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Victorious nonagenarians show bridge is ‘game for a lifetime’

I have often extolled the virtues of our great game in this column and regularly described it as “a game for a lifetime”. To prove my point, last Monday at the club, Diana Diel and Ivy Rosser won the game with an excellent score, and remarkably both of them are nonagenarians! Yes, well over 16 years old!

Ivy and Diana have been in the top strata of bridge for decades. I’ve often told the story of my arriving on the island on the BA flight in 1975, and basically heading straight out to check out the Bridge Club – I’d already checked it out from London and it was the reason I chose Bermuda over four other job offers in sunny places, and how great a decision was that.

I arrived at the Club and introduced myself to Tony Saunders who was directing at the time and he set me up to kibitz one of the top pairs at the time, and it was Graham and Ivy Rosser.

They came second that night but I really enjoyed watching their play. It was during that game when one redoubtable player, I think it was Brownie Eve, leant over to his partner after a hand and said: “If you don’t lead a suit I have bid, I will assume you don’t have any!”

Diana is a bit newer to the game, but that doesn’t mean “new”, and soon made her mark, bringing to the table all the skill and determination that saw her at the top of the golf scene in Bermuda for so many years.

Ivy and Diana are poster-children for how this game keeps you sharp – it requires thought and concentration, it delights, frustrates and drives you mad all in one evening, and the Club games provide that essential social interaction which is so tied in with longevity. Well done to Ivy and Diana!

The beginners’ lessons at the Club are sold out for the spring, but if you have a friend who might be interested in learning this incomparable game, get them to sign up with Bill Pollett for the fall series.

Today’s hand is elegant and almost simple but, as you will see from the report by the superb Larry Cohen, even an expert went wrong on it (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

At both tables, after West opened with a weak two-bid in spades, the South players reached four hearts. West led the top three spades, RHO playing high-low to show an even number. What should declarer do on the third round of spades? Our team lost 10 IMPs when, surprisingly, my expert team-mate failed to find the winning line. He ruffed the third spade in dummy, East overruffed and the contract had to fail by two tricks on a trump return.

At our table when faced with this problem, my table opponent, Mike Passell, found the solution. He discarded a diamond from dummy on the third spade!

Now we could do nothing to defeat four hearts. Even on a trump shift, declarer can ruff a diamond, take two discards on the clubs, ruff a club with the ten of hearts and draw trumps to make 420.

Nevertheless, I can’t give my team-mate all the blame. I was on lead with the West hand and had I led a trump at trick one, two or three, we also could have defeated four hearts.

There is another lesson here – both partner and I moved on to the next hand with our heads cleared of this hand, and we eventually won the match despite this setback. Keep that in mind.

Nice hand from Larry!

BRIDGE CLUB RESULTS

Friday, April 8

North/South

1. Elysa Burland – Pat Colmet

2. Julia Bach – Magda Farag

3. Molly Taussig – Charles Hall

East/West

1. Judy Bussell – Richard Gray

2. Gertie Barker – Martha Ferguson

3. Pat Siddle – Dorry Lusher

Monday, April 11

1. Diana Diel – Dorry Lusher

2. Charles Hall – Joe Wakefield

3. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith

Tuesday, April 12

1/2.Heidi Dyson – Amanda Ingham

1/2.Janice Bucci – Angela McKittrick

3. Sally Irvine – Ineke Hetzel

Wednesday, April 13

1. Pat Siddle – Julia Beach

2. Marge Way – Charles Hall

3. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith

Thursday, April 14

1. Lisa Ferrari – Marge Way

2. Elizabeth McKee – Linda Pollett

3. Stephanie Kyme – Charles Hall

Non-Bridge Club Online Results for Bridge Club Members

April 9: Elizabeth McKee and Marge Way – 1st out of 298 pairs

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Published April 16, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated April 16, 2022 at 8:00 am)

Victorious nonagenarians show bridge is ‘game for a lifetime’

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