Welcome to the New Hampshire Bridge Association Website
The New Hampshire Bridge Association (NHBA) is Unit 150 in District 25 of the American Contract Bridge League. It is comprised of an all-volunteer Board and more than 500 active members of the bridge community in the State of New Hampshire.
Opening 1NT with a singleton is now officially legal
The ACBL Board of Directors removed a legal gray area surrounding semi-balanced notrump openers when it approved a change to the definition of a notrump opening in the General Convention Chart. The change allows players to open 1NT with hands that include a singleton ace, king or queen, as long as they do not also contain a doubleton.
Here is the new definition, effective Aug. 1:
“A notrump opening or overcall is natural if, by agreement, it contains no void, at most one singleton which must be the A, K or Q and no more than two doubletons. If the hand contains a singleton, it may have no doubleton.”
This includes hand patterns such as 5-4-3-1, 6-3-3-1 and 4-4-4-1, in addition to those that were previously allowed, such as 4-3-3-3, 5-3-3-2 and 5-4-2-2.
The change was recommended by the Competitions and Conventions Committee, a group of players appointed by the Board, in an effort to bring regulations in line with popular and expert practice, said ACBL Field Manager Sol Weinstein, who supervises tournament directors.
Before, opening notrump with a singleton was considered a psych. It was legal to do, but players could not have an agreement to open such hands 1NT or 2NT. The lack of clarity was a thorny issue for directors.
“Many players were doing it anyway,” Weinstein said, particularly when a different opening would create a problematic rebid. “They decided it’s not right to have a rule that’s contrary to the way bridge is being played.” The idea of expanding the definition has been discussed for years within the committee, but previous proposals have failed because they lacked the simplicity of the new definition.
“The Laws don’t allow you to limit bridge judgment,” Weinstein explained. “Regulations have to conform to the Laws.”
The new definition prohibits opening notrump with more shapely hands, such as 5-5-2-1, 6-4-2-1 or 7-2-2-2. “All of this has to do with your agreements,” Weinstein noted. “That doesn’t prohibit an out-and-out psych, but you can’t keep doing that or it becomes an agreement, and an illegal one at that.”
The change does not impact the one allowable exception of a partnership agreement where 1NT is treated as a 100% forcing opening bid (and not considered “natural” with any distribution). The use of such an unbalanced, non-natural 1NT opening must be alerted.
New England Summer Regional Results
Click for results from the New England Summer Regional Jun 21-26, 2016 Radisson Hotel, 11 Tara Blvd., Nashua, NH. Attendance was up more than 100 tables and the Nashua Regional will continue for at least two more years.
District 25 North American Pairs Finals
This year District 25 is experimenting with a totally new format for the District Finals of the North American Pairs. Due to financial needs, we are no longer able to afford to have the NAP in Sturbridge, so we're going to have the Flight A Finals in October as part of EMBA's Watertown Sectional, and the Flight B and C Finals in November as part of our district Regional in Mansfield, MA. What this means is that every New England player whose ACBL dues are current can play in the Flight A event - and those who are eligible for the Flight B or Flight C can also play in that final the following month. What a fantastic opportunity to test your mettle against the best and the brightest in Flight A competition, and either advance to the national finals in this elite company - or use your added knowledge to enhance your chances of winning a trip to the National Finals with your peer group Flight B or Flight C players! Expect to hear more about this from NAP Coordinator Bill Braucher soon.
Mark J. Aquino, Sr. District 25 Director
Help! We Need New Tournament Sites!
We need your help! Some time ago, the Newington, NH, Town Offices informed us that the site is no longer available. Other than the October sectional in Grantham, we've scheduled the remaining 2016 tournaments at Rivier University in Nashua. We've been unable to find an alternative location.
If there's a site in your area that's available on weekends and that you think may be suitable for a sectional, please let us know! Contact Sarah Widhu, the President of the NHBA, at (603) 881-7518 or firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Contact Us page on this website.