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Team clinches Junior Pairs title with perfect record

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Many congratulations to the team of Ben Stone, Jean Schilling, Erika Jones and Caitlin Conyers who took the Bermuda Bridge Club Junior Teams title for 2024.

It was good to see four teams turn out for this event including some really new players, so well done to them for entering the fray!

The first- and second-placed teams fought it out till the end, and the winners ended with a perfect 3-0 record when they beat their closest competitors – the team of John Thorne, Keri McKittrick, Heidi Dyson and Amanda Ingham – in the very last round. The winning score of 52vps out of 60 by the Stone team was impressive, as was the 38 scored by the second-placed Thorne team.

Well done to all, and hopefully the results will encourage this group to keep learning and progressing, and one day hold their own in Open competition, which is where they are needed.

The Bridge Club Summer Party also took place last Saturday and from all accounts it was super successful on every level – the weather was great, the outside space at the club is a great setting and the food, wine and all the other bits and pieces were top class.

Getting an event like this over the line is a massive undertaking, so a huge well done to Judy King and all her helpers in organising it and the pulling it off in great style, as they always do. Judy has thanked the large group who assisted in a message to the members, so we know who they are!

There are tons of photographs on the Bermuda Bridge Club website including a celebration of the ‘decade-busters’ (those who had a birthday ending with a zero in 2024) who were celebrated at the party!

Now to this week’s tip, and the hand. The tip is a simple one – agree with your partner that you will never lead away from an Ace in a suit contract. In other words if you have a suit headed by the Ace, you will not lead a low card from that suit at trick one.

And to emphasise – this does not apply when you are defending against a no-trump contract, where you will often lead away from an Ace when leading fourth best.

There are a ton of good reasons for this tip but let me give you probably the most frequent situation where it is essential (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Before I get to explaining the tip, remember one thing – partner is leading blind and will often (more than often!) find an “unfortunate” lead – it is now up to you to not compound the error.

On this holding, partner leads the two of clubs, declarer play low from dummy – up to you!

You have “third hand plays high” ringing in your ears, but if you know partner cannot have the Ace you should then know that playing the King is suicidal. On this hand simply play the six and let declarer win the nine, but notice that he now still has a club to lose.

If you play the King, declarer wins the Ace and can later finesse the known Jack in your partner’s hand to lose no tricks in the suit. This is but one illustration of how this rule helps, and over time you will find many, many more.

With that in mind look at this hand which came up on BBO last week (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

South’s four heart bid was pretty outrageous – he got carried away by the fact that the opening lead would come in to his AQ of spades, but he missed that he has only 14 points and a weak trump suit – the question was, was he made to pay for his bad bid?

East led the five of spades and West made the normal play of the King, which looked harmless. Declarer won the Ace and played a trump to West’s Ace – West, in the hope that partner had the Queen of spades tried a spade – curtains!

Declarer won the spade, drew another trump and played on diamonds and the contract could not be beaten! Should West have known to switch to the club ten when in with the Ace of hearts, which beats the contract?

Now you can see where I am going with this – knowing that declarer has the spade Ace (as partner clearly does not have it) West should play the Jack of spades at trick one to find out who has the Queen – once that becomes clear the club switch at trick three becomes automatic and the contract goes down.

So remember that rule – there may come a time when you have reached expert level that you will find the exact moment to find the magic underlead, but don’t hold your breath!

David Ezekiel can be contacted at davidezekiel999@gmail.com


Friday, June 21


1. Elysa Burland-Magda Farag

2. Jane Smith-Sancia Garrison


1. Richard Gray-Wendy Gray

2. Molly Taussig-John Glynn

Monday, June 24


1. Diana Diel-Patricia Siddle

2. Betsy Baillie-Aida Bostelmann

3. Rachael Gosling-Margaret Way


1. Sue Hodge-John Hodge

2. Sancia Garrison-Desmond Nash

3. Gertrude Barker-Jane Smith

Tuesday, June 25

Junior Teams Championship

1. Benjamin Stone, Jean Schilling, Erika Jones, Caitlin Conyers

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

Wednesday, June 26

1. Peter Donnellan-Lynanne Bolton

2. Greta Marshall-Heather Woolf

3. Caroline Svensen-Jane Clipper

Thursday, June 27

1. John Glynn-Rachael Gosling

2. Elizabeth McKee-Margaret Way

3. Peter Donnellan-Stephanie Kyme

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Published June 29, 2024 at 7:55 am (Updated June 29, 2024 at 7:36 am)

Team clinches Junior Pairs title with perfect record

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