Online games growing in popularity
The online games sponsored and arranged by the Bermuda Bridge Club continue to thrive with healthy attendances and entries from players of all standards including some of the top local players — I think this will benefit a lot of the up-and-coming players who will feel (a little) less intimidated by the top players online as they will do in proximity, and that will hopefully help them have a clear head and perform at a higher level and improve their game.
I was delighted to see Colin Moran's name among the results — Colin was an important and popular member of the club back in the Seventies and Eighties and played a big part in the construction and outfitting of the current clubhouse — he is now a resident of Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia and makes occasional visits to the island where he still has some relatives — it will be good to see him back here some time soon.
I am following the play in the online Alt Invitational Tournament, and BBO Vugraph commentator Martin Cantor has captured some of the highlights from the third edition, including a nail-biting finish of the teams event, brought about by a wonderful execution of the Scissors Coup by Cedric Lorenzini.
See Figure 1, for the full hand.
On the penultimate board of the semi-final between the Street team and the Gupta team, with Gupta trailing by just a couple of IMPs, Lorenzini then produced a variant of the Scissors Coup to virtually seal a place in the final for Gupta. Several expert commentators had watched the hand played in the other semi-final match and seen the normal 3NT contract fail by a trick, and none of the experts spotted the winning line despite seeing all four hands.
In both rooms the bidding was identical — South opened one Club, North bid one Diamond, South rebid 1NT and North raised to 3NT. The contract had failed at the other table of the Street-Gupta match, but Lorenzini had different plans.
Play started the same way as at the other table with West leading a small Club to the Jack and Queen. Declarer needed just four Diamond tricks, so both declarers cashed the Diamond Ace and then played the 8. When West discarded, Driver in the Open Room inserted the Jack, and now East's shift of the Spade King killed the contract. If declarer ducked, the defence could cash three more Clubs for five tricks.
In the Closed Room when West showed out on the second Diamond, Lorenzini won the Diamond King, cashed a top Heart, played a Heart to his hand and now played the Club 10! This severed the defenders' communications and put East in a quandary. If he cashes his winning Clubs, he sets up the ninth trick for declarer, and if he doesn't, he can kiss them goodbye, and declarer can eventually get home with two Spades, four Hearts, two Diamonds and a Club — there was no way out! Spectators and the other players at the table all expressed their admiration in various terms, but Cédric modestly said: “I was hoping to pin the 9 or 7 of Clubs, and look what happened!”
The play is remarkable, as absolutely any other line of play on the hand is destined to fail — a rare hand brought to prominence by a touch of pure class.
Thursday 7 May
1, Charles Hall - William Pollett
2, Fabian Hupe - Gregor Von Bulow
3, Rachael Gosling - Elizabeth McKee
1, Colin Moran - Sancia Garrison
2, Claude Guay - Sharon Shanahan
3, David Sykes - Alan Douglas
Friday 8 May
1, Marilynn Simmons - Patricia Siddle
2, Charles Hall - Judith Bussell
3, Elaine Stevens - Ian Hilton
1, Francisco Plana Estruch - Nick Kempe
2, Patricia Colmet - Heather Woolf
3, Louise Rodger - Gill Gray
Saturday 9th May
1, Claude Guay - Sharon Shanahan
2, Inger Mesna - Diana Downs
3, Linda Abend - Patrick Cerra
1, Marsha Fraser - James Fraser
2=, Carol Jones - Kathleen Keane
2=, Charles Roraback - Molly Roraback
Monday 11th May
1, Alan Douglas - Martha Ferguson
2, Lynanne Bolton - Peter Donnellan
3, Marion Silver - Duncan Silver
1, Gertie Barker - Jane Smith
2, Richard Gray - Wendy Gray
3, John Rayner - Heather Woolf
Tuesday 12 May - <149 points
1, Tim Mardon - Jean Schilling
2, Ineke Hetzel - Sally Irvine
3, M Louise Payne - Katyna Rabain
Tuesday 12 May – Open game
1, Stephan Juliusburger - Rachael Gosling
2, John Burville - Michael Viotti
3, Sharon Shanahan - Claude Guay
Wednesday 13 May
1, John Hodge - Sue Hodge
2, Francisco Plana Estruch - Nick Kempe
3, Linda Abend - Patrick Cerra
1, Diana Diel - Patricia Siddle
2, Magda Farag - Sheena Rayner
3, Charles Hall - John Rayner