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With Regional behind us, spring tournaments beckon

Figure 1

The 2024 Regional is now a week old and players must once again pick themselves up and get the juices flowing at the club in preparation for the spring tournaments. It will be a full schedule, so contending pairs had better get their practice in when they can.

Here now is a complete list of local pairs who were overall winners at the Regional:

• Saturday night – Charity pairs Flight C – Lynanne Bolton and Peter Donnellan

• Sunday Swiss Teams – Bracket 2 – Richard and Wendy Gray, Lynanne Bolton, Peter Donnellan

• Bracket 3 – Des Nash, Nick Kempe, Sharon Shanahan, Claude Guay

• Monday/Tuesday – Alan Douglas Memorial Pairs – Stephanie Kyme – Charles Hall

• The Gosling’s Gold Pairs – David Petty and Delton Outerbridge

• Thursday – Joe Wakefield Memorial Pairs- Bracket X – Sheena Rayner and Bill Souster

• Friday – IGI Stratiflighted Swiss Teams

• Bracket X – Bill Souster – Malcolm Lewis – Nicola Adamson – David Ezekiel

• Bracket C&D- Sharon Shanahan-Claude Guay- Betsy Baillie – Lisa Ferrari

Masterpoint winners:

• The Karl Stanley Hicks Trophy (Highest Local Junior) – James Mulderig 5.34

• Norman Bach Trophy (Highest Masterpoint winner – Local) – Charles Hall 45.33

Many congratulations to all these winners! A special word for Charles Hall winning the Norman Bach – Charles is a super solid player who has been a stalwart at the Bridge Club for many years and this is a deserved success. Charles also gets a lot out of his partners with his demeanour at the table and that deservedly contributes to his results – well done!

In closing on the Regional, kudos to Rachael Gosling and the committee for bringing this great event back … I mentioned and named the Committee last week but Rachael also wants to thank Rosie Smith and Elizabeth McKee who volunteered their time to the banquet and to Ted Gosling for his great support and for being instrumental in the enjoyment of the hospitality suite.

This week’s hand (Figure 1) features a gloriously elegant declarer play on a hand where most declarers came up one trick short – or more!

The bidding was robust and West thought a long time about taking the five-spade sacrifice which loses four tricks and goes for -300 doubled, better than the -600 if South makes the five-club contract. She was about to do it, and then realised that South was no better than average as a player, and decided to let him play the hand.

It was a good decision, as this is a tough, tough hand to play – it does not look like there are a lot of losers but with only two trumps in dummy and no quick entry to the South hand it is hard to see a winning line of play. But there is one!

Give it a try before you read on.

Most declarers chose the easiest route to success, and pinned all their hopes on the diamond finesse … … after ruffing the spade they drew trumps in three rounds and then took the diamond finesse. When this lost, with no trumps in dummy, the defence took two spades and the heart Ace to beat the hand by two tricks for +200 and a huge top.

I must admit I struggled with this one, but once you realise that you must keep control of the spade suit whilst you try the diamonds, the answer becomes clearer – do you see it?

Ruff the first spade in dummy and at trick two play the ten of diamonds! The defence is dead – East has to win the diamond Queen or you will draw trumps and make five diamond tricks and 12 tricks, and when East is in there is no good return. If she returns a trump declarer simply draws trump and makes the hand with six clubs, four diamonds and the spade ruff at trick one.

If East returns a spade declarer ruffs in dummy, crosses to the Jack of diamonds and draws trumps and then claims 12 tricks again.

Tough to see that play, but it is beautiful!

David Ezekiel can be reached at davidezekiel999@gmail.com


Friday January 26


1. Rachael Gosling-Gail Greenberg

2. Tony Saunders-Charles Hall

3.Richard Gray-Wendy Gray


1. Bill Souster-Jeff Hand

2. Stephen Cosham-Deborah Tormey

3. Harry Kast-John Rayner

Monday, February 5


1. Louise Rodger-Molly Taussig

2. Peter Donnellan-Charles Hall

3. Charles Roraback-Molly Roraback


1. Gertrude Barker-Jane Smith

2. John Luebkemann-Lynanne Bolton

3. Lorna Anderson-Heather Woolf

Tuesday, February 6

1. Tracy Pitt-Desiree Woods

2. Mike Dawson-Jo-Ann Dawson

3. Malcolm Moseley-Mark Stevens

Wednesday, February 7

1. Richard Gray-Wendy Gray

2. Elysa Burland-Magda Farag

3. Stephen Cosham-Rachael Gosling

Thursday, February 8

1. Charles Hall-Stephanie Kyme

2. Gertrude Barker-Stephen Cosham

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Published February 10, 2024 at 7:56 am (Updated February 10, 2024 at 7:30 am)

With Regional behind us, spring tournaments beckon

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