Belated congratulations to star performers in Online Tournament
In my wrap-up of the first Bermuda Online Tournament last week, I missed bringing you some pretty important results – I’m blaming the hired help for that!
The format of the event provided for overall winners in three categories based on results right through the week and Bermuda players scooped two of the three!
In the Open Category Alan Douglas teamed up with Ed White from the USA, a popular and regular visitor to our Bermuda Regional, to take overall honours.
In the 99er Category, Malcolm Mosely and Mark Stevens topped the field. Winning over a number of sessions needs a lot of skill and concentration and all four players are to be congratulated.
For Alan this adds to the significant achievement of gaining Diamond Life Master status last week, which has to rank high on the list of achievements by a Bermudian-based player and he. joins a select group of players in the American Contract Bridge League, who have reached that milestone.
This week's hand came up in a Teams match, and in that format the most important thing is to make the contract and then start worrying about overtricks, which don't carry the same weight as they do in the Pairs format.
The hand is all about planning and thinking at trick one. When you first look at it, you may wonder why it is in this column as it all looks too easy, but you know by now that all is never what it seems (see Figure 1).
North opened One Club intending to jump to 2NT over any one level hid from partner to show a hand with 19-21 high card points. South with 6 points is forced to keep the bidding alive and bids 1NT. South cannot bid 2 Clubs as most people play 1Club-2 Clubs as ‘inverted’ showing a good hand with at least 4 Clubs and no major and asking partner for major suit stoppers, North now had an automatic raise to 3NT.
West led the spade king and declarer could count nine tricks – 6 Clubs, two diamonds and the Spade Ace, so he grabbed the first trick and … went down one! How can that be you say, when there are 9 tricks available? I’ll give you another chance to give the hand a good look before showing you all four hands.
Finished looking? Here’s the full deal (see Figure 2):
Do you see what happens? With opposing clubs breaking 3-0 the hand is now unmakeable, try it. After taking the top three clubs, the club suit is now unavoidably blocked – the fourth club has to be won in dummy and now that the last two clubs in the South hand are stranded.
Now that you see that, how does declarer succeed? Give it a try before reading on.
Once declarer spots the danger of the club suit blockage, some focused thought produces an elegant solution. Declarer must duck the first spade and the second. Now when the third spade is played, the declarer wins the Ace and discards a low club from dummy – now the club suit can be run and nine tricks and the contract are available.
What if West is clever enough to see all this and doesn’t continue a spade trick 2, but switches to a diamond? Declarer has a good counter by winning the diamond and playing another spade and ducking it. Now declarer can win the diamond continuation, play Ace, King and Queen of Clubs, throw the last club from dummy under the Ace of spades and claim nine tricks.
Not as easy as it first looked …
BRIDGE CLUB RESULTS
Friday, January 22
1. Margaret Way - Edward Betteto
2. Francisco Plana Estruch - Nick Kempe
3. Jane Smith - Alan Douglas
Tuesday, January 26 <149
1. Katyna Rabain - M Louise Payne
2. Tim Mardon - Jean Schilling
3. Julia Cook - Joann Dawson
Thursday, January 28
1. William Pollett - Charles Hall
2. Jane Smith - Peter Donnellan
3. Miodrag Novakovic (& robot)
Friday, January 29
1. Betsy Baillie - Christine Lloyd-Jennings
2. Gertrude Barker - Martha Ferguson
3. Alan Douglas - Jane Smith
Monday, February 1
1. Margaret Way - Charles Hall
2. Gill Gray - Patricia Siddle
3. John Hodge - Sue Hodge
Tuesday, February 2 <149
1. Willi Lawrence - Inger Mesna
2. Malcolm Moseley - Mark Stevens
3. M Louise Payne - Katyna Rabain
Wednesday, February 3
1. Aida Bostelmann - Heather Woolf
2. Richard Gray - Wendy Gray
3. Joyce Pearson - Lorna Anderson
Thursday, February 4 – open teams
1. Margaret Way- Miodrag Novakovic - Rachael Gosling - Stephan Juliusburger
2. Jane Smith - Gertrude Barker - Sheena Rayner - Magda Farag
3. Lorna Anderson - Joyce Pearson - Inger Mesna - George Correia
Thursday, February 4 – <299 teams
1. Marion Silver - Duncan Silver - Jane Gregory - Wenda Krupp
2. Mark Stevens - Malcolm Moseley - Mike Dawson - Joann Dawson
3. Carol Eastham - Veronica Boyce - Felicity Lunn - Gina Graham