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Stay tuned for new Spring Tournament dates

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The Spring Tournament season should by now have been well under way at the Club, but has hit a couple of roadblocks.

First, I was hoping to report the results of the Novice Pairs Championship which was scheduled for last Tuesday but the game had to be postponed in order to clarify the entry qualifications and hopefully generate a larger entry – the event will now be open to any players who had 20 or less Masterpoints at January 1, 2022. So if you fall into that category, keep your eyes peeled for the rescheduled date which will be announced soon.

Following quickly on the heels of this, we just heard that the Open Pairs, scheduled for last Thursday and next, also suffered a last-minute postponement due to the illness of one of the players which would have reduced the field to a number that was not adequate for a Club Championship. So next Thursday night will just be a normal Open game.

Stay tuned for the rescheduling of that one as well.

The smaller numbers due to Covid are putting pressure on the directing staff, but once again the solutions and announcements were swift and timely, which avoided a real headache.

Today’s hand came up in a Team game and the correct play was obvious to an experienced declarer. The correct play of the same hand in a Pairs contest, however, is not that clear (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

The bidding was good and straightforward (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

Once South opened his hand North was going to go to slam, either in hearts or no-trump.

The 1 NT rebid by South showed a balanced hand of 13-14 HCP, so North immediately aimed towards a small slam and forgot about the grand. North’s two-diamond bid was “New Minor Forcing”, which asks partner whether he has three-card heart support and if not whether he has four spades (which he actually cannot in this instance, as he would have bid a spade on his second bid). South’s 2NT said “only two hearts and less than four spades” and North now placed the slam.

This was a team game and in the other room the bidding was exactly the same.

Both West players led the Jack of diamonds, and it was over to the declarers. At the first table, declarer tried turning his 11 winners into 13. After winning the first trick with the King of diamonds, declarer cashed the King and Ace of clubs, finding them five-one. Declarer’s back-up was to make an extra trick with the heart Queen.

So, he now led a low diamond to dummy’s Ace to play the four of hearts towards his Queen. Alas, West took the Queen of hearts with the King and returned the Jack of hearts to declarer’s Ace. Declarer now only had 11 tricks to finish one down.

At the other table, the play to the first two tricks was the same, declarer winning them with dummy’s minor suit Kings. However, when declarer led the four of clubs towards his hand and East played the eight of clubs, South covered it with the ten. Declarer reasoned that he just needed four club tricks to make his contract and that playing the ten would guarantee that outcome. Once West discarded on the second round of clubs, declarer fooled around for an extra trick but in the end claimed 12 tricks, making the slam and gaining a massive swing for his team.

The play here in a teams match was 100 per cent correct as the priority is to make the contract and not look for dangerous overtricks. Would I play it the same way in a pairs game? I think so – the odds of a suit breaking 3-3 are about 33 per cent, and even with the club ten allowing five tricks if one defender had Jx, I think the safety play is standout.

Making a slam is never a bad score, but going down one is not only a bad result on the hand, but can affect the partnership for the rest of the session.


Friday, March 25

1. Judy Bussell – Peter Donnellan

2. Linda Pollett – Charles Hall

3. Marge Way – Tony Saunders

Monday, March 28


1. Judy Bussell – Magda Farag

2. Diana Diel – Dorry Lusher

3. Kath Bell – Geoff Bell


1. Martha Ferguson – Judy King

2. Marge Way – Charles Hall

3. Molly Taussig – Elysa Burland

Tuesday, March 29

1/2Carol Eastham – Nikki Boyce

1/2Jean Schilling – Mark Stevens

3. Barbara Elkin – Neil Gilbertson

Wednesday, March 30

1. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith

2. Molly Taussig – Tony Saunders

3. Pat Siddle – Julia Beach

Thursday, March 31

1. David Sykes – Edward Betteto

2. Marge Way – Charles Hall

3. Elizabeth McKee – Linda Pollett

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Published April 02, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated April 02, 2022 at 7:39 am)

Stay tuned for new Spring Tournament dates

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