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Ladies Pairs title decided in tale of two sessions

Figure 1

Many congratulations to Gertie Barker and Jane King, who won the 2024 Ladies Pairs Championship at the Bermuda Bridge Club.

The event was held over two sessions and each session was a different story on its own! In second place, a whisker behind, were Rachael Gosling and Stephanie Kyme, with Lynanne Bolton – Wendy Gray in third, and Lorna Anderson – Heather Woolf in fourth.

After the first session it looked like Gertie and Jane would have a comfortable route to the win as they racked up a 65.74 per cent score, with Lynanne-Wendy in second on 53.7 per cent, and Erika Jones – Caitlin Conyers in joint third on 53.24 per cent with Molly Taussig – Sue Hodge. Languishing in seventh place with a meagre 46.76 per cent were Stephanie and Rachael.

The second session was a totally different story! Stephanie and Rachael put up an amazing 74.31 per cent game, certainly the highest score I can remember in any session of a club championship, and Jane-Gertie had a just below average game but did well enough to breast the tape just ahead of the field.

Well done to the winners, who are prolific winners at the club and, along with the second- and third-placed pairs, have been in the top echelons of the players at the club for a long time.

Winning Strata B were Lorna and Heather, just ahead of Erika and Caitlin. Both these pairs did well to be in the hunt throughout. The leading pair in Strata C was Lisa Ferrari and Betsy Baillie.

This was a competitive field and congratulations again to the winners and the podium pairs.

Before I get to the hand, tonight is the hugely well subscribed Summer Party which starts at 6.30pm at the club. If you forgot to sign up, try Judy King in case there have been any cancellations!

Next up on the tournament front is the Junior Teams Event which is next Tuesday, June 25, at 7pm – sign up at the club.

As I mentioned in last week’s column, declarer play is undoubtedly the hardest part of this game to learn and perfect. Experts, however, not only know every single standard best play, but at times make a new or innovative play by thinking outside the box – this was the case on today’s hand (see Figure 1).

The bidding was short and swift – after two passes East opened with a bid of four hearts and South’s four spade bid closed the auction.

West led the two hearts won by East’s ten and declarer ruffed the second heart and then did some planning. There was a real danger that declarer could lose a heart, two clubs and a diamond, so declarer had to do some thinking around the possibilities in the club suit.

If West had the Ace of clubs, the hand was always going to make as declarer would lose a heart, a diamond and a club. If East had the Ace it looks like the contract is doomed as the losers would be a heart, a diamond and two clubs.

But then declarer had a flashback to a hand she had played some 20 years ago – what if East had both the Ace and Queen of clubs? With that in mind, declarer crossed to dummy (drawing trumps in the process) and led the five of clubs off the board! Do you see that the contract cannot now be defeated?

East has no choice, but to play the Queen of clubs after which he attacks diamonds, but it is too late – declarer wins the diamond, knocks out the Ace of clubs with the jack and now the King of clubs is a parking space for the losing diamond – four spades made!

Take a good look at the club play as it is a no-lose play – if West has the club Queen and East the Ace the contract can never be made no matter how one plays the clubs. If West has the Ace of clubs and East the Queen the contract cannot go down, and the same if West has the Ace and the Queen.

So, the only holding declarer could protect against is if East held both club honours as in this hand, and declarer found a wonderful play to cater for that.

You never stop learning at this game!


Friday, June 14

1. Tony Saunders-Patricia Siddle

2. Gertrude Barker-Greta Marshall

3. Wendy Gray-Richard Gray

Saturday, June 15

Ladies Pairs Championship

1. Gertrude Barker-Jane Smith

2. Rachael Gosling-Stephanie Kyme

Monday, June 17

1. Gertrude Barker-Jane Smith

2. Martha Ferguson-Judy King

3. Elysa Burland-Molly Taussig

Tuesday, June 18


1. John Thorne, Keri McKittrick, Heidi Dyson, Amanda Ingham

2. Sally Irvine, Linda Manders, Malcolm Moseley, Mark Stevens

Wednesday, June 19

1. Peter Donnellan-Greta Marshall

2. Gertrude Barker-Jane Smith

3. Tony Saunders-Molly Taussig

Thursday, June 20

1. Elizabeth McKee-Margaret Way

2. Charles Hall-Stephanie Kyme

3. John Glynn-Rachael Gosling

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Published June 22, 2024 at 7:53 am (Updated June 22, 2024 at 7:44 am)

Ladies Pairs title decided in tale of two sessions

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