Keane and Viotti win big competition

The two-session Non-Life Master Pairs was held at the Bridge Club last Saturday, and when the smoke had cleared Kathleen Keane and Mike Viotti were the new champions

Twelve pairs contested the event and, after the morning session, it was hugely tight with the top eight pairs separated by fewer than ten points.

Leading at that stage with a 60 per cent game were Lorna Anderson and Ernest Paynter with Ellen Davidson/Tyler Irby, Claude Guay/Sharon Shanahan, Martha Ferguson/John Luebkemann, James Fraser/Richard Hall and Keane/Viotti just behind that group.

The second session proved to be a totally different story.

Davidson/Irby had another solid game but the other leaders struggled, so when Viotti-Keane produced a 67 per cent second session, their winning margin was just over a full board.

Well done to Kathy and Mike — they were one of the favourites going into this event based on their results over the past year and they responded well to overcome that additional pressure.

Well done also to Ellen Davidson and Tyler Irby, who I think is one of the junior participants from last year, for two solid 57 per cent sessions to finish in second place and to Ruby Douglas and Delton Outerbridge who had a big second session to finish third, just ahead of Martha Ferguson and John Luebkemann.

This week’s hand is rare in more ways than one. It involves a double ruff and discard and a version of Greeks bearing gifts.

Dealer South, N/S Vulnerable





S104 S3

HKQJ1098754 HNone

D8 DQJ10972

C8 CKQJ972





South opened a Spade and West bid the obvious four Hearts with his nine-card suit, after which North bid four Spades, which ended the bidding.

At the first table, West led the King of Hearts and when East ruffed declarer eventually went down as the mirrored distribution, it allowed no way to avoid a Diamond loser and two Club losers.

At the other table, Declarer was somewhat more inventive and when East ruffed the Heart, he threw his Ace away.

He won the Club return, drew trumps and cashed two Diamonds, which reduced West to only Hearts and was in this position:






HQJ109875 HNone







He now exited with a Heart, which West gratefully won. When West continued with a Heart, declarer made the key play of refusing to ruff and threw a Diamond from the board and a Club from his hand to end up here:






HQJ1098 HNone





D 5

C 4

When West led another Heart he ruffed on hoard, throwing his last Club and then ruffed a Diamond to make the contract.

Do you see how West could have defeated the contract?

He should have asked himself why declarer threw the Heart Ace away and was giving him a free trick — a Trojan horse — and should have allowed the Heart six to win in dummy. Now declarer has to lose two Clubs and a Diamond — down one.

It’s not over yet. Declarer could have avoided all this by throwing the six of Hearts under the King at trick one. Now West would have to win the Heart and the contract makes …

Can one ever get enough of this amazing game?

Results (week of May 14)

Monday evening

1. Alan Douglas/Edward Betteto

2. Elizabeth McKee/Rachael Gosling

3. Margaret Way/Tony Saunders

Tuesday evening

1. Felicity Lunn/Gina Graham

2. Malcolm Moseley/Mark Stevens

3. Betsy Baillie/C Lloyd-Jennings

Wednesday morning


1. Sheena Rayner/Magda Farag

2. Ellen Davidson/Jeanette Shaw

3. Peter Donnellan/Lynanne Bolton


1. Judith Bussell/Stephanie Kyme

2. Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith

3. Janice Trott/Michael Bickley

Thursday evening


1. Edward Betteto/Elizabeth McKee

2. John Luebkemann/Martha Ferguson

3. John Glynn/Richard Keane


1. Rachael Gosling/Jane Smith

2. Margaret Way/Diana Diel

3. Richard Hall/James Fraser

Friday afternoon


1. Stephanie Kyme/Jean Johnson

2. Gertrude Barker/Marilynn Simmons

3. John Glynn/Molly Taussig


1. Michael Bickley/Dorry Lusher

2. Heather Farrugia/Michael


3. Edward Betteto/Margaret Way

Saturday (Non-Life masters)

1. Kathleen Keane/Mike Viotti

2. Ellen Davidson/Tyler Irby

3. Ruby Douglas/Delton


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Published May 26, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated May 25, 2018 at 8:23 pm)

Keane and Viotti win big competition

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