club to the Ace and ruffed the QC low. Then he cashed the HK, discarding a diamond and finessed in trumps.

At this point he has guaranteed the contract. If East wins from Qx of spades, he is endplayed – facing the prospect of giving a ruff-sluff or playing into the AQ of diamonds.

Lorenzo Lauria could have played this hand in his sleep such is his skill but I like the aggressive bidding and clever play. His reward? 1 IMP! The opponents bid and made 4 at the other table.

My 543 of trumps were too powerful partner (West)

Here is a nice deal from Michael McGloughlin.

I doubt that anyone will believe you that this hand came up last evening. The play was not found by
whoever played 6D and the result was I off losing 2 Spades when the
left hand opponent held AJ8xx.

I was looking through my archive of hands that I had experienced when this little gem came up. It arose
in one of the Dublin region teams about 2 years ago where I
was playing South and defended 7 Clubs
scoring a just 500 when a Spade lead allowed
declarer shed a Heart but the real drama arose at the
other table when after a
sequence over which a Veil can be drawn they ceclared just 6 Diamonds Red
with West
having bid Clubs to the 5 level.

6 Diamonds is not a happy resting place but unless your methods are sufficiently flexible to permit
South to declare it is the only slam that can be made. Hearts
fail on Spade Ace and Spade ruff.

Anyway against the slam your right hand opponent leads his Singleton Heart (rather than the Club
King) surely seeking a Ruff or some such thing and you win draw two
trumps somewhat fortunately
dropping the QJ doubleton on your right and ?

Too late you realise that in your haste to extract the Trumps and relieved when they split 3/2 with
QJ coming down you had played the 2 to the Ace and now the contract
is no longer makeable
when the Spade Ace beats the Queen (or ducks when you play the

Note however the effect of playing the Diamond 9 and 8 to the first two rounds of trumps and now
you can exit with the trump 2 to the player who started with -

Void x 543 KQJ109xxx

The Deal



Irish Camrose Trials 2nd weekend – Schedule

Dear Bridge Players,

The schedule of play will be …


ROUND 1 10.30 AM 12.45 PM
ROUND 2 1.45 PM 4.00 PM
ROUND 3 4.30 PM 6.45 PM
ROUND 4 8.45 PM 11.00 PM


ROUND 5 10.00 AM 12.15 PM
ROUND 6 1.00 PM 3.15 PM
ROUND 7 3.45 PM 6.00 PM

16 board matched I’m told.
The venue is the CBAI headquarters in Tempelogue.


Rueful Resource

Dear Bridge Players,

If you want to post notification or results of your competition, please email …

Have a good game,

Combining Long and Short suit trials

Dear Bridge Players,

Generally the requirements for a trial over a simple raise is when you have a 5 or 6 loser hand.

Typical examples are –

1 – 2

1♠ – 2♠

Over 1 – 2, I am going to suggest that you use

2♠ A relay to 2NT - The start of showing a short suit trial
2NT Relay
3♣ Short in Clubs
3 Short in Diamonds
3 Short in Spades

3 No interest, bad hand all round
4 Will accept all trials, Probable showing Max

2NT Help suit trial in Spades
3♣ Help suit trial in Clubs
3 Help suit trial in Diamonds
3 Barrage, To play, Extra length, not showing extra.

The same structure applies over 2♠ except 2nt is the relay showing a

Have a good game,