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Multiple title winner Hall earns Gold Life Master status

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Many congratulations to Charles Hall who this week achieved Gold Life Master status by reaching the milestone of 2,500 master points – a great achievement. Many of you will know Charles from the excellent series of lessons he and Bill Pollett ran at the club, but I know him as a player who has all the attributes that add up for success.

Charles has a great temperament for the game, a super knowledge of bidding structure and is also able to maintain an even keel at the table through thick and thin, which makes him an excellent partner. Charles has won numerous titles at the club over the years in different partnerships and all told has been one of those players that adds a lot to the club – it really is a pleasure to announce his achievement.

Today sees the staging of the two-session Mixed Pairs event at the Club, full results next week. Also for your diaries are the Open pairs on June 10 and the return of the Bridge Club summer party on June 17.

Before I get to the hand – I was browsing through the list of plus 70 per cent games and noticed that Louise Payne and Katyna Rabain have had five in the last couple of years, including one that scored 80.15 per cent! Games over 80 per cent are a rare thing – well done, ladies!

This week’s hand features an often neglected declarer play technique, the “Dummy Reversal”, where declarer ruffs with low trumps in the hand with the long trump suit. The reason the play is rare is that it is often difficult to spot and goes against declarer’s instincts of ruffing in the hand with the shorter, or equal, trump length. See Figure 1.

Figure 1

The bidding was exactly the same at both tables. See Figure 2.

Figure 2

North’s cue-bid of two spades promised a limit-raise or better in hearts. South checked for key-cards with four no-trump and, when North admitted to two of them, bid the slam. West led the King of spades.

Declarer had 12 sure tricks if trumps were three-one or two-two. There was still a chance if they were four-zero with East, and that was to make all the low trumps in hand by ruffing spades. Since entries were short, declarer won the first trick with the Ace of spades and ruffed a spade – a no-cost play.

Next, declarer cashed the Ace of trumps, noting that the suit was indeed four-zero. After cashing his Queen of trumps, declarer took his non-trump winners to reduce the chance of their being ruffed if East had only two spades, finishing with a club to the King. When East followed to the next spade, declarer ruffed it and led a trump to dummy’s king for his eleventh trick. This was now the position – see Figure 3.

Figure 3

Declarer led dummy’s nine of spades. East was fixed: if he discarded his diamond, declarer would make the seven of trumps for his twelfth trick. In practice, East ruffed the spade and declarer threw his diamond loser, making his remaining card, a trump, for his contract.

Brilliant play and great planning by declarer – note that, on the above layout, if declarer fails to ruff a spade at trick two, the defenders will eventually make two tricks, a trump and a diamond. Try it, the entries are crucial, as was the ruff at trick two.

David Ezekiel can be reached on davidezekiel999@gmail.com


Friday, May 5

1. John Burville-Molly Taussig

2. Gertrude Barker-Martha Ferguson

3. Tony Saunders-Patricia Siddle

Monday, May 8


1. Richard Gray-Wendy Gray

2. Pat Cerra-Barbara Cerra

3. William Pollett-Charles Hall


1. Gertrude Barker-Jane Smith

2. Elysa Burland-Molly Taussig

3. Sue Hodge-John Hodge

Tuesday, May 9


1. Wendy Krupp-Barbara Elkin

2. Sarah Bowers-Stuart Clare

3. Duncan Silver-Marion Silver


1. Nikki Boyce-Carol Eastham

2. Malcolm Moseley-Mark Stevens

3. Tim Mardon-Richard Hall

Wednesday, May 10


1. Tony Saunders-Molly Taussig

2. Gertrude Barker-Jane Smith

3. Richard Gray-Wendy Gray


1. Greta Marshall-Lynanne Bolton

2. Patricia Siddle-Diana Diel

3. Linda Pollett-William Pollett

Thursday, May 11


1. Miodrag Novakovic-Margaret Way

2. Richard Gray-Wendy Gray

3. David Petty-Lisa Ferrari


1. Elizabeth McKee-Linda Pollett

2. Peter Donnellan-Lynanne Bolton

3. Betsy Ballie-Tim Mardon

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Published May 13, 2023 at 7:56 am (Updated May 13, 2023 at 7:47 am)

Multiple title winner Hall earns Gold Life Master status

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