Another club championship ends in a tie
There must be something in the water at the Bridge Club as we had yet another tie in a club championship. Malcolm Moseley and Mark Stevens tied with Kathy Keane and Joyce Pearson as the Non-Life Master Champions of 2023 – and once again third place was a whisker away with Betsy Baillie and Delton Outerbridge missing joining the other two pairs at the top by an agonising margin of just half a matchpoint!
The field was pretty bunched after the morning session with Kathy-Joyce and Betsy-Delton mid-table and Malcolm-Mark a bit off the pace- but a storming 69.44 per cent game in the afternoon by the Malcom-Mark saw them grab the first-place tie.
Many congratulations to all three pairs for their strong performances in a well balanced field. What was really encouraging about the event was that all seven pairs performed well and no one pair was totally outclassed. That bodes well for all who took part and should encourage them on to better things.
Better things, however, do not come from just showing up at the table once or twice a week!
As a start, put half an hour aside with your partner some time before your next game to go through each hand from your recent game and see what you could have done better, especially in the bidding. Declarer play is only improved by playing a lot more, and Bridge Base Online and other websites have free games with robots that allow you to practise.
All of which to say, it takes a little bit of work!
Today’s hand came up in a team game and declarer was experienced enough to handle it. See Figure 1.
South somehow ended up being declarer in four spades and West led the eight of hearts – at teams all that declarer needed to do was make the contract so the play was over quickly.
Declarer won the heart, drew three rounds of trumps, cashed the other hearts and played Ace-King and another diamond, not being distracted by the diamond finesse.
This was now the position (see Figure 2).
Declarer already has eight tricks and the defence now has to open up the clubs giving declarer a club trick, or provide a ruff and discard for the tenth trick – well played.
The play at pairs would be the same as there is no gain by taking the diamond finesse. Even if it wins the likelihood is that the club honours are split and declarer would lose three clubs if she has to play them herself.
• David Ezekiel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
BRIDGE CLUB RESULTS
Friday, February 17
1. Jane Smith – Ed Betteto
2. Elysa Burland – Magda Farag
3. Molly Taussig – Peter Donnellan
Monday, February 20
1. Elysa Burland – Greta Marshall
2. Ed Betteto – Joe Wakefield
3. Kathy Keane – Donna Leitch
1. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith
2. Marge Knickle – Glen Dexter
3/4.Betsy Baillie – Joyce Pearson
3/4.Louise Rodger – Dorry Lusher
Tuesday, February 21
1. Richard Keane – Nick Jones
2. Malcolm Moseley – Mark Stevens
3. Marion Silver – Jane Gregory
1. Ben Stone – James Fielding
2. Sarah Bowers – Stuart Clare
3. Louise Charleson – Matthew Charleson
Wednesday, February 22
1. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith
2. Rachael Gosling – Ed Betteto
3. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray
1. Pat Siddle – Diana Diel
2. Sheena Rayner – Molly Taussig
3. Marge Knickle – Glen Dexter
Thursday, February 23
1. Jane Smith – Molly Taussig
2. Gertie Barker – Ed Betteto
3. Stephanie Kyme – Charles Hall
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