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Bridge in France
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Bonjour! I'm studying abroad in Grenoble, France, this summer and just demonstrated about all my French knowledge in the first exclamation of this article. Despite not knowing the language very well, I'm having a lot of fun over here. I managed to find a few bilingual members of the Grenoble Bridge Club who graciously agreed to play with me this summer. Besides the language barrier, there was a bigger barrier to playing bridge: the bidding barrier. 

It seems that most French players use a system pretty similar to Standard American but call it 5 Majeure (5 major) or something similar. Having only learned bridge about 18 months ago, I started with 2/1 and then adopted Precision, so I don't even know what Standard American "is" so to say.

To solve this issue, I learned a few French conventions and spent 30 minutes before the game talking with my partner about his general bidding philosophy. The convention French people seem to like the most that I have never seen in America is called "Roudi":

After 1m-1M-1NT (12-14, seems that everybody is pretty sound over here in the club):

2 is asking about support for M

       2 is 2M 11-12

       2 is 3M 11-12

       2 is 3M  13-14

       2NT is 2M 13-14 

I added this our arsenal and started to play. 

 

The session started very well, but we ran into a few road bumps including this hand:

 

West
KQJ7
3
A10976
752
North
96
982
KQ83
K983
East
A10852
AJ106
J2
AJ
South
43
KQ754
54
Q1064
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
4N
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 East
NS: 0 EW: 0

Obviously we didn't belong in slam but here I was (I'm east). On a trump lead, there seems to be many opportunities to eek out this contract, but I just don't know the percentage play. I decided that looked pretty promising so I won the trump lead, played another round of trump, and advanced the J. My table feel was yelling "both honors are offside" after the first trick so I made that assumption and continued from there. 

North won the and played back a club. I won, played A, and then, in a moment of pure imbecility, played the 7. I was thinking that if diamonds were 3-3 I'd be home, but based on my assumption both honors are offside, I should play the 10 and if the K doesn't appear, let it ride and pitch a club. 

I didn't do that though, and had to ruff the 8 in hand. That's an issue.

I kind of blacked out after that mistake but I ended up going A, heart ruff, diamond ruff, heart ruff, diamond winner pitching my J. In the end position S pitched his high heart, keeping the Q instead, so I still scored up the contract, but I was not too happy about my play.

My question to you though is, what is the best line in this poor contract? 

On a lighter note, bridge in France has more differences than just bidding from American bridge. I'm not sure if I can generalize the details from beyond this club but here the club is very nice. Nice wooden furniture, fun table cloths, and they even serve beer, wine, whiskey, juice, etc from the kitchen here. The kitchen also includes an espresso machine! 

The bidding cards were also in a box screwed into the table that hung below it. I liked this because you couldn't tell what card somebody was about to pull out. Below are some pictures from the club! 

 http://imgur.com/a/3XmDc

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