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Junior Teams winners crowned at Bridge Club

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The Junior Teams Championship took place at the Bridge Club this week. I’d prefer some other title for this event as few of the players are “juniors” , which refers to their standing on the bridge ladder. Many congratulations to Rob Mulderig, James Mulderig, Sarah Bowers and Stuart Clare, who scored a convincing victory with a total of 73 victory points out of the 100 available.

In second place were Jean Schilling, John Thorne, Erika Jones and Caitlin Conyers on 60 vp and in third, due mainly to a sparkling 19-1 victory in their last match, were the team of Sarah Jane Varley, Sharon Andrews, Linda Manders and Richard Neame.

The winners had four solid wins — 18-2, 18-2, 16-4 and 15-5 and their only loss was to the second placed Schilling team where they lost 6-14. Coincidentally, where the Schilling team lost points was also a 6-14 loss to the third-placed Varley team!

Well done again to the winners — this was a good, six-team field and hopefully we will see some of these players soon making their mark in Open competition.

Also held this week was the Ernie Owen Individual, which was held on Thursday. This is a unique format where players change partners after every round and play a standard bidding system.

Winning the event was Misha Novakovic with Marge Way and Martha Ferguson in joint second and Sharon Shanahan in fourth. Sharon also took the StratB honours with Keri Mckittrick and John Thorne finishing joint winners of Strat C.

Congrats to all these players as this was a large and competitive field — a special shout to Martha for finishing in great company at the top and to Sharon for her strong performance in a tough field. And of course, great stuff from Misha!

I have fond memories of Individual events – on July 24, 1981 I was fortunate to win the North American Open Individual at the Boston Summer Nationals – a particularly memorable day as it was my birthday and the win made me Life Master – as the Bulletin put it, “a perfect treble”! Certainly the highpoint of my competitive bridge career.

Before getting to the hand – it seems the Christmas party was another huge success. Over 70 people attended for some music, food, wine…..and, of course, a bridge game! Congrats to Bill Pollett for winning the Christmas Calcutta event which is a staple of the Christmas party.

This week’s hand has to do with “spot cards” – cards lower than a ten. Better plays keep track of all the “spots“ and, whenever they can, use that to their advantage.

This board comes from the 15th European Youth Mixed Pairs Championships held in Veldhoven in the Netherlands in July of this year (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

What do you lead as West? Most players would lead the Queen of clubs, but Nicolaï Hieberg-Evenstad chose the seven of diamonds — note that if North held AK10 of clubs the club lead is not as safe as it looks!

Every South in hearts made 11 tricks , losing one heart and one diamond, but things developed differently here. Since this column is about “spot cards”, try and follow each card played carefully.

Partner plays the diamond ten and declarer wins with the Ace. Declarer goes to dummy with the club King and plays the heart four to his Queen. What is your plan?

Nicolaï ducked instantly! He already had a plan, and the declarer was going to follow it! Declarer went back to dummy with the club Ace and played back the heart ten to repeat the heart finesse. To declarer’s surprise Nicolaï won with the King and played back a diamond to partner’s Jack in this position (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

Now a third diamond set up a trump promotion — Nicolaï was able to ruff with the heart seven, while dummy had only the heart six! The defence held declarer to ten tricks and gained a complete top!

Beautiful? If Nikolai had passively taken the first heart, like the majority of players, nothing would have been possible because the ten of hearts still remained in the dummy. Nicolaï let declarer hope that the heart King was onside.

Put yourself in declarer’s shoes: he needed to lead the ten on the second round to pick up a possible King fourth with South. Thanks to this board and many others, Nicolaï managed to win the event with his partner Sofie Grasholt Sjodal.

Well deserved and many congratulations

David Ezekiel can be reached at davidezekiel999@gmail.com


Friday, December 8

1. Stephanie Kyme-Diana Diel

2. Rachael Gosling-Jane Smith

3. Martha Ferguson-Molly Taussig

Monday, December 11

1. Jack Rhind-Jane Smith

2. Rachael Gosling Margaret Way

3.Sancia Garrison-Martha Ferguson

Tuesday, December 12

Junior Teams Championship

1. Robert Mulderig, James Mulderig, Sarah Bowers, Stuart Clare

2. Jean Schilling, John Thorne, Erika Jones, Caitlin Conyers

3. Sarah Jane Varley, Sharon Andrews, Linda Manders, Richard Neame

Wednesday, December 13

1. Desmond Nash-Tracy Nash

2. Peter Donnellan-Lynanne Bolton

3. Gertrude Barker-Jane Smith

Thursday, December 14

Ernie Owen Individual

1. Misha Novakovic

2= Martha Ferguson

2= Margaret Way

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Published December 16, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated December 16, 2023 at 7:17 am)

Junior Teams winners crowned at Bridge Club

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