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National team trials for online regional tournament

With some return to competitive bridge, the following notice was sent out to the local Bridge Club and ACBL members in relation to the upcoming trials for the Central American and Caribbean Bridge Federation Zone 5 Championship.

The trials are organised by the Board of Governors of ACBL Unit 198 on behalf of the Bermuda Bridge Federation and will be held to provide a competitive basis on which the board will select the national team or teams to represent Bermuda at the CACBF Zone 5 Championship to be held online between October 25 and 31, inclusive.

Figure 1

The trials will be played on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 10am (two sessions, short lunch break) as a two-session Pairs event, scored using IMPs. Entries must be made by Wednesday, September 1, 2021 by signing the sign-up sheet on the ACBL Notice Board at the Bermuda Bridge Club.

Entrant pairs are asked to indicate the categories (Open, Ladies, Senior, Mixed) for which they wish to be considered. Entry fee is $60 per pair payable at commencement of the trials.

If you intend to play sign up before the September 1.

This week’s hand needs a bit of thought from both sides, defence and declarer. The latter did his bit, but the defender sitting East at one table failed to see the wood for the trees and gave declarer a lifeline he was not entitled to (see Figure 1).

This deal came up in a team game and while the bidding looks a bit strange it is quite logical and the auction was exactly the same at both tables!

East’s two-diamond opening was weak; South’s cue-bid of 3 diamonds showed at least five-five in the majors and at most a five-loser hand. Since North had three cards in each major his four-diamond bid asked South to choose between hearts and spades. I think that bid makes sense most of the time, but on this hand I might have chosen to bid 4 hearts in order to protect the diamond King – played from the North hand, four of any major is cold.

Anyway, South was now declarer in 4 spades and West led a third-highest 2 of diamonds and, after both East players took their two diamond tricks, they had to find a shift.

At the first table at trick three, since the alternatives were so unappealing, East tried a crafty Queen of hearts. Declarer looked at this sceptically, thinking that there was no way East would lead the Queen of hearts from a Queen-Jack holding knowing that South had five hearts.

Then he asked himself: “Why did East make such a weird shift when she could have led a trump if she had held one?” So, declarer played the King of hearts and led the Ace and another trump to West’s King, unblocking the Queen as East discarded diamonds.

After winning the trump return, declarer drew West’s remaining trump and then played a heart towards dummy’s Ace. The appearance of the Jack of hearts allowed declarer to claim his contract.

At the other table, East thought about the auction before playing to trick three, asking herself: “Why did South bid four spades rather than four hearts?” That bid suggested that South’s spades were somehow better than his hearts. The only conclusion that East could reliably draw was that South probably had six spades and she concluded that South had begun with 6-5-2-0 shape and that no discard on the club Ace could really be of any use.

Having figured this out she led the Queen of clubs at trick three – this gave declarer nothing extra and he eventually had to lose a trump and a heart for down one.

As I have said many times in this column, I am a huge believer in passive defending on most hands, forcing declarer to play and make the hand instead of giving it to him.

On a hand like this where declarer has shown 6-5-2-0 or 5-5-2-1 he either has a spade and a heart to lose or he doesn’t – the defence cannot create a winner but, as we saw, they can definitely create a loser!


Monday 16 August


1. Lynanne Bolton – Peter Donnellan

2. Molly Taussig – Charles Hall

3. Judy Bussell – Magda Farag


1. Jane Clipper – Mike Tait

2. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith

3. Martha Ferguson – Judy King

Tuesday, August 17

1. Nikki Boyce – Carol Eastham

2. Malcolm Moseley – Mark Stevens

3. Sandra Ogden – George Ogden

Wednesday, August 18

1. Judy Bussell – Wenda Krupp

2. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith

3. Jane Clipper – Caroline Svensen

Friday, August 20


1. Betsy Baillie – Jane Smith

2. Lorna Anderson – Joyce Pearson

3. Magda Farag – Charles Hall


1. Judy Bussell – Wenda Krupp

2. Martha Ferguson – Judy King

3. Diana Diel – Stephanie Kyme

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Published August 21, 2021 at 4:00 am (Updated August 20, 2021 at 4:58 pm)

National team trials for online regional tournament

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