15th International Bridge Festival Madeira, Funchal, November 5-11, 2012 

Geografia Madeira

When Jules Verne wrote the legendary story about the Mysterious Island, many said that he was actually talking about the island of Madeira. What is now the island of Madeira in the early days was molten lava flowing through the interior of our planet, until one day that lava began pouring thousands of feet deep in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which washes out a colossal mountain of lava, over 6000 meters high, the top of which is what is now known as the Island of Madeira.
 As if this were not enough, as solidify, the lava was largely shaped in pentagonal prisms, rock formations like this are all over the island of Madeira (usually more eroded than the photo).

In this incredible place is being played the 15th International Madeira Open Swiss Teams Bridge. Here are some hands that were transmitted in BBO.

The True Value of a Bridge Hand

Charles H. Goren had a tremendous influence on the game of bridge.  In the late 1940’s, he popularized the «point count: 4-3-2-1» method of hand evaluation so familiar to us all today. This had two profound effects on the game – one good, the other not so good. The 4-3-2-1 point-count made the game comprehensible to the average person. Unfortunately, the methods advocated by Goren oversimplify the process of hand evaluation to such an extent that the majority of players learn to count their hands by rote and never learn to consider the many, both positive and negative, factors which affect the actual worth of each individual hand. 

This is a hand from one of the Teams Tournament matchs.


Q 7 6 5 4 2
10 9 8 7
A 4


A J 9 3
Q 2
K 9 3
K 10 4 2


K 10 8
J 10 8 5
Q 9 8 5 3


K J 6 5 4 3
Q 7 6 2
A J 7

Dealer South E/W Vulnerable

West North East South
 3         Double1       Pass      
 3 Double2  4  The End

1 points

2 Some Defensive values and spades

South opened the hand with a 1 bid. (Rule of 20: Add your HP to the number of cards of your two longest suits, if it is 20 or more OPEN). West doubled and North bidded 3 showing weakness with 4 cards support. East doubled showing values and South passed. West continued with 3 and East correct to 4. South passed again…

David Bird one of the VG commentators, wrote:

Risky pass by South. Why is he not bidding more hearts? 3 is a weak bid, of course, but South has a good hand. And partner would (should) not double 3 without some defensive cards outside spades. Zia says you should always bid game with a 6-4 major fit. Still, if NS bid 4, then EW might go to 5 and make it…

Another commentator: 10 cards = game,  simple theory of total tricks.

E/W made 11 tricks and scored 150. In the other table N/S declared 5 over their opps 5 and scored 650, so 13 IMPs for their team.